An Ashland High School graduate whose legal career took him to Washington, D.C., Portland and back to the Rogue Valley was confirmed as the new city attorney on Tuesday night after a competitive search process.

An Ashland High School graduate whose legal career took him to Washington, D.C., Portland and back to the Rogue Valley was confirmed as the new city attorney on Tuesday night after a competitive search process.

The Ashland City Council unanimously confirmed David Lohman for the post.

"I was really impressed with his skills and experience," Councilor Greg Lemhouse said.

Lohman will begin work on June 6 after transitioning from his current job in the Medford and Ashland private law practice of Huycke, O'Connor, Jarvis and Lohman LLP, city officials said.

"I'm eager to get started. I look forward to working with the City Council and serving the Ashland community, where I was raised and that still is home to my mother and many friends," Lohman said in a statement.

In Washington, D.C., Lohman served as a staff member for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, where his work included research and funding level recommendations, city officials said.

He later worked in commercial and personal injury litigation, as well as public utility law, before becoming senior deputy director for the Oregon Economic Development Department. While working for the Port of Portland, he supervised a staff of six attorneys and provided legal advice on government law.

Lohman eventually returned to the Rogue Valley, where he had grown up, to work for a private law firm on business, real estate, land use, transportation and water issues. He has been active in the community and served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Oregon Transportation Commission.

Former City Attorney Richard Appicello resigned in November 2010, citing health reasons. Assistant City Attorney Megan Thornton served as acting city attorney for many months, and later the city contracted with attorney Doug McGeary to provide legal services.

Mayor John Stromberg said city officials are grateful to Thornton and McGeary for the help they provided during a time of transition.

"We have been without a city attorney for a number of months but I am convinced it was worth the wait to get the right person with the right skills who will be a good fit with our staff and the community," Stromberg said in a statement.

Unlike with past recruitments for top staff positions, the city decided not to use an outside search firm to find a new city attorney, saving tens of thousands of dollars. City officials said the search was narrowed by the need to find a person who could practice law in Oregon.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.