Ventura City Attorney Greg Diaz Announces Retirement | Local news
Posted on December 4, 2021
After more than seven years as a lawyer for the city of Ventura, Gregory Diaz has announced his retirement, effective February 14. Its last day will be December 23.
“City Attorney Greg Diaz has had a significant impact on our organization and has led the city’s legal services team with the utmost professionalism and integrity,” said Mayor Sofia Rubalcava. “On behalf of the municipal council, I thank him for his exemplary legal contributions which have greatly benefited our community. We wish him the best for his retirement. “
Since joining the city in 2014, Diaz has led the city attorney’s office in achieving a number of notable achievements, including the provision of homeless shelter agreements that enabled the city to open its first city-sponsored permanent homeless shelter in the county.
Diaz led the Citizens Charter Review Committee in updating the Ventura Charter Amendment, which moved the city’s general electoral system to geographic district elections for council members in 2017. This substantial change to the Charter Amendment proactively avoided a costly and time-consuming right to vote in California. Take legal action.
“It has been my honor to serve the City Council and the Town of Ventura through many complex initiatives,” said Diaz. “One of the accomplishments of which I am most proud is the work accomplished by our city attorney’s office during the tragic time of the Thomas fire in 2017.
“The city’s legal team has come together to perform their duties at the highest level of excellence. She provided tools, expertise and legal advice to help policymakers and executives weather the devastation caused by the fire.
Under Diaz’s direction, the city attorney’s office recovered $ 8 million from Southern California Edison for damage caused by the Thomas fire. Diaz also backed the council-sponsored initiative, Measure O. The half-cent sales tax increase provided vital funding for essential public safety services and increased maintenance of public safety facilities. the city, roads and sidewalks.
“The success I have had during my career at Ventura is a direct result of the excellent work of our legal professionals and support staff from the city attorney’s office. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside talented elected leaders, department heads and city professionals, ”said Diaz.
Prior to coming to Ventura, Diaz was a Merced City Attorney from 2001 to 2014; and served as a municipal lawyer under contract for the towns of Lake Forest, Stanton and Lomita, California.
Diaz also had the opportunity to help incorporate nine new towns from Temecula in the south to Buellton in the north, with his most significant efforts involving the new towns of Dana Point, Chino Hills and Lake Forest.
He was called to the California State Bar in 1991 and is licensed to practice in the Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of the Federal District Courts of California; the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals; and before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Diaz has spoken and written on various municipal laws during his career, focusing in recent years on legal issues associated with emergencies and disasters. He prepared a “Disaster Playbook” on Handling Legal Problems in an Emergency that was presented to county attorneys and City of California attorneys.
For the past two years, he has served as chairman of the municipal attorneys department of the League of California Cities Ad Hoc Emergency Response Committee.
Retired, Diaz plans to move out and join his wife Angela at their new home in Tampa, Florida. He said he looked forward to a few months of rest and relaxation and then new challenges.
When Diaz leaves, Andy Hegland will take over as interim municipal counsel. Heglund joined the city attorney’s office in July 2019 as the city’s senior deputy attorney, where he specialized in land use planning and development. He spent his early years in private law firms in Los Angeles and Bakersfield, specializing in litigation.
Hegland was the lead advocate for Bakersfield’s aggressive highway expansion program, capital improvement projects, right-of-way and entertainment facilities. He was also instrumental in the development of the Bakersfield deployment program for the installation of wireless cellular equipment on city street lights.
The city attorney is one of two positions, along with the city manager, appointed directly by city council. The city attorney represents and advises the council, advisory bodies and municipal departments on legal matters relating to city affairs. In the coming weeks, the council will begin discussions on the next steps in hiring a new city attorney. A recruitment effort will be made to fill the vacant position of the city’s lawyer.