Newport Beach City Attorney David Hunt will leave office by Sept. 23, he announced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting during a closed session report.
The City Council had decided to outsource more of the city attorney’s office work, which Hunt said he respected but didn’t want to be part of. Hunt will return to private practice, he said.
Here’s the statement issued today by the City of Newport Beach:
“The City of Newport Beach and City Attorney David Hunt have reached agreement for Hunt’s employment with the City to conclude following a transition period during which the City Council will seek to hire his successor. The agreement is the result of amicable discussions following the Council’s consensus to change the role of the Office of the City Attorney during its June 28 Study Session.
“‘The City is extremely grateful for David’s many accomplishments as City Attorney over the past two years, especially his successes in litigation matters,’ said Mayor Michael Henn. ‘We wish David much success in his future endeavors, and very much appreciate his willingness to continue as City Attorney during the transition period in which we intend to identify his successor.’
“Newport Beach hired Hunt in December 2008. During his tenure with the city, David expanded the mission, role and size of the Office of the City Attorney (OCA) in accordance with the Council’s review and approval. This resulted in the increased integration of the OCA in daily city processes and in-sourcing certain functions such as code enforcement prosecution, as well as increases in the overall budget for the OCA. The City Council, at its June 28 study session, concluded that it wished to return to an OCA model more reliant on outside resources. As a result, Hunt concluded that he would be better served to pursue career opportunities in private practice.
“’I firmly believe in the Council’s authority to determine the mission and role for all of its departments, including the OCA,’ said Hunt. ‘There are a variety of successful templates for municipal legal functions, including the template selected by Council. I simply prefer to return to
private practice in furtherance of my legal career, rather than stay and execute the revised model for the OCA. I intend to vigorously fulfill the duties of the City Attorney during my remaining tenure, and do whatever I can to complete a smooth transition to my successor.’
The City Council intends to move forward immediately to identify a successor.”
In March 2010, Hunt made headlines after being arrested in a domestic violence incident. He was not charged but did take a leave of absence.