Council to mull naming Risner interim city attorney
Seeking to facilitate a “smooth transition of leadership,” the Vallejo City Council is expected to name Randy Risner as interim city attorney on Tuesday.
City Attorney Claudia Quintana announced last October that she planned to retire in April 2020 after nearly a decade in the position. Per her employment contract with the city, Quintana was required to give a six month notice if she decided to retire.
If appointed, Risner will begin as interim effective Saturday, while Quintana will remain in an advisory role until she retires on April 16, city staff wrote in a report to the city council.
“A critical piece of a solid succession plan is having some overlap in leadership to achieve that knowledge transfer,” the same staff report states. “Additionally, given that cases are pending that will continue beyond Ms. Quintana’s departure, it makes sense
for the city to name a new interim city attorney prior to her departure for continuity of cases.”
Quintana’s sudden retirement announcement came soon after it was reported that in April 2019 she had been rebuked by a presiding Solano County judge of Solano County.
Judge John Ellis wrote in an letter to Quintana that she had violated a fundamental State Bar rules on professional conduct by sending a note to county judges calling for action on illegal dumping. Included were judges who will oversee illegal dumping cases filed in Vallejo. Ellis said this constituted an “ex parte” conversation, a legal term that refers to improper communication between attorneys and judges where not all relevant parties
Quintana disagreed stating she only wished to make the court aware of the city’s push to stop illegal dumping.
As chief assistant city attorney, Risner makes an annual base salary of $190,000, according to the unrepresented salary schedule. Risner will make a 10 percent pay differential as interim.
He is expected to remain as interim city attorney until the council appoints a new permanent city attorney. Risner joined the city of Vallejo in 2018.
The Vallejo City Council will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, inside the Vallejo City Hall Council Chambers, 555 Santa Clara.