L. David Nefouse is Manteca’s first in-house attorney in the city’s 113-year history.
His appointment to the $ 219,000 per year will be effective February 1st.
“Manteca is a complex, growing city,” noted Manteca Mayor Bill Cantu. “Our goal is to serve the diverse interests of our community, and that means occasionally seeking a competent legal advisor to find the best way forward. The city council was keen to hire someone who was strategic.” We are confident that we have found the right solution for Mr Nefouse and look forward to working with him in the years to come. “
In August, the council was told by staff that an in-house law firm would cost $ 718,000 a year. Compensation included $ 308,000 for the city attorney, $ 245,000 for an assistant city attorney, and $ 165,000 for a paralegal. Given Nefouse’s $ 219,000 salary, the $ 308,000 figure seems pretty accurate when you factor in health benefits, retirement costs, $ 300 a month for the car, and $ 120 a month for the cell phone considered.
The office space for the city’s legal department is housed in a reconfigured portable building that housed an assistant district attorney from San Joaquin County for several years. The city also has to pay for legal “books” which today are mostly digital and other related office costs. That means internal legal operations will be north of $ 800,000.
Manteca has spent an average of $ 600,000 per year on legal services for the past five years. That includes approximately $ 300,000 paid to former Attorney General John Brinton’s office, $ 200,000 for RWG Inc., which deals with labor issues, and $ 75,000 for Sloan & Sakai’s services.
Unlike other department heads, the city attorney was hired by the city council. The only other city clerk the city council employs is the city administrator. The city council conducted a nationwide search with Tripepi Smith Talent Solutions to fill the position.
Brinton served as Manteca city attorney for 41 years until he retired on September 30. Founded by the late John McFall, Manteca has been representing Manteca for more than 80 years. McFall was a town attorney before being elected to the California State Assembly and then to Congress, where he rose to the third most powerful position as a Majority Whip.
The city is represented by an in-house lawyer who has only one client – the city of Manteca. This also makes it possible to reduce the need for an external labor lawyer. The city would still need to hire an outside legal advisor for specialized work such as drawing bonds and major litigation, as it currently does.
It is planned that the city attorney will act as counsel for the council and the deputy city attorney as the lawyer for the planning commission. In this way, the focus of an attorney’s expertise is on land use issues, which increase as the city grows and state laws change.
For California-sized cities the size of Mantecas with a population of 87,000, it is unusual today not to have an in-house attorney. Manteca’s workforce plan is a little less robust for some cities of similar size
Merced – a town of 83,360 residents – has a city attorney, assistant city attorney, assistant city attorney, paralegal, and legal secretary. Napa, of 78,130 residents, has a city attorney, an assistant city attorney, an assistant city attorney, and a legal secretary.
Many smaller jurisdictions such as Escalon and Ripon contract with law firms.
“It is the greatest honor in my professional career to be selected as the first in-house attorney for the City of Manteca,” said Nefouse. “I look forward to working with the city council, city administrators and city officials to represent the city on legal issues.”
Nefouse previously served in the County Alameda County Counsel’s office for over five years. His main areas of practice are transactional, political, labor and employment law, public records law, administrative law, procurement and legal disputes. He has also worked for Santa Cruz County, representing multiple district agencies (General Services Agency, Parks Department, and Animal Shelter JPA), handling litigation and all matters relating to the Public Records Act. He also worked for nearly seven years for the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC in Palo Alto, where he handled and / or directed complex civil litigation and internal investigations.
While at Wilson Sonsini, Nefouse also co-chaired the company’s pro bono asylum program. He began his legal career in 2005 while working for the Hon for two years. Thomas B. Russell, United States District Court Justice for the Western District of Kentucky. Nefouse attended and graduated from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina for both his undergraduate and juris degree degrees in 2002 and 2005.
He grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, but now considers California his home after moving to the Golden State in 2007. Nefouse, his wife, and their son live in the Bay Area.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, send an email to [email protected]