Morro Bay hires short-term interim city attorney

jlavelle@thetribunenews.comNovember 1, 2013 

City Attorney Robert Schultz listens to public comment during the Morro Bay City Council's special meeting Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at the Veterans Memorial Building.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

The city of Morro Bay has hired Anne Russell as interim city attorney, according to a news release, while a replacement is found for Robert Schultz, who was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday.

The news release gave no details of the terms of what was called Russell’s “appointment” as interim city attorney.

Susan Slayton, the city’s administrative services director, responded to email questions to say that Russell has been hired as a part-time employee and will possibly work until the end of January. No contract is involved. Slayton did not respond to a question of how much Russell will be paid.

The news release noted, “The hiring of Ms. Russell will allow city business to carry on until more permanent counsel is secured.”

Russell works as an attorney at the law firm of Diehl & Rodewald in San Luis Obispo. She represents Atascadero Unified School District, has been district counsel for the Santa Maria Public Airport District since 1989 and was assistant city attorney for San Luis Obispo from 1981 to 1988, according to the law firm website.

A City Council majority, led by Mayor Jamie Irons, has been moving toward terminating Schultz’s employment with the city, although no reason has been given. On Thursday, the City Council voted to place Schultz on administrative leave while negotiating the terms of his termination.

On Tuesday, the council directed Slayton to look for a short-term interim city attorney to handle the city’s legal affairs until a longer-term interim city attorney could be hired while a search is conducted for a permanent city attorney to replace Schultz.

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