Del Mar city hires new attorney

Leslie Devaney from the law firm Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz will serve as city attorney beginning July 1.

After a four-month review process, Devaney was selected by city council members from nine proposals for city attorney services.

“The city council took their time working through all the proposals,” City Manager Karen Brust said. “They factored in all the needs of Del Mar and really felt Leslie had the right skill set and talent to be able to work through all the projects we’re looking at in the next few years.”

Devaney has extensive experience in municipal law and government relations. After earning her law degree from the University of San Diego in 1983, she worked for many years at the San Diego City Attorney’s office. She became the executive assistant city attorney in 1996, and ran for San Diego City Attorney against Michael Aguirre in 2004.

Devaney will be on board to assist Del Mar with several significant projects, including downtown revitalization, the Torrey Pines bridge retrofit and the environmental impact report for the 22nd District Agricultural Association’s master plan, Brust said.

The city negotiated a fixed retainer fee of $15,000 per month for city attorney services. After six months, the retainer can be negotiated up to $18,000 based on the attorney’s workload.

Devaney replaces Kimberly Johnson, who had served as the interim city attorney since August 2008 after the city’s attorney of nine years retired.

Prescilla Dugard, another partner from the same firm, was appointed assistant city attorney.