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City attorney announces retirement

Scott Howard will step down in August. Council plans to find a replacement soon.

May 13, 2011|By Melanie Hicken,

CITY HALL — Glendale City Atty. Scott Howard announced Friday that he will retire in August after 34 years with the city — opening up a powerful position at City Hall.

Howard, 60, is one of only two executives, including City Manager Jim Starbird, who answer directly to the City Council, which he notified this week of his departure.

“Scott’s years of service, knowledge and expertise in the area of municipal law will be sorely missed,” Mayor Laura Friedman said in a statement.


With Howard’s role an essential position at City Hall, the City Council will soon need to discuss plans to determine his replacement, Councilman Ara Najarian said Friday.

“Probably within the next 30 days, I think we’ll have to decide what we want to do to give us some time,” he said.

Howard began his career in 1975 as a legal intern with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. He was hired in 1977 as a deputy city attorney in Glendale, where he rose through the ranks — ultimately being appointed to lead the city attorney’s office in 1990.

As city attorney, he has overseen a staff that includes 14 lawyers and provided the City Council with legal advice on a range of issues, including land use, conflicts of interest and law enforcement.

Howard said he did not initially intend to stay in public service, but became hooked on the wide breadth of personal interactions the job afforded.

“There happened to be this position open with the city of Glendale,” he said. “I’ve really never looked back.”

Last year, Howard was designated a local government fellow by the International Municipal Lawyers Assn., which recognized him as a legal specialist in the field of local government law. Upon his August retirement, he said he intends to remain active in municipal law, providing training or legal advice.

Howard graduated from the Southwestern University School of Law in 1976 and USC in 1972. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Law Institute.

His wife, Juli Scott, is an assistant city attorney for Burbank.

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