Detroit’s legal counsel is leaving city administration for another post next month, he said on Wednesday.
In a Facebook post, Lawrence Garcia announced that he would become senior advisor to law firm Miller Canfield on December 20.
His last day with the administration of Mayor Mike Duggan is December 8, he wrote.
“It has been an amazing trip working alongside Mayor Mike Duggan and a great group of colleagues, and I am eternally grateful for all the experiences,” Garcia said.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Duggan said he would nominate a candidate to replace Garcia when the new city council takes office in January. Until then, his deputy, Charles Raimi, will serve as interim legal counsel.
Garcia had been in his post for four years.
“Over the past four years, Lawrence has done an impeccable job representing the city of Detroit in very complex matters and protecting the rights of the people of Detroit,” said Duggan. “Nowhere was this more evident than his leadership in securing access to the vote in the 2020 election and defending itself against the many baseless attacks that followed. Thanks to Lawrence’s work, Detroit was able to run an election. fair with a historic turnout that has ensured that every Detroit vote counts. “
Duggan added that “the work of him and his team on the FCA / Stellantis and Amazon deals was essential to our ability to land these developments which create 7,000 jobs in Detroit. Above all, Lawrence has always maintained the highest degree of integrity in his service to our city Miller Canfield is fortunate to have him.
There has also been a recent controversy.
He was the subject of a complaint that the city’s Inspector General, Ellen Ha, recently filed with the State Attorney’s Grievance Board, claiming that he “intervened inappropriately in our cases. surveys “.
At a city council session this month, Garcia defended his actions and said he looked forward to any process to resolve the dispute.
“I am not interested in a resolution which will be an abdication of my responsibility,” he said. “As a lawyer for the company, I have a responsibility to assist employees when they are engaged in legal matters arising from their work for the city. It’s in the charter. “
Duggan also backed Garcia, saying city workers have faced several state-level Inspector General investigations with lawyers and no one has objected before.
“I don’t know why the Inspector General is trying to deny people their statutory right to an attorney and that’s all Mr. Garcia is saying is if an employee is called … we’re going to make sure that employee has a lawyer to protect their rights, ”Duggan told reporters.