Detroit’s top lawyer resigns after four years in the city.
Company lawyer Lawrence Garcia is leaving the Miller Canfield law firm to take up a position. He officially announced his departure on Wednesday, according to John Roach, spokesman for Mayor Mike Duggan. The mayor praised Garcia for representing the city in various complex cases while “protecting the rights of the people of Detroit,” he said in a statement.
“Nowhere has this been more evident than his leadership in securing access to the vote in the 2020 election and defending against the many baseless attacks that followed,” Duggan said in a statement. “Thanks to Lawrence’s work, Detroit was able to conduct a fair election with an historic turnout that ensured that every Detroit’s vote was counted.”
Duggan was also proud of the company’s lawyer for his integrity in the city. The lawyer worked for many private firms before moving to the city.
“The work of him and his team on the FCA / Stellantis and Amazon deals was essential to our ability to land these developments which are creating 7,000 jobs in Detroit,” said Duggan.
Garcia also announced his departure in a Facebook post, saying he will leave town on December 8 and begin his new role as senior legal counsel to Miller Canfield on December 20.
Garcia could not be reached immediately.
The company’s attorney was recently embroiled in a dispute with Detroit Inspector General Ellen Ha, who was accused of interfering with her investigations involving senior city officials.
He said he was fulfilling his duty to represent city workers in legal matters and accused Ha of a “growing campaign of intimidation and overtaking”, unfair interrogation sessions and racial prejudice.
Duggan then defended Garcia, saying he provided appropriate legal representation to city employees under possible lawsuits during general inspection talks.
Garcia was also in the middle of a lawsuit with Free Press. The city of Detroit attempted to bill Free Press $ 222,000 for public records relating to the Duggan investigation and the Make Your Date program, a prenatal health program run by Duggan’s wife, Sonia Hassan. Ha found in an investigation that the mayor had given the program preferential treatment.
Following: The city of Detroit wanted $ 222,000 for the public records. So Free Press continued.
Garcia’s deputy Charles Raimi will serve as interim legal counsel, Duggan said. The mayor will nominate a candidate to replace Garcia once the new city council takes office in January 2022.
Free Press reporter Joe Guillen contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Lawrence Garcia leaves Detroit for new role with Miller Canfield