DIAMOND BAR - Citing personal reasons, the city attorney for Diamond Bar has terminated his contract after 17 years, according to City Manager James DeStefano.
Michael Jenkins, a founding partner with Jenkins & Hogin, submitted his letter of resignation dated Jan. 16 to the City Council, which will meet at 7:30 a.m. Friday in a hastily-called special session at the Grand Conference Room at City Hall, 21810 Copley Drive.
The City Council will discuss the city attorney situation in closed session and is not expected to announce any action, DeStefano said.
Apparently, the decision took the City Council by surprise.
"It has been a good relationship," said Councilwoman Carol Herrera. "We don't know what the reasons are. We will discuss it tomorrow," she said on Thursday.
DeStefano has advised the City Council he would like to begin a search for a new city attorney as soon as possible, he said during a phone interview Thursday.
"He (Jenkins) has terminated his service agreement with us," DeStefano said, emphasizing that the city did not initiate the action. "The meeting is for the City Council to provide me with direction on what steps to take in providing them with a new legal firm."
Jenkins gave the city until April 17 to find a new legal firm. Until then, associate John C. Cotti will serve in his place, DeStefano said. Jenkins also is city attorney for Hermosa Beach, Rolling Hills, West Hollywood and the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, according to his website.
DeStefano would like to send out request for proposals to a select group of law firms that specialize in municipal law and begin interviews in March, he said. He hopes to recommend a candidate "no later than the City Council meeting of April 2," he said.
Jenkins & Hogin has been the contract city attorney for 17 of the city's 24 years. The city incorporated on April 18, 1989.
In an email, Jenkins wrote he would not discuss his reason for leaving, adding: "I will say that Diamond Bar is well-managed and does a great job providing municipal services to its residents."
He wrote he would assist the city in transitioning to a new city attorney.
Jenkins started his own firm in 2001 after leaving Richards, Watson & Gershon, a prominent L.A. law firm. He has taught law at USC Law Center for 16 years.