San Mateo County's top lawyer to retire after 29 years

After nearly three decades of untangling complex legal issues, San Mateo County’s top attorney is retiring.

County Counsel Mike Murphy, who has held the top job since August 2007, said the decision to retire after 29 years with the office was a difficult one. He will step down in March and a successor has yet to be named.

“I considered this a ‘dream job’ when I joined the office in 1982 and there has not been a day when I didn’t look forward to the challenges that awaited me when I walked in the door,” Murphy said in a statement. “I have been blessed to work with so many remarkable men and women, and I will miss their company.”

Murphy said his proudest accomplishments include defending the county’s Local Coastal Program and the measure that authorized the Devil’s Slide Bypass Tunnel.

Board of Supervisors President Rich Gordon called Murphy a “tremendous public servant” and said his counsel “has proved invaluable over the years and without him this county would look very different than it does today.”

Murphy graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1970 and got his law degree at UC Berkeley in 1978. He was the county’s principal land-use attorney for 22 years, became chief deputy county counsel in 1998 and assistant county counsel in 2006.

sbishop@sfexaminer.com

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