St Augustine loses assistant city attorney to Jacksonville firm

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DENISE MAY

Historic City News learned last week that St Augustine Assistant City Attorney Denise May will be leaving to accept a position at the firm of Marks Gray in Jacksonville.

May has been employed by the City in her current capacity for the past 3-years. She began on September 18, 2014 and was paid only $72,299.59 per year; compared to the city attorney, who has only been on the job 3-years longer and is being paid $139,477.31 per year plus benefits.

Isabelle Lopez does half the work of Denise May and is paid twice the salary,” Michael Gold, editor of Historic City News said when sharing the news with staff. “Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind why Denise would leave?”

The City Attorney is one of three city employees hired by the City Commission. According to the city charter, all other hiring is done by the city manager. When speaking with City Manager John Regan, he stated that Lopez has intervened in that process insofar as her assistant attorney was concerned.

Gold spoke with May at her office last week and learned that her tentative last day with the City will be January 12th. The 52-year-old May tells Gold that she will try to cooperate with Human Resources and be available to assist in the transition of the next assistant city attorney.

The Human Resources department is in the process of posting the position on the city website. The application will be available soon via the Human Resources department. The position is also being posted in the Florida Bar News; the industry standard available to all attorneys licensed in Florida.

“I know that we all wish her well in her new endeavors,” Lopez wrote of her colleague in an announcement to staff on December 6th.

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