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Dallas City Attorney Caso Resigns

City

Dallas City Attorney Chris Caso | Image by Dallas City Council

Dallas City Attorney Chris Caso has announced his retirement a week before his next scheduled performance review.

Caso reportedly sent an email to Mayor Eric Johnson and the city council on Tuesday saying he plans to retire at the end of February.

“I will be retiring from the City on February 28 to spend more time with my family and pursue other interests,” he wrote. “I have greatly enjoyed my 17+ years with the City and look forward to embarking on the next chapter in my life.”

In a statement sent to The Dallas Express by the City’s public information office, Caso said, “It has been an honor to serve the residents of the City of Dallas for going on 18 years, including the last few years as city attorney.”

“It is the highlight of an attorney representing cities to serve as city attorney, and I am privileged to have been afforded that opportunity,” he continued. “I would like to thank the City Council and City staff for all of the support they have shown the City Attorney’s Office throughout the years.”

“I am proud of all that the City Attorney’s Office has accomplished, none of which would have been possible without the amazing group of dedicated professionals on my staff,” Caso said. “They work tirelessly to ensure that the City is provided the highest quality legal services.”

He concluded, “I will miss working with each and every one of my staff and look forward to embarking on the next chapter of my life. I wish the very best for the great City of Dallas.”

Mayor Johnson released a statement in response to Caso’s retirement, which his office sent to The Dallas Express.

“We thank Chris Caso for his years of dedicated service to the City of Dallas, and we wish him well in all of his future endeavors,” he said. “We look forward to conducting a thorough national search for our next city attorney.”

City Manager T.C. Broadnax said, “Chris has been a great partner and committed public servant during his tenure with the city of Dallas.”

City Councilmember Gay Donnell Willis said the council will likely appoint an interim city attorney either this week or next week. A meeting for the Ad Hoc Committee of Administrative Affairs, on which Willis serves as chair, has been scheduled for the morning of January 20.

The Dallas Express reached out to the City for more details on the process of selecting a new city attorney but has received no additional information at the time of publication.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the city council postponed Caso’s job review for the second time in five months on January 11. His next evaluation was scheduled to take place on January 25.

Caso’s performance was supposed to be reviewed by the city council in August, but his review was delayed to January. Council members did not publicly say why Caso’s evaluation was repeatedly delayed.

The City Attorney’s Office has seen its share of troubles under Caso’s leadership, including substantial delays in code violation prosecutions and poor management of community courts, as The Dallas Express has previously reported.

Caso has been paid $325,000 of taxpayer money annually as the third-highest-paid city employee, trailing only City Manager Broadnax and Cheryl Alston, executive director and chief investment officer of the Employees’ Retirement Fund, who make $423,000 and $351,000 per year, respectively.

Meanwhile, the City is embroiled in multiple legal battles involving challenges to its attempt to shut down poker clubs, limit the operating hours of strip clubs, and prohibit vagrants from standing on medians.

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