Modesto City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood is leaving to become Stocktons assistant city attorney.
Wood, who has been city attorney since June 2006, submitted her 60-day resignation notice Sept. 15. She wrote: The time has come for me to pursue other opportunities that have been presented.
She has not responded to phone messages or emails seeking comment about her resignation, and council members have said they did not know her plans.
Woods resignation is effective Nov. 15, but her last day in the office will be Nov. 8. She starts her new job in mid-November.
The Record newspaper in Stockton reported this weekend that Wood was taking the No. 2 job with the Stockton city attorneys office. Wood has about 20 years experience working for cities, including as a deputy city attorney in Stockton from 1993 to 2001.
Stockton City Attorney John Luebberke said he has known Wood since 1993, when she was working for Stockton and he was working for Lodi. He said the two of them also worked in the Sacramento city attorneys office from 2001 to 2003.
Weve known each other for so long in the business, and Ive always had the highest respect for her work, Luebberke said Monday. From my perspective, Im thrilled she decided to take me up on my offer.
Luebberke said he approached Wood about working in Stockton. He said as Stockton emerges from bankruptcy in the coming months, he wanted someone of Woods caliber to help him with the challenges the city will face.
He said he did not ask Wood why she is leaving Modesto. But he assumes its because of the opportunity to be closer to home and receive a pay increase. Wood lives in suburban Stockton. She earns $155,838 in Modesto and will make $165,105 in Stockton.
Modesto Mayor Garrad Marsh has said he and the council will appoint someone from the city attorneys office or an outside law firm to serve as interim city attorney as they go through the process of hiring a permanent city attorney.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2316.