Stanislaus County names a new county counsel. John Doering will retire.

Stanislaus County Assistant County Council Thomas Boze in Modesto, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019.
Stanislaus County Assistant County Council Thomas Boze in Modesto, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019.

Stanislaus County leaders are promoting an in-house attorney to succeed County Counsel John Doering, who is set to retire at the end of March.

Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors chose Assistant County Counsel Thomas Boze to take over the county’s top legal position effective March 30. The board gave serious consideration to nine highly qualified candidates for the position, including three in-house staff members who applied, Doering said.

County Chief Executive Officer Jody Hayes said the four-year appointment will become official when the board takes an additional action in the coming weeks.

Doering, 65, has been county counsel for more than 10 years. He said he informed top county officials in October 2017 of his plans to retire this year.

The county said Boze’s starting salary has not been set. The salary range on recruitment fliers for the position was $168,000 to $252,000 a year. The county’s legal office has 11 attorneys and four administrative employees.

“I am pleased with the board’s selection of Tom,” Doering said. “He is a hard worker and experienced in many of the current functions of the county counsel. We have some great attorneys working for us here.”

Boze, 52, began work for the county as a deputy counsel in 2005. He was promoted to assistant county counsel three years ago. His more than 20 years of public service experience includes a previous job with the Los Angeles County Counsel’s office.

Boze began working for Los Angeles as a paralegal, while attending law school, and was hired as an attorney assigned to public works in 2001. He holds a degree from Loyola Law School.

Boze has served as the attorney for Stanislaus County’s planning commission and provided legal advice for boards, commissions, joint power authorities and high-profile ordinances, Hayes said in a statement Tuesday.

“In the immediate future, we will be making sure we have a stable transition and will pick up where (Doering) left off,” Boze said.

Doering was promoted to county counsel in 2008 following the retirement of Mick Krausnick. The county hired Doering as a deputy county counsel in 1996.

In 11 years as county counsel, Doering was the legal adviser for four county chief executive officers including Rick Robinson, Monica Nino, Stan Risen and Hayes.

Prior to his legal career, Doering put in 16 years with the U.S. Forest Service, from supervising fire crews to working as a wildlife biologist and resource officer.

Ken Carlson covers county government and health care for The Modesto Bee. His coverage of public health, medicine, consumer health issues and the business of health care has appeared in The Bee for 15 years.