Former Castro staffer sworn in as San Antonio City Attorney


by Dillon Collier / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @dilloncollier

Posted on December 5, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 10:51 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- A marathon city council session ended more than nine hours after it started Thursday, with the swearing-in of new city attorney Robbie Greenblum.

Greenblum had served as Mayor Julían Castro's chief of staff since 2009.

Greenblum takes over for Michael Bernard, who left the city attorney's post to join a private practice in San Antonio after more than eight years in charge.

"I think it will be a smooth transition, certainly a different one for him, but one he is capable of handling," said city manager Sheryl Sculley.

Sculley chose Greenblum out of 43 applicants.

The city's human resources department released the list of five finalists Thursday: Greenblum, Valeria Acevedo, Jennifer Callan, Jorge Vega and Jose Niño.

Acevedo is currently the city attorney of New Braunfels.

Callan is a former El Paso assistant city attorney who now leads the El Paso Police Department's internal affairs division.

Callan confirmed she interviewed for the San Antonio city attorney position November 18.

Vega was the first assistant state attorney general of Texas from 1994 until 1999 before practicing law in San Antonio and most recently in Georgia.

Niño, another internal candidate, is currently the chief of the city's prosecution division.

San Antonio's city charter states the city attorney must practice law for the five years preceding his or her appointment.

Greenblum told KENS 5 Thursday he provided legal counsel to Mayor Castro on a number of issues while he served as chief of staff, including a lawsuit filed against CPS Energy and the city by NRG Energy.

"That was lots of work being done with the city attorney's office and the other outside counsel," said Greenblum.

Outgoing city attorney Michael Bernard ruled that advice satisfied the charter's requirement.

Greenblum has significant experience as both a civil rights and immigration attorney.