Antioch Council hires first African American as City Attorney

Thomas Lloyd Smith. Photo from his LinkedIn page.

Harvard Law School graduate, San Leandro Assistant City Attorney

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, the Antioch City Council voted unanimously to hire Thomas Lloyd Smith as the new City Attorney. He will receive an annual salary of $195,000 plus benefits. He replaces Derek Cole who has served as Antioch’s Interim City Attorney for the past six years.

As an attorney in the law firm of Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, Smith serves as Assistant City Attorney for the City of San Leandro. He also assists in the provision of general counsel services to the City of El Cerrito, City of Larkspur, and Central Contra Costa Sanitary District.

“In the spirit…in the course of our community, we’ve come a long way,” Councilman Lamar Thorpe stated. “At one point, Antioch was a sundown town where African Americans were run out of town. I think it’s an important occasion during this Black History Month, by appointing our first African American City Attorney for the City of Antioch.”

With that he made a motion to appoint Smith.

“We went through an extensive process,” said Mayor Sean Wright. “Thomas is an exciting appointment.

Smith then spoke, introducing his wife, Danielle Smith.

“This is one of the happiest days of my life, second to the marriage to my wife,” he said. “When we first came to Antioch to find a home…I truly believe this slogan ‘opportunity lives here’…I would also say ‘diversity lives here.’”

“We’ve enjoyed the food here, we’ve really enjoyed the culture, the people,” Smith continued. “We can really anticipate what’s ahead. We’re really excited to be a part of it. We really know the vision you’ve set forward.”

“This is an honor,” he stated “I look forward to working with you all…and helping create the bright future that Antioch has.”

The council then voted 5-0 to hire Smith.

“If you were worried, tonight, you didn’t need to be,” Wright added with a smile.

According to the city staff report, “while working for Garcia Hernandez & Sawhney, Mr. Smith supported a city, a special district and several community college entities.

“His earlier legal experiences were with two Boston based law firms where he supported public policy issues and provided advisory services for non-profits, star-ups and venture capitalists. Mr. Smith has extensive experience in public law, contract law, conflicts of interest, workplace investigations, employee discipline and DFEH/EEOC matters.

“He has dealt with issues of the Political Reform Act, Ralph M. Brown Act (open meeting law) and the Public Records Act. Prior to completing law school, Mr. Smith worked for three years as an administrative manager for a global law firm where he oversaw four departments with responsibility for business planning and the profit and loss statement. Mr. Smith also founded and was executive director for a Boston based charter school geared towards grades 6-8.

He started his professional career as a business analyst for McKinsey & Company in New York.”

According to his profile page on the Meyers Nave website, Smith’s current practice areas are focused on Municipal and Special District Law, Labor and Employment, and Public Contracts. His “senior management experience includes managing four departments across all offices of a global corporate law firm with more than 500 attorneys.”

He earned his law degree from Harvard Law School, a Master’s degree in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Science in Education, graduating magna cum laude from Seton Hall University.

Smith is a member of the Oakland Police Commission, currently serving as its chairperson.

He will begin his new position on March 1, 2019.

To read Smith’s complete biography, click here: ThomasSmith-Bio

 

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One Comment to “Antioch Council hires first African American as City Attorney”

  1. Maribelle says:

    Awesome maybe the city can clear up the clogged arteries, behind the scenes to get the shopping center on Delta Fair Blvd. Get the ball rolling. These buildings need to be torn down and let the property owner spend his 100 million dollars in our city. It cannot be any worse than what we have currently. Not to mention how often does Antioch get someone with 100 million to spend and they want to spend it here? We keep monkeying around he is gonna take that money elsewhere. And we will be stuck with what we have. It’s really no rocket science.

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