Merced’s city attorney has announced his intention to resign after just nine months on the job in order to accept a position in the Silicon Valley.
Randolph Hom, 52, who was named Merced city attorney in February, has accepted a similar position in Cupertino, a city of more than 58,000 that is perhaps best known as the headquarters for Apple Inc.
The Cupertino City Council approved his hiring on Oct. 20, according to city records there. Under his contract in Merced, Hom is required to give 60 days notice before leaving. His last day will be Dec. 20, according to a news release.
Hom did not respond to requests for comment. According to a recent salary schedule for Cupertino, a city attorney there earns more than $230,000 a year. Under Hom’s five-year contract with Merced, he was to earn an annual rate of $180,000.
A city attorney in Cupertino makes more than $230,000 a year, according to a salary schedule effective in July.
Merced hired Hom after a several-month search to replace Greg Diaz who, after 13 years in the city, left in September 2014 to become city attorney in Ventura. Prior to coming to Merced, Hom worked most recently for the cities of San Jose and Hayward, according to records.
The Merced City Council spoke highly of Hom before agreeing unanimously to hire him earlier this year.
His annual salary was about $5,500 more than what was paid to Diaz. Hom also was offered moving expenses of up to $10,000. Merced city spokesman Mike Conway said the city never paid Hom any relocation costs and he did not know whether the attorney ever moved to town.
According to the State Bar of California, Hom practices law in Castro Valley in Alameda County.
Councilman Mike Murphy said Hom never moved to Merced, but he believes the attorney intended to relocate here before he was offered the Cupertino position. “He got an opportunity in another city,” he said. “He decided it was best for his family and him to take it. We’re sad to see him leave.”
He decided it was best for his family and him to take it. We’re sad to see him leave.
Councilman Mike Murphy on the city attorney’s departure
The council has credited Hom with being part of negotiations with UC Merced related to water, sewage, transportation and other infrastructure services. The city and university came to an agreement last month after years of uncertainty.
Hom’s departure comes as Merced also searches for a city manager to succeed John Bramble, whose last day in that role is Dec. 5.
The Merced City Council was scheduled after press time Monday to discuss who could serve interim roles in the city attorney and manager positions if necessary.