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County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors appoints Tony LoPresti as next County Counsel

Mr. LoPresti, current Chief Assistant County Counsel, will take over for James R. Williams in July

COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA,  CALIF. The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors this week appointed the next County Counsel who will join a series of leadership changes for the administration in July 2023. Tony LoPresti will replace outgoing County Counsel James R. Williams, who will take over as the next County Executive this July when Dr. Jeffrey V. Smith retires
Mr. LoPresti, current Chief Assistant County Counsel, will take the helm to lead the County’s legal team of more than 250 attorneys and staff who advise the County on all civil legal matters, defend the County in all litigation filed against the County, its officers and its employees, and bring affirmative cases on behalf of the County and the People of California. 
“I’m delighted that the Board has selected Tony as the next County Counsel, and I’m confident that his leadership will build upon exceptional legal service for which the Office of the County Counsel has long been recognized,” said James R. Williams, the current County Counsel and incoming County Executive.  “I look forward to partnering closely with Tony and the dedicated staff of the County Counsel’s Office as we support the Board and the entire County organization in serving our community with excellence.”

Tony LoPresti headshot

Mr. LoPresti joined the Office of the County Counsel in 2018, later became an Assistant County Counsel, and was appointed as Chief Assistant County Counsel earlier this year. County supervisors praised Mr. LoPresti’s background in working with diverse communities as a key strength that, coupled with his legal expertise, will continue to help the County fight for the needs of the community and, in particular, those most marginalized and underserved. 
“Tony’s deep experience, interest in social justice and the application of the law in its pursuit are key reasons why he is the right candidate for this job,” said Susan Ellenberg, President of the Board of Supervisors. “That experience taught him that legal strategy and policy are most powerful when driven by communities that are living the real-world consequences – an important skill that is equally relevant to the issues our residents face in Santa Clara County.” 
Supervisor Cindy Chavez pointed to Mr. LoPresti’s critical role in the coordination of the County's response to the COVID-19 health emergency. As an executive member of the County’s legal team, Mr. LoPresti helped lead the immense effort to prioritize and ensure the safety and protection of the area's most vulnerable community members during the pandemic. 
“Tony's leadership and determination to implement the Community and Health Business Engagement Teams (CHBET) during our COVID response demonstrated to me that he understands the core mission of the County to serve those in need. He will maintain the excellence of our Office of the County Counsel to pursue impact litigation and fight for justice,” said Supervisor Chavez. “At his core, Tony is a community organizer and someone who understands that the County is here to provide services to maintain the health and welfare of the community.” 
Supervisor Otto Lee shared the enthusiasm, saying, “His background in community organizing brings a unique perspective and connection to our neighborhoods, and his fluency in Spanish will expand our engagement with the diverse population of Santa Clara County. We have a lot of big work ahead of us and Mr. LoPresti is already ready to step in to address the needs of our community.

Mr. LoPresti has a breadth of experience working across County operations from currently overseeing a team that advises the Board of Supervisors and a multitude of departments on issues related to the environment, land use, and sustainability within Santa Clara County. He also sits with the Board of Supervisors' Housing, Land Use, Environment, and Transportation Committee.

"I look forward to working closely with Tony LoPresti for legal counsel to uphold the County's priorities to ensure just and equitable practices across the quality of life and essential services provided by the County," said Supervisor Sylvia Arenas. "It is because of his demonstrated commitment to public service and experience that I have full confidence in the decision to appoint Mr. LoPresti as County Counsel to pave the way for systemic and policy improvements countywide." 
For the County Counsel’s Office, Mr. LoPresti also helps lead the Civil and Code Enforcement Team and offers legal advice and representation for the Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement. Additionally, he is responsible for overseeing the Office's attorney recruitment and hiring processes among other critical internal functions. 
“It is a huge honor to serve the Board of Supervisors and the County in this important role,” said Mr. LoPresti. “I look forward to supporting the extraordinary attorneys and professionals in the County Counsel’s Office who devote themselves every day to supporting the County’s work to improve the quality of life in our communities.” 
Before joining the County, Mr. LoPresti practiced environmental, labor, and employment law at Altshuler Berzon LLP, a public interest firm based in San Francisco, and served as a law clerk to Judge Roger L. Gregory on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and Judge Richard A. Paez on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to law school, he served as a policy advocate and campaign director at the Environmental Health Coalition, an environmental justice organization active in the San Diego/Tijuana border region. 
Mr. LoPresti received his J.D., Order of the Coif, from UC Berkeley, where he was a recipient of the Eleanor Swift Award for Public Service, the Sandals Fellowship for Environmental Leadership, and the Coblentz Land Use Scholarship. He received his B.A. with highest honors in Latin American and Latino Studies from UC Santa Cruz. Among other interesting background facts, Mr. LoPresti was a professional baseball player in Italy. He has been a board member for several community-based organizations and was a longstanding member of the Board of Directors for California Rural Legal Assistance.



The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.


Media Contacts: 

  • María Leticia Gómez / Quan Vu, Office of Communications and Public Affairs 
    [email protected] 
    (408) 299-5119