Garden Grove City Attorney Thomas Nixon is retiring after nearly a decade with the city, according to a press release posted to the city website Thursday afternoon.

Nixon, who was appointed city attorney in 2006 and works for a contract firm Woodruff, Spradlin and Smart, will retire effective July 31, according to the press release.

“After celebrating my 60th birthday recently, my wife and I began talking about travel and other plans, and we decided that after 30 years, it was time to start a new chapter in our lives,” said Nixon in the release.

It is unclear whether the city will appoint another attorney from Woodruff, Spradlin and Smart, or hire another firm altogether.

Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen has expressed concerns regarding Nixon’s role in advising city officials about an employment contract for former fire chief David Barlag, which is currently under investigation by the Orange County District Attorney.

At a previous city council meeting, Nguyen sought to remove sections of the city municipal code that require the city to take additional steps before attempting to remove a city attorney, a proposal which gained little traction among his fellow council members.

Prior to his resignation, Nixon was undergoing a performance review.

“To the best of my knowledge, there’s no connection between [Nguyen’s concerns] and Mr. Nixon’s announcement,” said Interim City Manager Allan Roeder.

Nixon informally told council members of his decision at the March 24th council meeting, according to Roeder.

Since then, the council has not made any decisions about who will take Nixon’s place, Roeder said.

Read the entire statement on the city website.

Contact Thy Vo at or follow her on Twitter  @thyanhvo.

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *