The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed high-ranking county attorney Leon Page as the new county counsel, capping off a months-long search.
Page, who is currently senior assistant county counsel, is slated to replace retiring County Counsel Nick Chrisos on July 24, after Page's new contract is negotiated and approved.
“Leon Page has already proven to offer strategic counsel on key issues facing the County. His leadership and experience will be a great asset in protecting the County from lawsuits and in negotiations,” said supervisors’ Chairman Todd Spitzer in a statement.
The supervisors’ vote was unanimous during a closed session of their regular meeting Tuesday.
“I am honored and very grateful for this opportunity,” Page said after the meeting.
As county counsel, Page will advise the Board of Supervisors on legal matters like lawsuits and contracts and represent the county in litigation.
He’ll also oversee the roughly 100 employees and $12 million budget that make up the County Counsel’s office.
The office also handles “labor and employment issues, purchasing contracts, public works projects, law enforcement policies and procedures, public finance, tax assessment and collection, child protection, public health,” among other issues, according to a county news release.
Page earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at UC Santa Barbara in 1994, before serving as a legislative aide to former Assemblyman Brooks Firestone (R-Santa Barbara) until 1998.
After that, he served as legislative coordinator for the state Fair Political Practices Commission, which enforces political and campaign ethics laws.
In 2000, Page earned his law degree from the University of Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and joined the firm Fisher & Phillips, where he represented employers on discrimination, wage and wrongful termination issues.
Then, in 2003, he started at the county, where he’s worked for the past 15 years, representing agencies like the district attorney, human resources, probation, registrar of voters and the sheriff-coroner.
As a resident of Carlsbad, Page successfully sued the MiraCosta Community College District in 2007 for a $1.6 million payout to a resigning college president.
He later filed to run for the district’s board, and took office in December 2012 after no one else challenged him for the seat.
Page resigned from the board in March, citing plans to move outside the district.