Posted: May 19th, 2017 | By: Caitlin Herlihy
Greenville, North Carolina, City Attorney David A. Holec (JD ’80) announced his retirement after nearly 37 years in municipal law and 20 years with Greenville’s City Council. The story, “After two decades, city attorney transitions out,” that follows was originally published on The Daily Reflector’s website on May 13, 2017.
Another of the city of Greenville’s top administrators is stepping down at year’s end.
Longtime City Attorney David A. Holec announced Monday he is retiring effective Nov. 1.
“After 37 years in municipal law, nearly 20 years here, it felt like it was the appropriate time. There’s no other issues out there,” Holec said. “I’m 62 years old.”
He gave a six-month notice so the council will have the time to find a well-qualified person. Also, the council is still in the process of replacing City Manager Barbara Lipscomb, who is retiring in August. Holec will have a few months to share his institutional knowledge with the new manager before he leaves, he said.
Holec has served under four city managers, four mayors and multiple incarnations of the City Council.
“Dave has been a consummate professional, always seeking ways to assist the city while keeping us out of legal trouble,” Lipscomb said.
“He doesn’t go one side or the other. He’ll tell you the facts, give you legal advice and that’s what you want in an attorney. He’s a class act and top-notch,” said Assistant City Manager Merrill Floyd, who postponed his planned retirement last year to assist with hurricane recovery efforts.
“He is highly respected across the board for his professionalism and his compassion,” said Mayor Allen Thomas. “The City of Greenville has been so fortunate to have him as legal counsel and a standard bearer.”
There are differing viewpoints and perspectives on the City Council, Thomas said, but its members all hold Holec in high regard for his integrity.
Holec is among the longest serving department heads and top administrators in the city. Only Director of Financial Services Benita Demery, Director of Information Technology Rex Wilder and Floyd have served longer, joining the city in the late 1980s.
Holec plans to travel, do a little more reading and volunteer as a tutor once he retires. Greenville will remain his home.
Holec grew up in Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He decided to attend Wake Forest University School of Law because he wanted to get away from harsh Midwestern winters. He met the then-dean of the law school through a college professor and decided to apply.
He went to work for the city of Lumberton immediately out of law school and stayed there 16 years before joining the city of Greenville in 1997.
He’s sure some were surprised by his decision because Wake Forest only offered one course in municipal law and he didn’t take it. However, he took the job because he saw it as a great opportunity to pursue a wide range of legal subjects. He stayed because the challenges were enjoyable.