Council Appoints Susan Cola as Next Interim City Attorney

March 23, 2022 8:55 AM

At its meeting last night, the Santa Monica City Council appointed Senior Special Projects Deputy City Attorney Susan Cola as Interim City Attorney with a start date of April 6, 2022. Joseph Lawrence’s last day in the position is April 5. 

“Susan has proven herself to be an extremely talented legal expert who understands the many complexities of municipal law,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “My colleagues and I are extremely grateful to Susan for stepping up to serve as Interim City Attorney for this period.”  

Cola has over 25 years of municipal law experience, specializing in land use, public finance, real estate, public works contracting, economic development, and affordable housing. She joined the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office in 2012 and has since represented the City’s legal interests on many complex matters. She has also handled several litigation matters for the City.  

Cola was a prosecutor and transactional attorney for the City of San Diego for eleven years.  She also represented several cities in Southern California as outside redevelopment counsel before joining the City Attorney’s Office in 2012. 

“I look forward to ensuring a smooth transition,” said Susan Cola.  “Santa Monica is unique. As a municipal lawyer, I feel very fortunate to be working in a smaller city with so many big challenges and opportunities.”    

Susan graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from U.C. Davis. She begins April 6 with a salary of $288,120.  

The City Council’s recruitment of a permanent City Attorney is ongoing. 


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