After serving 12 years as legal counsel to the city of Mountain View, City Attorney Krishan Chopra announced Wednesday that he would be stepping down in December.
Chopra has served as city attorney since the retirement of Jannie Quinn in 2019, acting as the top legal advisor for the city during tumultuous times. One of the few jobs hired directly by the City Council, Chopra has a key role in keeping the city out of legal jeopardy and providing guidance during council meetings, even if it means tinkering with regulations well after midnight.
"I will always be inspired by the Council's bold leadership with the many complex issues facing Mountain View, and the Council's commitment to protecting the legal interests of the City and its residents," Chopra said in a statement.
Chopra joined the city in 2009 as an assistant city attorney and was later promoted to senior legal counsel. As the city attorney, he oversees a department of five lawyers and two code enforcement officers along with two support staffers.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chopra was in charge of drafting Mountain View's local eviction moratorium, which was renewed multiple times. Though it eventually served as a backup in case the state-level moratorium expired, the early iterations provided city-specific protections and a repayment schedule for tenants.
Chopra also played a key role in efforts to address one of the city's thorniest issues, inhabited vehicles on public roadways, providing guidance for the city's pair of ordinances banning RV parking on most city streets. His office was also responsible creating a safe parking program, which was mired with challenges due to legally liability and state-level regulations on mobile homes.
Chopra's office was responsible for tightening gun control legislation in the city, banning smoking in multifamily residences and brokering a three-way deal with Palo Alto and the Santa Clara Valley Water District for future recycled water use.
Chopra, a Mountain View resident, is set to retire on Dec. 29, and said in a statement that he plans to "explore new directions" in his career. The City Council is expected to discuss plans to hire a new city attorney in the coming weeks.