It’s not just former mayoral candidates that are taking new jobs. Weeks after being sworn in as Dallas mayor, Eric Johnson has accepted a partner position with Locke Lord, a public finance law firm with a deep history of working with the city of Dallas. Johnson will be joining the firm’s Public Finance Practice Group, according to the firm’s release. Johnson previously worked in the public finance divisions of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP. Here’s what Johnson has to say about his new gig:
“I have long respected Locke Lord, its lawyers, its public finance practice, and its deep ties to the Dallas community,” Mayor Johnson said. “I’m excited to be joining such a venerated law firm. I can’t think of a better situation — working for the people of my hometown as their Mayor, and practicing law with some of the most talented lawyers in the world. I’m also looking forward to working closely with Firm leadership to further enhance the Firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
If the name Locke Lord rings a bell that’s because the firm has been active in Dallas since 1891. The firm’s name surfaced in headlines more recently when one of the firms lawyers serving on Dallas Park Board got caught up in an ethics complaint. In 2016, as former-Mayor Mike Rawlings pushed to hand over management of Fair Park to a group headed by businessman Walt Humann, a park board member filed an ethics complain when it emerged that a Locke Lord lawyer working pro-bono for Humann’s group drafted the proposed Fair Park management contract, and a park board member who voted in favor of the deal was also a Locke Lord lawyer.
In the release, Mayor Johnson assures Dallas residents his work with Locke Lord won’t conflict with his obligations as mayor:
“To Dallas’ residents, I want to say that my duties as Mayor will always come first. As a practicing lawyer in my early 40s, however, it is also important that I maintain my law license and continue to practice law as time allows,” Mayor Johnson said. “And I will always do so in accordance with all applicable laws, as well as the ethical standards of the legal profession, with respect to conflicts of interest.”