City hires new law firm after 27 years


GONZALES — Gonzales City Council unanimously voted to hire a new law firm for City Attorney and City Prosecutor services. The firm hired has acted as special counsel in several matters recently. Until this week, Gonzales had utilized the services of the same City Attorney and City Prosecutor for more than 27 years.

The city sought Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in the matter – for the first time since 1990 – and selected the law firm of Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal and Zech (DNRB&Z), from a pool of nine interested parties.

The firm, with offices in Austin, San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley stated its focus in a letter to City Manager Sean Lally:

"Our firm focuses its practice on the representation of local governments and providing legal services in all areas of local governmental law, including, but not limited to, labor and employment law, open government, economic development issues, land use and other government issues..."

The proposed team for the City of Gonzales will include: Charles E. Zech, designated supervising attorney, T. Daniel Santee and Habib H. Erkan Jr. as lead attorneys and additional attorneys providing services as needed.

Zech is a partner/shareholder in the firm and has 19 years of legal service, with 16 of those years being in municipal law. He is experienced in municipal land use, contracts, economic development and other areas of municipal law.

Santee is a senior associate of the firm, with 22 years of legal and municipal experience, including land use and economic development, ordinance and code provisions, as well as development agreements.

Erkan has 27 years of legal experience, with 25 of that being in municipal law. He is experienced in economic development, land use, annexation, open meetings, public information, ordinance drafting and real estate transactions.

Currently the firm represents several Texas cities with city attorney services, including: Bandera, Bay City, Brady, Burnet, Castroville, Charlotte, Cibilo, Copperas Cove, Fair Oaks Ranch, Falfurrias, Falls City, Floresville, Garden Ridge, Harlingen, Jourdanton, Kenedy, La Feria, La Vernia, Live Oak, Mountain City, Natalia, Pflugerville, Poth, Rosenberg, Shertz, Shavano Park, South Padre Island, St. Hedwig, Stockdale, Taft and Universal City.

The firm serves as city prosecutor in 11 of the above cities.

Other RFQs came in from Ryan Henry PLLC, San Antonio; William M. McKamie, San Antonio; Martinez De Vara Law Firm PLLC, San Antonio; Reese and Escobar LLP, Gonzales; Langley and Banack, San Antonio; The Nichols Firm PLLC, Houston; Akers and Akers LLP, Austin; and, Jackie Williamson, who had served the city since August 1, 1990.