Port Arthur city attorney announces retirement plan; municipal leaders adopt interim approach

Published 4:14 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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Veteran attorney James Black has been chosen to step into the role of interim city attorney for the city of Port Arthur with next week’s retirement of Valecia Tizeno.

Friday’s appointment of Black came on the 14th anniversary of Tizeno’s appointment to the position of city attorney, she said.

Tizeno’s intended retirement date is March 1.

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Port Arthur City Manager Ron Burton said the city has several options on the table to find a new city attorney, including working with a search firm.

Black has been practicing law for more than 56 years, and last worked with the City of Groves besides his private practice.

He briefly addressed the council, humorously saying he will serve as interim as long as possible but wouldn’t be upset if the city found someone quickly.

Mayor Thurman Bartie said council would try to move as expeditiously as possible to seek a new city attorney, though elected leaders are confident in Black as interim.

According to city documents, Tizeno was appointed assistant city attorney II in 2003 and appointed to first assistant city attorney in 2006. She was named acting city attorney in 2009 and appointed city attorney on Feb. 23, 2010.
She stepped into the role after the previous attorney Mark Sokolow, left.