SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Former San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle died on Sunday at the age of 65, two weeks after celebrating his retirement and ending two decades of service defending the city. 

“San Jose has lost one of its greatest champions in Rick Doyle,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who worked with Doyle for more than a decade, said in a statement on Monday. 

“Rick made a career out of fighting for our city, but through the toughest of battles — including his own courageous struggle against cancer — he never allowed himself to be anything less than the incredibly kind, thoughtful, good-spirited person that made him so beloved as a colleague and a friend,” Liccardo said. “I will miss him enormously, and my heart goes out to Beckie [his wife] and his family.”

Doyle was San Jose’s longest-serving city attorney. He worked under three different mayors and guided San Jose through several contentious and difficult legal battles from challenges to city employee pension reductions to the city’s affordable housing plans to fallback from the flooding of three different San Jose neighborhoods in 2017.

“For two decades, Rick Doyle led the City Council through legal analysis of many weighty issues and guided our decisions in an unbiased, dispassionate manner, as an excellent lawyer would,” City Councilmember Lan Diep tweeted on Tuesday. “I will miss him.”

The former city attorney led a staff of over 87 full-time employees, of them 48 lawyers, before his last day on Aug. 8. Assistant City Attorney Nora Frimann is the acting city attorney during the search for a permanent hire.

Doyle is survived by his wife and two sons.

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