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City attorney for Norcross will step down

NORCROSS - After 20 years, Norcross City Attorney Peter Boyce is stepping down.

Boyce said he's fulfilled his goal of serving the city for 20 years and hopes to concentrate on other endeavors, casting aside suspicions that politics played a role in the decision.

The Dacula man, whose wife, Carole, serves on the Gwinnett County School Board, sent a letter to the city advising council members that he would not seek reappointment for the job next year.

The letter is dated Nov. 9, the day after Norcross citizens re-elected Lillian Webb as mayor but may have established a new majority on the council.

During the last two City Council meetings, Councilman Michael Lovelady has asked to remove Boyce from the position, but the motion failed because no other council member would go along with the idea.

Lovelady, though, said that could have changed in January because two of his allies - Terry Bowie and Charlie Riehm - won council seats.

"I just felt he lead us down some pretty questionable areas," Lovelady said. He said Boyce acted as "more of a political tool than a counsel for the council."

Boyce, though, said politics didn't enter into the equation.

"I have enjoyed immensely serving the city of Norcross," he said. "I'm not taking swats at anybody. Any lawyer serves any client at the client's pleasure, and sometimes the lawyer walks away. You have to have new challenges."

Mayor Webb, who has been in office either at the city level or the county level since 1974, said she appreciated Boyce's work.

"It's unfortunate when you let personalities and political perspectives sway your opinions. I don't think it serves any purpose," she said of the incidents with Lovelady.

Webb said the city has already put a "request for qualifications" bid on the streets but only had one submitted. And that lawyer has already worked for one council member, she said although she did not say which council member.

Webb said she expected the decision to be tabled until more firms can apply and be interviewed.