On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, the Edinburg Mayor and City Council unanimously appointed Omar Ochoa as Interim City Attorney. The appointment was effective immediately.
As Edinburg City Attorney, Mr. Ochoa, an Edinburg native, serves as chief legal advisor to the City Council, City Officials, Advisory Boards, Commissions and staff to protect the interests of the city and taxpayers. As part of his responsibilities, Mr. Ochoa will prepare and review ordinances, resolutions and contracts, as well as advise in and review employment matters and other legal issues.
Mr. Ochoa also represents the City in civil litigation and is responsible for the criminal prosecution of all misdemeanor and infraction offenses occurring with the jurisdiction of the city’s Municipal Court.
A Word from the Mayor and City Manager
“I think he’s great,” said Mayor Richard Molina in a statement released after the appointment. “Omar is nationally-recognized as one of the best young trial lawyers in the country. He’s a tremendous addition to our team.”
City Manager Juan G. Guerra, CPA, added, “As a long-time Edinburg resident, a CPA and an attorney, we are excited at the potential Mr. Ochoa provides in successfully protecting the interests of the residents of Edinburg. The city has over 20 departments, over 1,000 employees and roughly 100,000 residents. Mr. Ochoa brings a skillset that is needed to protect the interests of the taxpayer in today’s dynamic legal world.”
Mr. Ochoa brings an impressive resume and years of experience in complex legal matters. Mr. Ochoa graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with undergraduate degrees in Business Honors, Accounting and Economics, a Masters in Professional Accounting, and a Law degree.
While at UT, Mr. Ochoa twice made history, first by becoming the first Latino to serve as Student Body President and again as the first Latino to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious Texas Law Review. Mr. Ochoa graduated with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law and went on to clerk on a Federal District Court and on the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. Ochoa has also made history in private practice. While as an attorney with Susman Godfrey L.L.P., Mr. Ochoa helped recover over a billion dollars on behalf of car buyers in the United States in what was the largest action in U.S. history for indirect purchasers.
Mr. Ochoa has also recovered millions for taxpayers through prosecuting claims for healthcare fraud and has advised executives of large corporations around the country on legal matters.
In 2017, Mr. Ochoa moved from Houston to Edinburg to found the Omar Ochoa Law Firm.
Said Mayor Molina about Omar’s return to the Rio Grande Valley, “Omar has been very involved in the community. He’s served on some of the advisory boards in Edinburg, you see him at a lot of the city’s events, and he really knows a lot about what’s going on. People have spoken really highly of him.”
Edinburg is one of the largest cities in the Rio Grande Valley, and it is the fastest growing. “It’s a privilege to serve my community in this role,” said Mr. Ochoa. “One of the reasons I came back to the Rio Grande Valley was to serve the community and offer my experience and ideas. I’m incredibly grateful to the Mayor and City Council for the trust and confidence they’ve placed in me.”
Ready to Work
Like many municipalities in Texas and across the country, the City Attorney for Edinburg is a contracted position. As a result, Mr. Ochoa will continue private practice as managing attorney of the Omar Ochoa Law Firm while also serving as Edinburg City Attorney.
When asked about his goals for the position, Mr. Ochoa replied, “The highest priority is to give the city top-quality legal advice and representation in all matters as we do with all of our clients. But in addition, I hope to lead the city’s legal department as a first-class organization.”
Before leaving for his first action as Edinburg’s City Attorney – a meeting with all of the city’s Department Directors – Mr. Ochoa declared, “I’m ready to get to work on behalf of the citizens of Edinburg.”