The City of Moab has hired Laurie Simonson as their first full-time in-house city attorney, while contract attorney Chris McAnany will transition to occasional consulting for the municipality.

“Laurie brings a deep set of legal expertise to Moab,” said Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus. “As the City faces new challenges, I am grateful to have a fresh legal perspective to help us move forward and continue to get organized as a team and a community.”

Since 2003, Simonson has worked as an attorney specializing in employment litigation for the federal government, first in California, and since 2011 in Denver. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and literature from Claremont McKenna College.

After receiving her law degree in 1995, Simonson worked in several private law firms litigating civil, business, and First Amendment matters. In 1998, she received the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Award of Merit for establishing a mentoring program for at-risk youth.

An avid biker, Simonson is a world champion in her age bracket in the World 24-hour Solo Mountain Bike Championships and a Colorado state champion in women’s cross country singlespeed endurance racing.

Her love of the outdoors and biking make Moab a natural fit for Simonson. She first visited Moab in 1991 and has regularly returned to the area for more than 20 years. Simonson and her spouse, Julie, purchased a home in the area earlier this year.

She said she is excited to work for the City of Moab and looks forward to being part of the community full time.

“Being Moab's city attorney is a dream come true," she said. “I’ve been involved on municipal boards and as a citizen participating in public meetings, so this position is super exciting and it combines everything I love.”

SUBHEAD: McAnany recognized for decades of service to Moab City

Longtime contract attorney Chris McAnany will now finish up work on a variety of legal matters already in process as well as providing occasional consulting services.

“Chris has been providing valuable legal advice to the City since 1996,” Mayor Niehaus said.

During the Oct. 24 Moab City Council meeting, Niehaus recognized McAnany for his more than 22 years of service to the city.

“[Chris] has consistently helped guide our municipal government as city leaders have navigated soaring successes and tough challenges,” Niehaus said while presenting a plaque to McAnany in recognition of his work.

“Through it all, he has been a calming force in a storm, always providing careful reasoning and sound legal advice across a wide and varied scope of complex zoning, land use, and municipal law issues.”

“I very much appreciate the recognition,” McAnany said. “I’ve always tried to do a good job for the people of the city.”