County Counsel Basle Announces Retirement After 28 Years

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– After 28 years of service to the county, the past seven of them as county government’s lead attorney, County Counsel Jean-Rene Basle has announced plans to retire.

The exact date of his departure will be timed with the selection of his successor by the Board of Supervisors. The board will discuss how to address the impending vacancy during an upcoming meeting.

“It has been an honor working for the Board of Supervisors, the Administrative Office, and the various county departments, and a privilege to have worked alongside County Counsel staff, all of whom are exceptionally professional, talented, and dedicated to serving the elected representatives of San Bernardino County,” said Mr. Basle, who turns 59 in December.

With a staff of about 100 employees, including about 55 attorneys, the office of County Counsel provides civil legal services to the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrative Office, County departments, commissions, special districts, and school districts. County Counsel also provides legal services to various joint powers authorities and represents the courts and judges on certain matters.

“Jean-Rene has always been the consummate professional. I have respected his sound advice during my time as County Supervisor and Chairman, and I have cherished his friendship. He will be sorely missed. I wish him the very best in retirement,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood.

“Jean-Rene has been an exemplary public servant to San Bernardino County for the past 28 years. His extensive knowledge of the law, ability to work with everyone for the benefit of the public we all serve, and enthusiastic commitment to solving any legal problem we face makes him very hard to replace. I will miss his wise counsel and wish him and his family the best in the next chapter of their lives,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Curt Hagman.

Mr. Basle served as the Board of Supervisors’ chief legal adviser during a period in which the board redefined how San Bernardino County government operates, creating practices and processes that emphasize accountability, transparency and fiscal accountability.

“Jean-Rene has helped guide the County through some rocky legal issues during his tenure, and I will certainly miss his wise counsel as well as his wonderful sense of humor,” Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford said.

“The Board is grateful for the quality legal counseling that Jean-Rene has provided for the County of San Bernardino,” said Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “His guidance has helped us to thrive and move the County of San Bernardino forward in a positive direction. We have been very fortunate to have had his expertise for so many years.  While he will be greatly missed, we commend him for his years of service and wish him well in his retirement.”

During his tenure, the attorneys under his supervision provided advice and guidance to county departments and agencies that won nearly 300 state and national awards for innovation, efficiency and public service, making San Bernardino County one of the most honored counties in the nation.

“Over the years what I have come to admire most about Jean-Rene – even above his prudent counsel – is his integrity,” said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales. “Jean-Rene is a sincere, honorable man who exercises steadfast diplomacy, which has helped me and my colleagues to better serve our County. While I am genuinely happy he’s decided that now is the time to embark upon this next phase of his life, I also know that I will miss him as an invaluable member of our team.”

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