About the City Attorney's Office
Gregory Diaz became Ventura's City Attorney in September 2014. Prior to moving to Ventura, he served as the City Attorney for the City of Merced from 2001 to August 2014. He began his legal career as an associate attorney at a large municipal law firm becoming the first associate in the firm in a branch office to make partner. During this time, Gregory served as the contract City Attorney for the Cities of Lake Forest, Stanton, and Lomita. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1991 and is admitted to practice before the Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of the Federal District Courts in California; the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals; and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Gregory received his B.A. in Public Administration/Political Science from California State University, Long Beach, his Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Consortium of the California State University, and his J.D.. from Western State University, College of Law.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Gregory spent three years as the Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District in Watsonville, CA. He began his professional career as a Congressional Aide for a U.S. Congressman from Orange County, California.
Andy H. Viets
Andy H. Viets, a thirty year resident of Ventura County, is the City's Senior Assistant City Attorney. He graduated from Hofstra University in New York with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1982 and from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law in 1985. He started practicing law in Ventura in January, 1987, first as a workers’ compensation defense attorney and soon thereafter in the field of civil litigation, which included defending various public entities in civil lawsuits.
After many years practicing with a firm in Ventura, Mr. Viets opened his own office in 2006, specializing in civil litigation, which included representing public entities. He joined Norman Dowler, LLP, in Ventura in April, 2007, where his practice continued to focus on civil litigation and he served as the head of the firm’s litigation department. Mr. Viets began working for the City in 2008. He is also a professor at the Ventura College of Law, initially teaching Civil Trial Practice and currently teaching Evidence.
Mr. Viets serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Ventura County Superior Court and as a Fee Dispute Arbitrator for the Ventura County Bar Association. He has made presentations to various local legal organizations on various topics involving civil litigation. He is a member of the Ventura County Bar Association (including serving on its Board of Directors), the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association (from which he received a nomination for 2006 Trial Lawyer of the Year) and the Tri-Counties Local Government Attorneys' Association.
M. Rebeca Mendoza
M. Rebeca Mendoza is an Assistant City Attorney II and joined the City in May 2006. She advises Public Works, Finance & Technology, and the Fire Department. Rebeca drafts and reviews agreements for all departments, including utility franchises (gas, electric, oil, railroad,etc.); complex solar and technology agreements; construction, general, and professional services contracts; MOU's; letters of agreement; loan documents; licenses, and leases. She also drafts and reviews ordinances, resolutions, administrative policies and procedures and staff reports for all departments. In addition, Rebeca serves as back-up for court appearances on Code Enforcement, Pitchess Motions, administrative hearings, and civil litigation matters. She provides direction to the City Council, City Manager, and department heads on personnel issues and conflict of interest matters.
Rebeca arrived in Ventura with 30 years of diverse litigation experience. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law, she previously served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of California's Department of Justice, where her primary duty was to litigate employment discrimination cases. Rebeca also worked as Assistant General Counsel for the San Francisco Housing Authority, and for almost nine years as Deputy City Attorney in Oakland, where she litigated matters for both the City of Oakland and the Oakland Housing Authority. As a Deputy Public Defender for Alameda County, Rebeca gained valuable criminal law experience. Rebeca and her husband, Roberto Vargas, have two grown daughters, Andrea Vargas-Mendoza (a popular local artist) and Ixchel Vargas-Mendoza (a yoga instructor and personal trainer).
Jennifer Lee, an Assistant City Attorney II, is a Ventura County native and joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2008. She works in the office's transactional division and provides document review and advice to the departments of Community Development, Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships, and Fire. Jennifer earned bachelors degrees in Physiological Science and French from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received her law degree from Chapman University in 2007. In her free time, she enjoys running and traveling.
Dirk DeGenna, Assistant City Attorney II, joined the City Attorney's office in September 2015. He graduated from UCLA in 1991 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and received his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University in 1996. Dirk works to defend the City in civil litigation matters in both state and federal courts, in the prosecution of misdemeanor cases and code enforcement matters. Dirk and his wife have a daughter in high school and enjoy watching her compete in soccer and track & field events.
Miles Hogan, Assistant City Attorney II, is our office's newest member, having joined us in March 2016. He specializes in all aspects of water law, including water rights, water quality & NPDES, groundwater management, rates and regulatory compliance. He most recently worked for a private law firm in Irvine. Miles obtained his Juris Doctorate from U.C. Davis School of Law, graduating with the school's Environmental Law Certificate and Public Interest Law Certificate. On a personal note, Miles enjoys running, hiking and exploring new restaurants.
Susan Marquez began working for the City Attorney's office in 1999. During her tenure with the City, she has been in charge of administration and management. Susan has 32 years of experience in civil litigation, working for various private law practices in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. She is an active member of the Ventura County Legal Secretaries Association and has held various posts within that organization. Susan attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and received her Paralegal Certificate. She and her husband have two grown children and enjoy family time and traveling.
Denise Barrett joined the City Attorney's office in July of 2015, having previously worked in various departments within the City for many years. She has 35 years of experience working in the public sector, having also worked previously for the County of Ventura and for a special district. A native of Michigan, Denise received her Associate Business Degree from Northern Michigan University. She and her husband have one grown son who works for the City of Carpinteria.
Johanna Johnsen, Legal Litigation Secretary, joined the City Attorney's office in October 2015. She was born and raised in the Oxnard/Ventura area and received an Associate's Degree in Administration of Justice from Ventura College. She spent the last 18 years living in East Texas where she worked in private law practices specializing in civil litigation. While in Texas, she received designation as a Certified Legal Assistant through the National Association of Legal Assistants and was also a Notary Public for the State of Texas. She has two daughters in college and is absolutely thrilled to be back in beautiful Ventura, spending her free time riding her bike near the ocean and practicing yoga.