The longtime Fenton Township attorney announced his plans to retire from law and serving the township at the Feb. 8 board meeting.
Richard Cooley, 80, who’s been the Fenton Township attorney for 45 years, announced his plans for retirement in a letter to Supervisor Bonnie Mathis, which was presented at the meeting.
Cooley said, “I have decided to retire from practicing law, and this requires that I retire as Fenton Township attorney.
“As you know, I have very much enjoyed doing the township’s legal work and thank you and the board for the privilege of serving the township for these many years.”
“Fenton Township has quality residents. As a result, the quality of the board members is very high, really top quality people,” he said. “I enjoy very much my interactions with those folks. I was never treated as an outsider. I was always treated as one of the team.”
He said he will miss practicing law and it has never felt like work to him.
“I have loved being a lawyer and practicing law but my wife says it’s just time. Eighty years old is time enough,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it so much.”
Cooley has also served as the assistant prosecuting attorney, special assistant to the attorney general and president of the Genesee County Bar Association. After practicing law in Genesee County for 55 years, Cooley will finish serving as attorney when a new one is appointed.
He is a graduate of Fenton High School, Albion College and Duke University Law School. “I have always been grateful to my Fenton High School classmates and teachers who became my clients, as well as my friends at Fenton Township,” Cooley said.
“My wife and I have no special plans for the future except to do more skiing in the winter, sailing in the summer, travel, and spend more time with our children and grandchildren.”
Fenton Township has started the search for a new attorney, and Cooley said he will most likely assist in the process.