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Sal Territo to succeed Julia Mandell as Tampa City Attorney

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

There’s a changing of the guard with the top legal position in the City of Tampa.

After three and a half years as City Attorney, Julia Mandell announced her resignation. She is leaving the position to become an attorney at Carlton Fields.

Mandell will be succeeded by Sal Territo.

Since 2005, Territo has served as Chief Assistant City Attorney as the head of the transactional and administrative section of the Legal Department.

“I want to thank Mayor Buckhorn for the opportunity to serve as the City Attorney for a City I have had the privilege to work for, on and off, since 1972,” says Territo. “The City Attorneys who have come before me have cultivated some of the best and brightest legal minds and I look forward to continuing that practice.”

Territo actually started his career with the City of Tampa in 1980 after graduating from the  Stetson University College of Law. He’s served in various roles in the private sector, as well as Planning Commissioner and Chairman and Hearing Examiner in Lee County. And for nearly a decade he was an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida.

Mandell served for a total of 12 years with the City of Tampa, before taking over as City Attorney in August of 2013.

“It has been an extraordinary experience to serve as City Attorney these last three years and an honor to work under such exceptional Mayors,” said Mandell “A special thank you to Mayor Buckhorn for supporting our team at the City Attorney’s office, this team of dynamic lawyers in support staff is one of the best in the nation. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the City of Tampa in my new position with Carlton Fields, a well-known and respected law firm with long ties to Tampa.”

Prior to joining the City of Tampa, Mandell was an assistant county attorney with Hillsborough County for seven years. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida.

Mandell succeeded Jim Shimberg as City Attorney in 2013. Shimberg was Buckhorn’s first City Attorney, before he left the city to work for developer/Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s organization. For months Mandell served as the interim attorney before Buckhorn ultimately decided that she was the best candidate for the position.

Buckhorn thanked Mandell for her service.

“She has been a true public servant in every sense of the word and her contributions to this administration’s success are many.  While we will miss her, we could not be happier for her continued success.”

The Mayor says the promotion for Territo “is a natural and seamless transition.”

“Sal has served the City through nine administrations and his expertise in municipal finance and underwriting is unparalleled,” said Buckhorn. “He knows city government as well as anybody and will not miss a beat stepping into this role.  I look forward to Sal’s service to this community for the remainder of my time as the Mayor.”

Mandell said gave tribute to her colleague.

“I wish Sal continued success in his next role. He has been a great mentor to me during my years with the city and will continue to be a great mentor to all of the attorneys and staff in the office.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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