CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign City Attorney Frederick Stavins announced on Wednesday that he will be retiring from the position after more than 40 years on the job.

Stavins spent the majority of his legal career in Champaign. Taking the City Attorney position in 1981, Stavins lead the city’s Legal Department and its staff in providing legal review and advice to the City Council, Boards and Commissions, the City Manager and all city department heads. He also served as a lawyer for the city of Champaign Township and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District.

The 41 years he spent as City Attorney are a record for not only the position, but of any department head in Champaign. He served under six Mayors, four City Managers and numerous city council members and department heads while attending more than 2000 City Council meetings.

“The lawyers, legal assistants, and paralegals that I have worked with have been, and continue to be, the best municipal legal group in the State of Illinois,” Stavins said in a statement released by the city. “Working with these excellent legal professionals has made my job the best a person could hope for. I am also lucky to have worked with so many high-performing and creative department heads who are, in their own right, leaders in their fields, as well as other City staff who are dedicated to serving the public. I am also privileged to have worked with a wide variety of elected and appointed officials, who despite sometimes having differing views, have tried their best to work for all of our residents.”

City Manager Dorothy David paid tribute to Stavins in a statement of her own.

“Fred has faithfully served the City for more than four decades and leaves a lasting impact through the policies, practices, and City Ordinances that he helped put into place,” David said. “Fred’s legal experience and expertise is unparalleled in local government, as is his ability to recall legal cases, precedents, and facts from throughout his distinguished career. Always ready to listen, provide good advice, or lend a helping hand, Fred’s positive energy and commitment are immeasurable and will be greatly missed. It has been a pleasure to work with Fred as both a legal counselor and a friend and we wish him the very best on his well-earned retirement.

Stavins’ last day on the job is May 22. The city will launch a nationwide search for a new City Attorney later this spring.