Bernard served as the City's lawyer since 2005, before that he worked as First Assistant Attorney for Bexar County for six years. Now, Bernard makes his exodus from civic service to private, international law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.
Why the transition? Bernard spent several hours over the past few weeks in council chambers fielding questions and taking heat about the city's contentious LGBT non-discrimination ordinance and, as the Current reported in April, he and Police Chief William McManus were involved in issuing and then lifting questionable criminal trespass warnings to ex-COSA employees, all of which may have led to a resignation. But Bernard tells the Current, it wasn't prompted by any specific event, rather it was "just time" to take a new direction.
"Sometimes it's just time, I've been doing this for eight years, sometimes it's just time for a change," said Bernard. "A great opportunity came up to join a team of great lawyers, so I took the opportunity, that's all there is to it. No event or personality involved, it just became time."
As for a replacement, the City is in the process of recommending and later, confirming a new chief legal supervisor by the end of the year and Bernard says he'll try to stick around and help, "It shouldn't even take that long. It's a terrific job, sure they'll have a pool of first rate candidates."