St. George to appoint new city attorney; Guzman promoted to government affairs director

Composite image with background photo of , 5th District Court in St. George, Utah, August 2019. Inset photo of Tani Pack Downing who will be appointed as the new city attorney for St. George, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —In a press release issued by Monday, the city of St. George announced the impending appointment of Tani Pack Downing as city attorney.

Downing has 26 years of legal and executive-level experience as general counsel and deputy chief of staff for the governor, general counsel for a state agency and associate general counsel for the Legislature.

She is set to be appointed as city attorney during Thursday’s City Council meeting.

St. George Mayor Michele Randall said in the news release that they interviewed several well-qualified individuals but chose Downing because of her leadership and experience working through complex situations at all levels of government.

“Her ability to collaborate with others is first rate and she is the ultimate team player,” Randall said. “She is the right person at the right time to oversee the legal functions of the City of St. George.”

Tani Pack Downing who will be appointed as the new city attorney for St. George, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the city of St. George, St. George News

As state risk manager, Downing worked closely with the Attorney General’s Litigation Division in lawsuits against the state. Downing has also been the executive director of the Department of Administrative Services, the executive director of the Department of Workforce Services and most recently senior policy advisor for the Utah Office of the State Auditor.

Downing arrives in St. George with a host of knowledge and has practiced law for 30 years, the release states. She has managed as many as 1,800 employees and has worked in a plethora of high-stakes, demanding and dynamic political and administrative environments.

“I characterize my leadership style as that of being respectful, constructive and energetic,” Downing said in the news release. “I look forward to hitting the ground running and embracing this great responsibility I have been given as City Attorney.”

Downing moves into the role previously occupied by Shawn Guzman, who has been promoted to a new role as the city’s government affairs director. Guzman had served as city attorney since 2002, a 19-year stretch, which saw significant growth and change within the city and region.

As government affairs director, a new position at the city, Guzman’s focus will be primarily external. His duties include curating and maintaining relationships with outside officials at all levels of government, as well as helping to strategize legislation on behalf of the city.

Washington County Courthouse, St. George, Utah, May 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler. St. George News

“I can’t say enough about what a wonderful job Shawn did for us as City Attorney. His new responsibilities make sense because Shawn had been performing many of these same professional duties in his role as City Attorney,” said City Manager Adam Lenhard in the press release. “Shawn is a great communicator and enthusiastic advocate for the City of St. George and he is already doing amazing things in his new role.”

Guzman said in the release that it was a privilege to serve nearly two decades as city attorney in a city he loves.

“I’d like to thank all the elected officials and staff I have learned from and built relationships with along the way,” Guzman added. “I look forward to my new position and I am excited to work with Tani, our new City Attorney. What’s exciting about my new role is it allows me to initiate important policy discussions that will have a big effect on the future of St. George, and ensure we always have a seat at the table.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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