City attorney retires, assistant takes his place



City Attorney Steve Gross has retired from municipal service.

His last day in the office was Friday, Jan. 3, according to Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus.

“Assistant City Attorney Kendra Comeau will be acting attorney while Steve is still on payroll taking vacation time, and then she will be our interim city attorney up to May 1, when we decide what we want to do with that role,” Backus said..

Among other duties, Comeau will lead the legal department, draft, review and approve ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other legal instruments and documents, provide written and oral opinions and legal advice concerning city affairs, administer compliance with various state and local laws and statutes, and represent the city in judicial and administrative proceedings.

Comeau joined the city on Sept. 24, 2018 as an assistant city attorney in the legal department. She was born and raised in Auburn. Before ttending college at Willamette University, where she majored in politics and Spanish, she was the track coach for the city’s youth recreation program. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2011 and has defended private and public employers including a variety of cities, counties and school districts.

Gross had held the position for a little more than 1½ years.

Gross had been Port Townsend’s city attorney when Auburn hired him in June 2018 to succeed long time City Attorney Dan Heid. Gross, however, was no stranger to locals, having served Auburn as its assistant city attorney from November 2008 to July 2014.

Before that, Gross was a senior assistant city attorney for the city of Tacoma, and prior to that he was deputy legal council for the Pierce County Council.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

New company comes to the rescue of Auburn senior

Donna Goodman was a senior citizen living in an Auburn mobile home… Continue reading

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

File photo
Road rager points gun at gas station | Auburn police blotter

Auburn Police responded to the following calls for service, among many others,… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Race car vs. golf cart collision | Fire blotter

Between July 27 and Aug. 2, the Valley Regional Fire Authority responded… Continue reading

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Courtesy of Mountain View Fire and Rescue
Mountain View Fire and Rescue levy is passing

Service area includes unincorporated King County near the cities of Auburn, Enumclaw and Kent.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Most Read