A republican legislator from Wake County, North Carolina, has resigned from his Senate seat to begin working at the law firm of Smith Anderson, located in Raleigh. Stevens never filed for re-election, which makes his early resignation a surprise for some in the area. Stevens said he has ‘yet to determine’ if he will lobby at the legislature. “That’s to be determined based on client needs,” he said.
Stevens will not be permitted to register as a lobbyist for six months, according to the current laws. Stevens did say that he felt it was best to resign so he could avoid the appearance of conflicts at the law firm.
“This firm does have a number of clients it represents down at the General Assembly,” he said. Stevens used to work as a Wake County manager and said he will be working at the law firm on issues such as economic development, local government and local bond problems. “It’s a very broad portfolio,” he said.
According to a press release from the firm, Stevens, “will advise the law firm’s clients on a wide range of matters, including economic development, state and local regulatory issues, land use, local government law, government contracting, bond financing and state policy issues.”
The Senate President Pro Tempore, Senator Phil Berger, said that Stevens is “a dedicated public servant whose budgetary expertise, tireless work ethic and ability to work across the aisle made him a successful and effective legislator. As a champion for our state’s public universities, his support was instrumental in shaping legislation that made the UNC system a national leader in higher education. The General Assembly and his constituents in Wake County will miss his leadership and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
In 2011, Stevens became the budget chairman when the Republicans took over the General Assembly. “I’m excited to open a new chapter in my career by joining Raleigh’s leading law firm,” Stevens said. “Smith Anderson’s broad expertise will enable me to continue serving our community, region and state.”