FARGO — Fargo City Attorney Erik Johnson, who has held that position since 2007, has submitted his resignation and plans to step down from the job at the end of the year.

However, Johnson noted Thursday, Sept. 16, that he plans to continue working as a private attorney.

"I don't have a specific plan, but I'm not retiring," Johnson said.

He said the job of city attorney is one he loves, but he said he decided he wanted to step away during a time when he still enjoyed doing the work.

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Johnson has represented the city in various roles since 1985, including a stint as city prosecutor.

Asked whether his decision to step down as city attorney was connected at all to recent discussion of whether Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney is eligible to run for another term as mayor in the June 2022 city election, Johnson said it did not. He had been thinking about the move before the current talk about term limits, the attorney added.

Johnson provided city officials with a written memo several years ago that expressed his opinion that based on city rules Mahoney had reached the end of his terms, both as a city commissioner and mayor, and Johnson reiterated that view during recent city commission discussions.

The term limit question is now in the hands of a district court judge to decide.