The firm of Brock, Clay, Calhoun, and Rogers, LLC announced Brock’s departure in an email Friday.
Brock will become a partner in the Atlanta office of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough LLP. He will continue his education law practice there and work with an affiliate of the firm on national education policy issues.
“Brock Clay is a great place to work with quality lawyers and a wonderful staff,” Brock said in a prepared statement Friday. “I am forever indebted to all those who have supported me in the firm over these past 32 years. I wish the firm continued success and I look forward to continuing my personal relationships with firm members.”
Despite Brock’s absence, the firm will continue to represent school districts, and the Brock Clay Education Group will be led by Clem Doyle, the board attorney for both Cobb and Marietta school districts.
Scott Gregory, also with the Marietta firm, said Brock told him years ago that he would retire at some point in the near future.
“We planned for this day, and in 2010 Glenn stepped out of all management of the firm,” Gregory said. “Tom Rogers and Clem Doyle have served with me on the Executive Committee for the past three years, and we have experienced substantial growth in all practice areas during this time period.”
Brock helped carve a niche for the local law firm in representing school boards, a specialty which the firm maintains to this day. But his tenure with Cobb Schools was not without controversy. He resigned as the board attorney in August of 2010 after having served the district for nearly 21 years.
He has been involved in several controversies with the county board in recent years, especially over repeated board violations of Georgia’s Open Meetings laws and high-profile lawsuits that the board has lost.
In 2005, Brock and his attorneys advised the school board to go ahead with spending more than $100 million in SPLOST funds to buy laptops for all district middle and high school students.
That decision spiraled out of control and cost the district an expensive lawsuit, resulting in the resignation of then-Superintendent Joe Redden.
In July 2009, Brock admitted that the school board had been voting secretly in closed session since January 2007, a violation of the Georgia Open Meetings Act.
Also, in July 2009, Brock provided legal advice to former board member Dr. John Crooks and the board, allowing them to place an item on the agenda the day of the meeting regarding a controversial cell tower vote.
The decision to place the item on the agenda on the day of the meeting eventually led to a lawsuit against the board for violating state Open Meetings Act by failing to give proper notice of the vote.
The court issued a restraining order for any work on the tower, but that became moot when Crooks called for a second vote on the tower. The cell tower issue also led to an unsuccessful effort to recall Crooks.
Another controversy centered on Brock’s secretly approved contract in 2007 that provided it would roll over automatically every four years unless the board voted to cancel, which was exposed by the Journal a year later.
That contract is worth about $2 million a year in legal fees, much of which is a result of the many special education issues Brock Clay handles for the district.