County Counsel Bob Burns, left, receives a proclamation and plaque in recognition of his retirement. Supervisor Aaron Albaugh presents him with the both the proclamation and plaque during the Tuesday, Dec. 15 Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting. Photo submitted

County recognizes Bob Burns on his retirement

It was a moment of humor and memories as Lassen County elected officials and staff turned out to pay tribute to Bob Burns, Lassen County counsel and former district attorney, on his retirement.

“I didn’t expect when I came here in 1993 and gave a two-year commitment that I would still be here, much less have the gifts I’ve been given,” Burns said.

The Lassen County Board of Supervisors presented Burns with a unanimously approved proclamation in recognition of his retirement during the Tuesday, Dec. 15 meeting.

Burns started as deputy district attorney in May 1993, and in 1995 he promoted to senior deputy district attorney. After that, he ran and was elected as Lassen County district attorney in 2001, a role he held for four terms. In 2014, he was appointed as county counsel, holding both the district attorney and county counsel positions until Jan. 1, 2015, where he continued on as county counsel until his retirement, set for Dec. 30.

“Burns worked with the district attorney’s office from 1993 to 2014, and provided justice to the community through the prosecution of offenders and representation of victims. He handled misdemeanors, child support, narcotics, prison crimes, domestic violence and general felony crimes,” according to the proclamation read aloud during the meeting.

“He took his job as a district attorney very seriously, and put his commitment to his cases above all else; however, there was one event that would forever change his focus. Bob and the victim witness staff were meeting clients out of county on the day his step-daughter went into labor with the first grandchild. Bob kept checking his cell phone during the meeting for updates from his wife. When his grandson was born, the look on his face was pure excitement and joy, with a smile that stretched from ear to ear. That would be the day he became Bumpy,” read the proclamation.

Through his time as county counsel, Burns provided guidance, support and legal counsel to the board of supervisors, the office of the county administrative officer, personnel department, child and family services, public guardians, the sheriff’s office, special districts and many others who sought help.

“He is wished well in his retirement and new chapter of his life spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and dogs as he travels, races his dirt bike and figures out what new adventure lies ahead,” continued the proclamation.

During the meeting, elected officials and county staff shared memories, commented on Burns’ humor and laughed with him as he nears his final days working with the county.

“Bob, it’s been a pleasure to work with you. It has been awesome and you will be sorely missed,” said Aaron Albaugh.

“With all the many decades of being district attorney and now as county counsel, we know the county’s put a lot of bumps in front of you, a lot challenges. So, on behalf of everybody in the room, I want to thank you for your service and I want to wish that the only bumps you find now are the ones you choose to find on your dirt bike,” Planning and Building Director Maury Anderson said.

Lassen County Administrative Officer Richard Egan shared of the memories with Burns, thanking him for his friendship and his ability to lighten up serious situations with a well-timed meme or joke.

“Bob’s been a great friend to the county, personally a great friend to me over those 27 years. I’m really going to miss some of the things about Bob and I wish him the best in retirement,” said Egan.

Lassen County Sheriff Dean Growdon also commented, saying he would be missed.

“I think we were very fortunate to have someone of his expertise serving the county,” he said, adding he did a great job serving victims in the community as district attorney.

Health and Social Services Director Barbara Longo shared some memories her staff has of Burns, showcasing his humorous side.

Additionally, current Lassen County District Attorney, and former deputy county counsel, Susan Rios, thanked Burns for his mentorship and friendship.

“(In) my first interaction with Mr. Burns, he made me cry. Then he later turned around and hired me,” Rios said, thanking him for bringing her to Lassen County.

Concluding the recognition, Burns made some more jokes and thanked those who spoke.

“I came up here with a pickup truck with everything I owned in the back and gave them a two-year commitment, and got married in the meantime, got grand kids, and I’m pretty darn lucky. I’ve got more friends than I deserve,” Burns said.