Recently Retired San Jose City Attorney Dies of Cancer

Former San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle, who retired earlier this month after a 20-year career with the city, has died from cancer. He was 65.

Mayor Sam Liccardo issued a prepared statement Monday evening honoring his passing, calling the lifelong civil servant one of the city's “greatest champions.”

“Rick made a career out of fighting for our city,” the mayor wrote, “but through the toughest of battles—including his own courageous struggle against cancer—he never allowed himself to be anything less than the incredibly kind, thoughtful, good-spirited person that made him so beloved as a colleague and a friend. I will miss him enormously, and my heart goes out to [his wife] Beckie and his family.”

Doyle was appointed to chief counsel in 2000 and officially stepped down on Aug. 8.


  1. Rick was my friend, my neighbor and an outstanding Public servant for the City of San José.

    Rick’s passing is yet another example; life can be short, unpredictable and exceptionally unfair.

    There is nothing I can do to alleviate the emotional suffering his family, friends and work related colleagues are and will experience for some time. This fact bothers me greatly.

    In my opinion, God always calls home the best of us way too early. Maybe so we might learn not to take for granite our own life and or the lives our friends and family.

    A long time ago, at the old City Hall while I was tending to the flower pots, Rick would often stop by, on his way from or going to the attorney’s office and I would “rat-out” bad management practices consistently occurring in the Office of the City Manager to him.

    I also told him, the Office of the City Manager is sure to face eternal damnation but, the Office of the City Attorney was without sin.

    I said, “Rick, all attorneys go to Heaven.” Rick responded while smiling broadly, for he knew I was up to something and said, “Why, David?” I promptly responded, “Because Satan doesn’t need or appreciate any competition.”

    This is a really bad day for me.

    David S. Wall

  2. So sorry to hear this. He was a gentleman. He did not even get to enjoy the retirement he deserved.

  3. There are times when a consummate public servant does his or her job so well and for so long that one is prone to take the servant’s work for granted. A lawyer is often in the spotlight and there are many who seek the shine. Rick did his job so ably and efficiently, that it was hard to see his hand at the tiller guiding the ship. That is a life’s accomplishment and the City was well served by this public servant/lawyer.

    Norm Matteoni

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *