SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A former judge and city solicitor has been named to replace retiring Springfield City Solicitor Edward Pikula.

Mayor Domenic Sarno made the announcement Tuesday that John Payne has accepted the position of City Solicitor.

Mayor Sarno states, “first of all, my many thanks to City Solicitor Ed Pikula for his many years of dedicated service to our city.  As the longest serving city solicitor in our city history, serving under my administration and that of my predecessor the late Mayor Charlie Ryan’s administration too; Ed has been absolutely invaluable to our city and me.  He epitomizes a true public servant.”

City Solicitor Pikula stated, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the City of Springfield and the Sarno Administration as City Solicitor.  However, I am at a point where I would like to step back and devote more time to my family.  Over the past forty years I have served under seven mayors and nine different City Solicitors.  I can confidently say that no mayor has done a better job for our residents and business community than Mayor Sarno.  I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life and will work with Mayor Sarno and the new Solicitor to assure a smooth transition.”

“I am elated and our city is very fortunate to have retired Judge and First Justice of Hampden County District Court and former City Solicitor under the Mayor Mary E. Hurley administration take the reins of our Law Department, which in effect is a nearly three quarters (¾) of a billion-dollar city budget corporate counsel,” Mayor Sarno continued.  “Between the institutional legal acumen of Judge Payne and Solicitor Pikula the city will continue to be well served with a smooth transition. 

Judge Payne stated, “I want to thank Mayor Sarno for his vote of confidence and for the opportunity to serve the city that I love.  I am looking forward to working with the administration, city council and our dedicated city departments for the betterment of our residents.  I also want to thank Attorney Pikula for his service to our city and look forward to working with him during this transitionary period.”