St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin has announced plans to retire at the end of September following more than 42 years of public service, according to a news release from the county.
In a letter to the County Commission on Monday, Rubin wrote, “Forty-three years is enough. I am going to join my wife, Nancy, in retirement at the end of September.”
Rubin, who was raised in Duluth’s Smithville neighborhood and graduated from Morgan Park High School, first joined the County Attorney’s Office as an intern in 1975 while attending The College of St. Scholastica. He went on to attend what is now Mitchell Hamline School of Law, and after graduation was hired as an assistant St. Louis County attorney in 1978. With the exception of two years spent in private practice during the late 1980s, Rubin has worked in the County Attorney’s Office ever since.
“Growing up in the ’60s, my dream was not to become a lawyer,” Rubin’s letter to the commissioners said. “I wanted to replace Clete Boyer as the third baseman for the New York Yankees. I lived for and loved baseball. Obviously, that was a dream that remained only a dream. Instead of stepping up to the plate at Yankee Stadium, I have had the absolute honor and privilege of going to bat for my fellow citizens, for justice.”
Rubin was elected county attorney in 2010, and re-elected twice since. His current term runs through 2022. Because he is retiring prior to the end of his term, state statute calls for the County Board to appoint someone to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term, the county’s news release said.
“Mark has been been such a trusted resource and public servant,” said County Administrator Kevin Gray said in the news release. “I have always valued his perspectives because I know they are rooted in experience, as well as compassion and connectiveness to the community. Beyond his litigation skills and commitment to justice, which made him so effective in his role as County Attorney, he is a gifted writer, speaker and musician, and I will miss the depth of talent he brought to every discussion we had.”
While much of his career focused on prosecuting offenders charged with felony-level crimes, Rubin brought a much larger focus to his work. He advocated for improved services for survivors of domestic abuse and sex trafficking. He helped form partnerships to address truancy and create diversion programs for lower-level offenders. Rubin also has taken an active role in restorative justice programs to help offenders take accountability for their actions and seek change. In 2019, Rubin was named to serve on the statewide Deadly Force Encounters/Officer Involved Shooting Working Group.
Among his numerous awards, he was honored with the Jules Gernes Minnesota State Bar Association Prosecutor Award for Excellence in 2011; and the M.A. Johnson Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota County Attorneys Association in 2020.
In his letter to commissioners announcing his retirement, Rubin expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve, and to those he served under and alongside, both in the attorney’s office and law enforcement.
“I also am deeply grateful for the gift of working with the exceptional men and women in our Duluth, Hibbing, and Virginia County Attorney offices over the years. Any success I have achieved to make this world a more just place is undoubtedly due to the dedication and sense of public service and stewardship on the part of these wonderful people. I am proud of my staff, and I leave the office in good hands.”
He concluded the letter stating, “I am proud of the work we have done and what we have accomplished together over the years… It has truly been my honor to have served with you as your St. Louis County Attorney.”
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