Until his death after a long illness, Winnie served as the county counsel since 1998 and headed a staff of about 35 attorneys.
Prior to that, he served as Oakland's city attorney for many years and later was a partner with Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean, a law firm in Oakland.
According to Alameda County officials, Winnie was active in the local community and served on many boards, including the Oakland Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District Retirement Board.
Board of Supervisors President Nate Miley said in a statement, "Richard was a trusted legal advisor to the board and department heads. We relied on Richard for his advice and counsel on a daily basis. He will be sorely missed."
Supervisor Keith Carson said, "Richard epitomized what it is to be a true public servant. He served county residents and his clients up to his very last day."
County Administrator Susan Muranishi said, "Not only was Richard our trusted legal advisor and confidante, he was a colleague and friend who was passionate about his work and cared deeply about the communities we serve."
Chief Assistant County Counsel Donna Ziegler will head the County Counsel's office until the Board of Supervisors appoints an interim county counsel.
A public memorial service for Winnie will be held sometime in April
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