Longtime Des Plaines City Attorney Dave Wiltse announced his retirement Tuesday at a senior staff meeting.
Wiltse is retiring June 29 after more than 18 years of working for the city.
Wiltse, who has been practicing law for 32 years, started out in Des Plaines in 1979 as a law clerk with the firm of Samelson, Knickerbocker and Schirott, which represented municipalities.
He passed the bar exam in 1980 and went on to work for the Illinois Department of Revenue, the Illinois Department of Labor, and served as a hearings referee for the Illinois Board of Review.
Wiltse said he decided to retire after longtime friend and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk suffered a stroke in January.
"It really caused me to reflect on how fragile life really is," said Wiltse, who will be turning 60 in April.
Wiltse said he would like to devote his life now to finishing a book about the Civil War based on the letters of his great-great-grandfather, Luis Ceck, who was with the 45th Infantry and fought in the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Arlington Heights resident, a member of Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, said he also would like to help spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is something he couldn't do as city attorney.
And he plans to practice law part time and get back into doing trial work.