2007-2008 KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The City Attorney's Office has continued to aggressively defend our City in lawsuits in which we are named as a defendant. In 2007, 41 lawsuits were concluded which resulted in a net liability savings to the City of just over $2,711,973 and in additional settlements paid to the City of just over $638,123.
The City Attorney's Office has continued to aggressively enforce 7 existing permanent injunctions against gangs in the City; adding 36 new individual gang members to the list and subjecting these gang members to the restrictions imposed by the Court prohibiting specified gang activity.
The City Attorney's Office also filed a Red Light Abatement Action that closed the Flesh Club for 8 months and a Narcotics Abatement Action which closed down a drug house for 1 year.
The City Attorney's Office coordinated multiple department (Police, Fire, Code Enforcement) actions against persons violating the City's ordinances, rules and regulations. As a result of the closing of substandard and dangerous housing, 52 families, consisting of 93 adults and 115 children, were assisted by the City in moving to residences that were clean, safe, and in compliance with City Building and Fire Codes.
This fiscal year the office prosecuted 11,296 misdemeanor/infraction cases in Superior Court.
2008-09 KEY GOALS
Past litigation against the City has demonstrated that the establishment of goals by this office raises liability issues potentially costly to the City. Therefore, no goals are stated.
DID YOU KNOW?
The functions of the City Attorney's Office are to defend the City in court actions, including tort lawsuits, to commence litigation as approved by the City Attorney and directed by the Mayor and Common Council or pursuant to law, and to prosecute ordinance violations and violations of certain state laws pursuant to the City Attorney's independent prosecutorial authority. It is also the function of the City Attorney's Office to issue legal opinions and provide legal advice to the Mayor and Common Council, City Manager's Office, department heads and other city employees, and to numerous boards and commissions; to provide advice concerning existing and newly enacted laws, rules, regulations, and court decisions; prepare or review resolutions, ordinances, leases and complex agreements; and, to attend and provide legal counsel at various meetings of the Mayor and Common Council, Planning Commission, Ways and Means Committee, Legislative Review Committee and other decision-making and advisory bodies of the City.
ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT
The City Attorney is an elected position established by the City Charter. The City Attorney is the chief legal advisor for the City, and for all Departments, Boards, and Commissions of the City.
The City Attorney's Office provides legal counsel and representation for the City, prosecutes and defends legal actions, and protects the interests of the public. The City Attorney, with a staff of 24, including 9 attorneys, secretaries and investigators, provides the following important and valuable legal services:
- Defends the City in civil lawsuits brought against the City, its officials, employees, and its departments; prosecutes violations of the City's Municipal Code and certain state laws; and pursues actions to recover costs from third parties for damages and liability to the City.
- Negotiates, reviews, edits, and drafts contracts and other transactional documents and agreements for the City.
- Serves as general legal counsel and representative; researches, prepares ordinances, resolutions, and legal opinions on a wide variety of issues, and advises City employees regarding liability issues.