City Attorney's Office

Duties & Responsibilities
The City Attorney is the legal adviser to the City Council. The City Attorney is a general municipal attorney and represents the City in a wide variety of judicial and administrative proceedings.

The City Attorney's Office represents the City in litigation matters and prosecutes violators of City laws. The Office provides legal advice to the City Council, Planning Commission, and City Departments, as well as drafts ordinances, contracts, resolutions, and agreements.

Role of the City Attorney

Complex laws, a more litigious society and demands by citizens for additional services, and the resulting diversification of City operations, have significantly increased the City's legal burden. One of the most important functions of the City Attorney is to render advice to the City Council to ensure that Council members' actions fall within the framework of the law.

In this role, the City Attorney advises the City Council on procedural and substantive legal issues, the possible legal ramifications of proposed courses of action, and on matters directly affecting the conduct of City Council business, such as public meeting and conflict of interest laws.

The City currently contracts with the firm of Woodruff, Spradlin and Smart for City Attorney services.

Drafting & Reviewing Legal Documents
The City Attorney is charged with the responsibility of drafting or reviewing a host of legal documents necessary for the daily operations of the City. These include:
  • Bonds
  • Contracts
  • Deeds
  • Insurance
  • Leases
  • Ordinances
  • Resolutions
Appearing in Court
Perhaps a more familiar and obvious role of the City Attorney is to appear in court on behalf of the City. The City Attorney works to minimize the need for litigation and prosecution. However, when necessary, the City Attorney represents the City in both criminal and civil matters.

Prosecuting Violations
As the chief legal officer of the City, the City Attorney has primary responsibility for the criminal prosecution of violations of City ordinances which includes prosecution of violations of housing and building codes, and crimes involving public peace, morals, and welfare.

On the civil side, the City Attorney defends and sometimes initiates litigation involving property, the environment, or civil issues.

Mission Statement
The City Attorney's Office mission is to be the best possible provider of effective legal services by listening to the City's needs, providing sound and objective legal advice, and maintaining the City's trust through the development and maintenance of superior legal skills and a professional image.