07-050-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 26 OF THE CITY CHARTER PERTAINING TO SELECTION AND TENURE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY.

BY PRESIDENT STOVER:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 26 of the 1912 City Charter, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

     Section 26.The mayor, with the approval of a majority of members of the council, shall appoint a qualified city attorney. The city attorney’s appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the city council by a simple majority vote. The attorney shall be the legal advisor of the council and of the officers of the city and shall, under the direction of the council, prosecute all suits for, and defend all suits brought against, the city, and shall prosecute all persons accused of any violation of city ordinances. The attorney shall perform such other and further duties as are required by the laws of the state, by the provisions of this Charter, or by the council. The council may employ special counsel to assist the attorney in special matters at a compensation to be fixed in advance, and by a two-thirds vote of its entire membership may employ special counsel for itself. The attorney shall have the power to appoint and remove assistant city attorneys. The attorney and assistant city attorneys shall be attorneys admitted to practice in all of the courts of the state of Minnesota. A duly appointed and confirmed city attorney may be terminated by the mayor with the consent of the city council by a simple majority vote of the city council.

     If a conflict of interest arises that prevents the city attorney and the city attorney’s staff from performing the duties of the city attorney required by the laws of the state, by the provisions of this Charter, or by the council, the city attorney shall promptly report to the mayor and the city council, in writing, the conflict and the manner in which the conflict prevents the city attorney and the city attorney’s staff from performing the city attorney’s duties. If the conflict relates to the business or personal interest of the city attorney, then the mayor may, subject to confirmation by the city council by a simple majority vote, engage an independent counsel to represent the city in the matter with respect to which the conflict exists. If the conflict arises out of actions taken or purported to be taken by the mayor, the city council may, by a simple majority vote, engage an independent counsel to perform the duty the city attorney cannot fulfill because of the conflict.

     Section 2. That this ordinance shall take effect 90 days after its passage and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance provides for involvement of the council in termination of the city attorney, and in appointment of special counsel when a conflict of interest prevents the city attorney from acting.