The city attorney is appointed by and reports to City Council. The general duties of the Office of the City Attorney include:
- Preparation of all bonds, contracts, deeds, and instruments in writing whatsoever, which may be required by any ordinance or order of the City Council, or when, by law, usage or agreement, the preparation of such instrument is to be at the expense of the city.
- To give, whenever required, to the City Council and other officers and employees of the city, any and all necessary legal counsel and advice concerning their duties and matters and questions pertaining to such duties.
- To defend any and all suits or proceedings instituted against the city.
- To institute and prosecute all suits or proceedings commenced by the city.
- To render such other legal service as the City Council may require.
Other Legal Services
In addition to the other duties prescribed by law, the city attorney shall render legal services to the officers and employees of the city in all suits, actions, and proceedings brought against them as defendants, other than those involving violations of the criminal laws of the state and penal ordinances of the city, in which the city has an interest when there is no conflict between the city's interest and that of any such officer and employee and the subject matter of the suit, action, or proceeding arose during and out of the scope of the employment of such officer or employee and during the hours prescribed for performing such services.
The Office of the City Attorney cannot provide legal advice to citizens in private matters, nor is the office permitted to make referrals to citizens for private attorneys. This office does not prosecute violations of state law or local ordinances; such prosecutions of criminal violations are handled by the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney.