GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-4000
(Chapter replaced by Ordinance No. 155956, effective June 11, 1984.)
(Amended by Ordinance No. 165112, effective February 26, 1992.) The Office of the City Attorney shall consist of the City Attorney and such subordinate employees as the Council may provide. The deputies of the City Attorney shall be appointed by the City Attorney in writing and shall continue in service during the City Attorney’s pleasure. In the event of a vacancy in the position of the City Attorney, the deputies shall continue in office with a Chief Deputy serving as acting City Attorney until such time as the Council appoints a new City Attorney.
(Repealed by Ordinance No. 165112, effective February 26, 1992.)
(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 156711, 165112, 181483 and 189426, effective March 20, 2019.) The City Attorney shall have the following duties:
A. Appear for, represent, and defend the City, and its boards, commissions, bureaus, officers, employees and persons entitled to representation under the Oregon Tort Claims Act in all appropriate legal forums and matters. However, other than as required by the Tort Claims Act and except as provided in 3.10.030 G.4., the City Attorney shall not represent individuals in their personal capacity and shall not represent individuals who, after investigation by the OMF Risk Management Division, are found by the Bureau to have acted outside the scope of their employment or duties or to have committed malfeasance in office or willful or wanton neglect of duty. If the City Charter specifically authorizes a commission to retain or employ its own special legal counsel, then the City Attorney shall not be responsible for representing such commission on matters assigned by the commission to its special legal counsel;
B. Review and approve as to form all written contracts, bonds, or other legally binding instruments to which the City is a party. It shall be the responsibility of the City officials or employees who prepare such documents to submit the documents to the City Attorney for review;
C. Give legal advice and opinions orally and in writing and prepare legal documents and ordinances for the Mayor, any Council member, the City Council, or any board, bureau, committee, commission, or agency of the City;
D. Periodically submit to Council reports summarizing the amount, type, and cost of legal services required by the City in the preceding year and highlighting significant legal cases and trends involving the City;
E. Seek to ensure that City employees comply with legal and ethical requirements of public employment by providing advice, direction and opinions
F. Seek to prevent legal problems for the City by training, directing and educating City employees about legal issues;
G. Institute legal proceedings for the City in any court or tribunal on direction by resolution of the Council, as otherwise provided herein. The City Attorney may institute appeals on behalf of the City for enforcement of regulations or license requirements including such payments established by Charter, Code, ordinance, or statute, and for collection of any account receivable, and may appeal in any case in which the opposing side first has appealed, as the City Attorney deems advisable. The City Attorney shall prosecute other appeals on direction by resolution of the Council. The City Attorney may also upon approval of the Commissioner In Charge and for good cause shown:
1. Seek enforcement of any regulation or license requirement including the payment of any fee, penalty, or interest, established by Charter, Code, ordinance, or statute, and collection of any account receivable and may assert a counterclaim, a cross-claim, or a third-party claim;
2. File in the appropriate forum the original or duplicate copies of a complaint for interpleader whenever the City shall come into possession of property in which it has no claim and on which multiple claims have been made by other parties;
3. File briefs and related motions as amicus curiae in any appeal or other proceeding where legal issues are of interest to the City;
4. Represent City employees in their personal capacity in legal proceedings that have a connection to their City employment and are related to their personal safety, including but not limited to initiating affirmative litigation on behalf of affected City employees when they petition courts for restraining orders, injunctions, and other protections and remedies;
5. File a notice of appeal to protect the City’s legal right to appeal in situations where the City Attorney believes an appeal is advisable and it is not practicable to obtain a Council resolution in the time allowed to perfect an appeal. The City Attorney shall seek Council authorization by resolution to continue the appeal as soon as practicable and shall immediately dismiss any appeal which Council declines to authorize by resolution.
(Amended by Ordinance No. 165112, effective February 26, 1992.) The position of Chief Deputy City Attorney is hereby created and the City Attorney is authorized, from time to time to appoint one or more deputies to such positions and designate one Chief Deputy to be in charge of the Office in the absence of the City Attorney.
(Amended by Ordinance No. 165112, effective February 26, 1992.) The City Attorney shall have charge and custody of the Office of the City Attorney and of all legal papers pertaining thereto.
(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 165112 and 181483, effective January 18, 2008.)
A. The relationship between the Office of City Attorney and the City shall be an attorney-client relationship, with the City being entitled to all benefits thereof.
B. Correspondence between the City Attorney and others in the City and the opinions and advice provided by the City Attorney to the City or to any City department, official, or employee are privileged attorney-client communications.
C. In suits, actions, or other proceedings in which the City Attorney, with the concurrence of the OMF Risk Management Division, accepts the defense of a City official, employee, or other person pursuant to the requirements of the Oregon Tort Claims Act, the relationship between the Office of the City Attorney, and the official, employee, or other person shall be an attorney-client relationship, with the official, employee, or other person being entitled to all the benefits thereof regarding the subject matter of the suit, action, or proceeding.
The City Attorney may settle suits, actions, or proceedings as follows:
A. As the City Attorney deems advisable, after consultation with the affected bureau, if appropriate, in cases of suits, actions, or proceedings seeking enforcement of any regulation or license requirement including payment of any fee, penalty, or interest, established by the Charter, Code, ordinance, or statute, and collection of any account receivable;
B. With the written approval of the Commissioner In Charge, in cases of any other suits, actions, or proceedings except for settlements requiring payment by the City in excess of $5,000; and
C. With the approval by ordinance of the Council in cases of suits, actions, or proceedings requiring payment by the City in excess of $5,000.
(Amended by Ordinance No. 165112, effective February 26, 1992.) The City Attorney is authorized to waive on behalf of the City potential conflicts of interest of private legal counsel retained by the City if the City Attorney determines the waiver to be in the City’s interest.
(Repealed by Ordinance No. 165112, effective February 26, 1992.)