Understanding The Roll of Corporation Counsel.

There is a section in the city charter set aside for Corporation Counsel,
Section 5.13.  Corporation Counsel–Function and Duties.

(a)   There shall be a Corporation Counsel who shall be appointed by the Mayor subject however, to the approval and consent of the Council and he shall be and remain a member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan and shall perform the following duties and responsibilities;
(b)   He shall act as legal advisor to the Mayor and the Council in matters relating to their official duties and shall give legal opinions concerning affairs of the City to the Council and the Mayor, which opinions shall be in writing and a copy thereof shall be filed with the City Clerk;
(c)   He shall prosecute and defend, in the name of the City, all cases in all courts and before all legally constituted tribunals whenever the City is a party thereto;
(d)   Upon request of the Mayor and/or the Council, he shall prepare or officially pass upon all contracts, bonds and other instruments in writing in which the City is concerned and shall certify, before execution, as to their legality and correctness of form;
(e)   He shall file in the office of the City Clerk the original copy of all franchises granted by the City, and of all papers constituting a part of the proceedings in all courts or legally constituted tribunals to which the City is a party together with the proper data and information concerning the same;
(f)   He shall be charged with the responsibility of calling to the attention of the Council and the Mayor all matters of law and changes of developments therein affecting the City;
(g)   He shall perform such other and further duties as may be prescribed by this Charter, the Council or the Mayor;
(h)   He shall act as legal advisor to and for each and every one of the several departments, commissions, boards, administrative offices and agencies of the City as directed by the Council or the Mayor;
(i)   He may appoint, subject to the Mayor’s approval, such assistant or assistants corporation counsel as he deems necessary to carry out the proper functions of his office;
(j)   The Mayor or the City Council may retain special legal counsel to appear Of Counsel to the Corporation Counsel for the purpose of assisting the Corporation Counsel for a special matter and for such limited time and purpose as the Mayor or Council shall specify;
(k)   The Corporation Counsel and any assistants that may be engaged pursuant to the provisions of this Charter shall receive such compensation as may be determined by the Council from time to time;
(l)   The Corporation Counsel and assistants thereafter appointed shall be a resident (and qualified elector) of the City of Dearborn Heights.

I think section (f) is very interesting he is responsibility for calling to attention to the Council, and the Mayor all matters of law affecting the City. doesn’t a violation of the city charter, and union contract, qualifies as something maybe he was supposed to point out to them.

In Section (g) we find our answer as to how he was able to bring write, and add to the agenda a motion for creating a new department.


From the Agenda on 10-13-2009


A.   From Library Director Mccaffery – Matter re:  Grant Announcement.

B.   From Comptroller Barrow – Matter re:  Budget Amendment for Incinerator Property Purchase.

C.      From Recreation Director Grybel – Matter re:  Recreation Commission Reappointments.

D.      From Deputy Recreation Director Constan – Matter re:  SMART Contract.

E.      From Police Chief Gavin – Matter re:  Request to Purchase Gun Range Equipment.

F.      From Corporation Counsel – Matter re:  Establishment of Department of Mayoral Communications.



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