The City Attorney is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Rochester City Council. City Attorney Terry Adkins assumed the office on December 17, 1990, and has served since that time. City Attorney Adkins is the longest serving City Attorney since the City was incorporated in 1858.
The Rochester City Attorney’s Office is composed of seven attorneys and five support staff members. The Office is divided into a Civil Division and a Criminal Division. Some of the attorneys are assigned to both divisions.
The Civil Division provides day-to-day professional legal advice, representation, guidance and counsel to the Mayor and City Council, the City Administrator, the various operating departments within the City, and City boards and commissions. Civil Division attorneys (1) attend City Council meetings and meetings of various committees, boards and commissions; (2) draft ordinances, resolutions, contracts, deeds, leases, advisory opinions and other legal documents; (3) process claims brought against the City and its officers and employees; and (4) represent the City and its officers before state and federal judicial and administrative agencies in all civil litigation proceedings.
The Criminal Division prosecutes all petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor and some gross misdemeanor criminal cases occurring within the City. The City Attorney does not prosecute any felony cases. (The Olmsted County Attorney prosecutes all felony cases occurring anywhere in Olmsted County.) The City Attorney also provides assistance to victims of criminal offenses.