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Biography of Tearman Spencer, Milwaukee City Attorney:
Introduction: Tearman Spencer, a trailblazer in the legal and political arena, assumed the role of Milwaukee City Attorney on April 21, 2020, following his election on April 7, 2020. His historic victory marked a significant milestone as he became the first African American to hold the position of City Attorney in Milwaukee, underlining his dedication to breaking barriers and promoting inclusivity.
Early Life and Education: Tearman Spencer’s journey began with a commitment to education and justice. Born and raised with a strong sense of community, he pursued his legal studies with fervor. Spencer earned his law degree from [University Law School], honing the skills that would later define his career.
Legal Career: Before his entry into public service, Spencer built a reputable legal career, showcasing his dedication to justice and advocacy. His experience in [mention any notable law firms or organizations] equipped him with the expertise and insight necessary for the challenges of public office.
Political Career: In April 2020, Tearman Spencer made history by securing the position of Milwaukee City Attorney. His election not only marked a personal achievement but also symbolized progress for the city. As the first African American to hold this office, Spencer brought a fresh perspective and a commitment to representing all residents.
Vision and Values: At the core of Tearman Spencer’s mission is the unwavering commitment to being a voice for the voiceless. He envisions the City Attorney’s Office and Milwaukee as havens where everyone feels equally welcomed and protected by the law. Spencer’s dedication to inclusivity and justice reflects in his initiatives aimed at fostering a sense of belonging for all residents.
Social Media Presence: Stay connected with Tearman Spencer through his official social media accounts:
Follow these accounts for updates on his work, community engagements, and initiatives to promote equality and justice.
In the News: Explore articles and news features on Tearman Spencer’s journey and accomplishments:
- “Breaking Barriers: Tearman Spencer’s Historic Election as Milwaukee City Attorney”
- “Championing Equality: Tearman Spencer’s Vision for Milwaukee”
- “Voices Heard: Tearman Spencer’s Advocacy for the Vulnerable”
Tearman Spencer’s leadership continues to shape Milwaukee’s legal landscape, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s history and inspiring future generations.
Office of the City Attorney
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To protect the legal interests of the City of Milwaukee and provide quality, timely, and impartial legal services consistent with the highest professional and ethical standards while successfully meeting clients’ needs in accordance with the City Charter and statutory requirements.
Protect the City’s interests in litigation.
Provide legal opinions on matters of significance to municipal corporations.
Manage risk so that liabilities do not disrupt finances.
Provide day to day legal advice to City officials and departments.
Reduce nuisances that detract from neighborhood quality of life.
Prosecute municipal ordinance violations.
Maintain active partnerships with City departments so that legal strategies are consistent with operational needs and coordinated among the different departments.
Maintain exceptional standards of integrity and legal expertise through continuing education, competitive recruitment, and professional opportunities.
Continue to implement neighborhood revitalization legal services including housing crisis response, nuisance abatement, community prosecution, and strategic code enforcement.
Other Community Goals and City Attorney’s Office Objectives:
Improve the City’s fiscal capacity by protecting the City’s interests in litigation and managing risk so that liabilities do not disrupt finances.
Support the City’s interests and policy initiatives.
Develop and sustain legal strategies to promote respect for individual civil liberties and the rule of law.
Sustain safe and healthy neighborhoods by reducing nuisances that detract from quality of life and prosecuting municipal ordinance violations.
The City Attorney’s Office supports the City’s goals of building safe and healthy neighborhoods and improving fiscal capacity. It supports these goals by effectively prosecuting ordinance violations, providing legal services related to housing and neighborhood issues, assisting with economic development and affordable housing efforts, abating nuisances through community prosecution and related efforts, and managing financial liabilities resulting from claims and lawsuits.
Office of the City Attorney
- Claims Dashboard
Office Overview & Organization
Since 1846, the City Attorney has been the lawyer for the City. The City Attorney is elected to serve a four-year term, representing the City, its officials, departments, boards, commissions and other agencies, including: the Milwaukee Board of School Directors (“MBSD”), the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee (“RACM”), the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee (“HACM”), and the Neighborhood Improvement Development Corporation (“NIDC”). The Office of the City Attorney functions as a full service law firm for the City, and has earned the respect of the legal community as being a professional, high quality law office.
By City Charter, the Office of the City Attorney handles City litigation that includes thousands of lawsuits and administrative cases. Assistant City Attorneys litigate civil-rights cases, personal–injury actions, evictions razing cases, labor grievances, contract and construction cases, as well as condemnation and real estate matters. By charter, the office also provides legal advice and opinions to its clients, prepares and reviews City ordinances, resolutions, and opinions, drafts contracts and other legal documents that are required in conducting the business of the city, and prosecutes violations of City ordinances in Municipal Court.
In addition, the Office of the City Attorney collects claims and delinquencies and administers the City’s liability risk-management function and oversees five Special Purpose Accounts: Damages & Claims Fund, Outside Counsel/Expert Witness Fund, Insurance Fund, Collection Contract, and Receivership Fund. The Damages & Claims Fund pays for general liability judgments against the city. The Outside Counsel/Expert Witness Fund is used to retain outside counsel as well as special experts. The Insurance Fund pays city premiums for policies, such as property insurance, auto liability, and public officials bonds. The Collection Contract Fund is used to pay the commissions and fees of outside contractors to collect city receivables and municipal court judgments. The Nuisance Abatement Fund is used to fund expenses related to nuisance abatement and community prosecution.
The Office of the City Attorney is divided into four Legal Sections: Litigation/Employment/Benefits (LEB); Education/Development/Labor (EDL); Ordinance Enforcement/General Services (OE/GS); and Neighborhood Revitalization (NR). Each section consists of approximately 10 Assistant City Attorneys supervised by one of four Deputies. There is also an Administrative/Support Division consisting of approximately 25 support staff.
- LITIGATION/EMPLOYMENT/BENEFITS (LEB)
The LEB Section represents the Annuity & Pension Board and the Employes’ Retirement System, and handles Claims, Deferred Compensation, Personal Injury, Property Damages, Civil Rights Litigation, and Appeals.
- EDUCATION/DEVELOPMENT/LABOR (EDL)
The EDL Section handles Finance, Labor, Inter-Governmental Relations, Legislative Bills, School Board Counseling, the Department of City Development, Licensing, Library and Library Board, Tax Assessor, and Insurance.
- ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT/GENERAL SERVICES (OE/GS)
The OE/GS Section handles Procurement Services, Public Records, Open Meetings, General Contracting, First Amendment, Public Utilities, Bankruptcy, Ordinance Enforcement, and represents the Department of Administration, the Department of Public Works, and the Treasurer’s Office.
- NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION (NR)
The NR Section handles Nuisance Abatement, Community Prosecution, Strong Neighborhoods Program, the Department of Neighborhood Services, Special Joint Committee on Abandoned & Foreclosed Properties, and Building and Zoning Enforcement.
The Administrative/Support Division provides legal support services to the attorneys as well as administrative support in the areas of office management, budget preparation, fiscal management, policy development, purchasing, HR, and systems and technology management.
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