City Attorney's Office

The Mayor and City Council appoint the City Attorney. The City Attorney is legal counsel to the City of Dubuque, and the City is the sole client. The City Attorney provides full legal services to the Mayor and City Council acting as a body, and to those persons or entities empowered by law to act on the City’s behalf, for example, the City Manager, Department Managers, and the City’s Boards and Commissions. The City Attorney cannot respond to requests for legal services from the general public.

The City Attorney renders general and specific legal advice and counsel to the constituent parts of the City of Dubuque government through written opinions premised upon extensive institutional experience, rigorous legal research, and contract drafting.

The City Attorney’s Office also litigates and assists with litigation of cases for the City. Some administrative, trial, and appellate litigation is handled in-house by the City Attorney’s Office while some is handled by outside counsel. Such litigation includes tort and personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, civil rights actions in state and federal courts, constitutional litigation, zoning matters, and eminent domain proceedings.

The City Attorney’s Office also prosecutes violations of the City of Dubuque Code of Ordinances, including criminal simple misdemeanors and civil citations such as violations relating to buildings, housing, zoning, and various licensing requirements.

The City Attorney’s legal counsel and support includes:

  • Preparation of ordinances, contracts, legal opinions, and other legal documents
  • Prosecution of suits and violations on behalf of the City
  • Defending suits and actions against the City
  • Ensuring the City’s compliance with federal, state and local government regulations
  • Managing union relations including collective bargaining, grievances and arbitration
  • Oversight and administration of the Risk Management Program which includes the processing of claims made against the City, and securing appropriate general liability, auto, property, workers compensation, and errors and omission insurance for the City


The City Attorney is assisted by a full-time Assistant City Attorney, a part-time Senior Counsel, a full-time Civil Rights Specialist, a Paralegal, and a Legal Administrative Assistant. Assignments of work to the Assistant City Attorney, Senior Counsel, Civil Rights Specialist, and support staff are made by the City Attorney.

Assistant City Attorney and Senior Counsel

The Assistant City Attorney and Senior Counsel prosecute ordinance and traffic violations, represent City boards and commissions, provide advice and legal opinions to officials, department managers, and City employees, and draft legal documents, memoranda, and opinions.

Civil Rights Specialist

The Civil Rights Specialist accepts, reviews, and investigates complaints of discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, credit, and education and other areas within the city organization and community at-large and performs internal and community education activities; performs related work as required.

Paralegal and Legal Administrative Assistant

The Paralegal and Legal Administrative Assistant in the City Attorney’s Office prepare legal documents, including pleadings, contracts, deeds, and other legal forms, edit correspondence and documents, handle a variety of administrative matters, maintain records, and process citizen claims.

Contact Us

  1. Crenna BrumwellCrenna Brumwell  |  email
    City Attorney
    Phone: 563-589-4113

    Staff Directory

    Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.