110 Myrtle Avenue, Room 311
Westport CT 06880
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The Town Attorney is charged by the Charter of the Town of Westport with being the "legal advisor for the Town and all departments, boards, commissions and officers of the town relating to their official duties."
In this role, the Town Attorney, upon written request, provides to these officials a written opinion on any question of law involving their respective powers and duties.
The Town Attorney has frequent meetings or telephone calls with the First Selectman, Planning and Zoning Director, other town officials, and members of the town's various boards and commissions.
The Town Attorney also appears from time to time at various public meetings to advise the board or commission conducting the meeting.
The Town Attorney prepares or approves forms of contracts or other instruments to which the town is a party or in which it has an interest.
At the direction of the First Selectman, the Town Attorney appears for the town or any of its officers, boards and commissions in any action brought by or against it or them in their official capacities and prosecutes or defends, appeals, compromises, or settles the same with the approval of the officer, board or commission involved in the action. Most of these cases are handled by the Town Attorney or members of his private law firm.
The Charter also authorizes the First Selectman to appoint such assistant Town Attorneys as may be necessary. At present, Westport has one full-time assistant Town Attorney in the Town Attorney's offices in Town Hall.
In addition to duties spelled out in the Charter, the Town Attorney's office staff is involved in the following:
- Issuance of vendor permits (in cooperation with the staff of the First Selectman's office) for itinerant or temporary businesses such as ice cream vendors and auctioneers, and vendors who sell balloons, etc., at the Memorial Day parade, for examples
- Processing, forwarding to the State Department of Environmental Protection of applications from Westporters seeking financial assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to raise their homes out of a flood-prone area. This includes some follow-up with the DEP office and distribution of checks to recipients of such FEMA aid
- Receiving and forwarding to the town's insurance agency any claims made against the town for property damage and/or bodily injury allegedly due to defective roadways or public sidewalks, improper operation of a Town-owned vehicle, etc. The issue is settled by one of the town's several insurance carriers, depending on the nature of the case. In the event of litigation, the insurance carrier assigns an attorney to represent them
- Acting as the ADA compliance officer