CivilDivision The Civil Division of the County Attorney’s Office is responsible for the day-to-day legal representation of the county, its commissioners, administrators and department staff. Because the county’s governmental activities are broad in scope, the Civil Division’s work is consequently varied. Highlights from the Civil Division’s work in 2016 follow. Nearly every year, the Civil Division is called on to provide guidance relative to the drafting and adoption of new county ordinances. This year, the county adopted Ordinance 64, “Management and Permitting of All-Terrain Vehicles within the Public Right-of-Way of Roads under the County’s Jurisdiction.” Kim Maki, the head of the Civil Division, worked closely with the Public Works Department and County Administration to ensure that the ordinance was well-reasoned, based on sound legal principles, and easy to administer. The Civil Division is also involved in ensuring that the county is in compliance with its statutory obligations. Most notably in 2016, Nora Sandstad worked with county leadership to update the county’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) policy. She also compiled the county’s data inventory, which is required by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, and monitors developing law that could affect the county’s efforts to protect private and confidential data. As the county undertakes new construction projects, the Civil Division is responsible for ensuring the county’s acquisition and due diligence activities are conducted in a legally and fiscally prudent manner. In late 2016, Tim Tysdal provided legal guidance and representation in the county’s multi- million dollar acquisition of two land parcels near the city of Cook, Minnesota, on which the county will eventually construct a new Public Works facility. A recent initiative of the Board of Commissioners is the elimination of blight from tax-forfeited properties. Tom Stanley has provided legal advice and guidance relative to this initiative to the Planning and Community Development Department. Along with Tysdal, Stanley has also assisted the Planning and Community Development and Land and Minerals Departments in the revision of county policy concerning the processing and sale of tax-forfeited properties. In 2016, the county was a party to a number of lawsuits, and through the work of Nick Campanario, several of these cases were resolved favorably to the county. The most significant, a tax case in which Blandin Paper Company petitioned for large reduction in the valuation of its property, was decided in the county’s favor by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Additionally, the county was successful in two Minnesota Court of Appeals cases and three federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals cases. Through a contract for legal services, the Civil Division also provides legal representation to Arrowhead Regional Corrections (ARC). Jim Nephew provides legal advice to the ARC Board and staff, and he assisted ARC as it hired new department heads for its two major correctional facilities, the Northeast Regional Corrections Center (NERCC) and the Arrowhead Juvenile Center (AJC). Finally, as always, contract drafting and review is a steady source of work for the Civil Division attorneys. In 2016, the division reviewed and executed more than 875 contracts, enabling the county to fulfill its duties relative to public safety, infrastructure, taxation, and myriad other obligations and goals. With more than 105 years of combined legal experience, the Civil Division will continue to use its knowledge, expertise, and wisdom to serve the county and its citizens in 2017 and the future. CIVIL DIVISION Kim Maki Civil Division Head Duluth Office: Nick Campanario Jim Nephew Nora Sandstad Thomas Stanley TimothyTysdal 5 WWW.STLOUISCOUNTYMN.GOV/COUNTYATTORNEY