City Attorney's Office

The mission of the City Attorney’s Office is dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services, advice and representation to the City Council, City Manager and City departments. Our office is comprised of the City Attorney and an Assistant City Attorney. We are tasked with addressing the City’s various legal needs, ranging from administrative hearings to zoning. The Assistant City Attorney is also the City Prosecutor and responsible for the prosecution of the misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes that occur within the City limits.

Responsibilities

The City Attorney is appointed by the City Manager. As the City’s chief legal adviser, the City, the City Attorney:

  • Advises and represents city elected and appointed officials, departments, boards, commissions, and task-forces on all civil legal matters pertaining to the City of Ellensburg
  • Represents the city government in its day-to-day operations
  • Intakes and processes record requests (other than Ellensburg Police Department)
  • Reviews, drafts and negotiates contracts to which the City is a party
  • Drafts and reviews proposed legislative enactments of the City Council, i.e., ordinances and resolutions

Prosecution of Criminal Cases

The Assistant City Attorney acts as the City Prosecutor to represent the City in its misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases filed in Kittitas County Lower District Court. The City Prosecutor also drafts criminal ordinances, monitors state criminal justice legislation of interest to the City, reviews referred police reports for criminal charging decisions and represents the City in all phases of criminal prosecution, from arraignment to sentencing and appeal.

Whom to Contact with Questions

Citizens who have questions about city ordinances should call the city department involved. It is the departments, not the City Attorney’s Office, who administer the application of ordinances. If the department has questions about how an ordinance applies in a particular situation, the department will contact the City Attorney’s Office for legal advice.

Private Representation

The City Attorney’s Office does not represent the individual citizens of the city in private matters such as criminal defense, landlord/tenant issues, private property issues, recovery of loan money, divorce issues, recovery of wages from an employer, child custody issues, etc. For matters such as these, the citizen would need to contact and consult with a private attorney, or contact the Washington State Bar Association Lawyer Referral Services at Find Legal Help .

City Code

Citizens can view and search ordinances in the Ellensburg City Code online. A hard copy of the City Code is available at the Ellensburg Public Library, 209 N. Ruby Street, Ellensburg, WA 98926.

Public Records

The City Attorney is the City’s Public Records Officer, appointed per RCW 42.56.580. Public records requests can be made online here.  You can specify in the online form whether you are requesting general City records or police department records.  Records requests can also be made in person or by telephone to the appropriate City department that may have the records.