The Department of Law, headed by the City's Corporation Counsel, supervises and directs the legal affairs of the City. The Law Department provides legal advice to the Mayor, the City Council and all City officers and Departments. The Law Department also represents all City agencies, such as the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals.
The Department of Law handles all aspects of civil litigation (including personal injury, civil rights, employment-related litigation, environmental matters, tax certiorari proceedings, bankruptcy and contract claims), and administrative proceedings (including workers compensation and grievance arbitrations). The Claims Unit of the Law Department investigates and reviews all claims for property damage and personal injury.
The Law Department is also actively involved in the enforcement of City ordinances including, building codes, zoning ordinances and other laws affecting the use of land and the condition of buildings.
The Law Department approves as to form and legality all contracts and agreements entered into by the City, and approves all other legal instruments in which the City has an interest. The Department takes an active role in the City's economic development activities, public work projects, real estate transactions and other undertakings. The Department prepares all ordinances, local laws and resolutions passed by the City of Mount Vernon City Council, as well as resolutions and findings of fact for the meetings of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals.