Council signs contract with new city attorney

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Littleton City Council voted unanimously June 11 to contract with Ken Fellman, a partner in the Denver law firm of Kissinger & Fellman P.C., to serve as Littleton’s city attorney at a rate of $200 an hour. He will remain an employee of his firm, not of the city.

Fellman’s practice emphasizes local government representation, particularly general local government, telecommunications and utilities law. He is an adjunct professor at the University Of Colorado College Of Law, where he teaches telecommunications law and policy.

Fellman earned his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College Of Law.

He’s had experience on the other side of the dais, as well, having served on Arvada City Council from 1993 until 1999. He was subsequently elected mayor, and served in that capacity until 2007.

Fellman will attend all council meetings and provide additional legal services as directed by council. Assistant City Attorney Kristin Schledorn will remain in the office full time to deal with routine matters. Legal administrator Becky Phye and the prosecutor’s legal administrator, Debbie Patton, will continue to serve in their existing capacities.

Fellman is Littleton’s second city attorney since council fired Suzanne Staiert, on the same day she filed an EEOC complaint against the city in September 2011. She received $143,000 upon leaving and went on to become deputy secretary of state.

She was followed as city attorney by Kirsten Crawford, who signed a “Resignation and Severance Agreement” in February that gave her six months’ salary plus benefits upon her resignation, three months more than her contract required if she had been fired. In exchange, she agreed to release the city from “any and all actions, claims and demands which exist” as of the date of the agreement.

Penny said in March, during a discussion with council about how to replace Crawford, that the recent turnover might lead potential candidates to view the position as in flux, resulting in less desirable applicants wanting more incentives to take the job.

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