Civil Division

Department of Law

Civil Division

Litigation: Represents the City in matters pending in various forums, including matters involving civil-rights and police misconduct claims, contracts and construction disputes, environmental issues, and First-Amendment matters. It defends the City in negligence actions and pursues claims where the City is a victim of property damage.

  • Chief Assistant Director of Law: (Vacant)

Labor and Employment: Counsels City departments on labor and employment matters, defends departments in employment litigation and administrative hearings, and negotiates with labor unions.

  • Chief Assistant Director of Law: Mark V. Webber 

Operations & Sustainability: Protects the health of residents and the environment, and provides environmental support for Brownfield projects and development at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. In addition, this section counsels and represents the City's electric and water utilities and airports.

  • Chief Assistant Director of Law: Geraldine Butler

Code Enforcement: Fights for residents' quality of life through enforcement of the City's housing, building, fire, health, and zoning codes. This section counsels and represents the Department of Building & Housing with respect to code enforcement.

  • Chief Assistant Director of Law: Michele Comer

House Counsel: Counsels the City regarding municipal law and finances, drafts legislation and contracts, and prosecutes tax cases.

  • Chief Assistant Director of Law: Stephanie Melnyk

Development: Helps the City's economic-development efforts by counseling and crafting real-estate and development transactions for job creation. The Law Department’s Development section counsels and represents the City Departments of Community Development, Economic Development, and Port Control (airports).

  • Chief Assistant Director of Law: Richard Bertovich

Public Safety: Counsels the Department of Public Safety, including the Divisions of Police, Fire, and Emergency Management Services, in all areas of law.

  • Chief Assistant Director of Law: William Menzalora


Public Records: All records of the City of Cleveland are public, except those exempted by the Ohio Revised Code. It is City policy that records will be organized and maintained so they are available for inspection and copying, as stated by law. The City Law Department receives nearly 25,000 public records requests per year. 

Claims: The City Law Department processes legal claims that include vehicle and property damage, as well as utility claims.