Coon Rapids City Manager Matt Fulton did not have to look far to find a new city attorney for the city of Coon Rapids.
Assistant City Attorney David Brodie has been appointed to succeed Stoney Hiljus, who left in April after being appointed a judge in the 10th Judicial District.
Brodie had been named interim city attorney by Fulton following Hiljus’ departure.
To search for Hiljus’ successor, Fulton advertised the position statewide, but not outside Minnesota.
From 18 applicants, four were interviewed before Brodie was chosen, according to Fulton.
“Dave has great legal experience and has been with the city attorney’s office for some time,” Fulton said.
While Brodie has focused on criminal prosecutions for the city attorney’s office, he has also done a variety of civil work and has been very helpful with the neighborhood reinvestment program, he said.
Born and raised in Faribault, where his parents still live, Brodie graduated from Faribault High School in 1987 and from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 1992 where he majored in history and economics.
“But I always had a high interest in law as a career,” Brodie said.
He earned his law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, in 1995.
Brodie got his first job that year at the Fridley law firm of Newquist and Ekstrum, now Newquist and Herrick following Bill Ekstrum’s appointment as a judge.
Much of his work at that Newquist and Ekstrum involved prosecuting cases for the cities of Fridley and Hilltop. The firm had the contracts to provide legal services for the two cities, Brodie said.
But Brodie also did some civil work during his tenure with the law firm, he said.
He joined the Coon Rapids City Attorney’s Office in 2004 after Tammi Fredrickson was promoted from assistant city attorney to city attorney when Al Hofstedt retired.
Fredrickson was later appointed a judge in the 10th Judicial District.
What attracted Brodie to the assistant city attorney job was the opportunity to work in the only in-house city attorney’s office in Anoka County, he said.
He has continued to prosecute gross misdemeanor and misdemeanor cases.
Indeed, between Brodie and Assistant City Attorney Doug Johnson, they have handled an estimated 3,500 criminal prosecutions a year, including 300 DWI (driving while impaired) offenses, he said.
“That’s a lot of cases, although not many go to trial,” Brodie said.
But he has also had the opportunity to become involved in civil work, notably as attorney for the city’s Board of Adjustment and Appeals, which among other functions, deals with appeals of assessments placed on properties for unpaid administrative fines from code enforcement violations as well as appeals from administration citations.
According to Brodie, he sought the city attorney’s job because he thought it would be “a natural progression in my career.”
It will also be a “different path” because he will not be handling criminal cases anymore, Brodie said.
His primary job will be to act as legal counsel – he will attend all Coon Rapids City Council meetings unless on vacation – and city departments.
“I am looking forward to it,” Brodie said. “I think it will be enjoyable.”
As city attorney, he will have an open door policy for staff to come in and discuss legal issues, Brodie said.
And Brodie wants to be proactive in dealing with any potential legal issues early on before they happen, he said.
Brodie and his wife, Lori, a licensed social worker who recently started a new job with Catholic Charities, have two children, Olivia, 14, and Aric, 12.
His hobbies and interests include sports – he is a runner- the outdoors and camping.
With Brodie’s appointment as city attorney, the city now has a vacancy for a second assistant city attorney.
When Hiljus left, the city contracted out for an outside attorney to handle a third of its criminal prosecutions, Brodie said.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]