City Attorney's Office Performance

The mission of the City Attorney's Office is to protect lives and property and to preserve and enhance the quality of life of the public by delivering effective and high-quality advice, litigation, prosecution, and risk management services that further the City's policies and programs. 

Department Goals

  • Goal 1: Provide high-quality, cost-effective legal advice and services to the City council, boards and commissions, and City departments
  • Goal 2: Protect the interests of the City and its residents by defending the City against damage claims and legal proceedings challenging City actions, and by initiating legal proceedings on behalf of the City when necessary to protect the City's interests.
  • Goal 3: Seek justice and enhance public safety through effective enforcement of laws.
  • Goal 4: Safeguard City property, assets, and employees from loss or damage.

Metric 1: Provide cost-effective in-house litigation services where feasible

This metric represents how the cost of having in house counsel handle litigation compares to hiring outside counsel to handle the litigation.

How was this calculated?

The average hourly rate of all outside counsel hired to represent the City in litigation during the year is calculated. That average hourly rate is then compared to the average hourly cost of in-house litigation counsel. The average hourly rate of in-house litigation counsel includes the salaries, benefits, and overhead of in-house litigation counsel.

Data:
Why is this important?

The Civil Litigation Services program of the City Attorney's Office attempts to provide efficient and cost-effective representation of the City in legal proceedings. Handling as much litigation in house as feasible preserves the City's limited assets. This metric shows that the use of in-house attorneys and staff to handle litigation consistently costs the City less than half the cost of hiring outside counsel.

What are the next steps? 

The City Attorney's Office will continue to prioritize having its Civil Litigation Services program fully staffed at all times and to add additional staff as the opportunity presents.

Contact Name: Nicholas Melissinos

Contact Email: nmelissinos@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6829


Metric 2: Average Time to File or Decline a Criminal Case Referral in Days

This metric represents the number of days it takes a prosecutor to review a criminal case referral to make a charging decision. (i.e. - file charges, decline to file charge, return for further investigation)

How was this calculated?

This was calculated by counting days from receipt of reports from the police department until the decision made by the prosecuting attorney.

Data:
Why is this important?

Our most recent data (from 2018) show that we met our target. The target was an average of 4 days or less from receipt to decision; in 2018 we averaged 3.05 days. The target of 4 days or less is designed to encourage speedy determinations, process offenders into the system quickly, and improve public safety.

What are the next steps? 

We will continue to make reviewing new criminal case referrals a priority, and will periodically assess whether the 4 day or less standard still meets the goals of public safety.

Contact Name: Nicholas Melissinos

Contact Email: nmelissinos@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6829


Metric 3: Property Losses recovered through subrogation

This measure identifies the amount of money the City recovers from responsible third parties that damage city property through our in-house recovery expert.

How was this calculated?

The calculation is: Total amount expended annually to repair or replace City property divided by the total revenue recovered annually from responsible third parties and/or their insurance carrier through Risk Management efforts. For example, with $300K in annual expenditures and $225K in recovery, the calculation is $225K/$300K = 75%

Data:
Why is this important?

For the past two years, we have shown a 70% recovery ratio, which far exceeds the national average of 21%.

The City's inability to identify a responsible party or identify a party with insufficient financial resources to make the City whole is a primary cause of the inability to attain higher percentages. As unsolved property crimes increase in frequency and severity, the percentage may even drop lower. Increases in theft or other crimes like graffiti and uninsured driving diminish the ability to determine the responsible party for recovery.

What are the next steps? 

Additional cameras in high loss areas may improve recovery rates. Also, further collaboration with prosecutors to recover damages as a victim of a crime will show a slight increase in recoveries. Additionally, continuous improvement in the administrative process may result in slight increases over time. 

Contact Name: Nicholas Melissinos

Contact Email: nmelissinos@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6829


Metric 4: Provide cost-effective in-house civil advice where feasible

This metric represents how the cost of having in house counsel handle civil advice compares to hiring outside counsel to handle the civil advice matters.

How was this calculated?

Staff calculate the average hourly rate of all outside counsel hired to advise the City on civil advice matters during the year. This number is then compared to the average hourly cost of in-house counsel. The average hourly rate of in-house civil advice counsel includes the salaries, benefits, and overhead of in-house civil advice counsel.

Data:
Why is this important?

The Civil Advice Division of the City Attorney's Office attempts to provide efficient and cost-effective representation of the City in legal proceedings. Handling as much advice in house as feasible preserves the City's limited assets. This metric shows that the use of in-house attorneys and staff to handle civil advice consistently costs the City less than half the cost of hiring outside counsel.

What are the next steps? 

The City Attorney's Office will continue to prioritize having its Civil Advice Services program fully staffed at all times and to add additional staff as the opportunity presents.

Contact Name: Nicholas Melissinos

Contact Email: nmelissinos@bellevuewa.gov

Contact Phone Number: 425-452-6829