City Attorney Overview

Fiscal Year 2021/22

Mission Statement

To ensure the legality of the official business of the City of Tucson and protect the best interests of the City by providing effective and timely legal services to the Mayor and Council, the City Manager, and all City departments. The City Attorney's Office shall promote the safety of Tucson's citizens and support local law enforcement by pursuing justice in the prosecution of criminal offenses.


The following programs are included in this department:

Staffing By Program

*Full Time Equivalent Employee (FTE)

Budget By Program

Department Expenses

Budget By Expense Category

Budget By Funding Source

Significant Changes

The adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2021/22 of $8,699,380 reflects a net increase of $42,390 from the Fiscal Year 2020/21 Adopted Budget. Major changes include the following:

  • Increase in salary and employee related expenses by* $300,960
  • Decrease in COVID-19 disaster relief funding by $225,000

*1.5 new Principal Assistant Attorney full-time equivalent employees have been added to the Fiscal Year 2021/22 Adopted Budget.


The last eighteen months have been influenced to an extraordinary degree by a global pandemic. Due to the nature of the City Attorney’s office, nearly all the department’s expenses are personnel related. The starting salary for attorneys and support staff has been raised based on the market rate analysis, and now the department offers competitive starting salaries that exceed those offered by adjacent municipalities. The hope is that the raises in salaries will increase the ability to recruit and retain qualified employees.


The productivity and responsiveness of the department has remained high even in the face of compelled changes in the department’s work model due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the Internal Litigation Unit, litigation strategies, including an aggressive motions practice aimed at dismissing or narrowing cases in the pre-trial stages; early evaluation of liability exposure to identify reasonable settlement opportunities; and taking defensible cases to trial where reasonable settlement terms cannot be reached, continue to produce successful results.

Future Objectives

With the assistance of Business Services - Risk Management Division and the City Manager's Office, City Attorney continues to maintain resources in the litigation unit to keep more cases in house rather than assigning them to outside counsel. The City Attorney's Office will continue to work with City partners (Public Defender, City Courts) to administer prosecutions efficiently while reducing jail and other costs.