Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced today her nomination of Yohance Christie, a Deputy Public Defender in Lancaster County for over ten years, to serve as the next City Attorney. Current City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick's contract recently expired. With City Council confirmation, Christie will begin his new job July 21.
Christie is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law and a former faculty member with Gideon's Promise, a nonprofit organization working to transform the criminal justice system. He earned his J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2009.
"Mr. Christie has spent his career ensuring that the rights afforded by our judicial system are fulfilled," said Mayor Gaylor Baird. "I appreciate his strong advocacy for prosecutorial reform, which will be a focus of his work as City Attorney. I'm delighted to have him join our City leadership team."
"I am excited to work with such a great, experienced and dedicated staff at the City Attorney's office," Christie said. "So many of them have dedicated their entire lives to public service. I am excited to continue my journey serving the residents of Lincoln with them."
Christie is an active community volunteer, serving as President of the Board of Directors for Family Service, as a Board Member for Civic Nebraska and as a member of the Lincoln Bar Association Board of Trustees. He is a Past President of the Robert Van Pelt Inns of Court and currently serves on their Executive Committee, as well as a member of the UNL College of Law Dean's Advisory Board, the Nebraska Appleseed Litigation Committee, and the NAACP Lincoln Chapter.
Mayor Gaylor Baird thanked Kirkpatrick for his leadership. "Jeff has ably served the City of Lincoln in the Law Department for ten years," she said. "As a community, we are grateful for his work as our City Attorney for the past six years. I thank him for his dedicated service."
The Lincoln Municipal Code provides that the Mayor appoints the City Attorney with approval of the City Council. The City Attorney is subject to reappointment each succeeding two years following initial appointment.
The City Attorney is the legal advisor to the Mayor, the City Council, and city officers, and the director of the City Law Department. The Law Department provides legal advice to the Mayor, City Council, city departments, committees and commissions. The office also initiates and defends legal action on behalf of the City. More information is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: city attorney).