As the civil legal advisor for the County Administrator, the County Board and the committees and departments of Sheboygan County, the mission of the Corporation Counsel is to provide County policy makers and administrators with legal counsel of the highest caliber and to do so with integrity, respect, courtesy, promptness, and the highest adherence to professional ethics.
SUMMARY of RESPONSIBILITIES:
The responsibilities of the Corporation Counsel are set forth in Wis. Stat. § 59.42 and Chapter 42 of the Code of General Ordinances of Sheboygan County. The responsibilities are to provide all civil legal services that the County may require on any matter that is not covered by County insurance or as may otherwise be assigned. The categories of such services include:
- Advise, counsel, and represent the County Administrator, the County Board, committees, boards, commissions, officers, and department heads, and where appropriate, other County employees and agents.
- Prepare and review Resolutions, Ordinances, directives, and other legal documents to assure completeness and correctness.
- Attend all County Board meetings and serve as parliamentarian, providing interpretation and explanation of County Board rules.
- Interpret the powers and duties of the Board, County officers, and committees.
- Function as liaison between the judicial and legislative and administrative branches of County government.
- Draft, negotiate, and approve contracts and leases executed by the County and review construction bids, contracts, and bonds.
- Prosecute and defend civil actions not covered by County insurance and in which the County is a party in interest.
- Provide representation before the Equal Rights Division, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, and other state and federal agencies as required by the County Board.
- Meet periodically with the Human Resources Committee to review pending claims and litigation and to summarize legal services being provided to the County.
- Review County policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal, state, and County requirements.
- Assist the County Treasurer in preparing, instituting, and completing annual litigation for in rem. foreclosure of tax liens.
- Provide oversight to the legal functions being performed on behalf of the County with respect to paternity establishment and child support enforcement and with respect to mental health commitments.
Historically, the functions of Corporation Counsel for Sheboygan County have been performed by a private law firm on a contract basis. The law firm is Hopp Neumann Humke LLP. This contact was been periodically reviewed and renewed by the County. By agreement with the Human Resources Committee and the County Administrator, Attorney Carl K. Buesing is the designated Sheboygan County Corporation Counsel and lead contact person. Attorney Buesing also has been named by the County Administrator to serve on his informal "cabinet" of key advisors.
Attorney Buesing and Attorney Crystal Fieber are the firm members who primarily handle the duties of the Corporation Counsel. Other firm members assist intermittently with County business including Attorney Phil Mueller who provides guidance to the County Treasurer, Attorney Herb Humke who assists in litigation, Attorney Michael Bauer who works on public records and open meetings issues, Attorney Oliver Bauer who focuses on real estate and environmental protection matters, and Attorney Paul Dirkse who supports the County mental health and child support enforcement functions. The overall services provided to the County are coordinated by Dianne Hohenstern, legal assistant.
Attorney Buesing is a member of the Wisconsin Association of County Corporation Counsels and served several terms as its Treasurer.
Specific information about Hopp Neumann Humke LLP and its attorneys can be found on the firm website at www.Hopplaw.com.
Inquiries about specific files with respect to paternity establishment, child support enforcement and mental health commitments should be made to Attorney Mary Theisen at 459-3156.