For Fiscal Year 2017, the adopted budget for the Office of County Attorney is $4.6 million with 33 positions.
The County Attorney is responsible for providing legal services, characterized by a variety and complexity of litigation, legal interpretation, and knowledge and practice of administrative law. The County Attorney is also responsible for administration of staff. The County Attorney or assistants attend all meetings of the Board of County Commissioners.
Some examples of the work performed by the County Attorney are to provide legal opinions on matters relating to administration of County government; represent the County and its elected officials in litigation; prepare proposed legislation; supervise the work of Assistant County Attorneys; and prepare or examine a variety of legal documents such as contracts, leases and deeds.
The Pinellas County Charter provides that the County Attorney shall be responsible for the representation of County government, the Board of County Commissioners, the County Administrator, Constitutional Officers and all other departments, divisions, regulatory boards and advisory boards of County government in all legal matters relating to their official responsibilities. The County Attorney shall prosecute and defend all civil actions for and on behalf of County government and shall review all ordinances, resolutions, contracts, bonds and other written instruments. In addition, the County Attorney manages outside legal counsel for matters involving a conflict or unsupported legal specialty areas.
The County Attorney is appointed by the County Attorney Oversight Committee and is directly responsible to the Board of County Commissioners.
The County Charter was amended in 2016 to create a County Attorney Oversight Committee, consisting of the seven County Commissioners and five Constitutional Officers. The Committee is responsible for the selection, termination and annual review of the County Attorney.