Troy-based firm selected as new Clawson city prosecutors

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published January 20, 2016

 Troy attorney Eric Goetz is one of the new prosecutors representing the city of Clawson. As a city prosecutor, Goetz and Renis Nushaj will handle jury and nonjury trials, as well as appeals of any conviction to the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Troy attorney Eric Goetz is one of the new prosecutors representing the city of Clawson. As a city prosecutor, Goetz and Renis Nushaj will handle jury and nonjury trials, as well as appeals of any conviction to the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Photo provided by Goetz-Nushaj PLLC

CLAWSON — The Clawson City Council approved a new contract recently with Goetz-Nushaj PLLC to serve as the community’s prosecution team.

The Troy-based law firm began with the city following the New Year’s holiday.

“We’re very excited about working with everyone at Clawson,” said attorney Erich Goetz. 

Clawson Police Chief Harry Anderson said that as prosecuting attorneys, the firm will handle all of the city’s civil infractions and ordinance violations at 52-4 District Court.

The responsibilities under the prosecution service agreement also involve the handling of trials — jury and nonjury — as well as appeals of any conviction to the Oakland County Circuit Court and the Michigan Court of Appeals.

Anderson said that in their capacity as the city prosecutors, Goetz and Renis Nushaj must establish a good working relationship with police officers, court staff, code officers and the City Council.

The City Council unanimously approved the contract with the firm Dec. 15. The firm signed a two-year contract with annual compensation of $22,000.

City Attorney Jon Kingsepp said the contract outlines what’s required of the prosecutors, and they will report quarterly –– if not monthly –– back to the city.

“I believe this firm … will provide quality service to the court, which the court does expect from us, and provide quality service to the officers, and training, which they look forward to,” Kingsepp said. “And that came up in our discussions about things the officers would like to have as far as in-service training.”

An initial request for proposals to serve as the city’s prosecutors was placed on the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys website and sent via letter to local law firms.

Kingsepp said 11 responses were received and interviews were conducted with the top six candidates. Kingsepp said the top three firms were unanimously selected before deciding on Goetz-Nushaj.

An administrative team consisting of Anderson, Clawson Police Department Lt. Scott Sarvello, City Manager Mark Pollock and Kingsepp reviewed the applications.

The responses were reviewed independently of one another and Kingsepp said each team member came up with the same firms to interview.

Kingsepp said the primary reason why five firms were not interviewed was because their proposals did not meet the criteria.

“The goal here was to have the city have control over what the level of prosecution services would be so they could determine it by budget every year,” Kingsepp said.

At the conclusion of the interviews, Kingsepp said, the administrative team members each decided independently of one another on a top-three list; Kingsepp said that Goetz-Nushaj topped each one.

“Their statement to us was, ‘We’re not in this for the money, we’re in this for the commitment that we believe we have to the city of Clawson, because we’re familiar with Clawson, we’re near Clawson, we have a good relationship with police,’” Kingsepp said. “And the police confirmed that. They have a very good relationship with them.

“And so there was enough separate features identifying this firm that distinguished them from the others.”

Anderson agreed that the firm was the top choice.

“In the end, all the team members were unanimous in our decision,” he said.

Anderson said that in addition to their professional background, both men clerked in district court.

“They are known in the legal community as exceptional attorneys,” Anderson said. “And Mr. Goetz and Mr. Nushaj will be a great fit for the city of Clawson.”