City Attorney Dawn King takes her oath of office Oct. 28 inside the council chambers at Southfield City Hall.

City Attorney Dawn King takes her oath of office Oct. 28 inside the council chambers at Southfield City Hall.

Photo provided by the city of Southfield


King appointed as city attorney in Southfield

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published November 20, 2019

SOUTHFIELD — City officials appointed a new staff member recently.

At an Oct. 28 meeting, the Southfield City Council voted 5-0 to appoint Dawn King as the city attorney upon a recommendation from Mayor Ken Siver. Councilwoman Linnie Taylor and Councilman Donald Fracassi were not at the meeting.

King’s appointment comes on the heels of the resignation of previous City Attorney Elizabeth Rae O’Donnell. The appointment took effect Nov. 9.

“This is a happy moment. It’s also a little bittersweet. Our city attorney, Beth Rae, who has been with us for a year, has taken another position. … We really appreciate everything Beth has done,” Siver said at the meeting.

Siver said in a prepared statement that King has extensive knowledge of municipal law, in addition to her outstanding character, ethics and integrity.

“For those of you who don’t know, Dawn has been kind of a quiet person, but she’s a real worker, very dependable. She’s been with the legal department since 2003 as an assistant city attorney, and it was last year that we promoted her to deputy city attorney.”

According to city officials, King is a highly experienced attorney with over 18 years of municipal law experience.

City officials said daily responsibilities of the city attorney include directing and defending all litigation for the city as requested by the City Council; drafting, reviewing and negotiating all city contracts; supervising legal, administrative support and clerical staff members within the department; selecting and monitoring all outside counsel; attending all council meetings; advising the council and department heads on all legal matters; providing  direction in labor negotiations; drafting and monitoring warrant requests for the Police Department; managing prosecution assignments for criminal, traffic and other civil ordinance infractions; and implementing strategies for federal and state regulatory compliance/protocols.

“I am really pleased to be in this position, and as Mayor Siver stated, Beth Rae has been awesome, not just in this last year but when I first came in 2003, and she’s been a great mentor. I’m going to miss her, and I’ll probably start crying, but I know where she lives and her cellphone number,” King joked at the meeting. “So I’m really pleased and I look forward to serving the City Council.”

King earned her law degree from Thomas Cooley School of Law. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Michigan State University.