City of Freeport, Illinois


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Corporation Counsel

Sarah Griffin
Corporation Counsel

City Hall Building
524 West Stephenson St
Suite 310
Freeport, IL 61032

Phone: (815) 235-8205
Fax: (815) 235-8874
Email: sgriffin

Legal Department Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday


To provide legal service to the community in the most cost effective, ethical manner possible, by carrying out the directives of the Mayor and City Council within available budget constraints in an organized and forthright way.

Duties and responsibilities:

(a) Superintend and conduct all the legal affairs of the City;

(b) Be the legal adviser of the City in all matters connected with the administration of the City Government;

(c) Prepare all ordinances required by Council, or by any committee thereof;

(d) Prepare all leases, deeds, contracts and other legal instruments for the City, or any department thereof;

(e) Furnish written or oral legal opinions on subjects connected with the administration of the City Government, when requested by the Mayor, Council, any committee of Council or any department;

(f) Have control of all litigation in which the City is in any way interested. No suits on behalf of the City, except prosecutions for the recovery of fines and penalties, or for breaches of City ordinances, shall be instituted or dismissed without its approval and direction.

(g) Attend all meetings of Council;

(h) Take appeals in all cases where, in its opinion, the interests of the City require it;

(i) Prosecute or defend all appeals in which the City is in any way interested;

(j) For the purpose of prosecuting or defending any litigation or appeal, make and execute all necessary pleadings, affidavits or other documents;

(k) Defend all suits against the City, or any of its officers, and all cases in which the interests of the City, or official acts of any officer or agent of the City, are involved;

(l) Prosecute all actions for the violation of any ordinances of the City, and for the recovery of fines and penalties;

(m) Cause executions to be issued on judgments, and attend to their prompt collection;

(n) Be entitled to all the privileges of an Alderperson, except the privilege of voting, upon all questions, resolutions or motions before Council, enacting, amending, repealing or in any manner affecting any ordinance or resolution;

(o) Take all steps necessary to collect delinquent special taxes and assessments, and render such assistance as is necessary to the State's Attorney of Stephenson County, in the collection of delinquent taxes and assessments;

(p) Be entitled to collect, on behalf of the City, reasonable attorneys' fees for the time expended by any of its employees in any civil lawsuit brought to collect a debt or obligation owed to the City, other than for the prosecution of any ordinance violation. The hourly rate for such attorneys' fees shall not exceed the actual costs to the City for the compensation and benefits of the employees, including, but not limited to, the appropriated office expenses of the Legal Department.


There are over 18,000 pages of Ordinances for the City of Freeport.

Each year approximately 150 Ordinances and Resolutions are drafted by the Corporation Counsel’s office.

Over $250,000 of fines are prosecuted through the Corporation Counsel’s office each year.


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Freeport City Hall
524 W. Stephenson St.
Freeport, IL 61032
Phone: 815-235-8200 or 815-235-8203