General Counsel Rick Mullaney Guest Blog: City Charter

September 2, 2009 15 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville will be joining us here at Metrojacksonville to explain how and why the Consolidated City government actually works. As the men and women who created Consolidated government are getting older and many of them have passed, taking with them the institutional knowledge that went into the reasoning of our government, Its important to pass on the basic knowledge of our way of Governing. Jacksonville is the only Consolidated government in the State, and the largest Consolidated municipal entity in the US. How does it work? What problems does it solve? After forty years of practice, what changes and unintended consequences have affected the original vision? Rick Mullaney will present the issues and create a dialogue about the issue with you, our readers.

With The Charter Review Commission currently ongoing, this is a historic time to examine the issues solved and created by Consolidated Government.

Rick Mullaney, as the General Counsel for all the independent agencies of government is one of the men most qualified to speak on the issue, and is providing brilliant insight and first hand operational knowledge.

After his basic treatise, the dialogue will begin, keeping in mind that as Counsel, Mullaney can explain, but has ethical obligations not to insert himself into the process of the City.

This should be an awesome opportunity for our readers:  Can't wait!

Stephen Dare.

Richard A. Mullaney is the General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville. After serving as Chief of Staff to former Mayor John Delaney, Mr. Mullaney was appointed General Counsel in 1997 and 1999 by Mayor Delaney and in 2003 and 2007 by Mayor John Peyton. Mr. Mullaney is Jacksonville's longest serving General Counsel.

As General Counsel, Mr. Mullaney is the Chief Legal Officer for Jacksonville's $4.5 billion a year consolidated government and is responsible for a 40 lawyer public law office. The General Counsel's Office is one of the largest law firms in Jacksonville and represents all entities of Jacksonville's consolidated government, including the Mayor and Executive Branch, City Council, 7 independent authorities, 5 constitutional officers, and over 50 Boards and Commissions.

Mr. Mullaney grew up in Jacksonville and attended the University of Florida, receiving a George Smathers debate scholarship and graduating Phi Beta Kappa and number one in the College of Arts and Sciences. In law school at Florida, Mr. Mullaney was Executive Editor of the Law Review, received the Best Oralist Award from the Moot Court Team, and graduated with honors.

Upon graduation from law school, he practiced business litigation with the law firm of Carlton, Fields before joining the State Attorney's Office. He was a prosecutor for ten years, while teaching business law at the University of North Florida and lecturing nationally.

In 1991, he was named Prosecutor of the Year for the State of Florida.

Mr. Mullaney joined the General Counsel's Office in 1991 and has served as legal counsel to the Austin, Delaney and Peyton Administrations. Mr. Mullaney was trial counsel on the Better Jacksonville Plan bond validation trial and Cecil Field referendum, appellate counsel on the School District's high school graduation prayer case, and played a leading role in the creation of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission (JEDC), Preservation Project and the Better Jacksonville Plan. As General Counsel, he has issued ten Binding Legal Opinions, with Opinions on competitive bidding, collective bargaining, zoning, land use, and the authority of the Council Auditor and Mayor.

Mr. Mullaney is a Master in the Chester Bedell Inn of Court (1998-2008) and is "AV" rated by Martindale Hubbell.

In 2003, Mr. Mullaney was named Lawyer of the Year for the City of Jacksonville at the Jacksonville Bar Association annual meeting. Subsequently, as Chairman of Jacksonville's Telecommunications Master Task Force, Mr. Mullaney received IT Florida's statewide award for innovation in technology and received the Good Government Award from the Rotary Club of South Jacksonville.

Mr. Mullaney is Chairman of the St. Vincent's Healthcare Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of St. Vincent's Healthcare Medical Center, Gateway Community Services, Preservation Project North Florida and the ALS Regional Council. He is a member of Leadership Jacksonville (1988), and Leadership Florida (2001).

Mr. Mullaney is married and lives in Jacksonville with his wife, Lynn, and their three children, Taylor, Richie, and Katie. Mr. Mullaney and his family are members of Holy Family Catholic Church.