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Budget Trends
Program Contacts

Contact Carolyn Kilgariff of the Office of the County Attorney at 240.777.6766 or Philip Weeda of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2780 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.

Related Links

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of the County Attorney is to act as the Chief Legal Officer of Montgomery County Government and to conduct all its legal business.

Budget Overview

The total approved FY18 Operating Budget for the Office of the County Attorney is $6,319,482, an increase of $367,592 or 6.18 percent from the FY17 Approved Budget of $5,951,890. Personnel Costs comprise 91.05 percent of the budget for 76 full-time position(s) and two part-time position(s), and a total of 44.75 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses account for the remaining 8.95 percent of the FY18 budget.

Linkage to County Result Areas

While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following is emphasized:

  • A Responsive, Accountable County Government

Department Performance Measures

Performance measures for this department are included below (where applicable), with multi-program measures displayed at the front of this section and program-specific measures shown with the relevant program. The FY17 estimates reflect funding based on the FY17 approved budget. The FY18 and FY19 figures are performance targets based on the FY18 approved budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY19.

Accomplishments

  • New laws made in Maryland: Court of Appeals held that the County could engage in government speech to advocate on a ballot question (FOP v. Leggett); Court of Appeals held that property owners adjacent to Georgetown Branch right-of-way could not acquire property rights by way of adverse possession against the railroad thereby allowing the County to remove encroachments from the Purple Line right-of-way (Montgomery County v. Bhatt); and Court of Appeals held that the County could file action to forfeit a bank account as if it were money earned from the sale of drugs (Bottini v. Montgomery County).

  • Customer satisfaction survey-remained highest rated internal service department (3.4 out of a 4.0 scale).

  • Debt Collection Unit collected $13.9 million at a cost of 3.7 percent.
  • Child Welfare Unit: Achieved a 100 percent win/loss ratio.
  • Workers' Compensation Unit net gain increased to $3 million (the $3 million is the net gain as a result of the calculation of all the awards (adding the gains and deducting the losses) in workers compensation cases for the year).
  • Body camera implementation prevailed in prohibited practice charge filed by Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).
  • Executed the White Oak General Development Agreement (GDA).
  • Newlands completed construction of infrastructure improvements in Clarksburg. This is under the settlement agreement between Montgomery County and Newlands settling Newlands' claim against the County in connection with the dissolution of the Clarksburg development district.



Innovations and Productivity Improvements

  • The retrieval and review of electronically stored information (ESI) has become a major issue in the context of meeting the County's obligations to respond to discovery demands in litigation cases as well as Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) requests. To address this issue, OCA is implementing a cloud-based online eDiscovery application which allows the office to analyze and preserve electronic documents and emails for discovery.

Program Descriptions

  Insurance Defense Litigation

Provides legal defense for cases involving Montgomery County and fourteen local government Self-Insurance Fund participants (including such entities as the Montgomery County Board of Education, City of Rockville, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Montgomery College, and the Housing Opportunities Commission) and all of their employees. The attorneys appear regularly before State and Federal courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia for trials and oral arguments and before the Workers' Compensation Commission. These cases involve litigation in the following areas: common law torts; police civil rights claims; other Federal and State civil rights - constitutional torts; Americans with Disabilities Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; workers' compensation; and employment discrimination.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
FY15
Actual
FY16
Estimated
FY17
Target
FY18
Target
FY19
Number of workers' compensation hearings1,7071,9951,8711,8711,871
Worker's compensation cases: Total net gain to the County ($000)$1,902$3,015$2,686$2,686$2,686
Last settlement amount demanded by plaintiff ($000)$475,674$266,636$346,117$346,117$346,117
Subrogation collected ($000)$93.33$55$50$50$50
Total paid to plaintiff by the County ($000)$37$143$88$88$88
Ratio amount paid by County vs. amount demanded by the plaintiff0.010.050.100.100.10
Total number of settlements3631343434
Number of judgments paid610777
Number of judgments in County's favor6851595959
Self-insurance fund litigation: Win/loss ratio9284878787

  Health and Human Services

The attorneys in this division act as counsel and give legal advice to the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Office of the Director and Management Services; Adult Mental Health; Aging and Disability Services; Children, Youth and Family Services; Child Welfare Services; Crisis, Income and Victim Services; Emergency Services; and Public Health Services. The attorneys also represent Child Welfare Services in the Juvenile Court, in cases involving child abuse and child neglect, and Aging and Disability Services in the Circuit Court, in adult guardianship cases.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
FY15
Actual
FY16
Estimated
FY17
Target
FY18
Target
FY19
Number of children in need of assistance (CINA) or guardianship hearings2,1372,2382,1842,1842,184
Number of adoptions granted2222191919
Number of CINA cases closed162176188188188
Number of new adoption petitions filed1822202020
Number of new CINA petitions filed183170180180180
Number of new termination of parental rights (TPR) petitions filed2429262626
Number of termination of parents rights (TPR's) granted2418222222
Child welfare litigation - ratio of termination of parental rights (TPR) and child in need of assistance (CINA) adjudicated granted or denied100100100100100

  Finance and Procurement

Acts as counsel and gives legal advice to the County Executive, County Council, and to several County departments, agencies, boards, and commissions. The Division represents the County Government in tax and procurement matters before State, Federal, and local administrative agencies and courts; drafts and reviews agreements, legislation, regulations, and other legal documents; conducts negotiations; and prepares and issues legal opinions.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
FY15
Actual
FY16
Estimated
FY17
Target
FY18
Target
FY19
Code enforcement - Win/loss ratio98.9297.3598.1098.1098.10
Code enforcement collected ($000)$583$316$489$489$489
Debt collection - collected/total referred ratio144.5111.7146146146
Debt collection - cost/revenue ratio3.73.73.73.73.7
Debt collection ($000)$13,501$13,931$13,500$13,500$13,500
Forfeitures collected ($000)$121.01$381.65$246$246$246

  Support Services

Provide administrative, research, and technical guidance and support to the other programs within the Department. The program is designed to allow for an equitable distribution of work assignments, to cross-train staff, and to evaluate fairly the performance of the program staff. The program provides administrative support to the Risk Management Fund, and revenue support to the Risk Management Fund, Revenue Authority, and Solid Waste Fund.

  Human Resources and Appeals

Attorneys act as counsel and give legal advice to the following agencies: Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Ethics Commission, Board of Investment Trustees, Office of Human Resources, Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Office of Public Information, Department of Transportation (Transit Services Division, Taxicab Unit), Human Rights Commission, Board of Appeals, and the Police Department (Internal Affairs Division). Attorneys also defend or prosecute contested cases involving the County, Self-Insurance Fund agencies, and their employees, while pending before State and Federal appellate courts.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
FY15
Actual
FY16
Estimated
FY17
Target
FY18
Target
FY19
Percent of appeals in the Appellate Court won84.2195.2383.483.483.4
Appeals lost31444
Appeals won1620181818

  Zoning, Land Use and Economic Development

Represents and advises the County Executive, the County Council, and various County departments, including the Department of General Services, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and the Department of Public Libraries. Represents and advises agencies and commissions, including the Historic Preservation Commission, the Revenue Authority, Community Use of Public Facilities, and the Cable Compliance Commission. Advises the County Executive and County Council regarding telecommunications and cable matters. Represents the County with respect to land acquisitions and real estate transactions. Represents the County before Federal, State, and administrative courts. Drafts legal opinions and amendments to the County code and County regulations.

  Public Interest Litigation

Provides litigation and other legal services to County agencies and departments in support of their mission to promote general welfare and protect vulnerable citizens. The Division acts as counsel and gives legal advice to the Police Department, the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Environmental Protection, Permitting Services, Consumer Affairs, and Recreation. It also provides counsel to the Office of Landlord and Tenant Affairs, the Historic Preservation Commission, and the Inspector General's Office. The program represents these entitites in contested cases before the County Board of Appeals and in both State and Federal courts. The program also drafts and reviews agreements, legislation, regulations and other legal documents. Attorneys from the program conduct negotiations, issue legal opinions, and testify before public bodies. It is primarily responsible for the processing and prosecution of code enforcement violations from all departments, agencies, boards, and commissions which are presented in the District Court of Maryland. The Debt Litigation or Collection Unit collects all monies owed to Montgomery County that have been referred to the County Attorney, including past due real property taxes, personal property taxes, code enforcement judgements, subrogation claims, bounced checks, upaid fines, and miscellaneous amounts billed by the County.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
FY15
Actual
FY16
Estimated
FY17
Target
FY18
Target
FY19
Ratio of costs/collection3.73.73.33.33.3

  Administration

Provides internal personnel, financial, and operational management for the Office of the County Attorney.

Program Performance MeasuresActual
FY15
Actual
FY16
Estimated
FY17
Target
FY18
Target
FY19
Overall average rating from Internal Customer Satisfaction Survey3.333.43.43.43.4

  Goverment Operations

Drafts and reviews County and State legislation; represents the County in legal challenges to its legislative acts; drafts and coordinates formal legal advice given by the Office of the County Attorney; provides legal assistance to the Office of Management and Budget, Ethics Commission, Office of the Inspector General, and the Charter Review Commission; provides legal guidance on the Open Meetings Act and the Public Information Act; oversees the publication of the County Code; and provides legal guidance to the Special Assistant to the Executive for Boards, Committees, and Commissions.

Budget Summary
TitleActual
FY16
Budget
FY17
Estimate
FY17
Approved
FY18
%Chg
Bud/App
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
Salaries and Wages4039330.004040503.00 4064634.00 4401697.008.9
Employee Benefits1447612.001363136.00 1376158.00 1352393.00-0.8
County General Fund Personnel Costs5486942.005403639.00 5440792.00 5754090.006.5
Operating Expenses640326.00548251.00 788199.00 565392.003.1
County General Fund Expenditures6127268.005951890.00 6228991.00 6319482.006.2
PERSONNEL
Full-Time72.0073.00 73.00 76.004.1
Part-Time5.004.00 4.00 2.00-50.0
FTEs43.5043.50 43.50 44.752.9
REVENUES
Federal Financial Participation Reimbursements224545.00231165.00 231165.00 231165.000.0
Other Charges/Fees1491.0075000.00 75000.00 75000.000.0
Other Intergovernmental384.0045630.00 45630.00 45630.000.0
County General Fund Revenues226420.00351795.00 351795.00 351795.000.0
FY18 Approved Changes
TitleExpendituresFTEs
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
FY17 ORIGINAL APPROPRIATION595189043.50
Changes (with service impacts)
Add: ESI Unit Assistant County Attorney III [Goverment Operations]1408501.00
Other Adjustments (with no service impacts)
Increase Cost: FY18 Compensation Adjustment1262600.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY17 Compensation Increases402780.00
Increase Cost: Retirement Adjustment251080.00
Increase Cost: Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Software [Goverment Operations]206670.00
Increase Cost: Annualization of FY17 Personnel Costs179550.00
Technical Adj: Convert Assistant County Attorney III Position from Part Time to Full Time During FY1700.25
Decrease Cost: Printing and Mail-35260.00
FY18 APPROVED631948244.75
Program Summary
Program NameFY17 APPR
Expenditures
FY17 APPR
FTEs
FY18 APPR
Expenditures
FY18 APPR
FTEs
Insurance Defense Litigation00.0000.00
Health and Human Services11562707.4012622337.40
Finance and Procurement5154225.003779063.50
Support Services4226375.905136556.90
Human Resources and Appeals10261176.5010927527.25
Zoning, Land Use and Economic Development2132302.701783502.70
Public Interest Litigation5574456.006081786.50
Administration15176216.0016618206.00
Goverment Operations5431484.006245884.50
Total595189043.50631948244.75
Charges to Other Departments
Charged DepartmentCharged FundFY17
Total$
FY17
FTES
FY18
Total$
FY18
FTES
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
Board of AppealsGeneral Fund968390.50650700.50
Intergovernmental RelationsGeneral Fund263330.30271150.30
FinanceGeneral Fund1784261.051958481.05
FinanceRisk Management (Self Insurance - ISF)276268219.75286561519.75
Human ResourcesEmployee Health Self Insurance173500.10176750.10
Correction and RehabilitationGeneral Fund00.001537331.00
Parking District ServicesBethesda Parking149000.10238580.10
Parking District ServicesSilver Spring Parking298000.20265570.20
Health and Human ServicesGrant Fund1942942.401942942.40
Permitting ServicesPermitting Services2128161.002204461.00
Housing and Community AffairsGeneral Fund848760.50859040.50
Housing and Community AffairsMontgomery Housing Initiative1697511.001718091.00
Solid Waste ServicesSolid Waste Disposal1284950.751325640.75
Solid Waste ServicesSolid Waste Collection428320.25441880.25
CIPCapital Fund4178383.004317373.00
NDA - Montgomery County Employee Retirement PlansGeneral Fund173500.10176750.10
NDA - Montgomery County Employee Retirement PlansEmployees Retirement Savings Plan (RSP)173500.10176750.10
NDA - Montgomery County Employee Retirement PlansRetirement Fund (ERS)728720.42742360.42
NDA - Retiree Health Benefits TrustRetiree Health Benefits Trust Fund294960.17300480.17
NDA - Retiree Health Benefits TrustRSP-Disability Benefits (LTD2)104100.06106050.06
Cable Television Communications PlanCable TV1151210.501192910.50
Total463983132.25492594333.25
Future Fiscal Impacts ($000s)
TitleFY18FY19FY20FY21FY22FY23
COUNTY GENERAL FUND
EXPENDITURES
FY18 Approved6319.0000006319.0000006319.0000006319.0000006319.0000006319.000000
No inflation or compensation change is included in outyear projections.
Labor Contracts0.00000042.00000042.00000042.00000042.00000042.000000
These figures represent the estimated annualized cost of general wage adjustments, service increments, and other negotiated items.
Subtotal Expenditures6319.0000006361.0000006361.0000006361.0000006361.0000006361.000000