Mayor Murray expands team, hires mayoral counsel and special assistant on police reform

Mayor Murray today announced the hiring of M. Lorena González as Counsel to the Mayor and Scott Lindsay as the new Special Assistant on Police Reform and Public Safety.

“Lorena González and Scott Lindsay are highly regarded professionals who will add to the high caliber of civil servants in our city and my office. I am thrilled to have them join my team,” said Murray. “These experienced individuals have much to offer and will prove themselves to be valuable assets to the city and community in these new roles.”

González is a shareholder with the law firm of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender.  She is a nationally-recognized lawyer with a strong civil rights background and deep community ties in Seattle and Washington State. Very active in the Latina/o and broader immigrant community, González developed a community partnership to fund a free monthly bilingual legal clinic, which has provided legal services to more than 1,000 indigent residents since 2007. She also holds leadership positions with the board of directors of OneAmerica, Northwest Area Foundation, Washington State Association for Justice, Justice for All PAC, and National Council de la Raza. Her résumé boasts additional accomplishments with the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, El Centro de la Raza, Latino Political Action Committee of Washington, and Casa Latina.

“Public service and civic engagement have always been important to me, and I am excited to be able to marry my personal passions with my legal expertise in the critical role of Counsel to the Mayor,” said González. “Joining Mayor Murray’s executive leadership team to further his vision for an equitable, inclusive, and transparent city government is an honor and a great opportunity to play a role in ensuring that Seattle’s promise as a progressive city extends to all of its residents.”

Gonzalez will report directly to the Mayor, and in a show of strong collaboration with the City Attorney’s office (CAO), the CAO and Mayor’s office have developed a memorandum of understanding that will also give her the title of Assistant City Attorney.

“Lorena’s diverse professional background makes her an ideal candidate for this complex role. I look forward to an even stronger relationship with the Mayor’s Office with Lorena’s appointment. This will ensure that Mayor’s Office staff are fully informed of complex legal issues during policy development, as well as give the CAO a ‘go to’ person for all of the Mayor’s legal needs,” said Pete Holmes, Seattle City Attorney.

As Counsel to the Mayor, González will work collaboratively with the City Attorney’s office and City Departments to advise the Mayor on a broad array of legal matters affecting the city, helping to provide risk management on city policy through a legal lens. Given González’s deep civil rights background, she will also provide critical counsel to the Mayor on the city’s efforts to comply with the Department of Justice (DOJ) settlement agreement.

Lindsay joins City Hall as the Mayor’s new Special Assistant on Police Reform and Public Safety.  He will be the primary point of contact in the Mayor’s Office for all matters related to the DOJ settlement agreement, and he will provide a critical role in ensuring clear, consistent and proactive communications between the Mayor’s Office and Seattle Police Department with the DOJ, the Federal Monitoring team, the Community Police Commission, and the Office of Professional Accountability, as well as the City Council and City Attorney’s office.

Lindsay replaces Tina Podlodowski as Special Assistant to the Mayor on Police Reform and Public Safety. Podlodowski joined Murray’s transition team last year to help establish new relationships with the Department of Justice and Federal Monitoring team as well as to lay the foundation for the search process for a new Police Chief. With the Police Chief search process nearing its conclusion, Podlodowski will return to the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Innovation to focus on developing new policy options for public broadband in the city.

“It’s a thrill to join the Murray administration, especially in this new era of strong collaborative relationships between the Mayor’s Office, DOJ, and Federal Monitoring team,” said Lindsay. “Mayor Murray has rightly identified police reform as one of his top priorities, and I am eager to contribute my background and experiences to help the Mayor achieve his vision for a police department that will be a national model for urban policing.”

Lindsay brings more than 10 years of legal and policy experience to this role.  He previously served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee where he led investigations into contracting corruption in Afghanistan and was the principal author of Warlord, Inc., a report recently credited by the Department of Defense for triggering substantial reforms to their war-zone contracting.  Lindsay was also the lead Democratic counsel during the Oversight Committee’s investigation of the controversial “Operation Fast and Furious,” a major firearms trafficking case in Arizona. In that role, Lindsay worked with Rep. Elijah Cummings to help reform the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and introduce legislation to combat firearms trafficking.  Lindsay most recently counseled clients in government regulatory and enforcement actions as an attorney at K&L Gates in Seattle.

Lindsay will report directly to Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim, who will broadly oversee a new interdepartmental team being established by Murray that will consist of representatives from the Mayor’s Office, City Council, City Attorney’s Office, Seattle Police Department, Department of Information Technology, Department of Finance and Administrative Services, and Department of Personnel to focus on the DOJ settlement agreement, specifically the complex technological opportunities that exist in order to successfully implement innovative policing practices.

González will start on May 19 and her salary will be $140,000 per year. Lindsay started on May 7 and his salary will be $118,000 per year.