Unexpectedly, it took about seven months for Alison McKenney Brown to receive official Colorado Supreme Court approval to practice law in Colorado so she could take the position as Englewood city attorney. But she received the approval and assumed …
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Unexpectedly, it took about seven months for Alison McKenney Brown to receive official Colorado Supreme Court approval to practice law in Colorado so she could take the position as Englewood city attorney. But she received the approval and assumed the duties of Englewood's city attorney on April 1.
Brown was hired as city attorney to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former City Attorney Dan Brotzman in November 2015. Assistant City Attorney Dugan Comer became acting city attorney and filled the role until Brown's arrival.
Brown was serving as city attorney for multiple cities in the area around Wichita, Kansas, when the Englewood City Council appointed her as city attorney on Aug. 1, 2016. She had to complete the established process to be approved to practice law in Colorado before she could become city attorney for Englewood.
“I don't think anyone expected it to take this long to complete the process so I can practice law in Colorado,” she said. “The process to move from state to state is different for government attorneys. I took the necessary tests quite a while ago, the background check was quickly completed, and I just had to wait until the approval was granted.”
Brown said moving into the new position was made less of a challenge because she has been a municipal attorney since she completed law school.
“There is obviously a learning curve for me as a municipal attorney moving to a new state and a new city. I have a lot of work to do, but I feel this job is a fit for me,” she said. “However, the neat thing about Englewood is, City Manager Eric Keck has assembled an amazing group of people working to keep things moving and shaking in the city.”
She said the transition into the job was also made easier by the professional staff in the city attorney's office. She said Comer did an amazing job under sometimes difficult circumstances as acting city attorney.
Brown said she has worked for large cities and small cities, but all sizes of cities have many of the same issues such as water, traffic and waste water.
She is living in an apartment in Englewood and her husband is in Kansas until their house is sold. Then they will be looking for a place with plenty of room for their three dogs.
Brown and her husband have two daughters. Their oldest daughter, Naeley, is 23 and is an air quality engineer at a nuclear power plant in South Carolina, and their younger daughter, Ria, is 20 and is attending Kansas State University. Brown said neither of her daughters was interested in following their mother into the legal profession.
Brown was born in Oregon and her family moved to Wichita when she was very young.
She earned her bachelor's degree at Kansas State University and went on to earn her master's degree in public administration at Wichita State University. She then earned her law degree from the University of Kansas, graduated in 1993 and began her career as a local government attorney.
“My parents were educators and I so I always planned to go to college so I earned my bachelor's degree and went on to earn my master's degree,” she said. “As I was completing my master's degree requirements, one of my professors urged me to go to law school. I followed the recommendation and earned my law degree because I wanted to be part of a local government legal team. I have been a local government attorney since I graduated from law school.”
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