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Marquess appointed new Toledo City Attorney

June 19, 2013
By Jimmy Gillispie - Staff Writer , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

City of Toledo Mayor Dave Svoboda didn't wait long to find a replacement for city attorney Nancy Burk.

Svoboda found his man in Marshalltown, but he's a man that is familiar with Burk, Toledo Police Chief Bob Kendall and Council Member Travis Mullen. On June 10, Svoboda recommended appointing Mike Marquess as the next Toledo city attorney and it was unanimously approved with a 3-0 vote by the city council at its last meeting.

The position of city attorney became open at the May 27 city council meeting. Svoboda read a letter of resignation from Burk that night. In the letter, Burk said she was stepping down Aug. 1. It was one meeting later when Svoboda recommended Marquess to the city council.

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Mike Marquess

"Nancy announced her retirement last meeting," Svoboda said. "So, I have a candidate here, Mike Marquess. He's more than willing to take over the job. Travis, you know him. He's from Marshalltown. I'll let him introduce himself."

Marquess briefly introduced himself to the city council.

"I've been an attorney for 10 years," Marquess said. "I've primarily been a prosecutor. I was a prosecutor for Marshall County and Tama County for several years. Most recently, I worked with the (Meskwaki) Tribe where I was the attorney/prosecutor there. In October, I opened my own firm in Marshalltown, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time.

"I know Bob (Kendall), Nancy and Travis well," Marquess said. "I'm certainly flattered to be asked and very interested in working with the city. Thanks for the consideration."

He currently owns Marquess Law Firm in Marshalltown. He is a graduate of Drake Law School. Marquess informed the council has an assistant working for him and his sister-in-law, who recently graduated from law school, will be joining him in the fall. She might be able to handle city cases that involve a Magistrate.

Marquess was also appointed Magistrate in Poweshiek County. Burk told Marquess that he won't be able to handle any city Magistrate cases, because of his recent appointment in Poweshiek County. Burk said he will have to do those cases with a district judge, which she said might be a blessing in disguise.

"I bet his hourly fee is only half of yours," Council Member "Elmer" Skip Wilson joked to Burk.

"I already told him what to charge," Burk jokingly replied to Wison.

There was a brief discussion as to when Marquess would start for the city. The council would like Marquess to work with Burk on upcoming hearings. However, the city can't have two attorneys in place at the same time, so if he was appointed immediately, Burk couldn't work on the hearings as the city would have two attorneys. So, Marquess will start Aug. 1, but he said he'd be happy to work with Burk on the hearings.

"Welcome aboard," Bob Kendall said. "It's great to work with you again Mike."



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