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Home News  Bernero nominates first black and woman as city attorney
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Wednesday, March 13,2013

Bernero nominates first black and woman as city attorney

Foster Swift staffer tapped to head the city’s law department

by Andy Balaskovitz
Janene McIntyre

Monday, March 4 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero’s pick to replace former City Attorney Brig Smith would be the city’s first woman and first African American to hold the job.


Bernero announced at a press conference today that he plans to nominate Lansing native Janene McIntyre, 42, to the job. The appointment is subject to City Council approval.


“I’m ready to start the job on day one,” McIntyre said. “I never thought I’d have this opportunity.”


Bernero called her “serious” and “committed” to what he sees is an “unusual job and tough position.”


McIntyre comes from the Lansing law firm Foster Swift Collins and Smith, where she specializes in municipal and public finance law. She is an adjunct professor in municipal and finance law at Cooley Law School, where she obtained her law degree in 2006.


Prior to law school, McIntyre worked for the state Department of Treasury’s Michigan Municipal Bond Authority and for the state Department of Human Services’ Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs. She also worked as a legislative assistant for former state Rep. Michael Murphy. She graduated from Eastern High School.


Deputy City Attorney Don Kulhanek has served as the interim city attorney since Smith left in January to take a city attorney job in Middletown, Conn.


An advisory committee headed by Cooley Law School President Don LeDuc made the recommendation to Bernero. Capitol National Bank President Paula Cunningham said today that “close to 12” people applied for the job and that two, including McIntyre, were interviewed. She said the search committee unanimously approved recommending McIntyre. Kulhanek did not apply for the job.

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