June 18, 2008


For additional information, contact Mayor Don Ness at (218) 730-5230; or Jeff Papas in the City’s Communications Office at (218) 730-5211.

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Gunnar Johnson selected as Duluth City Attorney

Gunnar Johnson, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Minnesota, has been selected by Mayor Don Ness as the new City Attorney.

Johnson, 40, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from UMD in 1990, has served the State of Minnesota since 2001.  “I’m pleased to welcome an attorney of Gunnar’s experience and background to City Hall,” Mayor Don Ness said in making the announcement.  “He has extensive experience with economic development, civil litigation, and public organizations.  More importantly, he is a person committed to the public good and will bring integrity and leadership to his duties.”

Johnson has worked in the Attorney General’s office in the Public Finance/Natural Resources Division and provides transactional and in-house counsel to Iron Range Resources and its board.  He has done legal work on the Mesabi Nugget project, Ironworld’s privatization, the Minnesota Steel Industries project, and on projects for Franconia Minerals and Excelsior Energy.

After studying at UMD, Johnson went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1994, graduating cum laude.  He then clerked for the U.S. Department of Justice and Alaska Superior Court before working at Community Law Center in Minneapolis.

From the Twin Cities, Johnson returned to Duluth where he spent five years at the Clure Eaton Butler Law Firm practicing commercial litigation, municipal and property law, employment law, corporate and environmental law and civil litigation.  He took his position with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office in June 2001.

Johnson’s name will be submitted to the Duluth City Council for approval in the form of a resolution at Thursday night’s meeting.  Upon approval, he would assume his responsibilities on July 16.

Mayor Ness will be available for media comment on Wednesday afternoon.  Time may be scheduled through Communications Manager Jeff Papas at 730-5211.  Johnson will be available for comment on Thursday prior to the Duluth City Council meeting.

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