FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, July 5, 2005 CONTACT:
Lindy Eichenbaum Lent
Hickenlooper Names Finegan as Acting Chief of Staff
In addition to interim duties, Finegan will remain City Attorney
(DENVER) Mayor John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday that City Attorney Cole Finegan will serve as acting chief of staff, effective July 11, 2005. This announcement comes a week after the Denver Public Schools Board of Education selected Hickenlooper’s current chief-of-staff Michael Bennet as the new DPS superintendent. In addition to his new interim duties as acting chief of staff, Finegan will remain the City Attorney.
“Cole has been a valued adviser on every major issue our administration has faced, so his role as acting chief of staff will ensure a smooth transition,” Hickenlooper said. “We greatly appreciate Cole’s willingness to take on added responsibility during this interim period and we are grateful for his management expertise and leadership in both roles.”
Mayor Hickenlooper appointed Finegan as City Attorney in October 2003, because of his extensive public sector experience and expertise with municipal law, land use issues, regulatory and administrative matters. Over the past 21 months, Finegan has reorganized the City Attorney’s Office, creating greater efficiencies, enhanced customer service, and cost savings.
Under his leadership, the City Attorney’s Office of approximately 190 persons cut its budget by over 20% and its outside legal budget by over $1 million, allowing that office to return over $250,000 to the General Fund to help pay for the Administration’s Police Department reforms.
Finegan also was involved heavily in settling both the Paul Childs police shooting case, and the so-called Spy Files case, and in negotiating the collective bargaining agreement with the Police Protective Association. He currently is leading the City team negotiating a new franchise agreement with Xcel Energy.
“I love serving as City Attorney, but I also look forward to this challenge,” Finegan said. “I’m confident that we will continue the momentum that the Mayor and our team have built over the past two years.”
Although Finegan was a partner in the local law firm Brownstein, Hyatt and Farber prior to joining the City, he had spent a significant portion of his career working in the public sector. He served as Chief Legal Counsel and Director of Policy and Initiatives for Colorado Governor Roy Romer.
In these capacities, he handled the Governor’s legal matters, advised the Governor on judicial appointments, and supervised a policy development staff of 60 people working on economic, environmental, health care, energy, telecommunications, transportation and education policy issues.
Finegan also worked on Capitol Hill as Chief Legislative Assistant and Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Jim Jones of Oklahoma, then Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Budget Committee.
Active in numerous local civic organizations, Finegan serves as a board member of the Denver Public Schools Foundation and the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation. Finegan also served in recent years on the Colorado State Board of Agriculture that governs Colorado State University and on the Board of Trustees for the State Colleges of Colorado.
Finegan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and his law degree from Georgetown University, where he was selected for The Tax Lawyer Law Review.
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