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Frederick News

Posted on: December 27, 2022

Mayor O’Connor appoints City Attorney


Mayor Michael O’Connor is pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Nessen as The City of Frederick’s City Attorney. 

Nessen has served as the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Frederick since Nov. 2001 and has held the Acting City Attorney position since May 2022.

"I am delighted to appoint Rachel Nessen to the position of City Attorney for The City of Frederick,” said Mayor O’Connor. “Rachel has served The City of Frederick with exceptional skill and professionalism for more than 20 years. Her command of the complex codes, resolutions and ordinances in The City of Frederick and sound legal advice will continue to benefit the City and its residents. She will lead an exceptional team of legal professionals to work collaboratively and help make well-informed decisions in the best interests of the City." 

In her role as Assistant City Attorney, Nessen has researched and drafted ordinances, resolutions, policies and contracts. She has provided professional legal advice the Mayor, the Board of Aldermen and city staff. Additionally, she has served as counsel to numerous administrative bodies, including the Zoning Board of Appeals, Personnel Board, Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Commission, Taxicab Commission, Ethics Commission, Police Hearing Boards, and Building Code Appeals Board. Litigate cases in District Court and Circuit Court.

"For the past 20-plus years, I have been honored to be a part of the family that is the City of Frederick," Nessen said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to put my expert legal advice to use to serve the City and its residents as the City Attorney. I look forward to continuing to execute the organization's mission and contribute to this City's bright future."

Nessen, who was originally born in Eugene, Oregon, received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in psychology and environmental studies and a minor in Spanish. She received her Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law, from Vermont Law School. 

A graduate of Middletown High School, Nessen continues to live in Middletown and has three children: Andrew, Michael and Benjamin.

The City of Frederick is also excited to announce the arrival of Assistant City Attorney Michael Fry. Mr. Fry brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the legal field with a particular interest in law enforcement. Most recently, he retired the United States Department of Commerce after having served as a Special Agent, Criminal Investigator and Program manager. His background also includes roles as Chief Legal Counsel for the Baltimore Police Department and Principal Counsel for Montgomery County Police Department. 

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