Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has nominated Deputy City Attorney Erik Nilsson as interim city attorney, replacing Susan Segal as she leaves to serve on the state Court of Appeals.
Nilsson has worked with the city attorney’s office since 2001 and has led the department’s civil division since 2016. He specializes in zoning and planning issues, and has worked closely with Frey and the City Council on renters rights and landlord and tenant reforms.
“He has successfully managed lawsuits to protect tenants from exploitative landlords, played a leading role in drafting our minimum wage ordinance, and provided valuable input during the development of the Minneapolis 2040 plan,” Frey said in a statement. “The City Attorney’s office will be in capable hands during the transition period.”
The council’s executive committee unanimously approved his appointment Tuesday morning. City Council President Lisa Bender thanked Nilsson for “taking on this important role.”
In an interview, Nilsson said he was “enthusiastic and excited” about the interim job.
“I’m committed to the city,” said Nilsson, who moved to Minneapolis in 1997 to study law at the University of Minnesota. “I’m committed to making this a smooth transition to whoever is ultimately selected as the department leadership.”
Segal, who has led the city attorney’s office since 2008, was appointed by Gov. Tim Walz to one of two open seats on the Court of Appeals last month.
“Erik is a really talented lawyer and gifted person,” Segal said, describing him as personable and ethical. “I know he will do a great job on behalf of the city.”
Nilsson will start his new role Nov. 23.
At Tuesday’s executive committee meeting, council members voted to delay the reappointments of Community Planning and Economic Development Director David Frank and Public Works Director Robin Hutcheson. Council members will conduct formal reviews of the two.
“I don’t want this committee to be a rubber stamp,” Council Member Andrew Johnson said. “I want it to have an active role in these considerations.”