Robert M. Fournier was appointed City Attorney by the City Commission effective October 1, 2004. Mr. Fournier received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida and a juris doctor from the University of Florida, College of Law in 1978. Mr. Fournier is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Fournier has received Board certification from the Florida Bar in City, County and Local Government Law. Mr. Fournier began practicing with the Sarasota City Attorney's Office in 1980 and served as Deputy City Attorney until 1987. After ten years in private practice, Mr. Fournier returned to the City Attorney's Office in 1997. As City Attorney, Mr. Fournier attends all regular and special City Commission meetings to advise the City Commission on pending legal matters.
Michael A. Connolly received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and History from the University of Scranton in 1979 and a juris doctor from Stetson University College of Law, St. Petersburg, Florida in 1981. Mr. Connolly is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Connolly received his Florida Bar certification in City County and Local Government Law in 2001. Mr. Connolly has been representing the City of Sarasota since 1987 and was appointed Deputy City Attorney in February 2005. Mr. Connolly serves as legal counsel to the City of Sarasota Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment.
Sarah E. Warren received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Eastern Kentucky University and graduated cum laude from Stetson University College of Law in 1994. From 1995 to 2000 Ms. Warren served as an Assistant County Attorney for the Sarasota County Attorney's Office. In 2001, after a year as a litigation associate for the Sarasota law firm of Rocknich and Gibson, she was a sole practitioner active in the areas of local government law, commercial litigation and appeals. In October 2005, she joined the City Attorney's Office where she provides assistance in the areas of labor and employment, contracts, real estate and general local government law. Ms. Warren is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in City County and Local Government Law. She serves as legal counsel to the City of Sarasota Human Relations Board and Historic Preservation Board.
John K. Shamsey received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Samford University in 1995, a Master of Arts in History from the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 1997, and a juris doctor, with honors, from the Florida State University College of Law in 2002. Mr. Shamsey then served as an Assistant County Attorney for Charlotte County, Florida, representing and counseling the County Commission on land-use/zoning and real property matters. After serving in the government sector, Mr. Shamsey entered private practice in Sarasota where he continued his land-use and real property work, representing clients in real estate closings and real property litigation and serving as a title agent for a national title insurance underwriter. In recent years, Mr. Shamsey also served as a Consulting Attorney for Charlotte County, assisting the government in implementing numerous affordable housing projects/programs. In 2008, Mr. Shamsey joined the City Attorney's office and represents the City in land-use/zoning matters, real estate/real property issues, foreclosures, and affordable housing matters. Mr. Shamsey is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Joe Mladinich received a Bachelor in Business Administration with a minor in Psychology from the University of Texas in 2001, and a Juris Doctor and Master in Business Administration from Stetson University in 2008. After undergrad, Mr. Mladinich worked in procurement for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He then took a job in international diplomacy in Belfast, Northern Ireland for the next three years before attending law school. Upon graduating from law school, Mr. Mladinich worked for three and half years at the State Attorney’s Office before joining the City Attorney’s Office.
Joseph J. Polzak
Mr. Polzak received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Florida State University in 1996, and a Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law in 2005, with an Honors Certificate in International Law. Mr. Polzak then worked as an Assistant State Attorney for the State of Florida, Office of the State Attorney, 12th Judicial Circuit, from 2007 - 2014. He worked in the Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto offices, conducting over 30 jury trials and hundreds of contested motion hearings. Mr. Polzak has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Keiser University’s Sarasota campus since 2007, in Keiser’s Legal Studies program. Mr. Polzak joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2014 and practices in the areas of Contracts, Contraband Forfeiture, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Public Records, Police Liability, Sunshine Law, Personal Injury, and general Civil Litigation. Mr. Polzak is a member of the Florida Bar, the Sarasota County Bar Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Florida Association of Police Attorneys, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida.