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Dan WichmerPhoto provided by CITY OF SPRINGFIELD
Dan Wichmer

Photo provided by CITY OF SPRINGFIELD

LSSM hires city attorney for top job

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Legal Services of Southern Missouri hired Springfield’s 11-year city attorney to lead the nonprofit.

As executive director of LSSM, Dan Wichmer succeeds Douglas Kays, who retired in November after 35 years. Sharon Alexander, director of development for the legal services nonprofit, said via email Wichmer is scheduled to start March 21. Lew Polivick, of Charleston, has served as interim director, she said.

Wichmer takes the lead of a nonprofit with a 2015 operating budget of $4.4 million, according to Springfield Business Journal list research. LSSM provides legal representation and advice in civil matters to individuals over 60 years of age, as well as for low-income individuals, and also helps individuals receive such public assistance as food stamps, health care and Social Security benefits.

Wichmer’s last day with the city is March 11. As city attorney, he provides legal advice to City Council, 22 departments and resident-led boards and task forces. He leads a 16-person law department that handles litigation for the city and the drafting of council bills and contracts.  

“Dan has been a key member of our leadership team. Given the functional diversity of the city, Dan has led a team covering many areas,” City Manager Greg Burris said in a news release. “One of the things I’ve most admired about Dan has been his interest in mentoring young attorneys and helping them get their start through internships at the city.”

The release referenced a 2014 Springfield Business Journal article interviewing Wichmer, in which he pointed to his largest challenges as city attorney.

“(Sexual orientation, gender identity), marijuana, E-Verify, the development of College Station, the Heer’s project – there are so many projects that have come and gone in my brain,” Wichmer told SBJ. “That’s one of the things I enjoy about the job, you always have something interesting that is being presented to you.

“You can point to various parts of the city and say, ‘I helped work with that.’”

Prior to joining the Springfield government, Wichmer worked as city attorney for Branson and in private practice with Lathrop & Gage.

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