City Attorney's Office

Russell Miyahira, City Attorney

(310) 349-2960

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Assistant City Attorney Melissa Crosthwaite

Ms. Crosthwaite is an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Hawthorne.  Her primary duties include advising the City Council on a variety of legal matters, including ethics, preparing resolutions and ordinances for the City Council on a wide variety of topics, and serving as counsel to the Planning Commission regarding land use matters.  She also advises numerous city departments, including the City Clerk’s Office, Finance, Public Works, and Human Resources. She also provides training to City employees and officials. 

Before joining the City Attorney’s Office, Ms. Crosthwaite was an associate with a private municipal law firm representing numerous cities throughout Southern California and served as deputy city attorney/city prosecutor for the City of Santa Ana.

Ms. Crosthwaite received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UCLA in 1999, graduating summa cum laude and with College Honors.  She received her law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 2003.  Ms. Crosthwaite grew up in the communities of Lennox and Hawthorne. 

Assistant City Attorney Alison Stevens

Alison Stevens has been practicing civil litigation for 17 years, representing public utilities, Fortune 500 companies, private corporations, municipalities, and school districts.  Ms. Stevens has extensive experience successfully defending diverse types of lawsuits ranging from premises liability, insurance bad faith, embezzlement and conversion, molestation, police misconduct, and employment law. 

Ms. Stevens received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach.  She also earned a Master of Arts degree in Literature in English from California State University, Long Beach. She earned her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in 1997.

  • Assistant City Attorney Robert Kim
  • Deputy City Attorney Robert Levy

Hawthorne Municipal Codes

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The City Attorney’s Office consists of two basic Divisions – the Municipal/Civil Law Division and the Criminal Prosecution Division.

Municipal/Civil Law Division

This Division consists of three attorneys, the City Attorney and two Assistant City Attorneys.  This Division handles or oversees all municipal, civil and legal matters for the City, Housing Authority, Parking Authority and the Sucessor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency. It represents and directly advises the City Council, the Successor Agency to the Community Redevelopment Agency, the Housing Authority, the Parking Authority and all City Commissions and Boards, such as the Planning Commission and Civil Service Commission. It also advises all City department heads, officers and employees on matters of law pertaining to their duties and responsibilities.

This Division researches and renders legal opinions on the myriad of legal matters pertaining to the City and its various agencies. It prepares and reviews ordinances, resolutions, motions, special public notices, special agenda items, professional services contracts, airport-related contracts, leases, negotiating agreements, development agreements, owner participation agreements, disposition and development agreements, assignment agreements, indemnification agreements, insurance agreements and special easement agreements.

This Division also oversees all of the City’s litigation, including police-related civil rights actions, constitutional law challenges, negligence actions, dangerous conditions of public property cases, administrative proceedings as well as all of the Successor Agency legal matters.  It reviews pleadings and briefs pertaining to litigation matters. It directly handles pretrial discovery and analysis of evidence and points of law. It handles the claims management for the City and prepares the legal analysis for the claims memoranda to the City Council.

This Division also consists of the Public Risk Manager. The Public Risk Manager assists the City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney in claims management for the City, interviews witnesses, investigates claims, and prepares reports to the City Attorney and Assistant City Attorney. The Public Risk Manager handles risk management functions for the City, assists the City Attorney in overseeing workers compensation, and acts as the day-to-day liaison with the City’s workers compensation third party administrator.

Criminal Prosecution Division

The Criminal Prosecution Division prosecutes all misdemeanor violations occurring in the City of Hawthorne. The prosecutors are dedicated to enforcing all State, county and city misdemeanor laws in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Southwest District at Inglewood Courthouse Branch. The Prosecution Department handles cases generated by numerous law enforcement agencies including, Hawthorne Police Department, California highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Health Department, California State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Hawthorne Code Enforcement, Hawthorne Animal Regulations and various police agencies in the South Bay area.

This Division, through community-based prosecution, vigorously prosecutes domestic violence laws, driving under the influence laws, child endangerment laws, housing code violations, illegal gang activities, prostitution, drug abatement laws, theft related crimes, and Hawthorne Municipal Code violations.