IMLA Celebrates Our Members in Honor of Black History Month

IMLA Celebrates Our Members in Honor of Black History Month

Happy Black History Month!

February is nationally recognized to celebrate the achievements of African Americans.  Along with the U.S. and Canada, IMLA shares in celebration and recognition of our members’ achievements.  IMLA continues its mission, beyond the month of February, to provide our membership with the most updated resources on equity, bias, and racial injustice.  IMLA acknowledges that legal advancement co-exist with new legal barriers.  IMLA will continue to provide the necessary resources for local governments to achieve sustainable, equitable and inclusive laws, policies, and practices.

IMLA would like to specifically recognize Black lawyers and legal professionals from our membership, who serve as powerful examples of leadership in our legal communities.  We are proud to have these attorneys—and many more not included here—as IMLA members for their service in local government and in their communities.

Angela Evans

County Attorney
Fayette County, Kentucky

Angela Evans was sworn in as Fayette County Attorney on September 30, 2022. She is the first African American County Attorney in Kentucky’s history, and only the third African American lead prosecutor in the Commonwealth. Ms. Evans is a native of Lexington, Kentucky where she serves as County Attorney. In May of 2021, she earned her Master of Public Policy from Princeton University. Immediately prior to attending Princeton, Angela served as the 6th District Councilmember on the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government Council.

Her undergraduate degree in Social Work from Clark Atlanta University, and serving as a Public Defender shortly after graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Law, are the foundation of her commitment to public service and seeking justice.
In 2007, Angela was compelled to travel with friends to Gulu, Uganda on a mission trip, where they provided emotional and spiritual support to Zion Project staff and local woman attending the program. Her time in Uganda was extremely rewarding and afforded her the opportunity to help improve the lives of individuals around the world through international policy work with the United Nations. Angela was acknowledged for her valuable suggestions and contributions to the United Nations Criminal Justice Handbook Series, Introductory Handbook on State Regulation Concerning Civilian Private Security Services and Their Contribution to Crime Prevention and Community Safety (2014), and the United Nations Criminal Justice Handbook Series, Introductory Handbook on the Prevention of Recidivism and the Social Reintegration of Offenders (2012).

In 2015, Angela became only the second African American female to ever serve on Lexington’s city council. In 2018, during Lexington’s discussions on the removal of Confederate statutes from downtown, Councilmember Evans commendably represented Lexington on MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson, discussing the civility Lexington displayed while speaking on this sensitive topic. In addition to her new role as Fayette County Attorney, Ms. Evans serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Blood Center. In her spare time, she enjoys binging the Harry Potter movie series and traveling.

Bryan Scott

IMLA Board of Directors
City Attorney
Las Vegas, Nevada

Bryan K. Scott has resided in North Las Vegas and Las Vegas since April 1970. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (Management) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1988 and a Juris Doctorate degree from Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College in 1991. An Attorney since October 11, 1991, he has worked for the City of Las Vegas since August 5, 1996 and is currently the City Attorney for the City of Las Vegas. During his time with the City of Las Vegas, Scott has practiced in the areas of General Civil Litigation, Special Improvement Districts, Condemnations, Land Use, Zoning and Planning, Ethics, Cannabis Regulation, Public Records and the Open Meeting Law. From 1996 to 2005 he served as a Deputy City Attorney. From 2005 to 2016 he served as the Assistant City Attorney. From 2016 to 2020 he served as the Senior Assistant City Attorney. On June 17, 2020, Scott was unanimously ratified by the Las Vegas City Council as the 23rd and first African American City Attorney for the City of Las Vegas in the city’s history (119 years).

From 1991-1993, Scott was an Associate Attorney for Donald J. Campbell & Associates (NKA Campbell & Williams) and an Associate Attorney for Rawlings, Olson, Cannon, Gormley & Desruisseaux (NKA Olson Cannon Gormley & Stoberski) from 1993-1996.

From 2006 to 2009 and from 2010 to 2018 Scott was a member of the State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors. He was the 88th and first African-American President of the State Bar of Nevada in 2016-2017. He was a member of the Nevada Board of Continuing Legal Education from 2011 to 2014. Scott was the first African-American President of the Clark County Law Foundation in 2006 and was elected as the first African-American President of the Clark County Bar Association in 2005. He served as a Board Member/Secretary-Treasurer/President-Elect of the Clark County Bar Association from 2000 to 2004.

In 1996 Scott was elected as the President of the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association. He served in that position until 1999.

Scott is the past Chairman of the State Bar of Nevada’s Diversity Committee and served on the Nevada Supreme Court’s Bench-Bar Committee for three years. Scott currently sits on the Board of the Justice Michael L. Douglas Pre-Law Fellowship Program which seeks to introduce students from underrepresented communities to the rigors of law school and the benefits of having a legal education.

Since 2021, Scott has been a member of the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board’s Cannabis Advisory Commission’s Subcommittee on Social Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Scott has won a number of awards and accolades for his legal, public service and community service work, including:

  • On October 8, 2022, the Las Vegas City Attorney’s Office was recognized by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association (LVNBA) as “Law Firm of the Year” for its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts during the LVNBA’s 41st Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala.
    On February 1, 2022, Scott was recognized by the Clark County Black Caucus as one of Nevada’s Black Law Trailblazers and spoke on a panel of distinguished Nevada Legal “firsts” during the Las Vegas Mob Museum’s “Leaders in Law: Celebrating Nevada’s Black Legal Trailblazers” Black History Month Program.
  • On October 1, 2021, during its Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) awarded Scott with “The Burk E. (Buck) Delventhal Legal Advocacy and Education Award.”
  • In June 2021, the State Bar of Nevada honored Scott with naming its annual “Trailblazer Award” after him and awarding him the Inaugural “Bryan K. Scott Trailblazer Award” during its Annual Meeting on Coronado Island.
  • Scott has been a member of the Board of Directors for the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) since 2020.
  • In May 2019, Scott was named the “James M. Bartley Distinguished Public Lawyer” by the Public Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Nevada in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
  • In 2019, Scott was named as “Trailblazer of the Year” by the Nevada Association of Real Estate Brokers.
    In September 2018, Scott was recognized by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association as its “Attorney of the Year.”
  • Scott was honored by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association in 2019 by the establishment and awarding of the “Bryan K. Scott Book Scholarship” for Law Students.
  • In 2018 Scott was recognized by the Asian American Advocacy Clinic with its “Unsung Hero” award.
    Scott was the Keynote Speaker and awarded the “Educational Pioneer Award” by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach in 2017.
  • Scott has been recognized as a “Legal Elite: Nevada’s Top Attorneys (Government) by Nevada Business Magazine in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
  • Scott was honored by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association during its 2006 annual Scholarship Gala.
  • In 2005, Scott received the Martin P. Dowling Volunteer of the Year award from the Clark County Bar Association
  • In 2002, Scott was awarded the Clark County Bar Association’s Circle of Support Award.
  • Scott has participated as a speaker during numerous Community events, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) sessions and acted as a speaking panelist and authored numerous articles on various subject matters including: Cannabis regulation, Special Improvement Districts (SIDs), Appearing before an administrative agency, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Nevada African American Attorney “firsts” among other subject matters for the State Bar of Nevada’s Nevada Lawyer Magazine, the Clark County Bar Association’s Communique’ Magazine and other legal publications.

Danielle Rash

Senior Assistant City Attorney
Denver, Colorado

It is with great pleasure that I write to you today to nominate Danielle Rash for recognition as a Black legal professional who serves as a compelling example of humanitarianism and public service. Danielle demonstrates extraordinary commitment at the City Attorney’s Office and her dedication and willingness to help others in the community make her an excellent nominee for acknowledgement.

Danielle is at the forefront of our practice’s efforts to identify, respond to, and prevent human trafficking of youth. She is an expert when it comes to understanding how child welfare intersects with abuse at the hands of traffickers. Her experience serves as an invaluable resource as we support children and youth who have been victimized as well as children and youth that are at greater risk for future victimization. Danielle is also the primary attorney in Denver’s Human Trafficking Specialty Court working to ensure that survivors receive the trauma-informed services they need. Danielle also works closely with law enforcement and community partners to support victims during the prosecution of human trafficking cases. Moreover, Danielle serves on the Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance (DATA) multidisciplinary team which works to provide victim-centered aid through support for trauma-informed services, collaborative investigations, improved education, and advancements in public policy.
In addition to her exemplary contributions to anti-trafficking, Danielle demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to youth matters in both the child welfare system and the juvenile justice system. As an example of her involvement, she was a leader in establishing the Foster Youth in Transition legal practice. Created in 2021, this practice aims to boost support for young people leaving the child welfare system without family ties by providing dedicated housing assistance and supervised independent living arrangements. The program has helped more than 246 young people statewide since its inception and Danielle alone has filed over 30 youth in transition petitions.

Outside of her legal efforts, Danielle helped to create her department’s “Cultural Conversations” program—a grass roots equity, diversity and inclusion monthly roundtable seeking to transform relationships and perspectives among her colleagues through education and storytelling. Her expertise has led her to take on some of the toughest casework in our agency and has drawn the attention of numerous individuals outside our office who have asked her to present at conferences across the state. Danielle also is active in the community by serving on the Florence Crittenton Services Board of Directors and is currently spearheading efforts to reestablish the Colorado Association of Black Women Attorneys. Danielle is a great asset to our team and community. I hope you consider her as a deserving attorney for recognition.

Thank you,
Kathryn Smith
Division Director, Human Services Legal Services

Danielle Rash is a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City and County of Denver in the Human Services Legal Section (HSLS) where she has worked in the Child Protection Unit since 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Arts dual-degree in Sociology and Education, graduating cum laude from Knox College. Danielle obtained her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Throughout her educational and legal career, Danielle has devoted substantial efforts to addressing social justice issues, she has served on the Black and Latino Student Alliances as well as the local and national chapters of the National Black Law Students Association. As an undergraduate, Danielle completed her honors thesis studying Equal Educational Opportunity and Public School Governance.
Danielle is a past Chair of the Denver City Attorney’s Inclusive Excellence Committee. Danielle is the recipient of several awards to include Objective Writing, Civil Rights and the Denver City Attorney’s Office Raising the Bar Award. She currently co-moderates a monthly discussion opportunity within HSLS entitled Cultural Conversations 2.0. She currently serves as Treasurer for Colorado Association of Black Women Attorneys and is a board member with Florence-Crittenton, a local high school serving teen mothers. Danielle was born and raised in Denver, where she currently resides with her family.

Kwali Farbes

Assistant Director, Municipal Operations
Denver, Colorado

We are very proud to nominate Kwali Farbes for her outstanding service, professionalism and significant contributions to the legal profession and community. As an Assistant Director and attorney in the Municipal Operation section of the City Attorney’s Office, Kwali has consistently delivered incredible results for the Section and proven herself to be a dependable and excellent leader, and fantastic teammate.

Kwali has a significant legal workload, including responsibility for the city’s contracting efforts for municipal operations and assisting the Department of Finance with its public financing obligations. She oversees roughly 2,100 city contracts which includes the management of assignments and coordination through the city contracting process. Through her experience and expert knowledge of finance and municipal law, she contributes to the success of city projects, and bringing immediate value to her clients. Additionally, Kwali leads the finance team in Municipal Operations in all financial efforts in the City helping to improve public outcomes through her exceptional work.

Kwali has also been a trailblazer for the City Attorney’s Office’s equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts. The murder of George Floyd was a clarifying catalyst and a signal of much-needed change to address historic and contemporary injustices. Kwali had the foresight to seize that moment and take lead on the EDI work for our agency, creating a sustainable framework and comprehensive approach for the culture we wanted to build. As a passionate innovator, she designed the early EDI learning materials for her section and later worked with the Mayor’s Office and Office of Social Equity & Innovation to form a solid commitment to promote and educate internal and external communities about issues of race, social justice and equity. Kwali has opened the door for others to lead but actively finds ways to address and integrate racial equity and anti-racism into her daily responsibilities and interactions.

There are many great things we can say about Kwali’s value as an attorney in our section and despite the challenging work assigned to her, she consistently finds ways to be a compassionate colleague and champion for her colleagues of color across the City Attorney’s Office. Her willingness to assist others and natural talent to talk though differences is unequaled. Without a doubt, we confidently recommend Kwali as a deserving attorney for recognition.

Thank you,
Deanne Durfee – Director, Municipal Operations
Matt Mulbarger – Assistant Director, Municipal Operations
Brad Beck – Assistant Director, Municipal Operations

Kwali Farbes joined the Denver City Attorney’s Office in 2015 as a Senior Assistant City Attorney and represented the Denver Economic Development Opportunity (formerly known as the Office of Economic Development) and Denver Arts and Venues. In 2018, Kwali was promoted to an Assistant Director in the Municipal Operations Section. Now, in addition to assisting with the leadership and management of the Section, she oversees the contracting function of the office and provides legal advice to client agencies throughout the City. In the summer of 2020, she led the development and implementation of the Municipal Operations Equity, Race, and Social Justice Program.

Prior to joining the City, Kwali spent ten years in private practice with a focus on public finance, assisting governmental entities and nonprofits with financing significant capital improvements. She continues to advise the Department of Finance on finance related matters, including the Elevate Denver and RISE General Obligation Bond Programs.

Kwali was honored to be included in the Denver Business Journal’s 2009 Forty under 40 class. Kwali graduated from CU Law School in 2005 after receiving a M.A. in Folklore and Folklife and completing her PhD coursework from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Anthropology from Yale University. Prior to attending graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, Kwali worked in the Anthropology Department at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Lee Zarzecki

Senior Assistant City Attorney
City/County of Denver, Colorado

It is with great pleasure that the Denver City Attorney’s Office nominates Lee Zarzecki for recognition of his outstanding leadership and tireless efforts working on environmental issues for the people of Denver. He is a consummate professional in his primary casework with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) but has also gone above and beyond to support a range of environmental health matters and our team’s equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts.

Lee, a senior attorney in our Municipal Operations section, was instrumental in our public health efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading our response team, he played a significant role in manning the emergency operations center and guiding vital emergency management operations, including strategic planning and emergency declarations. Over the last few months, as Denver has faced a humanitarian crisis of the arrival of more than 4,000 unhoused migrants, Lee has once again proved himself as a vital asset contributing to the emergency operations team. He is a trusted advisor to the DDPHE agency responsible for all environmental issues for the City. He assists the Real Estate department, the Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency department, and DDPHE with their legal needs. He is a fantastic teammate who is sought out by other attorneys in the Municipal Operations section of the City Attorney’s Office for his

In addition to his legal duties, Lee has been a strong voice in the EDI work we do in our section. He remains consistent in improving the culture of Municipal Operations for his team and finds creative ways to engage through small group efforts. His forward vision, participation and commitment to EDI encourages us to improve and create a better understanding of racial equity concepts. Lee led two significant efforts that established an EDI library for the Section and a historical photograph display that illustrated the impact of the Chicano movement in Denver. Lee’s sense of ownership and dedication to the breadth and power of environmental impact make him an excellent candidate for recognition.

Thank you,

Deanne Durfee – Director, Municipal Operations
Matt Mulbarger – Assistant Director, Municipal Operations
Brad Beck – Assistant Director, Municipal Operations

Lee Zarzecki is a Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City and County of Denver. He is a 2011 University of Colorado-Boulder alumni where he earned both a Juris Doctor and a Master’s of Science in environmental studies. He is also a graduate of Loyola University-Chicago where he double majored in political science and communication.  Prior to law school, Lee played semi-professional and professional soccer for the Colorado Rapids, the Chicago Fire and the New York Red Bull. Following law school, Lee was awarded the Michael F. Vaccaro Honors Attorney Fellowship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region III Office of Regional Counsel where he spent two years as an enforcement attorney. He subsequently spent three years in private practice focused on environmental law and real estate before joining the Denver City Attorney’s Office.  Lee primarily represents the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, the Denver Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency Office (CASR), the Denver Board of Public Health & Environment, and the Department of Transportation & Infrastructure on environmental matters (CERCLA, CWA, RCRA). He also represents Denver’s Office of Emergency Management and is a member of Denver’s Emergency Operations Center during disaster emergencies.

Nechole Garcia

Deputy City Attorney
Las Vegas, Nevada

Nechole Garcia is a Deputy City Attorney with the City Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, Nevada primarily focusing on Employment Law. Nechole is a native Nevadan who grew up in Las Vegas and obtained her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2007, and then graduated summa cum laude from the William S. Boyd School of Law in 2012.

After obtaining her law degree, Nechole worked as an Assistant City Attorney in the Civil Division of the Henderson City Attorney’s Office, where she engaged in a wide variety of legal work on behalf of the City of Henderson, including lobbying at the Nevada State Legislature. Nechole went on to spend several years working as a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. There, she litigated complex employment discrimination cases involving issues such as sexual harassment, disability discrimination, and age discrimination. Nechole has also diversified her legal background and skillset by working as an Assistant City Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Henderson City Attorney’s Office. In her free time, Nechole enjoys running, hiking, and most of all, spending time with her four-year-old daughter.

Reginald (Reggie) Nubine

Senior City Attorney
Denver, Colorado

The City Attorney’s Office is pleased to nominate Reginald (Reggie) Nubine for recognition as a legal professional who is a leader in our office and in his practice of law. Reggie has been instrumental in providing legal guidance and being a critical thought-partner as the City created and implemented its ever-evolving regulation of legal and commercialized Marijuana. He helped to craft the first regulatory structure at the very beginning and has continued to work closely with the Office of Marijuana Policy to implement new state laws affecting marijuana licensing, including social equity, transport, and delivery components. His thoughtful and steady guidance and partnership just in the realm of marijuana regulation has played a significant role in the City’s responsible, equitable, and highly successful implementation of these laws. Denver’s approach has provided a model for states across the nation as they have set up their own regulatory structures around legalized marijuana.

Thank you,
Marley Bordovsky
Division Director, Prosecution and Code Enforcement

Reggie Nubine is a senior city attorney in in the Prosecution and Code Enforcement (“PACE”) section of the Denver City Attorney’s Office. He advises the Department of Excise and Licenses on all matters related to business licensing, and he provides legal advice to all city agencies on cannabis issues. In his role, Reggie represents the City in administrative hearings and civil litigation relating to appeals of agency determinations, he advises on criminal prosecution, and he drafts legislative and administrative policy.

A handful of Reggie’s impressive achievements include: overhauling the City’s marijuana code to provide for, among other things, a licensing scheme rooted in social equity; providing guidance to Denver citizens and businesses about the language and effect of public health orders related to COVID-19; and, defending the City in the denial of a business license that adversely impacted its neighbors.
Reggie is originally a Dallas native. He received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M where he double-majored in Forensic Science and Psychology, and his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School. Immediately after graduating from law school he began his career with the City as an attorney intern with PACE. Thereafter, he was hired on an entry attorney and worked his way up to senior. Reggie currently lives in Denver with his partner and two dogs.