City Attorney's Office

The City of Coral Springs City Attorney’s Office provides timely legal representation and advice to the City Commission and City administration. This office zealously represents the city in legal controversies and is committed to implementing the City Commission’s policy of minimizing exposures and potential liability through the core processes and outputs including research and counsel, contracts, litigation and municipal violation prosecution.

Department Head

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John Hearn

City Attorney John J. (“JJ”) Hearn is an executive officer of the City of Coral Springs, pursuant to the City Charter. Hearn has worked closely with numerous City Officials, City Managers, and staff throughout his 26-year career with Coral Springs to ensure the effective and lawful operation of the city.

City Attorney John J. (“JJ”) Hearn is an executive officer of the City of Coral Springs, pursuant to the City Charter. Hearn has worked closely with numerous City Officials, City Managers, and staff throughout his 27-year career with Coral Springs to ensure the effective and lawful operation of the city. 

Hearn earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame (BA) and received his Juris Doctorate Degree from George Washington University, where he was a published member of Law Review.  

For more than 15 years, Hearn has been rated AV Preeminent, the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell. Hearn is the President of the Notre Dame Club of Fort Lauderdale and a Board Member for the St. Thomas Moore Society. Hearn previously served as Board Chairman of Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School. 

Hearn’s role as City Attorney was instrumental in the city’s applications for the Florida Governor’s Sterling Award and the National Malcolm Baldrige Award, making Coral Springs the first governmental entity to receive such distinction. 

Prior to his career with the City of Coral Springs, Hearn represented various police departments throughout South Florida and was the first City Attorney to serve the City of Doral upon its incorporation in 2004. 

Sherry Lynn Whitacre, Deputy City Attorney

  • swhitacre@coralsprings.org
  • 954-344-5977 

Sherry Lynn Whitacre, Deputy City Attorney of the City of Coral Springs, joined the city in 2007. She works closely with the City Attorney and provides legal advice to the City Commission and various city departments. In her role, she serves as the attorney for the Planning and Zoning Board and focuses on ethics, purchasing, and planning and zoning. Whitacre attended the University of Illinois and earned an undergraduate degree in Legal Studies. She also graduated Summa Cum Laude from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, where she was a member of Law Review. Prior to coming to the City of Coral Springs, Whitacre was a law clerk at the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach for Judge Barry Stone.  This experience exposed her to many areas of law and ultimately led her to a career in government law with the City of Coral Springs. Whitacre was appointed by the late Mayor Skip Campbell to serve on the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, where she completed two years of service.  

Andrew B. DunkielAssistant City Attorney

  • adunkiel@coralsprings.org
  • 954-344-5977

Andrew B. Dunkiel, Assistant City Attorney and Coral Springs Police Department legal advisor, joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2012. 

Dedicated to providing high quality legal services to the city’s elected officials, officers, and staff, Dunkiel provides a wide variety of timely and accurate legal services. In his current role, he represents the city in labor and employment, administrative, criminal, and civil matters. In addition, he provides onsite emergency legal advice and counsel to incident commanders and operational personnel. Dunkiel graduated magna cum laude from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. He also graduated magna cum laude from NSU Law in the top 10% of his class. Dunkiel was Vice President of the Nova Trial Association, Subscriptions Editor of the Nova Law Review, and was awarded the Krupnick Campbell Trial Advocacy Award. He is a member of the Florida Association of Police Attorneys, Florida Police Chiefs Association, and the Broward Police Chiefs Association.

Nicholas Noto, Assistant City Attorney

  • nnoto@coralsprings.org
  • 954-344-5977

Nick Noto joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2013 and is currently an Assistant City Attorney. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Florida State University. In 2014, he obtained a Juris Doctorate from the FIU College of Law. While still in law school, Noto started his career with the city as a Certified Legal Intern. Noto handles a wide variety of legal matters for the City of Coral Springs. These include providing concierge legal services to several city departments, their directors and staff, and the City Manager’s Office; preparing ordinances, resolutions, and city policies; and drafting and negotiating contracts for goods and services. Noto also represents the city in a variety of pre-litigation and litigation matters, including contract disputes, foreclosure cases and disbursements of surplus funds, code enforcement proceedings and appeals, municipal ordinance prosecutions and appeals, and the city’s misdemeanor diversion program. Noto serves as Board Attorney to the General Employees Pension Board, the Administrative Zoning Review Committee, and the Stipulated Agreement Administrative Panel. He is a member of the Young Lawyers, Government Lawyers, and City, County, and Local Government Law Sections of the Florida Bar. He is also a multi-year member of the city’s Leadership Development Program. Noto also volunteers as a mentor to the executive board members of his fraternity at Florida State University.