Brownstown appoints new town attorney for 2022

BROWNSTOWN — Jan. 7 was a big day for Zach Miller.

He and his wife, Kellie Park, welcomed their first child, Lily Arianna Miller, into the world.

Plus, the Brownstown Town Council appointed Miller as the town attorney for 2022.

The Madison native has practiced law since 2006 and opened his own law firm, Miller Law LLC, in Brownstown in 2019.

Him being in town was a big benefit to the council, and that was one of the reasons they selected him. That came on a 3-1 vote during a special meeting Friday at the town hall. Councilwoman Sharon Koch cast the lone nay vote.

“I love this small town,” Miller said Monday.

“My wife and I could have lived anywhere in the county, but I picked Brownstown because of unique agricultural roots. I hope that I’m able to make sure that Brownstown never loses its agricultural beginnings while also embracing economic opportunities. Brownstown is my home and where I own my business. I am vested personally and professionally in ensuring that Brownstown continues to thrive.”

Attorneys with Farrow and Thompson PC in Seymour had represented the town since 2014, but the council chose to go with Miller for this year. Their choice was between him and Susan Bevers with Lorenzo, Bevers, Braman and Connell LLP in Seymour.

The council considered it a good problem to have two good choices for town attorney because both Miller and Bevers have experience working with municipalities.

Councilman Mark Reynolds said he contacted county officials who have worked with both attorneys as well as a person who doesn’t work for the county, and they all had good things to say about Miller and Bevers.

Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said he also has had positive interactions with both attorneys.

After about 20 minutes of discussion, Reynolds made a motion to appoint Miller, Tim Robinson seconded, Crystal Stuckwisch voted in favor and Koch said nay.

Miller will begin representing the town in February and will attend the first of the council’s two meetings a month, which is at 6 p.m. on the first Monday. He will be paid $250 per month for the meeting and $134 per hour for work outside meetings.

“I look forward to working with the town council to ensure their policy directives are realized,” Miller said. “ Furthermore, Brownstown is my home. We own our primary home here and have both residential and commercial properties we love and want to protect. As town attorney, I will zealously advocate for my hometown to ensure goals of everyday people like me are met.”

Miller graduated from high school in 1998 and then from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis. According to his website, he also holds a master’s degree in administrative law from Pace University.

“I’m from a small town just like Brownstown, and my parents instilled in me a strong work ethic and empathy for my fellow man at a very early age,” he said on his website. “I grew up on a farm, where there was no shirking responsibility. I keep my word, just like my dad taught me to do, and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty.”

Miller said he was washing dishes in the IU cafeteria before he set foot in his first classroom.

“I worked my way through school. I know what it feels like to depend on a paycheck and how scary it is if you can’t work or find yourself with unexpected bills,” he said. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and go to work for you.”

Prior to living in Brownstown, Miller said he and his wife lived in New Haven, Connecticut. While on the East Coast, he was in-house counsel for a financial company, Higher One.

He also worked as a deputy prosecutor in Indianapolis pursuing major felonies, and before opening his own firm, he was a partner at Markel, Lambring and Miller LLP in Brownstown.

At his firm, Miller specializes in litigation, including personal injury law, family law and criminal law.

“I have worked for every level of government, including municipalities,” Miller said. “My firm has experience with statutory takings, drafting ordinances and resolutions, community improvement programs and yearly audit reports for the State Board of Accounts field examiner and civil litigation.”

Miller and his wife live in the Wegan area, where they own a small cattle farm. Kellie is an anesthesiologist at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.