Attorney Tim Priebe moves out of public's spotlight
A face that is familiar with many area government entities and area residents is about to get out of the public spotlight. Mackoff Kellogg Law Firm attorney Tim Priebe is moving into the private sector to become the general counsel for Dickinson'...
A face that is familiar with many area government entities and area residents is about to get out of the public spotlight.
Mackoff Kellogg Law Firm attorney Tim Priebe is moving into the private sector to become the general counsel for Dickinson's Fisher Industries. The Noonan High School graduate joined Mackoff Kellogg in 1986 after getting his undergraduate degree at North Dakota State University and attending the University of North Dakota Law School. Since joining the Dickinson firm, he's developed a strong list of clientele by serving as attorney to area city and county governments.
"It was kind of by design. That is a niche that this firm hadn't had before," Priebe said in specializing in government representation for the past 15-plus years.
Priebe officially begins his new duties at Fisher July 1, which is just one month shy of marking 16 years as the legal counsel for the city of Dickinson.
"We've had some challenges and issues, but by and large, it's been a very enjoyable client to have," Priebe said of the city. "I think as city attorney, I tried to treat everyone fairly and with respect. I think people appreciate that. I tried not to get involved in the politics and just focused on the legal issues in the city."
There is an open house for Priebe from 4-5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, 2007, at the Dickison City Hall.
Dickinson Mayor Dennis Johnson said Priebe did an outstanding job for the city and is so knowledgeable when it comes to political subdivision law.
"He really helped me out when I was first elected mayor because I had a whole lot to learn, and I still do," Johnson said. "His advice is so sound. I can't think of a time that he gave his advice and two days later or a week later called and said 'I gave you the wrong advice.'"
Johnson said given the length of time Priebe has worked with the city, he's helped bring a sense of stability to the city attorney's position. That was especially important when the West River Community Center was being pursued.
"There were bonding issues there and he was a great help as we dealt with the bonding company and understood what our responsibilities were. These documents that you get are pretty massive," Johnson said. "He is the one who would go through the documentation to make sure the city is represented."
It also was understood an ordinance was required to create a city sales tax to support the funding and operations of the community center.
"And of course, he was the one who was charged with the responsibility of coming up with the various drafts of the ordinances that we felt comfortable to be able to take to the people for a vote," Johnson said.
Mike Fisher, vice president of Fisher Industries, said the growth the corporation has experienced, especially in the last two years, brought about the need for its own attorney. It didn't hurt matters any that Fisher has been represented by Mackoff Kellogg for about 50 years.
"I asked him if he ever would consider being a corporate counsel a number of months ago," Fisher said. "He fits our corporate culture really well. That is a big issue for us here. His personality is great. He will be able to work with everybody here. His background definitely fits what we're looking for."
Priebe said one of the main reasons he accepted the Fisher position is he wants to be a corporate lawyer and also wants to stay in Dickinson.
Priebe said he and Fisher were thinking along the same path as he worked with the corporation during its recent growth cycle.
"Corporate counsel has always been something that has interested me. Professionally, I think it will be very challenging," Priebe said.
The relationship between Fisher and Mackoff Kellogg doesn't end, however, as a result of Priebe's move.
"We feel this will enable us to work for Fisher on projects that Tim feels are appropriate for us," said Mackoff Kellogg President Paul Ebeltoft Jr.
Fisher believes having Priebe on board is only going to strengthen the relationship with Mackoff Kellogg.
"He knows the ins and outs of that firm and we've always used them," Fisher said.
Ebeltoft Jr. said when you consider someone like Priebe who has built a substantial practice, you would rather have him continue.
"If opportunities like this come up, you have to expect good people will take them," Ebeltoft Jr. said.