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Michigan Municipal League

Press Release


Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073;


Northville's Christopher J. Johnson Named New General Counsel for League

Michigan Municipal League hires seasoned attorney, former Northville Mayor


ANN ARBOR, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League has selected long-time municipal attorney and former Northville Mayor Christopher J. Johnson as the organization’s new general counsel.

As general counsel, Johnson will provide legal advice to the League’s executive director and board of trustees, and oversight of legal programs and staff. Johnson also will play an integral role in the ongoing development, implementation and evolution of the League’s overarching mission. He succeeds William Mathewson, who retired from the League as general counsel this summer after serving the organization in a variety of roles for more than 40 years.

“We are extremely pleased to have Chris join the League as our general counsel,” said Dan Gilmartin, League CEO and executive director. “Chris’s vast experience in municipal law as well as having served as a mayor made him an ideal choice for the League and for our membership.”

Johnson comes to the League from the law firm of Johnson, Rosati, Schultz & Joppich, P.C., where he was a founding partner. For more than 30 years, Johnson has been active in the defense of municipalities in civil litigation throughout the state of Michigan. He maintains specialties in the fields of municipal law, school law, legislation, liability and insurance defense. He is admitted to all state and federal courts in the state of Michigan as well as the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and has served as a member of the State of Michigan's Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Commission from 2001-2007. He has been an active member of several League legislative committees for years. In addition, he has served as general counsel in a number of non-profit capacities in Michigan.

In addition, Johnson is a seasoned presenter and a graduate of Michigan State University, College of Law (formerly Detroit College of Law) and the University of Michigan. 

He served as the mayor of Northville from 1987 to 2015 and was awarded the Citizen of the Year by Northville Chamber of Commerce (2015). He served on the Northville Board of Education from 1976 to 1987. In 2010, he was named Top Lawyer by Hour Magazine and DBusiness, Southeast Michigan's Journal for Business.

“I’ve worked closely with the League both as a former mayor and as an attorney for years and to now be a part of the outstanding League staff is truly an honor,” Johnson said. “I look forward to helping the League serve its member communities.”

Carol Rosati, co-founder and partner at Johnson, Rosati, Schultz and Joppich, P.C., added, “We will miss Chris, one of our firm’s founding members. We wish him all the best, confident that we will cross paths with him as we pursue our common goal of protecting the legal interests of Michigan communities.”

For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell); (734) 669-6317 (office) and Download a photo of Johnson here:

About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at





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