Mayor Michelle Roman has made history by appointing a woman to lead the City of Lockport corporation counsel's office.
Former Corporation Counsel David Haylett left the post on April 3 to take a full-time job with Niagara County.
Roman selected deputy counsel Laura Miskell Benedict to succeed Haylett. Miskell Benedict started in the job on Monday.
Miskell Benedict is the daughter of Roman's first corporation counsel, Allen Miskell, who had served as the city's top attorney in several prior administrations.
Following in her father's footsteps takes on a special meaning for Miskell Benedict.
"I remember my dad being city attorney when I was little. He's worked under various mayors actually. I was really proud of him when he came out of retirement ... to work with Mayor Roman last year," she said. "He wanted to serve the city and serve the mayor."
Miskell Benedict isn't reluctant to recognize the history made with her appointment.
"It is a milestone," she said. "It's something that's important for female attorneys to see other female attorneys in roles such as this. I have a daughter myself. I want her to see both her parents succeeding in their fields."
"I think it's a really wonderful thing that I get to be the first female to serve in this position," she added. "We still live in the city and I want nothing more than for Lockport to succeed."
Miskell Benedict is a graduate of Lockport High School, the labor relations school at Cornell University and the University at Buffalo Law School. She began practicing law at the Miskell and Moxham firm in 2005 and has focused on family law, working often as a child advocate in legal proceedings.
Miskell Benedict is married to Mike Benedict, the confidential law clerk to Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon, and they have a 10 year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter.
On day one at the corporation counsel's office, Miskell Benedict said, her priorities are ensuring the city is advised and in compliance with the various executive orders coming out of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's office, and to figure out virtual city meetings.