City Attorney Emily O'Donnell abruptly resigned on Friday morning.
She was cleaning out her desk after a meeting at the mayor's office.
It takes a six-member majority for the City Council to fire the city attorney.
Mayor Tim Kelly had named her as the first female city attorney for Chattanooga.
The mayor said, “Emily is a passionate, dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to uphold justice and advocate for our most vulnerable residents during her historic tenure as the first female City Attorney.
I am incredibly grateful for her service to our city and wish her all the best as she returns to private practice.”
City Council Chairman Darrin Ledford said, “Emily has a true heart for public service, and I am grateful for everything she did to lift up the voices of those in need while serving the city during her 18-month tenure. I know she will continue to serve our community as a leader and an advocate upon her return to private practice, and I wish her well in all her future endeavors.”
“It’s been an honor to work alongside Mayor Tim Kelly and the Chattanooga City Council serving the residents of Chattanooga these past 18 months,” said Ms. O’Donnell. “Their leadership and vision has been instrumental in all of our work to create a city where everyone has an opportunity to grow and thrive, and I look forward to continuing to further their mission as I shift back into private practice over the coming months.”
Ms. O'Donnell received her B.A. in Political Science from Sewanee: The University of the South and her J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law. She began her career as a staff attorney for Legal Aid of East Tennessee, representing low-income people in civil legal matters including Landlord/Tenant, Fair Housing, family law, consumer protection, and educational issues. She has also worked as a nonprofit executive, lobbyist, and solo practitioner.