Chattanooga city attorney Randy Nelson will retire at the end of the year, effective midnight Dec. 31.
Mr. Nelson on Tuesday informed Mayor Ron Littlefield and City Council members of his decision in a written letter. Mr. Nelson said Tuesday he made the decision to spend more time with his family. He said he also effectively would resign from his private firm of Nelson, McMahan & Noblett, which provides the city with its attorney services.
“I may hang on a little bit with the Industrial Board,” he said.
Mr. Nelson has been city attorney since Jan. 1, 1990, and he has worked with the city attorney’s office since 1968. He graduated from the University of Tennessee Law School, he said.
He said the city charter calls for the mayor and the City Council to agree on a new city attorney, typically within 60 days. Mr. Nelson said he thought it would be hard for the mayor and the council not to retain his law firm for services.
“I think it will be difficult for them to go somewhere else with the knowledge that has been retained in that office,” he said.
Mayor Ron Littlefield said Tuesday he was sad to hear Mr. Nelson is leaving because he is a “personal friend.”
“I’ve known him almost 40 years,” Mr. Littlefield said.
Mr. Littlefield said the city possibly would look at having an interim city attorney until after the March elections. He said he would work with the City Council to see the options.
Council Chairwoman Linda Bennett said Tuesday said she was “certainly sorry to see him go.”
“It’s kind of hard to replace that many years of service,” she said.
Cliff has worked for the Times Free Press for five years and covers Chattanooga city government. He previously covered Rhea County, as well as transportation and growth and development in Southeast Tennessee. A native of Maryville, Tenn., Cliff graduated in 2003 from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis on journalism. Before coming to Chattanooga, he was a crime reporter with Hernando Today, a supplement of The Tampa (Fla.) ...