Mayor Kelly names Chattanooga's first female city attorney

Emily O'Donnell
photo Emily O'Donnell

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly has named attorney Emily O'Donnell as his pick to serve as city attorney.

If approved by Chattanooga City Council, she would be the first woman in history to occupy the city's top legal office. She succeeds Phil Noblett who served as head of Chattanooga's Office of City Attorney for nearly three years under former Mayor Andy Berke.

"Emily is an outstanding attorney and a committed advocate for families," Kelly said in a statement Wednesday. "Throughout her career, she has been a champion for women and vulnerable communities, most recently launching an eviction prevention initiative that kept dozens of families in their homes."

O'Donnell spent the first half of her career as an attorney for Legal Aid, providing legal services across the Chattanooga region, from assisting victims of the 2013 Patten Towers fire to litigating in General Sessions, Juvenile, Circuit, and Chancery Courts and the Tennessee Court of Appeals.