Charlottesville will need to look for a new City Attorney

Charlottesville City Attorney Lisa Robertson is leaving her position effective December 28, 2022. The news was reported last night by interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. 

“Lisa has had a long career with the city of Charlottesville and in my time here I recognize her as one top-notch professional who you can rely on for sound advice and guidance.” Rogers said. 

Robertson has only been in the top position since May of 2021 when she was elevated from interim city attorney. She got that job in the fall of 2020 after former attorney John Blair became interim city manager following the resignation of Tarron Richardson that September. Robertson worked for the city in two different stints. 

Robertson’s departure comes at a time when the city faces several high-profile lawsuits including one from former Police Chief RaShall Brackney. Robertson defended the city’s removal of two Confederate statues on city-owned land before the Virginia Supreme Court, and argued for the dismissal of a suit against the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan. 

Outgoing Charlottesville City Attorney Lisa Robertson (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

Rogers said he would come back to Council with next steps for filling the position. 

“We will appoint an acting city attorney from the staff and then we will discuss other steps to make sure we are covered in that office,” Rogers said. 

Council took action later in the meeting on a resolution to allow Rogers to make adjustments to hire outside counsel where needed. Before they took a vote, Councilors weighed in on Robertson’s looming departure.

“Over the last few years it’s been a tough time to be in the City Attorney’s office and she has done a great service to us and we will be lucky if we find someone as competent as she,” said Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook. 

The vote to approve that resolution was 4-0 with Councilor Sena Magill absent from the meeting. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the December 20, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.


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