Interim Brookhaven City Attorney Thompson Kurrie Jr.
Interim Brookhaven City Attorney Thompson Kurrie Jr.

Following the resignation of City Attorney Bill Riley, Brookhaven City Council appointed Thompson Kurrie to serve as the city’s interim attorney.

At the Council’s Oct. 8 meeting, Mayor J. Max Davis announced that Riley would be leaving the city attorney post he’s held since the city’s incorporation in December. Riley will continue in his role as solicitor for Brookhaven’s Municipal Court.

“I would like to thank Bill Riley for his expertise and service to Brookhaven. Bill’s experience, particularly his work with new cities, has been invaluable to us during the last nine and a half months,” Davis said. “We are excited to have another veteran attorney from a premier law firm to advise the city.”

Riley’s law firm, Riley McLendon, serves as the city attorney and solicitor for several other cities in the metro Atlanta area, including Johns Creek and Dunwoody.

Riley said he resigned because Brookhaven required more time than he could provide.

“My contract called for about 18 hours a week, and we were consistently doing 40, sometimes 50. We just couldn’t afford it,” Riley said. “I’m honored to work with them and I look forward to continue being their prosecutor.”

Riley also volunteered as the pro bono attorney for the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven, the organization appointed to help start up the city before the mayor and city council were elected. Riley said he has worked during the startup phase of each of the six new cities in the metro Atlanta area, beginning with Sandy Springs in 2005.

City Council members thanked Riley for his help getting the city through the difficult startup phase.

“Bill was like the calm pilot,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams. “I will be forever grateful.”

“You were a really good guiding light when we needed it,” Councilman Joe Gebbia said. “You were the right man at the right time at the right place.”

Kurrie is a partner with the law firm Coleman Talley and has been practicing law for 37 years. He also is a Certified Public Accountant, city officials said.

“It’s very humbling and certainly been a privilege to be here this evening and have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Brookhaven as well as to serve this council,” Kurrie said. “We look very forward to this.”

Kurrie said his firm, based in Valdosta, has been doing municipal work for more than 50 years.  The firm has had an Atlanta office for the past nine years.

According to the city, Kurrie will oversee a team of attorneys from his firm who will work on city business, as well as other specialized firms that will be brought in to assist the city in other areas. The city’s legal budget will remain the same.

Kurrie’s firm also provides attorneys for the cities of Valdosta, Hahira and Adel, as well as Lanier and Echols counties.