City Attorney Sharonda Williams Announces Departure From City Hall

NEW ORLEANS – City Attorney Sharonda R. Williams announced that she will be leaving her post effective November 1, 2015, to pursue private law practice. 

         Williams served in this role for two and a half years and has been responsible for directing and supervising the legal affairs of the City of New Orleans for both the executive and legislative branches of City government.  Williams joined the City Attorney’s office in 2011 as Chief Deputy City Attorney for Litigation. 

         “Sharonda has been an integral part of our team and a trusted advisor,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Sharonda will be sorely missed. She has overseen matters that will be important for generations—she has handled complex litigation from consent decrees governing the New Orleans Police Department and Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office to lawsuits with the firefighters and taxicab and civil service reforms. I want to personally thank Sharonda for her hard work and service on behalf the people of New Orleans.”

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         When asked about her greatest accomplishment while serving the City, Williams said that it has been reaching a settlement agreement with the Firefighters Union, a dispute that has spanned more than 30 years.

         “It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of New Orleans,” she said.

         Prior to joining City Hall, Williams was a partner at Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert LLC. She was the first African American to become a partner at the firm. Williams graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University and cum laude from Loyola University’s College of Law, where she was a member of the Loyola Law Review. Upon receiving her law degree, Williams worked as an intellectual property lawyer at Kilpatrick Stockton in Atlanta. She is admitted to the bar in Georgia and Louisiana and the United States patent bar.

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         Williams is extremely active in both legal and community organizations. She serves as a past president of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society and past regional director of the National Bar Association. She served as Chair of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana from 2010-2011. She has served as President of the Board for Bridge House and the Loyola Law School Alumni Association, and she currently is a Vice President of the New Orleans Bar Association.  She has had various leadership roles in and awards from the Louisiana State Bar Association and National Bar Association. Locally, she was honored by Gambit Weekly as a “40 under 40” honoree in 2010 and as a City Business “Women of the Year” honoree in 2011.

         Upon her departure, Rebecca Dietz, who currently serves as Mayor Landrieu’s Executive Counsel, will become the City Attorney.

         Dietz began her work for the City in 2012 as a Deputy City Attorney in the City Attorney’s office.  In this role, Dietz served as the head of the Contracts Division where she provided oversight, review and negotiation of City contracts, as well as served as liaison between City department leadership and numerous contractors, including local and national businesses, non-profit organizations, community partiers and quasi-governmental entities.  In 2014 Dietz served as General Counsel and Deputy Director of Legal Affairs for the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.  Dietz’s work for the Airport included oversight of all legal matters, including procurement of the Construction Manager At Risk for the new North Terminal Airport Project.  Prior to joining the City Hall team, Dietz was a partner at the law firm King, Krebs and Jurgens where she maintained a practice focused on oil and gas and environmental litigation.

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         Dietz graduated from Tulane Law School in 2002, where she earned a specialization certificate in the field of environmental law.  After graduating, Dietz worked in Washington DC for the law firm Crowell and Moring, LLC in corporate litigation.  She is an active member of the Louisiana Bar, as well as an inactive member of the Maryland and District of Columbia bars. 

         Suchitra J. Satpathi, who has handled state legislative affairs for Mayor Landrieu and the City of New Orleans since September 2010, will maintain those duties and serve as Executive Counsel. In her role as Director of State and International Affairs, Satpathi has served as the mayor’s designee to both the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, as well as to Wisner.  

         Satpathi has practiced law for more than 15 years. She holds a Bachelor degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Master’s degree and law degree from Temple University in Philadelphia.  Previously, she worked in private law practice, as an associate professor of English at Baton Rouge Community College and also served as the executive director for the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. As the executive director for the Black Caucus, she worked on legislative issues ranging from ethics to economic development.


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