Kelley A. Gandurski

Partner, Elrod Friedman LLP

Kelley A. Gandurski

Partner, Elrod Friedman LLP


About Kelley Gandurski

Kelley Gandurski is an executive and legal professional who has spent her career in both the public and private sectors, in traditional legal practice and executive city management.  She has represented local governments such as the City of Chicago and the City of Evanston in all aspects of municipal law, operations, and crisis management. 

Kelley began her career in the City of Chicago Law Department practicing in civil prosecutions and defense matters.  She was recruited to private practice and worked for a number of years on municipal, commercial, and subrogation and tort cases (plaintiff and defense), practicing in multiple states (in both federal and state court).  Kelley has been the lead attorney on several jury and bench trials throughout her career. 

In 2016, Kelley returned to the City of Chicago as a Supervising Attorney in the Municipal Prosecutions Division.  She was then appointed by the Mayor of Chicago to be the Executive Director of Chicago Animal Care and Control, where she managed a department of 80 employees (union and non-union), as well as over 300 volunteers.  Kelley and the Department garnered worldwide accolades in the handling of numerous high-profile matters. 

In 2020, the City of Evanston recruited Kelley to become the City’s Corporation Counsel.  After successfully managing the City through the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelley was asked to become Deputy City Manager, overseeing four municipal departments.  Upon the previous City Manager’s departure in 2021, the Evanston City Council appointed Kelley as the Interim City Manager, overseeing all aspects of governmental function for the City of Evanston.  In this role, Kelley combined her legal and executive expertise to create multiple systems for efficient operations, managing personnel matters, creating space for community dialogue, reporting to the City Council on all aspects of City operations, and steering to passage the City’s $360 million budget.   Kelley also lead her team in creating and securing City Council passage of the City’s $43 million plan under the American Rescue Plan Act.


  • DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
  • St. Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, Indiana, BA in Political Science, Teaching Minor in Spanish, Magna Cum Laude
  • Illinois
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • US District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • Administrative Law Judge, Will County, Illinois
  • Illinois State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Past Chair
  • Illinois State Bar Association, Assembly Member, 2007-2009
  • American Bar Association, Under 35 Delegate, 2010
  • Midtown Educational Foundation, Volunteer, 2014
  • Chicago Animal Care and Control, Volunteer, 2016


  • FEMA Announces New Local Elected and Appointed Officials Guide for Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Elrod Friedman Alert, November 1, 2022
  • Illinois State Bar Association, New Lawyer Presentation for Circuit Court, 2005
  • Illinois State Bar Association Newsletter:
    • ISBA/ YLD Champaign Social, December 2005
    • The ABA Midyear Meeting, April 2006
    • The 2nd Annual YLD Golf Outing, April 2006
    • ISBA / Young Lawyers Division 3d Annual Golf Classic, February 2009
    • The Children’s Assistance Fund, August 2009
    • Notes from the Chair, October / December 2009, June 2010
  • NITA Program, Teacher 2018

Representative Matters

  • Represented warehouse owner in Wisconsin arbitration on multi-million-dollar contract dispute.
  • Prevailed on appeal for general contractor on contract dispute in the Third District Appellate Court (Will County, Illinois).
  • Obtained temporary restraining order in Circuit Court of Cook County on behalf of client -physician / clinic owner.
  • Obtained judgment for City of Chicago in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against interest group seeking to enjoin Chicago from removing tents on public way.
  • Obtained favorable verdict for City of Chicago in tort litigation tried by jury.
  • Prevailed in numerous cases for City of Chicago in housing court / building code matters.
  • Negotiated for City of Evanston several intergovernmental agreements and memoranda of understanding with other governmental entities and private institutions.
  • Successfully represented the City of Chicago and City of Evanston in numerous administrative review matters.

In the News

Speaking Engagements

  • Chicago Bar Association, Local Government Committee, Problem Properties & Effective Solutions

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