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
- 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
- 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
- Potential settlement in the works for lawsuit filed against Lakeside Tower apartment building in Waukegan | Chicago Tribune | November 7, 2022
- Waukegan takes apartment building managers to court; ‘If you are not willing to be a good landlord … we will be nonstop going after you’ | Chicago Tribune | September 9, 2022
- Lincolnwood clears the way for hotel at District 1860 development, where Purple Hotel stood | Chicago Tribune | August 23, 2022
- Evanston interim City Manager Kelley Gandurski to resign in July | Chicago Tribune | July 28, 2022
- Evanston Township High School lockdown lifted after 2 guns found; 8 students detained | ABC 7 News | December 16, 2021
- City Of Evanston Secures Agreements With Police, Firefighter Unions On COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate | CBS Chicago | November 9, 2021
- Evanston City Council Announces Intent to Appoint Kelley Gandurski as Interim City Manager | City of Evanston | August 16, 2021
- Law Department Receives Jefferson B. Fordham Award | City of Evanston | May 19, 2021
- City Manager Erika Storlie Announces Key Staff Appointments | City of Evanston | April 8, 2021
- No more alligators or coyotes: Chicago’s Animal Care and Control director resigns | Chicago Sun-Times | February 13, 2020
- See ya later, Humboldt Park alligator | Chicago Sun-Times | July 16, 2019
- Chicago Announces Record Release Rate at City Animal Shelter | WTTW News | January 31, 2019
- Mayor Emanuel Appoints Kelley Gandurski Executive Director Of Chicago Animal Care And Control | City of Chicago | September 19, 2018