Office of the Corporation Counsel
In 1870, the Office of the Albany Corporation Counsel was created, and then Mayor of the City, George H. Thacher, appointed the first Corporation Counsel, E.J. Meegan, to act as the Chief Attorney for the City. Today, the Office of the Corporation Counsel continues to act as the legal adviser to the Mayor, the Common Council, as well as to all Officers, Boards, and Commissioners of the City. In addition, the office has charge of all legal business of the City and its agencies. The Corporation Counsel is responsible for drafting ordinances and resolutions for the Common Council, preparing contracts, licenses, leases, permits, deeds, and easements. In addition the Corporation Counsel is also responsible for prosecuting violations on behalf of the City relating to vehicle & traffic, building codes, parking and quality of life matters.
Every year the Corporation Counsel’s Office handles in excess of 20,000 Vehicle and Traffic Law violations, hundreds of Building and Code violations, and many other quality of life cases. In addition, the Office responds to hundreds of Notice of Claims every year, and is responsible for diverse litigation involving personal injury, civil rights, environmental conservation, and labor law.
The Law Department pursues affirmative litigation to recover costs for damages caused by the actions of individuals and corporations, and to recover money owed to the City. The Law Department also has the responsibility for representing the City in employee grievance and disciplinary hearings, and to appear before various State and Federal agencies, Commissions and Departments.
The basic responsibility of the Office of the Corporation Counsel has remained the same for over 130 years. This Office continues to provide sound legal advice and service to the Mayor, Common Council and the City, and it continues to stay abreast of the issues associated with the changing times. As society and the legal profession grow and become more complex, this Office strives to meet those new challenges each day.
Corporation Counsel – John J. Reilly
Deputy Corporation Counsel -Patrick K. Jordan
Assistant Corporation Counsels:
William G. Kelly, Jr.
Eric P. Sugar
24 Eagle Street, Room 106
Albany, NY 12207
Phone: (518) 434-5050
Fax: (518) 434-5070