Tallahassee’s first Black female city attorney steps down

Photo of Cassandra Jackson courtesy: Florida Bar

Many in Tallahassee City Hall and beyond were caught off guard when  City Attorney Cassandra Jackson announced her plans to resign earlier this month.

Jackson has been the city’s lead attorney for five years and made history when she took office, becoming the first Black female city attorney.

Her resignation was made public on Nov. 2, and her resignation became effective Friday, Nov. 24. She will remain a city employee with her city attorney salary and benefits until her retirement date of June 1, 2024.

Jackson has an exemplary educational background. She graduated with honors from Stetson University receiving her bachelor’s and juris doctorate degrees, then began working for local and state governments. She served as assistant city attorney for the cities of St. Petersburg, Lakeland and Tallahassee, and assistant county attorney for Leon County.

She served two years as the deputy city attorney and, on Feb. 1, 2018, she took office as the Tallahassee city attorney.

Jackson said she was  resigning due to “personal reasons.” She expressed her gratitude for the chance to serve Tallahassee.

“It certainly has been the honor of my life, my career, to serve as your city’s attorney,” Jackson told the Tallahassee Democrat.

The Famuan reached out to Jackson for comments and did not receive a response.

The Tallahassee City Commissioners voted to appoint Deputy City Attorney Amy Toman as the interim city attorney until a permanent one is hired. The commissioners have decided to advertise the position.

“Our plan is to advertise it, accept applications and then begin the process to interview to choose the next city attorney.” Commissioner Diane Williams-Cox said.

“I’m very excited for Cassandra’s next chapter,” Mayor John Dailey told The Famuan. “I’m very appreciative for what she has done for the City of Tallahassee.”

Dailey and Williams-Cox were in agreement when asked about the transition of city attorneys. “The city attorney’s office will continue to function as if it were her there. We work very closely with the city attorney because we are dealing with contracts and any liabilities and public hearings but all of that function will still continue to happen throughout the city attorney’s office. When Cassandra was not available the deputy made sure everything happened. She is experienced and knows how to keep the day-to-day operations going,” Williams-Cox said.

This coming week, deputy city attorney

Toman will begin her role as Tallahassee’s interim city attorney.