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Council committee picks first woman for Portland city attorney

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Council committee picks first woman for Portland city attorney

PORTLAND — A City Council search committee has named Danielle West-Chuhta to fill the position of corporation counsel for the city, the first woman selected to become the city's top attorney, Mayor Michael Brennan announced Tuesday.

West-Chuhta has been serving in an interim role since the retirement of former counsel Gary Woods four months ago. Her appointment must be approved by city councilors, who will consider it when they next meet on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

The corporation counsel provides legal advice to the mayor, councilors and city staff, as well as to city boards and commissions.

West-Chuhta joined the city's legal team in 2008 as associate corporation counsel. Previously, she worked in municipal law, land-use law and litigation in the York County firm of Bergen & Parkinson. She is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, and lives in Portland with her husband and two children.

“Danielle’s experience and understanding of local government made her the natural choice for corporation counsel,” Brennan said in a press release.

“Her unflappable demeanor is often needed when dealing with complex and sometimes controversial legal issues. She understands the city and the community and I am confident that the city’s legal team will benefit from her leadership."

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.