After serving nearly six months as interim town attorney, Lea Colasuonno is now the permanent leader of Jackson’s legal department.

Earlier this week the Town Council appointed Colasuonno, who has worked in the department for six years, to the post of town attorney. In her new role, she said, she will continue to “maintain and enhance the community’s quality of life.

“I’ll use all my skill and diligence to advocate for the public,” she said.

Colasuonno took over the interim position from her predecessor, Audrey Cohen-Davis, who resigned in May after 13 years and has since founded her own firm in Jackson, Cohen-Davis Law. Colasuonno said she doesn’t plan to revolutionize anything.

“The legal department is on great solid footing, in no small part due to Audrey,” Colasuonno said. “I’m very grateful to her.”

Since Cohen-Davis left, Colasuonno has been the town’s sole attorney, and she said that for now it doesn’t plan to hire another. Instead, the town will outsource some work — like municipal prosecution, an intensive task removed from Colasuonno’s plate — to private attorneys.

It’s a reversion back to the structure of the legal department before Colasuonno arrived, and with that outside contracting she said she isn’t worried about handling the workload without the help of an assistant town attorney.

After graduating from George Washington University Law School, Colasuonno joined Jackson’s legal department in 2013. She has worked on projects ranging from the town’s nondiscrimination ordinance and tenant protections to criminal issues and litigation.

While in law school, she provided legal services to low-income, minority seniors and worked in the Superfund, waste chemical and criminal enforcement divisions of the Environmental Protection Agency. She also published legal articles on various subjects regarding federal environmental law and policy.

After approving Colasuonno’s contract, several councilors praised her contributions to the town over the years, with Mayor Pete Muldoon saying, “You’ve done a wonderful job.”

“We’re lucky to have you,” Councilor Jonathan Schechter said.

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911 or town@jhnewsandguide.com.

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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