Linda Kingsley, Corporation Counsel for City of Rochester, announces retirement

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Linda Kingsley – the leader of Rochester’s law department during a time when the city sought to hold bad landlords accountable, address unsafe housing, and deal with rising car thefts – has announced her retirement.

Kingsley serves as the Corporation Counsel for the Mayor Malik Evans Administration and served the same role under the Mayor Bill Johnson Administration from 1994 to 2005. The city says Kingsley and Rochester’s Deputy Mayor Patrick Cunningham will retire at the end of December after joining the Evans administration in January of 2022.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, Deputy Corporation Counsel Patrick Beath will take on Kingsley’s role as Corporation Counsel. In addition, City’s Budget Director Michael Burns will become the deputy mayor.

During her time with the Evans administration, Kingsley has sought to address abandoned and unsafe homes in the city that could become magnets for crime including drug dealing. News10NBC spoke with Kingsley about the city’s efforts to tear down homes that “nobody should be living in.”

Kingsley also served as the legal expert for an administration that joined a nationwide lawsuit against Kia and Hyundai manufacturers over an increase in car thefts. She also served at a time when the city went after slumlords through the Rochester Housing Quality Task Force, enacted a gun violence state of emergency, and aimed to shut down illegal gatherings that could turn violent.

Before joining Mayor Evans’ team, Kingsley worked in private practice and taught at Albany Law School. She also previously served as Corporation Counsel in Binghamton. This week, Kingsley will be presented a Lifetime Achievement in Municipal Law Award from the International Municipal Lawyers Association.

In a statement, Kingsley said:

“I want to thank Mayor Evans for giving me the opportunity to conclude my legal career by once again serving the city in the position that first brought me to Rochester over 30 years ago,” Kingsley said. “My time here with Mayor Evans and his team and with our Law Department staff has been rewarding beyond my expectations. I now look forward to spending more time with my family and friends while I continue my life here in Rochester.”