Vice Mayor Jim Shulman’s office released Monday the announcement of its recommendation that a senior attorney for Metro take over as the new legal counsel for Metro Council.
The recommendation aims to replace Jon Cooper, who left Metro for Bone McAllester Norton earlier this year, with a veteran who has worked within Metro Legal for more than 20 years. At present, Assistant Metropolitan Attorney Margaret Darby oversees a legal team that deals with fiscal administration issues — including those related to the Finance Department — for Metro Council. She supervises Metro’s property tax litigation, which includes delinquent tax collection and appeals of tax assessments and for tax exemptions.
“After several months of working […] on selecting a new Director/Legal Counsel for the Metro Council, I am very pleased to recommend Margaret Darby for the role,” said Shulman in a mass e-mail to Metro Councilmembers. “She brings a wealth of information to this role and the history and knowledge of how Metro has operated, specifically from a financial standpoint. She has the background and experience to help us do our work.”
Cooper served as director of the Metro Council office from 2008 to 2015 with Darby on his team. Following that position, he took the helm as Metro Law Director from 2015 to 2019, succeeded by Bass Berry & Sims partner Bob Cooper. Thereafter, he returned to directing the Metro Council office.
Darby’s career brought her to work closely with the Economic and Community Development Office as well as the Industrial Development Board to negotiate and execute payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreements and tax increment financing agreements like that which secured Oracle’s development of its second-string development headquarters at the imminent River North campus.
With regard to her dealings with the Finance and Treasury Departments, Darby also serves as the Metro Issuer’s Counsel, facilitating general obligation and revenue bond work. As issuer’s counsel, she also advises the Metro Sports Authority on financial transactions concerning major facilities like the Bridgestone Arena, First Tennessee Ballpark, Ford Ice Hockey Center and Nissan Stadium.
Darby has provided legal representation for multiple boards, commissions and departments throughout her career. Her client departments have included the Finance Department, Investment Committee, Metro Treasurer, Metro Trustee and Tax Assessor.
Darby holds a law degree from Vermont Law School and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Georgia State University.
She became licensed to practice law in Tennessee in October 2000.