Evanston City Manager Erika Storlie today announced appointments to three key senior leadership positions at the city.

Kelley Gandurski, who has led the City’s Law Department as corporation counsel/city attorney, will join the city manager’s office as deputy city manager. Deputy City Attorney Nicholas Cummings has been promoted to assume the Law Department’s top leadership role. And Interim Fire Chief Paul Polep has been appointed to fill the position permanently.

All three appointments are effective Monday, April 12.

“Kelley, Nick and Chief Polep are experienced, proven leaders who share a steadfast commitment to public service,” Storlie said. “Their leadership and expertise have been invaluable to our City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be just as critical as we begin to shift focus to our community’s recovery.”

As deputy city manager, Gandurski will focus on the day-to-day management of City operations while supporting the city manager on long-term projects, programs and community partnerships. She will also share oversight of City departments with current Deputy City Manager Kimberly Richardson. Gandurski joined the city in March 2020.

She previously had been the executive director of the City of Chicago’s Department of Animal Care and Control, and served as supervising assistant corporation counsel/senior counsel for the City of Chicago Department of Law. She holds a law degree from DePaul University College of Law and a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Joseph’s College.

As corporation counsel/city attorney, Cummings will lead the City’s Law Department and serve as the City’s head legal counsel. Cummings joined the City of Evanston as deputy city attorney in January 2020, where he has handled litigation for the City and served as the Law Department lead for the City’s groundbreaking Local Reparations Program.

Prior to coming to the City of Evanston, Cummings served as chief attorney for tort litigation at the Chicago Transit Authority and as an assistant state’s attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Civil Actions Bureau. Cummings holds a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a bachelor of science degree from DePaul University.

Fire Chief Paul Polep is a 24-year veteran of the department with more than 30 years of fire service experience. Polep began his service with the Evanston Fire Department in 1996 and rose through the ranks, serving as captain, division chief of emergency medical services, deputy chief of operations, and most recently as interim fire chief, a position he has held since January 2021.

Prior to his service in Evanston, Polep served as lieutenant and as a firefighter/paramedic with McHenry Township Fire Protection District. He holds an associate degree in Applied Fire Science from McHenry County College, and has achieved Chief Fire Officer Designation from the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. He is a resident of Evanston.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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