CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The attorney who has led Charlottesville's legal response to lawsuits over a white nationalist rally and the city's efforts to remove two Confederate monuments is stepping down.

The city announced in a statement Tuesday that City Attorney Craig Brown will be leaving his position at the end of January to pursue an undisclosed opportunity.

The statement says Brown joined the City Attorney's Office in 1985 and was promoted to city attorney in 2001.

The news comes a day after the city announced Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas' abrupt retirement.

A message left for Brown Tuesday morning wasn't immediately returned.

The statement says Charlottesville will begin a search for its next city attorney immediately.