Mr. Chris Leighty serves as the City Manager and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city. In addition, he ensures the vision of the Mayor and City Council is implemented. He has served in this capacity for six years. Prior to his role with Lake City, Mr. Leighty served for three years as the Director of Public Safety for Midtown Alliance, He served as the Chief of Police for the City of Morrow and retired after 23 years as a Major with the City of Atlanta Police Department. Mr. Leighty served in the United States Marine Corps on active duty for nine years and in the Marine Reserve for two years. Chris was assigned to an Airborne Company 2nd ANGLICO, that supported U.S. Army and Allied Forces with Navy and Marine Corps Close Air Support and Naval Gunfire. He deployed numerous times including Beirut, Lebanon in 1983 and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm 1990-1991. His final rank was Gunnery Sergeant.
He received numerous awards during his time in the Marine Corps including the Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star in lieu of a second award, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Southwest Asia Service Medal. He was also awarded the Basic Parachute Insignia, the Navy and Marine Corps Parachute Insignia and received the coveted United States Army Ranger Tab as the Enlisted Honor Graduate for Ranger Class 9-83. Mr. Leighty graduated from the US Army’s Jump Master School at FT. Benning Georgia and served in that role with 2nd ANGLICO at Camp Lejeune North Carolina.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration/Justice Administration from Columbus State University, a Bachelor of Applied Studies in Organizational Leadership from Mercer University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, and he has an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia Military College. He is a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College, The FBI LEEDS program and was awarded his Executive Certification from the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. Chris is a graduate of the FBI Hazardous Devices School, he is a Certified Public Manager having graduated from the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, he is a member of the Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia City County Managers Association, the Georgia Local Government Personnel Association, and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.
Chris enjoys riding motorcycles and visiting the low country, particularly Hilton Head where you will find him boogie boarding. He loves spending time with his wife of thirty years Susan and their daughter Allison. He is a dog lover and has a nine-year-old rescue named Candy. He is a Life Member of Both the Beirut Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 2557.
Chris may be contacted through any of the methods listed above.