Midlothian Hires in-house attorney

Midlothian Hires in-house attorney

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Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#1 Aug 25, 2011
I found the following article interesting. They will pay McGrath exactly what he was making before we hired him as the "in-house" attorney. However, he will have no overhead as his office will now be in the village hall. And he will not be paying a secretary. So it looks like a large pay raise for him!

http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/728066...

Also note: We will be paying outside attorneys for legal advice. Doesn't seem quite right, does it?

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#2 Aug 25, 2011
Disclaimer: The sentence regarding what McGrath will be payed is just my prediction. It is not in the article what they will pay him. I'm basing my opinion on the recent bad decisions that are being made.

“Trust me?”

Since: Jan 10

Oak Forest/Midlothian

#3 Aug 25, 2011
They are hiring him on full time to do legal work, and then hire an outside lawyer to go over what he has done? How is that saving money, sounds like doing things twice to me. Also we voted to raise taxes not so they can hire more administration. Now they will provide health insurance and all the other benefits including a retirement plan. Terry, did you really think this out? Also if you were looking for an in-house lawyer, why was this position not posted for other lawyers to apply for? His office had been up for rent for some time, so this has been in the works for a long time. Something does not sound right here.

5yr Midlo Resident

Since: Apr 09

Midlothian, IL

#4 Aug 25, 2011
The guy doesn't even specialize in municipal work so it's hardly surprising they still need outside council However, regardless of him in particular, on a big deal like they are trying to do you would seek outside council. On that I agree with them. Any project worth 10s or 20s (or more) of millions, you get a second opinion.
What I don't get is why we need him in house. Nothing said last night was enough to sway me. I'd have to hear hard facts and numbers. REAL numbers. Perhaps it will become a less bitter pill to swallow A) when we see some #s and/or B) when we see some development.
In the meantime, we have to keep our eyes and ears open.

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#5 Aug 26, 2011
The article said that Don's comment was most other communities do not have a corporation counsel. That's actually a very condensed version of the point he was trying to get the board to understand. What Don actually said was that he investigated 60 communities. Of the 60 he found only 3 with in house lawyers. 57 communities were doing just what we have been doing all along. 2 out of the 3 communities that did have in house lawyers were much larger than Midlothian. He went on to say that if what was being purposed was such a good idea why hadn't other communities taken this action.
I thought Don did a good job expressing his concerns and I felt his being ridiculed was inappropriate.
It was obvious that minds were already made up prior to the vote and no amount of discussion was going to change the outcome.
I was listening with an open mind because I only want what's best for our village. If the discussions for having the in house lawyer were convincing I would have supported the vote. What was discussed openly in the meeting did not convince me this move was in our best interest. The arguments for this move were only based on 2 year predictions of how much work there MIGHT be. They never said that right NOW there was so much work that this was justified. My feelings are that this move could also have been made in the future IF AND WHEN it was PROVEN to be justified. Also, if the compensation to the lawyer hasn't been determined how can costs even be a part of the discussion. For a lawyer you would have thought details and facts in line in the proper sequence would have been important.
The room the meeting is held in is called the counsel chambers. To me, I heard counsel against the decision that made more sense, and that was ignored and ridiculed.
On a side note, I didn't like the tactics used to get our newest trustee in office, and now that he's there I'm seeing those same tactics used in meetings and I think it's disgusting.

“Trust me?”

Since: Jan 10

Oak Forest/Midlothian

#6 Aug 26, 2011
Remember, come next election who is wasting our tax dollars. Trustees Don Killelea, Karen Kreis and Jerome Gillis voted against creation of the legal department. Trustees Allen Moskal, James "Mo" Potempa and Vince Schavone voted for it. The tie was broken with a yes vote from the Mayor, Terry Stephens. It seems the more money our town gets, it spends it without thorough forethought. We were told the village could not keep valuable services from our fire, police, and public works if we did not vote to raise our taxes, we did. Where did they say they were going to hire an in-house lawyer with some of it? I am sure the tax hike would not have passed if we knew how they were going to spend it. When the new administration first got in, they were doing a good job at keeping cost down and shrinking the budget, after the last election they seemed to lost their way.

“Trust me?”

Since: Jan 10

Oak Forest/Midlothian

#7 Aug 26, 2011
30 years in midlo wrote:
The article said that Don's comment was most other communities do not have a corporation counsel. That's actually a very condensed version of the point he was trying to get the board to understand. What Don actually said was that he investigated 60 communities. Of the 60 he found only 3 with in house lawyers. 57 communities were doing just what we have been doing all along. 2 out of the 3 communities that did have in house lawyers were much larger than Midlothian. He went on to say that if what was being purposed was such a good idea why hadn't other communities taken this action.
I thought Don did a good job expressing his concerns and I felt his being ridiculed was inappropriate.
It was obvious that minds were already made up prior to the vote and no amount of discussion was going to change the outcome.
I was listening with an open mind because I only want what's best for our village. If the discussions for having the in house lawyer were convincing I would have supported the vote. What was discussed openly in the meeting did not convince me this move was in our best interest. The arguments for this move were only based on 2 year predictions of how much work there MIGHT be. They never said that right NOW there was so much work that this was justified. My feelings are that this move could also have been made in the future IF AND WHEN it was PROVEN to be justified. Also, if the compensation to the lawyer hasn't been determined how can costs even be a part of the discussion. For a lawyer you would have thought details and facts in line in the proper sequence would have been important.
The room the meeting is held in is called the counsel chambers. To me, I heard counsel against the decision that made more sense, and that was ignored and ridiculed.
On a side note, I didn't like the tactics used to get our newest trustee in office, and now that he's there I'm seeing those same tactics used in meetings and I think it's disgusting.
Their minds where made up, at the same point McGrath's office was available for lease. This was in the works for some time.
Interested

Lockport, IL

#8 Aug 26, 2011
Sadly, there was some truth...they most assuredly would have reduced public safety personnel/equipment had the referendum not passed. Even worse, if times don't change and things become tough again, it's the public safety that'll be on the chopping block again, not the new legal department...village manager, admin assistant...etc. The workers who actually do the work are always the first to chop when convenient for the powers that be.

I'm sure the public safety employees are happy to be able to continue to serve and are grateful to the public - just as they are worried for the public if this all doesn't pan out. Lastly, they are also worried that if it doesn't pan out, that they will once again be in the crosshairs.

Sure, there are lots of different things a municipality should be doing that we never did before - and yes, some of that led up to us being a bit backwards compared to other towns. But at the same time, even with a little bit of breathing room (thanks to the residents) there should be "some" level of caution until things brighten economy-wise. Maybe Village Manager Yes, In-House Lawyer down the road once progress peaks it's head over that horizon.

Here's hoping it all pans out for all stakeholders...residents, employees and politician's - in that order.

“Trust me?”

Since: Jan 10

Oak Forest/Midlothian

#9 Aug 26, 2011
I will almost guarantee the new Administration Assistant will be....(drum roll).....McGrath's old secretary! If this is not patronage hiring I do not know what is. I may be wrong since they have not announced who got the position, but I bet that also was written in stone a long time ago.

“Stay Thirsty my Friends”

Since: May 11

Location hidden

#10 Aug 26, 2011
Sad you are correct that they have lost their way, or maybe this was their way all along and it was just hidden from us. I've looked at this entire situation and there are a few points I'd like to make:

1. The mayor has admitted that this move was brought upon by the attorney/health insurance issue. This admission proves two points - this hiring is nothing more than a cover; and there was indeed a crime being committed. If there was nothing wrong with the previous arrangement, then why change it?

2. Without a salary not yet identified how can the mayor or anyone else say that there will be cost savings? An employee means payroll taxes, paid holidays, sick days, retirement benefits and insurance. None of this has been analyzed by the village, of if it has it has not been shared with the trustees. We already have department heads in this town making over $90k a year in base salary. I'm sure the attorney will demand more than that. Assuming he makes $100,000 a year in base salary, his total net cost to the village will be over $125,000 a year. Last year he earned about $110,000 as a contractor, so where is the savings?

3. The village hall office area is already over crowded. This hire will necessitate a renovation of the office space and a probable expansion into the council chamber area. Initial figures said this work would cost $200,000. But if it goes anything like the cost overruns of the police station remodel the cost will probably be closer to $300,000.

4. The front office staff currently has 4 employees. With creating a legal department and a full-time administrator, the front office staff will increase by 1. The deputy clerk/water clerk will become just a water clerk. The employee hired the replace the soon to retire office manager will be the new deputy clerk. Then an additional position will be added because the lawyer and new full time village administrator will need an administrative assistant. The extra desk is already set up in the front office area, it's just a matter of time until it is filled.

People have been lamenting on this site how Terry has turned his back on those who got him elected. This should come as no surprise. His ties to those who tried to defeat him when he ran for mayor are still very strong. Terry and those supporters also know another thing about this town - most people don't give a damn.

On this site alone people are spending more time arguing if the stories of an 88 year old former resident are real or fake than they spend time discussing the criminal activities of our mayor. Midlothian is a sleepy town and things will only get worse until more of our residents start paying attention to what is really going on.
Clyde

Midlothian, IL

#11 Aug 26, 2011
Residents can start by contacting the Attorney Generals office and filing a Review Request. The contact is under the post Helpful Information. When I started making inquires about things, I found out that there a few violations of the open meeting act already. Also violations of freedom of speech.
ThisStinks

Alsip, IL

#12 Aug 26, 2011
Terry what the f@#k are you doing, at this point i'm ready to vote back TJ or even Larry R. When you go against Don Killalea your f@#king up.
Retiring to Florida

Midlothian, IL

#13 Aug 26, 2011
Maybe Terry is planning on retiring and heading out to Florida after screwing over the town as much as possible. Who knows what he is thinking or what is going on behind the scenes at the village hall. The only thing he has to offer in the form of getting anything out of his position is creating jobs where there were none. I just did not think he would be so blatant about it. If they do hire McDrath's old secretary to fill the new administrative assistance position, I would like to see Terry's personal bank account before he leaves. I have a feeling the next meeting will need a bit more security as many do not like as another poster put it, patronage hiring, and may want their voices heard. If Terry drew out a plan how this will save money, then release it so we all can see it, put up or shut up, Moe, Allen, Vince and Terry staring as the fourth stooge that you liked at first, but always wanted to see the original.

5yr Midlo Resident

Since: Apr 09

Midlothian, IL

#14 Aug 26, 2011
You're right Jonathan. I only hope more residents start to care or care more.

30 yrs thanks for that post. You really hit the nail on the head too.
News Flash

Chicago, IL

#15 Aug 26, 2011
Midlothian has just hired an attorney to see if their hiring of an attorney was legal. They have also hired an accountant to see if their hiring of the first attorney is cost effective. However the first attorney has objected to those two hirings calling them cost prohibitive. So at this time a special efficiency expert has been hired to see if theses costs are worth the monies being spent. Meanwhile the village has stated that either a tax hike is needed to cover these costs or some police officers, firefighters and pw guys may be laid off. Meanwhile a former resident of Midlothian who is 88 years has stated that he knew all of these folks when they used to try and steal water from his mothers well. He is currently writing a book on this fascinating subject and names will be named. Oh wait thats another thread.
Concerned Tax Payer

Midlothian, IL

#16 Aug 27, 2011
Jonathan Goldsmith wrote:
Sad you are correct that they have lost their way, or maybe this was their way all along and it was just hidden from us. I've looked at this entire situation and there are a few points I'd like to make:
1. The mayor has admitted that this move was brought upon by the attorney/health insurance issue. This admission proves two points - this hiring is nothing more than a cover; and there was indeed a crime being committed. If there was nothing wrong with the previous arrangement, then why change it?
2. Without a salary not yet identified how can the mayor or anyone else say that there will be cost savings? An employee means payroll taxes, paid holidays, sick days, retirement benefits and insurance. None of this has been analyzed by the village, of if it has it has not been shared with the trustees. We already have department heads in this town making over $90k a year in base salary. I'm sure the attorney will demand more than that. Assuming he makes $100,000 a year in base salary, his total net cost to the village will be over $125,000 a year. Last year he earned about $110,000 as a contractor, so where is the savings?
3. The village hall office area is already over crowded. This hire will necessitate a renovation of the office space and a probable expansion into the council chamber area. Initial figures said this work would cost $200,000. But if it goes anything like the cost overruns of the police station remodel the cost will probably be closer to $300,000.
4. The front office staff currently has 4 employees. With creating a legal department and a full-time administrator, the front office staff will increase by 1. The deputy clerk/water clerk will become just a water clerk. The employee hired the replace the soon to retire office manager will be the new deputy clerk. Then an additional position will be added because the lawyer and new full time village administrator will need an administrative assistant. The extra desk is already set up in the front office area, it's just a matter of time until it is filled.
People have been lamenting on this site how Terry has turned his back on those who got him elected. This should come as no surprise. His ties to those who tried to defeat him when he ran for mayor are still very strong. Terry and those supporters also know another thing about this town - most people don't give a damn.
On this site alone people are spending more time arguing if the stories of an 88 year old former resident are real or fake than they spend time discussing the criminal activities of our mayor. Midlothian is a sleepy town and things will only get worse until more of our residents start paying attention to what is really going on.
Was their a promise of an idependent audit of the Village books? Is their any proof that insurance fraud has been commited? Or is this just "Topix" specualtion?

A poster,posted the IL Compiled Statues (criminal) with regards to insurance fraud. If in fact, the alledged insurance fraud meets the criteria outlined in the statue, ANY, citizen can file a Criminal Complaint with the States Attorneys Office.

However, if the allegations does not violate IL Criminal Statues, then a Civil Remedy may be relevant. The IL Attorneys General Office and the IL Insurance Regualtion Office may have jurisdiction. Ethically, the American Bar Association and The Better Government Association may be helpful.

We are now under Home Rule, does this play a factor? Do we now circumvent Il State Statues that pertain to non-home rule villages?

If anyone has a Municipal Attorney Friend, these questions may be of interest.

The bottom line is my property value has decreased 25%. The Village is not attracting any substational Business Tax Revenue,and frankly, why would a Big Box want to invest here now,when neighboring towns have more to offer.

Sadly, Midlothian may have dug itself a black hole. Not just on the west side of town lol. Its only money!!!!!!!!!!
Concerned Tax Payer

Midlothian, IL

#17 Aug 27, 2011
A fund raiser to finance an independent audit and a review by a Municipal Attorney may be in order.

It seems the village will claim that a independent audit would not be fiscally sound.

The amount of money raised for the Gazebo project, would finance the audit and attorney review.

And, politically, how would it look if the village tried to road block a group of Concerned Tax Payers...Midlothian's Very Own Tea Party.
foul ball

Wilmette, IL

#18 Aug 29, 2011
just a question if the village is putting the attorney on the payroll full time,is he going to be able to do his other outside legal business on village time,along with his secretary doing the paper work ?
John

Villa Park, IL

#19 Aug 29, 2011
sad case wrote:
Remember, come next election who is wasting our tax dollars. Trustees Don Killelea, Karen Kreis and Jerome Gillis voted against creation of the legal department. Trustees Allen Moskal, James "Mo" Potempa and Vince Schavone voted for it. The tie was broken with a yes vote from the Mayor, Terry Stephens. It seems the more money our town gets, it spends it without thorough forethought. We were told the village could not keep valuable services from our fire, police, and public works if we did not vote to raise our taxes, we did. Where did they say they were going to hire an in-house lawyer with some of it? I am sure the tax hike would not have passed if we knew how they were going to spend it. When the new administration first got in, they were doing a good job at keeping cost down and shrinking the budget, after the last election they seemed to lost their way.
I think we need to all remember Terry was the opposing party his whole life. His winning was the easy way out for the past Mayor.. nothing has changed the town is still full of theifs and should be investigated. Maybe thats why Mayor Terry needs a full time lawyer. How many things are hiddin in the closets in Midlothian
John

Villa Park, IL

#20 Aug 29, 2011
I think we need to all remember Terry was the opposing party his whole life. His winning was the easy way out for the past Mayor.. nothing has changed the town is still full of theifs and should be investigated. Maybe thats why Mayor Terry needs a full time lawyer. How many things are hiddin in the closets in Midlothian

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