Oak Park names new village attorney

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More than a year after the retirement of former village attorney Ray Heise, who served for nearly 30 years, the Village of Oak Park on Thursday announced the hire of Naperville resident Paul A. Stephanides as the new village attorney. Stephanides will start work Sept. 4.

Village Manager Cara Pavlicek called the search process "deliberate and detailed" and said Stephanides had the "best mix of skills, experience and temperament," for the job.

The village board gave Pavlicek a list of expectations and professional skills that they thought the new village attorney required said Pavlicek. "We had 50 applicants," she added. "The board helped by narrowing it down by finding the professional skill-set that met what the village needed."

Pavlicek said the board had an "advisory" role in the hiring process, and wanted to see a list of finalists. Other than that it was "the manager's decision," Pavlicek said.

Stephanides, 48, is a partner in the Chicago firm of Robbins, Schwartz, Nicholas, Lifton & Taylor, Ltd. Prior to going into private practice, Stephanides was a senior assistant attorney for the City of Naperville for 13 years. He also served as an assistant general attorney with the Chicago Park District.

Pavlicek said Stephanides' areas of practice were real estate, land use and zoning, litigation, construction law, election law, labor and employment law, prosecutions and counseling for local government boards and commissions.

Assistant Village Attorney Simone Boutet served as interim village attorney for over a year while a national search was conducted for a permanent successor to Heise, who retired in June 2011. Boutet will continue to serve as assistant village attorney, said Pavlicek.

Note: A previous verison of this article said Stephanides was 43. He is 48. The article has been updated to reflect that.

Reader Comments

11 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Jim Coughlin from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: August 10th, 2013 5:14 PM

It will be interesting to see if Mr. Stephanides is open to allowing contracts for outside legal services to be awarded via a competetive bidding process. The trustees previously allowed Mr. Heise to personally select the firms. Oak Park may be able to realize some savings by soliciting interests from a number of firms who specialize in municipal law. Hopefully, more of the Village's legal work will be performed by the in-house staff.

Wayne  

Posted: August 10th, 2013 10:05 AM

It's not about residency. Simone was a star, competent, helpful and of the highest ethics. And she knew Oak Park so well. Her problem was that being a star, the brightness glared into Pavlicek's eyes. And when you are ethical, you can't always be a yes man. We will really miss her.

a.j.g.  

Posted: August 9th, 2013 10:54 PM

Welcome to Pottersville, Mr. Stefanides. Your house is down a dark twisting narrow road, back by the landfill.

resident  

Posted: August 9th, 2013 10:49 PM

I don't agree with Barbara, Jason or Better Idea. Unfortunately the village does not hire the best candidate every time. How did we end up with Pavlicek? Is Stephanides giving up his partnership at his law firm?

Barbara from Oak Park  

Posted: August 9th, 2013 1:15 PM

Agree with Jason and Better Idea. Give our village the best candidate every time. Don't really care where he lives!

Jason  

Posted: August 9th, 2013 12:34 PM

Couldn't agree more with BIOP. If this was the best candidate who cares if he's not from Oak Park. Maybe he'll move? I always love the people that insist only Oak Park jobs should go to Oak Park people. The Village isn't that big, number one and number two that a ridiculously stupid hamstring to put on people.

Driver  

Posted: August 9th, 2013 10:32 AM

We feel better when the people that work for us are among us. I hope he moves into town. Plus Naperville is too far to travel everyday. Couldn't one of our lawyers on our Village Board made a recommendation ???

Better Idea from Oak Park  

Posted: August 9th, 2013 6:27 AM

There is no reason for this job to go to have to go to an Oak Park resident. Why not hire the best qualified candidate? How's that for a crazy idea? This guy sounds incredibly well qualified for the job.

Victor from Oak Park  

Posted: August 8th, 2013 9:57 PM

With all the lawyers in Oak Park do we really need a lawyer with no connection/commitment to Oak Park?

What? from What?  

Posted: August 8th, 2013 8:08 PM

Naperville?

yes  

Posted: August 8th, 2013 5:21 PM

Will he be a YES man to Pavicek and the board?

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