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.