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Village Changes Legal Counsel

Johnson Peterson Murray SP replaces Querrey and Harrow as village attorney effective immediately.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, the village switched its legal counsel from Querrey and Harrow to a new firm with Wisconsin ties, which assumed duties as the village attorney.

Paul O’Grady, who has sat at the dais for Querrey and Harrow for the past two years, will continue representing the village in his new role as managing partner for Milwaukee, WI-based Johnson Peterson Murray SP. The announcement comes after rumors that O'Grady had parted ways with Querrey and Harrow last week.

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 “It was a personal decision for my family. It was a great opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” O’Grady said. “It was a great opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.”

The village was hired to replace in 2009 under a cloud of controversy.

In August, village board trustees prior to a board meeting, when trustees were informed

Village Manager Larry Deetjen informed the village board on Feb. 29 that he had appointed new legal counsel. Under the managerial form of village government, Deetjen said he was authorized to make that appointment.

“We did not hire Mr. Querrey or Mr. Harrow,” Deetjen said. “We hired personnel we thought could do the job … They’ve done an outstanding job.”

Mayor Dave Heilmann, also an attorney, said the law of the village manager's appointing the village attorney was “open to interpretation.” He said he wasn’t aware of the change until he received an email from the village on Feb. 29.

“I trust it will be put on the next village board agenda,” Heilmann said. “There certainly is an argument that the manager has the right [to hire the village attorney] but the board has the power of the purse strings.”

O’Grady will become the managing director of Johnson Peterson Murray’s Chicago office, which is expanding into Illinois. The legal team that handled all of Oak Lawn’s governmental work will remain intact and follow O’Grady to the new firm.

The village attorney represents the village in civil rights, labor, workman’s compensation claims, appellate work, and daily ordinances and board work.

Querrey and Harrow will continue wrap up pending litigation for the village. For example, this past week, O'Grady paving the way for a new commercial development.

O’Grady i Mike Stillman, the former managing partner of Querrey Harrow and O’Grady’s former colleague, switched firms to Odelson and Sterk last month.

Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and U.S. News and World Report have recognized Johnson Peterson Murray for the quality of their legal expertise and representation the firm provides across a broad range of practice areas, according to a press release issued by the law firm.

Hourly rates--$185—are expected to remain the same as with Querrey and Harrow. O’Grady also anticipated a "seamless transition" of the village's legal business as his team moves to their new firm’s digs on the 84th floor of Willis Tower.

“This is a group of young guys with families and an opportunity to go out on their own to head up this new venture,” O’Grady said. “We’re so excited.”

Judge Judy March 22, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Chaz, On behalf of all Oak Lawn residents, I want to take the time to say that Crazyman is right. We don't care about your little tiff with Deetch.
Oak Lawn Gal March 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Actually if you Google Larry and read up on his Deerfield Beach experience it's quite an eye opener.
QC March 23, 2012 at 04:11 PM
JJ Speak for yourself - NOT for "all Oak Lawn residents" . If you had 1/2 a brain you'd be upset about Deetch's very questionable practices in his previous positions of employment , not to mention the underhanded company he keeps. Research b/4 you speak.
My-Acts Of-Sedition March 23, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Whenever I hear someone say they speak for all the residents, I have myself a little chuckle. It's like kinda a blanket racial statement. You know, like the one Larry dropped on the Palm Beach County first responder. Oh sorry. He didn't drop a blanket racial statement, rather Larry was balls-on specific full of hate. So Oak Lawn, are you really that enamored with LRD? Apparently, he's not that happy with your town, as every time I turn around, his name is in the running for another CM job in another town. His name tossed in the ring, but never at his request? That's what we're supposed to believe. And that fart cloud that's behind him? Blame it on the dog. In the running for League City, Texas, only to have that 'berg take a pass. Or then there was Cape Coral, Florida who added Larry's name to the list and then somehow "mysteriously" yanked it. Always the bride's maid, never the bride... Perhaps those cities are concerned over the fact that three elected Deerfield Beach officials who sat up on the dais with Larry have been arrested and removed from office. By the way, it was my complaints that sent all three to the Gray Bar.
My-Acts Of-Sedition March 23, 2012 at 04:40 PM
One sentenced to a year in jail, another a year's probation. And the third, our former mayor, one time BFF and business partner of Larry - the dishonorable Al Crookelini, has stalled his felony corruption trial for the last three years. Ask Larry about "Arbor Greene" and the still ongoing State Attorney investigation of that matter. So, when it comes to Larry "The Racist" Deetjen, it is most certainly the company he keeps. Or perhaps in this case, the company he once kept who have been remanded into the State's custody. Perhaps Texas and the other Florida city aren't too keen on the idea of having their town run like a black-ops project. Maybe they aren't too keen on a City Manager who becomes quickly best friends with developers. Maybe they don't need an honorary member of the White Supremacist movement. Or maybe it's as simple as they don't want to deal with Larry's wife. For those unfamiliar with Lynne, imagine a screeching harpy who overdosed on Red Bull and Adderol. Suggestion: never sit next to her... Your hearing will thank me. Finally, as to my tiffs with Larry... Really? A tiff? I am mentally unbalanced? I need a new life and/or professional medical help? Guilty as charged! But one way to my visit with Dr. Frasier Crane, I intend to give Larry holy ****.

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