Oak Lawn approves $60K deal for adjudicator
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org November 6, 2013 3:17AM
Oak Lawn Trustee Bob Streit and village manager Larry Deetjen don't see eye to eye on the hiring of a village adjudicator. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media
The Oak Lawn Village Board recently approved a contract to pay $60,000 a year to attorney Kevin Cunningham to be the village adjudicator and prosecutor, but it wasn’t without a bit of a battle.
Village manager Larry Deetjen told trustees at the board’s Oct. 22 meeting that the move was made to consolidate legal services in a fixed contract rather than paying an hourly fee.
“I can tell you, unequivocally, in two months’ time, Kevin’s performance has been stellar,” Deetjen said, saying Cunningham conducts hearings on tickets at the village hall in an orderly and efficient manner.
But Trustee Bob Streit (3rd) said, “There are many problems with the agreement.”
“When this legal consolidation was proposed, we were told the village would save $24,000 a year. With this agreement, the village will save nothing,” said Streit, claiming the proposal was first suggested by former Trustee Tom Phelan, whom he called “a top advisor to this administration.”
Streit called the contract “compensation to Cunningham for providing 10 workers to the mayor’s campaign.”
Cunningham was not immediately available for comment.
“We see his reward as his compensation jumps from $36,000 per year to $60,000 per year,” Streit said.
Mayor Sandra Bury said there was no such agreement in place, adding that many people worked on her mayoral campaign.
“The village manager showed us the numbers, the numbers are true,” she said of Cunningham’s contract.
“You see the attention to these issues and very little being done for the district,” Bury said after the meeting, clearly miffed with Streit. “I welcome any legitimate issues brought before this board. I get a little tired of the manufactured ones (done) for drama.”
Bury said she doesn’t mind questions but said, “The lines are crossed a lot of times on what’s in the interest of Oak Lawn.”