SD 230 hires three law firms
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org June 3, 2012 10:34PM
Updated: July 6, 2012 10:47AM
Consolidated High School District 230 hired three law firms Thursday night, including one — Odelson & Sterk — that works with two other school districts and numerous communities in the Southland.
Odelson & Sterk will be paid a $200 retainer every month to be the general counsel, district spokeswoman Carla Erdey said Friday.
The board also hired Hodges Loizzi Eisenhammer Roddick and Kohn, of Arlington Heights, which has been with the district for several years, to handle special education, personnel and curriculum issues, Erdey said Friday. The firm will be paid a $250 monthly retainer, she said. The board also hired James J. Roche and Associates, of Chicago, to handle litigation. There is no retainer fee involved, Erdey said.
Burt Odelson, who founded the firm 40 years ago, said he’s thrilled to be working with the school district.
“I’m really happy because I’m a school lawyer and we have a new school client that’s a wonderful school district,” he said.
Amy Zale, a senior associate at the law firm, is a graduate of Sandburg High School, where she was a four-sport athlete, he said. She will likely handle some of the district’s cases, he indicated.
The firm also works with Oak Lawn Community High School District 229 and Community High School District 218, Odelson said.
District 230 includes Andrew, Sandburg and Stagg high schools.
“We have close ties in the area,” Odelson said.
The hiring of each firm was approved by 4-3 votes, Erdey said.
Rich Nogal, Frank Grabowski and Kathy Quilty voted against hiring Odelson & Sterk and against hiring Roche. Patrick O’Sullivan, Michael Hastings, Carol Baker and Laura Murphy voted in favor of both. Hastings, Baker and Murphy voted against hiring the Hodges law firm, Erdey said.
Quilty said her vote was not one against Odelson, but one more in favor of the job done by Hodges.
“We’re happy with what we have. Mike Loizzi has been a great negotiator for us over the years. I really didn’t see a need for hiring another law firm,” Quilty said.
However, she did say she understands there is a need to hire firms that specialize in certain topics.
Erdey said three firms are needed “because firms specialize in different things and the needs of the district are very broad.”
Odelson & Sterk will represent the district in upcoming teachers contract negotiations, Odelson said.
“There’s always issues. We’ve become quite good at handling the issues with (school districts) 218 and 229,” Odelson said Friday.