Mission: To provide quality, timely, and efficient legal services to the District, either through District legal staff or through supervision of outside counsel.
The Legal Depart supports the operations of the District by providing quality, timely and efficient legal advice and services to District staff, the District’s Board of Commissioners, and the Office of the President of the District’s Board of Commissioners .
The Legal Department provides legal advice to the President and Board of Forest Preserve District Commissioners, as well as to the General Superintendent and departments of the District. We draft ordinances, resolutions and supporting documentation for action by the Board, and appear at Board and Committee meeting. We respond to questions regarding federal, state, and local laws and their impact on the District, performing research into statutory and case law as necessary to advise the District in its day to day operations and policy decisions.
The Legal Department handles the acquisition of lands through purchase or condemnation. We advise the administration on the legal aspects of various grant programs in connection with land acquisition and are working with land acquisition specialists to identify innovative ways to conserve open space without the expense of acquiring title.
The Legal Department is responsible for the management of all lawsuits filed against the District or by the District. Due to the small size of our legal staff, several of these matters are handled by outside attorneys. A portion of our time is spent supervising these referral attorneys in their handling of litigation involving the District. Cases involve personal injuries to District visitors, disputes with adjoining landowners, employment matters, contract disputes and all other legal matters which face an entity which owns over 68,000 acres of land and employees hundreds of people involved in a variety of challenging and active occupations!
This office handles employee complaints and litigation matters that involve administrative bodies such as the EEOC, the Labor Board of the Civil Service Commission. We participate in departmental disciplinary procedures. We also provide advice on a day-to-day basis and are involved in establishing policies to foster positive relationships with and among employees.
The Legal Department also handles all requests for information under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.