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Glen Ellyn spends 2.26 percent of Operating Budget on Legal Fees in First Eight Months of Fiscal Year

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011 – The Village of Glen Ellyn has spent $363,591.42 on legal fees in the first eight months of its fiscal year, equating to 2.26 percent of the Village’s operating budget or general fund of $16 million. Last year, the Village spent 3.22 percent of its operating budget on legal fees.

By comparison, College of DuPage, which had a total operating budget of $137.5 million last year spent a fraction of 1 percent (0.34 percent) of its total operating expenses on legal expenses including contracts, construction, litigation, and other operational needs (approximately $470,000). The College is on track to spend far less than 1 percent of its operating budget again this year.

Of the Village’s legal fees this year, $311,605.81 has gone to the firm Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, Dician, and Krafthefer, P.C., Village Attorney Stewart Diamond’s firm. Diamond’s firm currently represents the Village of Glen Ellyn against College of DuPage in a dispute over the degree to which the College construction must adhere to local ordinances. Diamond’s firm has collected $1.7 million from the Village since 2007. In contrast, COD has paid $2.8 million in legal fees from fiscal year 2007 to the present.

According to Daily Herald news articles, Carol Stream voted to change law firms away from Diamond’s firm due to cost in 2010. In March of this year, Island Lake board members attempted to replace Diamond’s firm, citing large fees, leading to a protracted legal battle with the mayor. As of August, Island Lake owed $331,496 for legal services to Diamond’s firm and a separate firm.

“We have an operating budget of roughly eight times the size of the Village, but they are spending almost as much as we are on legal fees,” said COD President Robert L. Breuder said. “This is a tremendous amount of money that could be spent on police officers, maintenance and infrastructure. The Village has said it will not spend tax dollars on preventing COD from de-annexing. Now is the time to keep their promise to its residents and help devise a de-annexation agreement which ensures a quick, smooth and inexpensive separation.”

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