Conflict may also loom in Loves Park

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11309585901735.jpg’, ‘Photo by Jeff Havens’, ‘Loves Park City Attorney Paul Nicolosi’s development business has placed a construction trailer at 5303 N. 2nd. St. in Loves Park—site of many former eateries.’);

In addition to the potential conflicts of interest Nicolosi and Associates, P.C., may encounter by legally representing the villages of Roscoe and Rockton, they may also face ethical challenges if their other businesses operate in the communities they represent, and seek financial assistance, property deals or tax breaks from those same municipalities.

Visiting Northen Illinois University Law Professor Terri Day explained: “If they’re representing a municipality, and then they are purchasing, leasing or having property deals with the municipality, [and] the attorney is doing it on his own behalf, the municipality should be advised and should seek outside counsel to make sure the business dealings between the attorney and the municipality are in the best interests of the municipality. …

“Again, these conflicts can be waived by the municipality, but an uninterested third lawyer should be representing the rights of the municipality,” Day said.

However, City of Loves Park Attorney Paul Nicolosi, who refused to be recorded for accuracy, said a protocol was established by the Chicago law firm of Ansel and Glick on how to deal with the exact potential conflict Day described.

Nicolosi said whatever conflict of interest may arise, the protocol follows the Model Rules for Professional Responsibility.

Nicolosi and Associates is one of eight businesses that are part of The Buckley Companies LLC. Each of those eight companies specializes in law, real estate, construction, architecture, title services, capital management, or land planning.

Nicolosi is president and chief executive officer of The Buckley Companies.

Nicolosi’s business partner, Gerlando “Gino” Galluzzo, is director and executive vice president of The Buckley Companies, and is also an attorney at Nicolosi and Associates.

As shown in the photo above, The Buckley Companies have planted their construction trailer at 5303 N. Second St., in Loves Park. The site is currently owned by a company owned by Aubrey Fowler of Madison, Wis., and Josephine Deery, and was host to several now-defunct eateries.

According to Dan Jacobson, director of Public Works and Development for Loves Park that location may soon receive tax breaks in the form of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. The city hopes the 2-mile stretch along the dying North Second Street business district will be given TIF district status.

Jacobson said the city is in the process of hiring a firm to help determine where to draw the TIF district boundaries.

Nicolosi said he “hoped” The Buckley Companies “would not benefit any more than any other contractors in a TIF district.” He added that as long as there is “no direct contact with the municipality” and there is full disclosure of interests, any potential improprieties could be avoided.

He emphasized that the law firm Nicolosi and Associates is an affiliate of the Buckley Companies, but not a subsidiary.

For their legal services, Nicolosi and Associates were paid $204,783 last fiscal year by the City of Loves Park.

From the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue

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