City legal director leaves for Municipal League post

Patrick Hayes’s last day as Legal Director for the City of Rockford will be Dec. 5 as he has accepted the appointment as the Illinois Municipal League’s (IML) new General Counsel.

In announcing his intentions Hayes said, “I have had the rare privilege of serving the community and could not have imagined at the outset the tremendous experience that has been. I am very grateful to Mayor Morrissey and the City Council for entrusting the position to me. While my new role will be focused on municipal interests across the entire state of Illinois, I will always have the fondest regard for the City of Rockford.”

“I am extremely proud of Patrick’s legal and legislative work for the City of Rockford and have been honored to serve with him during my time in office,” said Mayor Larry Morrissey. “Pat has taken the lead on some of Rockford’s toughest challenges, which are many of the same challenges faced by cities throughout the state of Illinois. While I am sad to see him leaving his current position, I am equally excited about his new role where he will be able to apply his substantial knowledge and experience to support our municipal agenda through the critical work of the Illinois Municipal League.”

Hayes has been with the city for just shy of 12 years. Notable achievements during his tenure include leading collective bargaining efforts that reduced operating costs for the City, being the legislative liaison for new legislation for the city like the River Edge Redevelopment Zone, testifying in Springfield for labor and pension reform, assisting with negotiations for the acquisition of the IceHogs franchise and affiliation agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks, and other local law changes like the Multi-family Rental Registry program.

“From day one, our administration noted the need to be a force in Springfield, lobbying diligently for the rights of Rockford citizens, as well as for needed statewide reforms in collective bargaining and pensions,” said Jim Ryan, City Administrator. “It’s no accident the Illinois Municipal League saw Patrick as an excellent candidate, because we got on the playing field, played, and played well. The Rockford community should be proud that our lead legal advocate will now be the lead legal advocate for the largest agency advocate for cities in Illinois – cities that collectively contribute 90 percent of the states’ gross domestic product.”

The IML General Counsel is a full-time, in-house senior manager who directs the IML legal and legislative departments, manages resource publications, directs educational and training programs, and handles various aspects of board meetings and the IML annual conference.

“We undertook an extensive search to fill this position and I am very pleased to have attracted the interest of someone like Patrick, who commands a wealth of local government experience,” said Brad Cole, IML Executive Director. “Patrick’s experience as a private attorney and municipal counsel, as well as his understanding of state legislative issues, give him a running start on the topics he will monitor and address as he leads our legal and legislative departments.”

–City of Rockford

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