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Legal Department Staff

Nicholas O. Meyer, Legal Director

[email protected]

Acts as chief legal counsel to all City departments, the City Council and the Finance and Personnel Committee. Acts as supervisor of the Legal Department and legal resource to the Mayor’s Office.

Assistant:  Chasity Bailey 779-348-7391

 

Angela L. Hammer, City Attorney

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Atty. Hammer serves as the City of Rockford’s attorney for Labor and Employment Law.  Practices before the Illinois Human Rights Commission, EEOC, and in state and federal courts for employment discrimination matters.  She handles all internal labor disputes and grievances, including disciplinary issues in all City departments.  Atty. Hammer also acts as a Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act Officer for the City.   She advises and assists all Departments with implementation of the Local Records Act and a legal resource to the Human Services Department and Human Resources Department.  Atty. Hammer assists with the Codes & Regulation Committee, Labor Negotiations Committee, Community Action Agency Board and Community Action Agency Executive Committee.  She has extensive experience in civil litigation, zoning, and licensing matters.

 

Atty. Hammer obtained a B.A. in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University and a J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law. She is Licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. Member of the Winnebago County Bar Association, the General Bar and the Trial Bar of the Northern District of Illinois.

Assistant:  Chasity Bailey 779-348-7391

 

Ifeanyi C. Mogbana, City Attorney

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Attorney Mogbana heads the Legal Department’s Litigation Division. He practices in state courts defending major property damage and major personal injury lawsuits, advocates for the City before the Illinois Commerce Commission, and practices in federal courts defending civil rights lawsuits. Attorney Mogbana also facilitates general liability claims management. He advises the Police Department and Public Works Department in litigation and liability matters. Attorney Mogbana handles expungement matters for the Police Department and subpoena requests for all City Departments. He also acts as a Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act Officer for the City. Atty. Mogbana staffs the City Council Committee on Planning and Development.

Atty. Mogbana obtained an LL.B in Law from the University of Nigeria and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois and State of Minnesota. He is also admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and, the General Bar and the Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Assistant:  Troiana Gearns 779-348-7384

 

Matthew D. Flores, Assistant City Attorney

[email protected]

Attorney Flores serves in the City’s litigation division, defending the City and its employees in cases involving property damage, personal injury, and federal civil rights claims. He also advises the Traffic Commission. Attorney Flores previously represented the City in code enforcement hearings, and was appointed as the City’s Neighborhood Stabilization Officer. He consulted on Sen. Steve Stadelman’s statewide blight reduction task force and testified in Springfield on legislation aimed at providing municipalities better tools to reduce blight and address problem properties.

 

He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Northern Illinois University College of Law. Attorney Flores is admitted to practice in Illinois and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Assistant:  Troiana Gearns 779-348-7384

 

Megan McNeill, Assistant City Attorney

[email protected]

Attorney McNeill advises the Code and Regulations Committee and the Planning & Development Committee of the City Council, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Liquor and Tobacco Advisory Board.  She works closely with the Economic Development Divisions of the Community and Economic Development Department in negotiating and drafting TIF/development agreements, intergovernmental agreements, and other city contracts. Attorney McNeill supervises the prosecution of Building, Zoning, Sanitation Codes and General Ordinance violations. She also handles zoning, liquor, and tobacco issues; Special Events; Property tax matters.

Attorney McNeill has over 13 years’ experience working in State Government as an attorney for the Illinois Commerce Commission and Illinois Department of Transportation.

She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Speech Communication from the University of Illinois (2003), a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law (2006), and is licensed to practice in Illinois.

Assistant: Shelia Alexander 779-348-7383

 

Brooke Benoit, Assistant City Attorney

[email protected]

Attorney Benoit represents the city in prosecution of Building, Zoning, Sanitation and General Ordinance violations in administrative hearings, including defending petitions for review of administrative decisions in circuit court. She also represents the city in code compliance, demolition/repair, abandonment, and foreclosure matters in circuit court.   Attorney Benoit advises the Rockford Police Department and Neighborhood Standards Division in regard to the city’s efforts to reduce blight.  She is also responsible for advising the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Attorney Benoit earned her Bachelor’s degree from Butler University in 2017.  She is a graduate of the Northern Illinois of University College of Law and is licensed to practice in the State of Illinois.  She is a member of the Winnebago County Bar Association.

Assistant: Jessica Heimer 779-348-7390

 

John Wuich, Contracts & Grants Compliance Officer

Assistant: Nora Doyle 779-348-7394

Attorney John Wuich serves as the City’s Contracts and Grants Compliance Officer.  He is responsible for implementing the city’s grants policy and advising all city departments on grant compliance.  He coordinates the grant approval process and facilitates grant implementation planning among city departments. He also manages the City’s grant portfolio, assists with grant applications, and ensures compliance with grant conditions and reports.  Attorney Wuich is also responsible for ensuring that city contractors comply with all ordinances regulating public contracts.  He is the City’s Equal Opportunity Compliance Officer, administers the City’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise certification process, and acts as a legal liaison to the Community Relations Commission.

Attorney Wuich graduated from Monmouth College with a Communication major and Political Science minor.  He earned is JD from Northern Illinois University in 2016.  He is currently a member of the Winnebago County Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association.

 

Michael Hakanson, Land Transactions Officer

[email protected]

Michael Hakanson serves as the Land Transaction Officer for the City of Rockford. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker with over 20 years of experience in the field. He is an expert in commercial, residential and Industrial real estate valuations and transactions. Mr. Hakanson represents and advises all departments in land acquisition and disposition, and valuations of projects that required real estate transactions. He works directly with the Winnebago County Trustee and Land Bank Authority to ensure proper release of liens when necessary and warranted.

Mr. Hakanson is a long standing member of the Rockford Area Realtors Association, the Illinois Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors. He has served on local and state level government affairs committees and was formerly the Vice President of Gambino Homes. Mr. Hakanson strives to make a home or landowner’s experience with the City of Rockford a pleasant and smooth process, from first meeting to transfer of deed.

Assistant: Nora Doyle 779-348-7394