Attorney Probing Amtrak Station Lobbying Effort

The city council in Lake Forest, Illinois, has hired a special counsel to investigate nearly $200,000 in payments made to a lobbying firm without city council approval in connection with efforts to win an Amtrak stop for the Chicago suburb.

Payments of $192,911, were made between March 2016 and October 2017 to a Washington lobbying firm in an effort to get Amtrak to establish a Lake Forest stop for its Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha Service trains.

The city has been seeking the Amtrak stop, which would use an existing Metra station, as well as funding for a pedestrian underpass since 2010.

Attorney Leigh Jeter is investigating the matter and Alderman Jack Reisenberg will serve as lead councilman on the issue.

Reinsenberg said the probe will examine the actions of Mayor Rob Lansing, City Manager Bob Kiely and City Attorney Victor Filippini. Jeter is expected to report to the council next month.


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One Response to “Attorney Probing Amtrak Station Lobbying Effort”

  1. Rick Cusack Says:

    The very serious issue that Amtrak has not acknowledged and by definition would not reflect well on Amtrak’s approval of this stop is that it was obtained by the use of taxpayer funds for the lobbying effort, without notice to the public, without the approval of the City Council, and by the funneling of the funds to pay for the effort through the City Attorney to avoid it becoming public. This was all orchestrated by Kiely, the city manager, without any authorization, which is a clear violation of his ethical and fiduciary duty.

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