BELLEVILLE — After nearly 25 years in Congress, former U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello announced Monday that he is launching a consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and Belleville.
The Jerry Costello Group, LLC, will "provide services and advocacy for government agencies, trade associations and businesses seeking knowledge, assistance and results to achieve their goals," according to a press statement Costello released.
Costello, who retired in early January, is barred by federal law from lobbying members of the U.S. Congress or their staffs for a year after leaving office.
Most of his consulting work will be based in Belleville, he said.
"I will have an office in Washington, D.C.," Costello said, "but I will spend 80 percent of my time here."
Costello is opening his own consulting firm because "I'm going to keep it small," he said. "I'm going to have just a handful of clients that have causes and issues that I believe in. So I can be selective."
Conversely, working for a large law or lobbying firm in Washington "would not allow me to select my own clients or work on issues that I care about."
Costello said he expected to be working with clients in the transportation sector, "which is where I spent the last 25 years of my life specializing in."
Costello served on the U.S. House transportation and science panels during his congressional tenure. He was both ranking member and chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee of the Transportation Committee, and was ranking member on the energy and space subcommittees on the House Science Committee and co-chairman of the House Aerospace Caucus.
So far Costello said he has not hired any associates and is still developing a client list. He said he will be working with other firms "on a case-by-case basis."
Costello's firm will be based at 144 Lincoln Place Court in Belleville, the site of his former Belleville congressional field office.
Costello had represented the 12th U.S. House District since 1988. The district covers a dozen counties stretching from Alton, in Madison County, to Cairo, in Alexander County, in the state's southernmost tip.
Costello was replaced by freshman U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, a fellow Belleville Democrat, who handily won the Nov. 6 election.
Costello also intends to lecture and recently delivered the key note address at a transportation symposium at Northwestern University in Chicago. He is also set to begin a lecture series at Southern Illinois University with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute later this month.