Eckert recommends longtime Democratic donor to serve as next city attorney

News-DemocratMay 16, 2013 

— The City Council will vote Monday on whether to approve a contract with lawyer Garrett P. Hoerner, a longtime Democratic campaign donor, to serve as the city's next city attorney.

Mayor Mark Eckert announced Thursday he is recommending Hoerner for the city attorney job based in large part on Hoerner's wide experience as an attorney who represented metro-east towns and school districts, including the village of Cahokia and East St. Louis School District 189.

Hoerner, a partner in the Belleville law firm of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson P.C., will earn $109,647 annually from his work with the city of Belleville, Eckert said.

"I think he's a family guy that's got a good reputation. I think he knows his law," Eckert said.

"And I think he's well-respected at the courthouse. We're looking for somebody that understands the community and I think he and I will work well together with the staff to move the city forward."

Hoerner could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

On Aug. 9, Hoerner's law firm donated $1,000 to Citizens for Eckert, the mayor's re-election campaign committee, according to campaign disclosure reports filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Eckert denied the financial support of Hoerner's law firm made any difference in the decision to nominate Hoerner.

Eckert said that if donating money to his campaign "was an eliminating factor, I'd eliminate an awful lot of people in town because we've had a lot of people who support us and believe in us. ... It had nothing to do with it."

Last month, Thom Peters was appointed as interim city attorney. Peters is a partner at Boyle Brasher LLC in Belleville and a former Ward 7 alderman. He replaced Patrick "Mike" Flynn, who did not seek reappointment after serving in the post for the past year.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service