Rockford aldermen approved a plan to hire the law office of Hinshaw and Culbertson, LLP to handle an investigation against the Forest City by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
HUD is investigating the City of Rockford, to make sure they are in compliance with fair housing regulations. This comes after many aldermen openly opposed Wisconsin-based developer Gorman, Inc.’s proposal to build a 49 unit, low income housing project on South New Towne Drive.
Aldermen in attendance at the City Council meeting on Monday voted unanimously to hire the law firm, saying they want attorneys who have experience with fair housing law.
They want to get legal advice from Hinshaw and Culbertson before making a final vote on the South New Towne plat.
South New Towne resident Terry Siebert says, “It was a good thing for the city aldermen to hire this law firm because it’s obvious that the City Attorney (Patrick Hayes) is not giving them good advice. So, the aldermen need to be protected, and they need an expert on HUD regulations and rules.”
Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey adds, “I always enjoy getting another opinion, but I would be shocked if there’s something, I’m pretty well versed, and have done quite a bit of research myself on the issues associated with the plat, so my mind is pretty firmly made up that we have to approve the plat in order to avoid a lawsuit.”