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Local News

Joliet names Shanahan as its new corporate counsel

JOLIET – Joliet has named Martin Shanahan Jr. its next corporation counsel, replacing Jeff Plyman, who retired in October.

Shanahan will begin working with the city Jan. 5, according to a news release from the city.

Shanahan is a graduate of the University of St. Francis and obtained his juris doctorate from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

“I love the work that I do and the people I’ve worked with in the past,” Shanahan said. “It’s a wide variety of work as well.”

A Joliet resident, Shanahan served as an assistant state’s attorney for three years before joining the law firm Spesia & Ayers in 2001, the city said.

Shanahan has worked as the city of Joliet’s adjudication hearing officer for more than a year.

Before having Shanahan come on as hearing officer, Joliet had its own staff attorney working in that position, City Manager James Hock said.

But the state’s attorney informed the city there were potential ethical issues with having its own attorney overseeing hearings on tickets that city officers were writing.

“We went to Spesia & Ayers and had Marty be our hearing officer,” Hock said.

As corporation counsel, Shanahan will oversee the city’s law department, Hock said, including a staff of three attorneys. His initial annual salary will be $141,1000 a year.

“We have about 75 litigation cases at any given time,” Hock said. “He’ll pick up his share of the case load to focus on.”

Shanahan also will initially work on the continuation of the Evergreen Terrace lawsuit, Hock said, among other matters.

Shanahan said he previously worked in municipal law with Rockdale, Minooka, New Lenox and Manhattan during his tenure at Spesia & Ayers.

That wealth of experience made Shanahan stand out from the nine other candidates interviewed for the position, Hock said.

Plyman retired in October, ending 28 years of service with the city.

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