LOCKPORT – Lockport has hired a new city attorney, with Tom Thanas moving to a consulting role for the city.
The City Council this week approved Mayor Steven Streit’s appointment of Sonni Choi Williams, currently a municipal attorney for Peoria.
Before coming to Lockport as interim city attorney in 2014, Thanas had been the city manager for Joliet. He also has been city attorney for Joliet and Naperville as well as having served as a judge in Will County.
“I’ve had 36 years of practicing law in Joliet and Will County, and I’m at a stage where I’d like to slow down a little, but also stay involved,” he said.
Thanas said he will continue to work with the city on projects he has been involved with, such as the controversial Prologis industrial park project. He came to Lockport after then City Attorney Ron Caneva retired.
Thanas’ last day is June 16, and will be replaced by attorney Sonni Choi Williams.
“My role [now] will be finishing up some projects with Lockport and also being called in on a consulting basis for new projects,” Thanas said. “Sonni (Williams) is very capable,”
Williams has been an in-house municipal attorney for the city of Peoria for 17 years, according to a recent news release. She is a graduate of the Northern Illinois University College of Law.
She has served two terms on the Illinois State Bar Association Assembly and serves on the ISBA’s board of governors.
Williams begins her new position Monday. She will move to Lockport later this year with her husband, Rich, who also is an attorney, as well as with her two sons.
“I look forward to working with the city of Lockport,” Williams said at the Wednesday council meeting. “My family and I are looking to become an integral part of Lockport.”
Boy Scouts buy city building
In other business, the council approved the sale of the city building at 921 S. State St., which currently houses the city’s Community and Economic Development Department. The property was sold to the Boy Scouts of America for $400,001. The city plans to move its economic development department to its Central Square building this summer.
The Boy Scouts will relocate the Rainbow Council headquarters, which serves Will, Grundy and Kankakee counties, to Lockport, according to its bid proposal.
The facility will be used for adult training, meetings and Boy Scout operations. It also will house a retail shop, which will be open to the public to sell scout gear and other items for camping and outdoor activities.
• Reporter Bob Okon contributed to this story.