Aurora Officials Want New Attorney to Examine Abortion Center’s Papers

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 10, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Aurora Officials Want New Attorney to Examine Abortion Center’s Papers Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 10,

Aurora, IL ( — The city of Aurora may obtain a new attorney to examine the paperwork Planned Parenthood filed in the building of its new abortion center, set to open next week. The previous attorney was found to have connections to the city’s current outside legal counsel and he was dismissed for conflicts of interest.

City staff previously selected Chicago-based lawyer Richard Martens to examine the approval process and make sure the city government followed the law in approving it.

But when the conflict came to light, four members of the city council objected to his appointment and Mayor Tom Weisner assigned alderman Bob O’Connor and Richard Irvin to find someone new.

They have selected Phillip Luetkehans from Itasca to review the Planned Parenthood records. He will begin analyzing the document if the full city council approvs his selection.

If Luetkehans can’t complete the analysis by September 18, Weisner has already said he will direct city officials not to issue the permanent occupancy permit.

The need for a thorough review came because Planned Parenthood got around public knowledge and opposition by calling the building the Gemini Health Center in all of its building plans and documents.

Aurora officials ultimately approved the building last November. The city gave Planned Parenthood a 30-day temporary occupancy permit, which expires on September 17.

The abortion center is expected to open the next day when it gets its permanent paperwork and pro-life advocates hope the review will prevent that.

"If the review indicates that our laws have been followed, the city will be obligated to issue a final occupancy permit for the facility opening on Sept. 18, 2007," Weisner’s chief of staff, Bill Wiet, previously said.

Eric Scheidler, who has been leading the local protests for the Pro-Life Action League, said he was happy to see the city reviewing the process and hoped it would be a first step in stopping the permit.

"I don’t have the disadvantage of being a lawyer," he said. "I’m just a guy who thinks that if you lie to government officials, you ought to be held accountable."

His group has already sued the city over another matter — saying that its police prevented some of the free speech rights of pro-life protesters with strict restrictions on where they could gather outside the abortion business.