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Salem Lakes Hires New Village Attorney, In Part Due To Recommendation From KCE

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Attorney Remzy Bitar At Tonight’s Board Meeting
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

The Village of Salem lakes has hired a new Village Attorney to replace the embattled lawyer, Rich Scholze, who was asked to resign last month. Remzy Bitar, of Municipal Law & Litigation Group, SC has been named as the new top attorney for the Village. If he is unavailable, other attorneys from his firm can sit in to assist the Village. Bitar graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 2001 and was admitted to the Wisconsin bar the same year.

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Salem Lakes Village President Rita Bucur At Tonight’s Board Meeting
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Attorney Bitar was introduced at tonight’s Village Board meeting by Village President Rita Bucur. The group of about 100 residents welcomed Bitar with a warn round of applause.

Attorney Remzy Bitar At Tonight’s Board Meeting
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Bucur, and some other board members, informally sought recommendations for law firms to represent the village. I have worked briefly with Bitar, during my two terms as an Alderman, and have had two public records cases with him, one where we worked together, and the other, where we opposed each other. I was asked which attorney make me nervous going against in court. I answered quickly, “Remzy Bitar.” I knew Bitar to vigorously advocate on behalf of his clients. He has the knowledge of the law, experience, and wisdom required to do a good job. I knew he was a good man for the job, also knowing he has about 14 other attorneys at his firm.

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Bitar’s legal career began with a judicial clerkship with the Supreme Court of Missouri for the Honorable Laura Denvir Stith. He then centered his practice around litigation and municipal law, handling all phases of litigation from trial to appeal. He is a member of the Wisconsin Defense Counsel and the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance. In addition to his legal work, Bitar has co-chaired the Milwaukee Bar Association’s Civil Litigation Section and served as President of the Milwaukee Insurance Adjuster’s Association. Bitar also completed membership in the American Inns of Court, an organization of trial lawyers devoted to improving the skills, professionalism, civility and ethics of the bench and bar in our community. A frequent lecturer on topics including municipal, civil rights and constitutional law along with litigation-related matters, Bitar has been honored repeatedly by Wisconsin “Super Lawyers,” the Milwaukee Magazine as a “Best Lawyer” and the Wisconsin Law Journal as a “Leader in the Law.” While Bitar’s clients know he is devoted to them, he tries his best to succeed at the work-life balance. He is a devoted husband, spends as much time as he can with his two boys, and actively involves himself in their youth sports, especially Little League. For 20 years, he has helped organize a MACC Fund Charity Golf Outing. Scout, the family’s goldendoodle, reminds Remzy every day that the best things in life are coming home.

Municipal Law & Litigation Group S.C released the following statement to KCE:

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“Remzy Bitar and Municipal Law & Litigation Group S.C. enjoy the work they do every day serving dozens of municipalities and helping their public employees and officials navigate the complex web of state and federal laws relating to local government operations.   We look forward to working with the Village of Salem Lakes’ Board of Trustees and all its employees and are honored to be selected to provide them legal services.”

Former Village Attorney Rich Scholze
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Former Village Attorney, Richard Scholze was embattled for the last several years, seemingly giving his friends and clients, the village board, bad legal advice that shielded them from accountability. Scholze often missed meetings as well. According to village insiders, he took a very long time to respond to emails and return phone calls.

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Scholze is also a Town of Burlington Municipal judge. It’s about the equivalent of being third string player for the Detroit Lions’ practice squad. He presides over parking tickets and other trivial matters. However minute, he commands more respect than other attorneys as a “judge.” In fact, one need not be a lawyer to be a municipal judge.

The new board was replaced earlier this year by a village that brought proverbial pitchforks to meeting after meeting. There were several mandates assumed onto the new board. One, to get rid of the embattled administrator, Mike Murdock, and the other, to get rid of the villages attorney. Both have happened in the first six months of the new board.

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President Bucur told KCE that “Attorney Bitar has been extremely helpful and had provided sound legal advice for all the exciting changes on the horizon.”

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15 Responses

  1. Ah, a spark!
    Some might see this simple act as a ‘graduation ceremony’ for Salem Lakes, putting them at the big boy table!
    Sleepy Hollow days are over!

  2. “Scholze is also a Town of Burlington Municipal judge. It’s about the equivalent of being third string player for the Detroit Lions’ practice squad. He presides over parking tickets and other trivial matters.”

    Best description ever!

    1. The only way to improve this statement is to change the team to ther Bears–or should I dare say Packers. The Lions are a good team that is rising.

    1. Remzy has a big task of guiding this board through the mess left by the old board, After last night performance Id say he is worth every dollar, And if he can Minimize the legal liability That the old board created for this village through harassment. He will be valued at more than his hourly rate, I’am a big person on value If i believe iam getting a good value Iam satisfied. Remember Lets not trip over dollars to save a nickle. Good choice Board

    2. Probably coming from the taxpayers, they are allocating properly, that the old board pocketed. come on Pleasant Prairie! Let’s be next!!!

    3. Another Misinformed Troll. Here’s a thought, maybe do your research before your comment. Hopefully, the single-up arrow is you, otherwise, you just infected someone else to be Dumb. It has to be someone from the opposition party, Possibly, The Salem Sentinal folks, who knows?

  3. While I certainly appreciate that sentiment, I still wonder where the funds for the pay increase for the new lawyer and the new position Hahn holds.

    3
    1
    1. 160.00 vs 210.00 an hour is far from double.
      50.00 dollars an hour more for a Attorney of this caliber is not a hard choice. It will save money, only a nitwit would think otherwise.

      4
      1
  4. I was at this Monday’s meeting. The new attorney was very helpful to those of us in the audience. He explained some important points in detail by citing statutes and then explaining in layman’s terms. It was refreshing to have someone on that side of the room speak up loud enough so that they could be heard. So far, this appears to be a very good move. Thanks to our new President and the current Trustees.

  5. Glad to hear! I also hope more would be involved in the new Village Administrator position. I perused the 4 finalists and was not impressed, especially with the one from the Lake County Government swamp. I sure hope she isn’t selected. Another wants to build, build and expand and the other two I’m not sure on. There’s many facets to small government and we need to keep an Eye (see what I did there?) on it all!

  6. I know many who work at Lake County that aren’t swamp creatures. Sadly, the Cook County culture has infected many of the younger hires. Anyone 40-50 probably has only a minor infection but is trying to cure it by leaving and many are retiring soon. I wouldn’t be so sure this applicant is part of the swamp, probably trying to break free, hopefully, that’s the case if she is hired. Most people from the Swamp of Illinois are just trying to escape to the border. Unfortunately, some get here and want to spread the disease once they get used to our freedom. If VOSL will let an infection get into our community it starts with a bad board, not a New Hire. No matter the hire, the board sets the direction. If employees decide to go their own direction, I think we know what happens, look at the body count it’s growing

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