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Long-Time City of Elgin Corporation Counsel/Chief Development Officer William Cogley to Retire

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Long-Time Corporation Counsel/Chief Development Officer William Cogley to Retire

William Cogley and Christopher Beck

William Cogley, the city of Elgin’s long-time corporation counsel and chief development officer has announced his retirement after more than 34 years of service. Cogley has been leading the city’s legal department for 26 years. His tenure makes him one of the longest serving department heads for the city, counseling five mayors and nine city managers during his time with Elgin.

“It has been an honor to represent the city of Elgin,” Cogley says. “I am grateful for the professional relationships I have built with my colleagues over the years and have enjoyed our work together. It has been rewarding to be a part of a team that works toward the same goals and to see the outcomes that benefit the community.”

As corporation counsel, Cogley represents the city in all legal matters and serves as counsel to Elgin’s elected and appointed officers, including the mayor, the city council, the city manager and other department heads.

His role evolved to also include serving as the city’s chief development officer. As the city was rapidly expanding, the rapid growth required a central coordinator to collaborate across multiple departments, including engineering and community development, to help facilitate annexations and development. Cogley has been involved with many dozens of annexations and developments including the numerous annexations and new developments west of Randall Road. He has also been involved with projects that have enhanced the city’s downtown including the Grand Victoria Casino riverboat, the Edward Schock Centre of Elgin and Central Area TIF District projects.

“Bill Cogley has left an indelible mark on the city while serving as corporation counsel and chief development officer,” says City Manager Rick Kozal. “Bill’s legal expertise, institutional knowledge, leadership and unwavering dedication to the organization and community is truly remarkable.”

Cogley began his legal career with the city of Elgin in 1985, serving as assistant corporation counsel. He worked for several years at a private law firm and returned to the city in 1993. Cogley has served as corporation counsel since 1998 and added the title of chief development officer in 2010.

“Looking back, it has been a rewarding journey, and the people I have had an opportunity to meet and work with has been an important part of that journey,” Cogley says. “I have truly enjoyed my time with the city and appreciate the opportunity to have served the city and community.”

Cogley’s last day is Wednesday, January 31.

City Manager Kozal has appointed Christopher Beck, who currently serves as assistant corporation counsel under Cogley. Beck was named following a competitive national search through consulting firm Baker Tilly. 

“I am honored to be provided the opportunity to serve as the city’s next corporation counsel,” Beck says. “I look forward to continuing the high standards for legal counsel established by Bill Cogley and the other attorneys who have served before me in the legal department.”

Beck has been with the city for more than 16 years. He has been providing legal support and advice to city departments including drafting and reviewing ordinances and contracts, land use, litigation, ordinance enforcement and real estate transactional work.

“I am pleased to appoint Chris Beck as Elgin’s next corporation counsel,” Kozal says. "Chris’ comprehensive understanding of the city, combined with his strong legal expertise and knowledge, is formidable. I look forward to the next level of contributions Chris will bring in his new role.”

Beck has more than 20 years of experience practicing law. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and earned his Juris Doctor degree in 2000.

Beck begins his new duties on Thursday, February 1.

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