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Decision due on Aurora clinic
City to release Planned Parenthood review next week
By Amy Boerema | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/29/2007 12:32 AM

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A final ruling on whether Planned Parenthood deceived Aurora in its permit request to open a women's health clinic should be in the city's hands by early next week.

The long-anticipated review could determine whether the controversial clinic receives its permanent occupancy permit, allowing it to open.

The center, at Oakhurst Drive and New York Street, will offer many women's health services, including abortions.

Clinic opponents claim Planned Parenthood deceived the city by applying for its permits as Gemini Development, a subsidiary, to mask its true intent.

Center officials, however, say they complied with all required public disclosures while trying to keep the project quiet so abortion protesters wouldn't harass their workers.

"That is different than their allegation that we defrauded the city," said Steve Trombley, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area.

Kane County State's Attorney John Barsanti is reviewing the permits and ultimately will make that decision.

Mayor Thomas Weisner asked him to step in after potential conflict-of-interest issues arose with two previous attorneys, Richard Martens and Phillip Luetkehans, who were first tapped to do the review of the permitting process.

Barsanti will review both attorneys' reports and offer his own ruling.

He is expected to give his final statement to city staff early next week, spokesmen for the city and his office said Friday.

"The state's attorney's office has indicated they're almost complete," city spokeswoman Carie Anne Ergo said.

Barsanti's work could be done Monday, though that's not certain and there is no timeline, leaders say.

The report then will be reviewed by aldermen and the mayor and be posted online for the public "shortly thereafter -- within a couple days," Ergo said.

What happens next still is unclear. Aldermen could decide to publicly discuss the report, or take a vote on whether to allow the clinic to open -- which at least one official hopes to do.

Pro-Life Action League members, who oppose the clinic, are demanding a public discussion and vote by the council, though clinic officials say that's not necessary.

Depending on the review results, Planned Parenthood may submit an amended complaint to a federal judge, asking the court to allow it to open immediately.