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Official: No wrongdoing in Aurora clinic permit
By Amy Boerema | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/1/2007 10:36 AM

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Planned Parenthood committed no criminal conduct in applying for permits to build a women's health clinic, Kane County State's Attorney John Barsanti said today.

His office this morning released results from its review of the controversial center on the city's far east side.

Center opponents claimed it deceived the city by applying for building permits as Gemini Development, a subsidiary of Planned Parenthood.

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

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner asked Barsanti 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 permit process.

Barsanti reviewed prior reports, zoning ordinances, the city's original review process, regulations, development documents and transcripts, as well as examining the Illinois Compiled Statutes, a press release from Barsanti's office read.

The state's attorney's office has no authority or jurisdiction in matters involving city or village ordinances, land use or zoning, the release states.

"I offer no opinion on matters of which I have no authority or jurisdiction," Barsanti said in a statement.

He now considers the review closed, he said.

All documents relating to the inquiry have been forwarded to the city.

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.