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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Winnebago Co. Consultant Allegedly Also Worked For MercyRockford During City Negotiations

Susan Stephens

A Winnebago County consultant who wrote a letter offering tax breaks to MercyRockford Health System for the board chairman also was hired by MercyRockford to lobby the Rockford City Council to annex land for the hospital campus.

The Rockford Register Star reports some aldermen view that as a conflict of interest, but consultant Jennifer Hall told the newspaper it wasn’t.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey says the alleged situation doesn’t change the deal made last month between the heath system and the city.

Morrissey says he’s less concerned with the potential conflict of interest on Hall’s end and more surprised that county board chairman Scott Christiansen took an active role in offering county tax rates to MercyRockford during city negotiations.

Christiansen says he took an active role in offering those county tax breaks because he heard Beloit, Wisconsin, might end up with the deal.

Hall was unavailable for comment.

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