Skip to Main Content.

Biography

Gene’s career started as a judicial clerk for Hon. Alan E. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. From there, his practice gravitated toward representation of public sector entities. Gene currently serves as the Law Director/Solicitor for Powell, Canal Winchester and Minerva Park, and Assistant Law Director for Obetz. He advises these clients on a wide range of issues: competitive bidding and infrastructure contract issues and disputes, zoning and land use issues, labor and employment matters, administrative appeals, drafting and advice related to proposed legislation, intergovernmental relationships, utility issues, adherence to applicable charter, statutory and constitutional provisions, and litigation and government immunity matters.

Gene also serves as special counsel for a number of political subdivisions, including the City of Westerville, for economic development and related matters.  In this capacity, he has had the opportunity to assist in the creation and implementation of Tax Increment Financing Districts, Community Reinvestment Area abatements, other economic development incentives, Joint Economic Development Districts and Zones, Cooperative Economic Development Agreements/Annexation Agreements, and Community Authorities.

Gene is actively involved in the Westerville community where he lived, including stints on the Board of the Westerville Chamber of Commerce and as a Past President of the Westerville Sunrise Rotary.

Other Info About Gene

Experience

Legal Work Highlights

Law Director, City of Powell (2007-Present); Law Director, City of Canal Winchester (2000 – Present); Village Solicitor, Village of Obetz (2004-2013); Village Solicitor, Village of Minerva Park (2005 – Present); Prosecutor and Assistant Law Director, City of Westerville (1993-2005).

Legal Consultant, North Gate Alliance Entities (Pickaway County, Harrison Township, Village of Ashville, Village of South Bloomfield); assistance in drafting Cooperative Economic Development Agreement and subsequent negotiations with the City of Columbus and Columbus Regional Airport Authority concerning Norfolk Southern intermodal project and creation of a Joint Economic Development District; negotiation of TIF revenue sharing agreement with Teays Valley Local School District and assistance to Pickaway County in drafting and implementation of commercial TIF district.

Special Counsel, Ohio Municipal League; assistance in drafting Sample 2016 Municipal Income Tax Code and related documents for use by Ohio Cities and Villages to comply with House bill 5 reforms; Special Counsel, several cities and Villages; preparation of municipal specific 2016 income tax codes.

Successful appeal to Ohio Supreme Court to establish right of a commercial ground lessee to plead and prove its standing to file a real estate valuation complaint (Diley Ridge Medical Center v. Fairfield County Board of Revision, 1441 Ohio St. 3d 149, 2014-Ohio – 5030).

Representation of City of Powell in mandamus proceedings before Ohio Supreme Court with regard to initiative petition to place a potentially unconstitutional charter amendment on the ballot (State ex rel. Ebersole v. Powell, 141 Ohio St. 3d 9, 2014 – Ohio – 4078; reconsideration, 141 Ohio St. 3d 17, 2014 – Ohio – 4283).

Successful litigation on behalf of City of Powell to establish proposition that Pre-Annexation Agreements between a city and a landowner/developer are a guide for proposed annexation and zoning, and not a legally enforceable contract binding a council’s future votes (Lifestyle Real Estate Holdings v. Powell, Case No. 14CVH09-0714, Delaware Cty. Common Pleas).

Representation of privately-held company in negotiations with City of Columbus for tax abatement and TIF reimbursement for road infrastructure for new headquarters building and testing facility.

Representation of City of Westerville in negotiations with developer as to formation and subsequent amendment of Altair TIF and underlying abatements; negotiation of compensation agreement with Westerville City School District; subsequent negotiation of acquisition by City of undeveloped portion of Altair development from real estate developer for Class A office and hotel/conference center development.

Representation of the City of Westerville in negotiations regarding abatement and revenue sharing agreements with Daimler Group (speculative buildings), ABB, American Family Insurance, Exel Logistics, Century Insurance, Mt. Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital.

Successful annexation litigation on behalf of the Village of Canal Winchester regarding overlapping annexation petitions, including favorable ruling in the Ohio Supreme Court on “effective date” issue as to new annexation statute (Thornton v. Salak, 112 Ohio St. 3d 254, 2006-Ohio-6407).

Successful defense of City of Westerville and negotiation of settlement with numerous developers to oppose construction of a ‘Big Box’ retail facility in a planned commercial district; assistance in creation of a TIF to reimburse city for costs of negotiated items of settlement.

Acquisition of right-of-way and easements, including filing of “quick-take” appropriations for several road projects; negotiations with general contractors regarding change order claims and close-out of projects.

Novel competitive quotation procedure successfully designed and utilized by the City of Westerville for bidding and negotiation with contractors regarding the construction of a community center.

Handled several multimillion dollar transfers from utility funds to General Fund.

Closings with regard to purchases and sales of real estate by municipal corporation and associated community improvement corporations; representation of CIC’s in loan/grant agreements with relocating or expanding companies.

Representation of municipalities with regard to number of chapter 2506 administrative appeals of site plan and variance denials.

Planning and implementation of leasing of excess communications conduit space to private sector providers; negotiations with providers regarding antenna installations; defense of utility relocation claims; negotiation and implementation of cable franchise agreements.

Negotiation and formation of TIF’s for municipal clients and representation regarding implementation of same, including filing of DTE 24 Exemption Forms and debt service projections.

Education

Law School

The Ohio State University, J.D., 1988
Order of the Coif
Ohio State Law Journal, Articles Editor

Undergraduate School

Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1983

Clerkship

Gene served as a clerk for the court(s) and judge(s) below:

Judicial Clerk for Hon. Alan E. Norris, Sixth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals 1988-89

Bar Membership

Gene is licensed to practice in the following state(s):

Ohio, 1988

Recognition

Local & National Recognition

Westerville Education Association, Friend of Education Award

Professional Affiliations

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Bar Association

Ohio State Bar Association

Columbus Bar Association
Real Property Law Committee, Member

Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association
Former President

International Municipal Lawyers Association

 

Civic Activities

Civic & Charitable Organizations

Rotary Club of Westerville Sunrise, Former President

Westerville Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, Member

Westerville City School District
Successful citizen protest, as an elector, to remove Levy Decrease Initiative from the ballot. (State ex rel. Taxpayers for Westerville Schools v. Franklin Cty. Bd. of Elections, 133 Ohio St.3d 153, 2012-Ohio-4267.)

Presentations

Gene was invited to speak at the following events:

Ohio Municipal League and Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association seminars, Frequent Speaker

“Home Rule and Local Control,” Ohio Municipal League, Newly Elected Council Seminar, March 2014.

“JEDZ Hot Topic for Local Development”, ED 411, Moderator (December 2013)

Mid-Ohio Development Exchange, Joint Economic Development District presentation (May 2013)