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Ask NOW: Does BRAD group have conflict of interest?

Mark Regal on the Regal Crest Apartments land adjacent to the Sileno property.

Mark Regal on the Regal Crest Apartments land adjacent to the Sileno property. Photo By Staff photo by C.T. Kruger

Dec. 31, 2013

Is there a rumor you'd like tracked down? Rory Linnane answers some of the mysteries of life in Brookfield and helps solve everyday problems.

Was Mark Regal planning to buy Sileno property all along?

Question: After NOW published a story announcing Mark Regal's plan to buy the Sileno property, an old sand and gravel pit southeast of Burleigh and Lilly roads, a Brookfield resident emailed in a question about Regal's involvement. Regal was a leader of Brookfield Residents Against the Dump, a group that fought a proposal to use the site for dumping fill from the Zoo Interchange project and then build living units and a park there. "I wonder if Brookfield residents feel misled or if they were aware of Mr. Regal's conflict of interest from the beginning," she wrote.

Answer: Mark Regal did sink a chunk of change into defeating Super Excavators' plans to bring fill from the Zoo Interchange onto the Sileno property to develop multifamily housing and a city park on the land, but he says his purpose has been pure — to prevent the truck traffic that would bring fill to the land and disturb his 240 residents at Regal Crest Apartments, as well as other neighbors.

Exactly how much money was involved, he wouldn't disclose, but he said it was a "high amount" and confirmed he paid his attorney, Alan Marcuvitz of Michael Best & Friedrich, more than $100,000.

His attorney then hired the Lynne Broydrick Group, "an innovative firm that shapes public opinion, influences decision-makers and creates the winning edge to ensure that a project can move forward," as described on the website for Broydrick & Associates, where Lynne Broydrick works.

The question becomes: What was Regal's project?

Regal said he was the first person to organize opposition to the plan for the Sileno property out of concern for the quality of life of the residents of the apartments he owns nearby, Regal Crest, had heavy trucking come to the area. He said the thought of purchasing the property did not influence him at the time, but only became a real possibility "as of late."

However, Regal did say he has considered buying the property for several years and actually called the owner, Jim Sileno, to talk about buying the property at about this time last year. After not getting a call back, he eventually learned of Super Excavators' plans and decided to fight them. He said he did not bring up the idea of purchasing the property to B.R.A.D. until recently, saying at first the group was in "survival mode" with a goal of stopping Super Excavators.

Regal's attorney came up with the name, "Brookfield Residents Against the Dump." Regal said he held a meeting in the clubhouse on his property with other neighbors, where he brought them on board, and the group was born.

The Lynne Broydrick Group built a website, NoBrookfieldDump.com, and created petitions that would eventually be signed by 3,302 Brookfield residents. The signatures were attached to an ordinance, written by Regal's attorney and subsequently passed by the Common Council, that would require a referendum before the city could purchase property for a park from Super Excavators. The ordinance caused Super Excavators to back out of the plan.

As to whether B.R.A.D. members or the thousands of residents who signed the group's petition feel they were deceived, the answer likely will come out as Regal's plans work through city approval. The Lynne Broydrick Group, in its press release about Regal's plans, said they hoped to keep B.R.A.D. members' support: "Just as B.R.A.D. fought against a destructive proposal, the Regal family is now counting on all B.R.A.D. members to stand with and support their efforts to make their plan a reality, guaranteeing our neighborhood's safety and serenity."

Let us know what you think about the plans on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/brookfieldelmgrovenow, or shoot us an email.

Email Rory Linnane with your question at rlinnane@jrn.com.

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