SPRINGFIELD (AP)- Springfield officials are strongly defending the city's hiring of a casino consultant that has lobbied in another state for two of the companies seeking to build in the western Massachusetts city.
City Solicitor Edward Pikula told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Tuesday that Springfield welcomed the experience the Chicago law firm Shefsky & Froelich had with casino operators because it would help give the city the "firepower" it needed to negotiate deals with potential developers.
The consultant has asked the state Ethics Commission for an opinion on whether its representation of MGM Resorts and Penn National Gaming in Illinois was a conflict of interest under Massachusetts law.
Shefsky & Froelich was hired by Springfield to help the city narrow down a list of at least four and as many as six possible casino developers.
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