Cozen: No Talks with Decker

Cozen O’Connor is disputing a rumor that Tad Decker — the former managing partner who left to become the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s current chairman — might be in talks to return to the firm.

Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Baer reported last week that Decker might be leaving the board to run the firm before his GCB term ends in late 2007.

While Cozen O’Connor has announced that it is in the process of succession planning, and Cozen president and CEO Pat O’Connor has hinted that he might soon step down, firm chairman Stephen Cozen said he was not currently talking with Decker about rejoining the firm.

“It is untrue that we are talking to Tad Decker about coming back and taking any leadership role at this time,” Cozen said. “As long as he is in that role [with the GCB], we do not want to discuss these kinds of issues with him.”

Cozen said the firm periodically meets with Decker to talk about firm issues if the firm leadership thinks Decker might have some insights. The firm would be happy to talk with Decker about coming back if he decided he wanted to leave the board, Cozen said, adding that he hopes Decker would consider the firm. That hasn’t happened yet, however, he stressed.

“We’re not talking about it with him,” Cozen said.

But Cozen declined to comment on whether the firm has been talking to anyone other than Decker about the possibility of Decker’s returning.

GCB spokesman Doug Harbach also refuted the rumor.

“Tad Decker is totally committed to his job as chairman of the Gaming Control Board, [and he] will continue to oversee the board through licensing and anticipates to finish his term.”

That term concludes at the end of 2007 and Decker could either stay on for one more three-year term or give up the post, Harbach said.

–Asher Hawkins and Gina Passarella, Staff Reporters

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