George A. Wagner



George Wagner’s practice at Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins is focused on general municipal law, school law and litigation.

Prior to joining the firm, George served for 31 years with the Northfield Police Department, including 30 years as a police officer. He retired in September 2000 after achieving progressive positions in rank. He served 12 years as Deputy Chief and his last 7 years as Police Chief. He also graduated from the 125th Session of the FBI National Academy and is an active member of several police associations.

George was an emergency medical technician (EMT) from 1972—1988. He was one of 19 original Metropolitan Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Enforcement Group (MEG) agents serving Cook and Lake Counties from 1971—1972.

In addition, George was one of the Police Chiefs responsible for founding the North Regional Major Crime Task Force (NORTAF), which investigates major crimes on the North Shore (suburbs north of Chicago). He has also served as a board member with various roles on several intergovernmental organizations during his law enforcement career including:

  • Trustee for the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System (NIPAS) from 1993—2000
  • Trustee for the North Suburban Chiefs of Police Association from 1993—1997
  • Secretary/Treasurer of the North Regional Telecommunications System (NORCOM) from 1993—2000
  • Trustee for the Northern Illinois Police Crime Laboratory from 1994—2000
  • Vice-President of the Northfield Police Pension Fund from 1994—2000
  • Trustee for the North Regional Major Crime Task Force (NORTAF) from 1997—2000

George has presented topics related to the working relationship between law enforcement and schools, as well as timely topics to local Police Chief Associations and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. As co-author of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys’ “Guidelines for Interviews of Students at School by Law Enforcement Authorities,” George also participated on its committee.

George graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977 and from Webster University with a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration and the Administration of Criminal Justice in 1978.

In 1989, he received his Juris Doctor degree from the IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law, with honors. While studying at IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law, he received the following awards:

  • Henry Horner Book Scholarship, 1985
  • Ramsey-Burke Scholarship, 1986
  • William F. Zacharias Scholarship, 1988
  • Dean’s List – 1987, 1988 & 1989
  • American Jurisprudence Award for highest grade in Criminal Procedure, Fall, 1988

George is admitted to practice in Illinois and before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Professional Affiliations

  • George is a member of the Illinois Police Association, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, North Suburban Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association and FBI National Academy Associates.

Awards and Recognition

  • On November 9, 2018, George received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Haymarket Center, Chicago’s largest substance use and mental health treatment facility.


  • Manual on Conflict of Interests and Liability of Illinois Elected Officials – co-author, Illinois Municipal League, 2005, 2010
  • Manual on Police and Fire Disciplinary Matters – co-author, Illinois Municipal League, 2010
  • Misconduct Related to a Medical Condition – co-author, Illinois Municipal Review, April 2010
  • Manual on Liquor Licensing and Regulation – co-author, Illinois Municipal League, 2011
  • “Chief’s Dilemma: The Appropriate Response Under the Illinois Board of Fire & Police Commissioners Act When an Officer is Charged with Criminal Conduct” – co-author, Command Magazine, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Spring 2012


  • Guns and Poses: Firearms and Body Cameras in Schools – 32nd Annual ICSA (Illinois Council of School Attorneys) Seminar on School Law, 2018
  • Legal Updates: North Suburban Association of Chiefs of Police, Lake County Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Association Chiefs of Police