Monday, March 19, 2012
Rahm goes to court trying to break sweetheart deals Daley gave his family & friends costing the tax payers millions of dollars
Now that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reworked the sweetheart deal that former Mayor Richard M. Daley gave Lollapalooza, his lawyers will be back in court Monday trying to undo another Daley deal that Emanuel says is shortchanging taxpayers.
Emanuel wants to undo the concession agreement that Daley gave the Park Grill restaurant in Millennium Park. The restaurant has paid less than Emanuel thinks it should — a total of $2.4 million — in rent since it opened in 2003. Park Grill gets garbage pickup and natural gas courtesy of taxpayers, too.
Emanuel’s leverage: Park Grill operators James Horan and Matthew A. O’Malley want to sell the remainder of the 20-year concession agreement to Levy Restaurants for $8.8 million — but they need permission from Emanuel’s Chicago Park District board.
Emanuel’s argument: O’Malley and Horan got permission from the park district — but not Daley and the City Council — to operate on a city easement in Millennium Park, which means the restaurant has no legal right to be there. “Those are the kinds of grants only the City Council can give, and they have to be in writing,” says Stephen R. Patton, the city’s top lawyer.
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