Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: How insiders work toxic deals for taxpayers

The following editorial ran in the Chicago Sun-Times on October 11, 2016. Photo of warehouse in Little Village by Leslie Adkins/Chicago Sun-Times.

Allow us today to discuss two realities of life and how they can go all wrong in Chicago.

1] When money for city employee pensions is blown on a bad investment, retirees don’t get smaller pensions. Those pensions are guaranteed. You, the Chicago taxpayer, must make up the difference. So you would hope the people who pick and choose pension fund investments are incredibly diligent. But this is Chicago.

2] Sometimes the city gives a big property tax break to a developer who promises to create new jobs. Nothing wrong with that. But you would hope that enough new jobs are created to justify the tax break. But, again, this is Chicago. More

From the Chicago Sun-Times-WATCHDOGS: Taxpayers may be out $8M on site tied to Daley nephews

The following story ran in the Chicago Sun-Times on October 9, 2016. Photo of Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson from Sun-Times files.

Tim Novak

Over the past nine years, two nephews of former Mayor Richard M. Daley have been involved in separate plans to redevelop a rundown warehouse on 15 acres of polluted land in Little Village just north of the Stevenson Expressway.

It hasn’t turned out well for Chicago taxpayers. First, taxpayers have to make up for $4.2 million in city pension money invested on behalf of teachers, police officers and other city workers that ended up squandered on failed development plans involving Daley’s oldest nephew, Robert G. Vanecko. Now, taxpayers stand to lose another $4.1 million on the same property at 3348 S. Pulaski Rd. That’s the amount of a property-tax break given to a second redevelopment deal for the site. More