Ear Hustle

No Testimony By Former Mayor Daley In Park Grill Lawsuit

It seems like almost every lawsuit filed in Chicago has something to do with the Former Mayor Daley, from contracts with companies that don’t deserve them, “friends” getting development deals and now a restaurant given a lease that cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.  What is amazing to me (this is just my own interpretation) but everything that has been damaging news as it relates to deals gone awry in Chicago, Former Mayor Daley has been called to testify and there’s always something that prevents him from sitting in the “hot seat” for whatever reason be it health, or the ever popular no recollection of the details surrounding the situation.  Hmmmm…..maybe it’s just me!!

Now this case is about the Park Grill Restaurant and the “deal of a lifetime”  the owner received.  It is speculated that he got this great deal while in a relationship with an official of the Chicago Park District.  Well I am not one to pry in anybody’s business but the residents of Chicago truly deserve answers.  There are just too many “coincidences” if you asked me.  The residents should stop spending their hard-earned money in places that are involved in allegations of  “shady” dealings where the taxpayers are cheated.

Read the story as reported by the Chicago SunTimes:

Daley will not be called to testify in Park Grill case

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley isn’t going to have to testify in City Hall’s lawsuit to break a sweetheart contract the Park Grill restaurant awarded under Daley.

After reviewing affidavits on Daley’s medical condition behind closed doors, the Park Grill’s operators and lawyers agreed Wednesday to withdraw their subpoena to put the former mayor on the witness stand.

Park Grill operators Matthew O’Malley and James Horan had been relying on Daley to be their star witness to rebuff the lawsuit Mayor Rahm Emanuel filed in Cook County Court three years ago.

“My clients are very disappointed,” attorney Stephen Novack said after he agreed to withdraw the subpoena that Daley’s lawyers had been fighting to dismiss.

“We saw the medical information . . . and it was the right thing to do,” Novack said, indicating that Daley’s memory has changed since he gave a lengthy deposition last August.

The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that Daley suffered a stroke when he was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital last Jan. 31 when his nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter for killing David Koschman a decade ago.

Earlier this month, Daley’s attorneys filed a motion to quash the subpoena, arguing that his testimony wasn’t necessary in the Park Grill case because he had little recall during his deposition last summer, and they argued that his undisclosed medical condition would make it a hardship for him to take the witness stand.

Daley’s Medical Concerns Issue For Park Grill Testimony

Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius held a closed-door hearing with lawyers for the former mayor, the Emanuel administration and the Park Grill on Wednesday to discuss Daley’s medical condition. Jacobius said the affidavits on Daley’s medical condition will remain sealed.

As part of the agreement to withdraw the subpoena, Novack said Daley’s 162-page deposition will now become evidence in the trial. During the contentious deposition, Daley repeatedly said he couldn’t recall details about the restaurant, saying, “I don’t know what I knew.”

The Chicago Park District, controlled by the mayor, gave the Park Grill a 30-year contract in 2003 to operate the restaurant on land controlled by City Hall, but never got approval for the deal from the City Council as required by law.

The Emanuel administration is trying to break the deal, saying the Park Grill got a sweetheart deal, including free natural gas and garbage collection, because O’Malley had an affair with a top park district official, Laura Foxgrover, who bore his child as the park district and restaurant were negotiating the concession contract.

O’Malley and Horan, however, had maintained that Daley had been fully aware of their plans for the restaurant because they had several meetings with the mayor before it opened in 2003. During one of those meetings, O’Malley and Horan say Daley ordered them to move the bar from the front of the restaurant to the back. Daley said during his deposition that he didn’t recall those meetings.

Although the Daley administration knew the Park Grill never got legal permission from the City Council for the deal, City Hall didn’t try to break the lease until O’Malley and Horan tried to sell their company that manages the Park Grill for $8 million as Emanuel was taking office.

Emanuel filed suit in December 2011, claiming the restaurant got “a lopsided contract that cheated taxpayers” out of $8 million.

Source: Chicago SunTimes


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