The [Friday] Papers
"Months after recommending Mayor Rahm Emanuel hire former comptroller Amer Ahmad, onetime Democratic Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce used close ties with his now-indicted ex-employee to lobby for city business here," the Tribune reports.
It seems safe to assume that Boyce thought the advantages of knowing the comptroller of Chicago outweighed the benefit of telling city officials his pal was under federal investigation. But there's more.
"Boyce sought underwriting work for city bond issues, a job that required him to meet with Ahmad and Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott, according to the investment banking company Boyce worked for at the time. That firm, Rice Financial Products, collected fees on the same two bond deals that Scott's financial firm, Scott Balice Strategies, also profited from in 2011 as she prepared to become Emanuel's top financial aide.
"Scott made an 'initial recommendation' to hire Ahmad at City Hall, said Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton."
I wouldn't say Scott is exactly being fit for the jacket on this one, but clearly her business dealings bear more scrutiny.
"The ties among Boyce, Ahmad and Scott are the latest details in the unfolding scandal involving Emanuel's former city comptroller," the Trib notes.
"Shortly after Democrat Kevin Boyce left office as the state treasurer in 2011, he landed a job with Rice Financial Products in New York while his deputy treasurer, Amer Ahmad, moved on to become comptroller for the city of Chicago," the Dayton Daily News reports.
"Rice Financial made $407,602 in fees off bond deals it helped handle for Chicago in 2011 and 2012, according to records posted online by the Chicago Finance Department. But Boyce, who is now a state representative, said he played no active role in the 2011 bond deal and had resigned from the firm by the time the 2012 bond deal occurred.
"'As an employee of Rice Financial, I did not do any transactions with the city of Chicago,' Boyce told the Dayton Daily News on Wednesday."
But the Trib isn't so sure.
"[Cristal] Baron, Rice Financial's president, said Boyce was involved in discussions with the city that led to the firm collecting $82,227 in fees from September 2012 wastewater project bonds.
"'As one of the investment bankers participating on our Chicago coverage team, I expect that he did have contact with city officials prior to the 2012 transaction,' Baron said in an e-mail.
"Hamilton, Emanuel's spokeswoman, said Rice Financial also received $144,568 in fees tied to a water bond issued by the city in May 2012, the same month Boyce resigned from the firm to join the Ohio Legislature.
"As part of his work, Boyce also had contact with Ahmad and Scott, Baron said. Hamilton confirmed that Scott met with Boyce as part of regular meetings she had with underwriting firms.
"Boyce told the Dayton Daily News, which first reported his Chicago lobbying work Thursday, that he had lunch with Ahmad a couple of times while working for Rice Financial."
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday he wouldn't have hired indicted former city Comptroller Amer Ahmad if he'd known the ex-aide was under federal investigation in Ohio, but he argued he couldn't be expected to have that information because officials from that state didn't tell him about the probe," the Tribune reported earlier this week.
"Though [a suspicious] 2010 bank contract already was fodder for numerous Ohio newspaper reports and a campaign attack ad against Boyce before Ahmad was vetted to join the Emanuel administration, the mayor said the only way he could have known about the federal investigation was if Boyce or Ahmad had told him about it . . .
"The mayor did not respond Tuesday when asked if a better vetting process would have caught the fact that an investigation of Ahmad already was underway."
Like, a vetting process that includes Google.
Can someone FOIA the audio of the NSFW phone call I suspect Rahm has made to Vincent Connelly about all of this?
Meanwhile, regarding Scott: Friend of Rahm: PFM Group buys rival from new Chicago finance chief.
Among PFM's clients: The City of Chicago, City Colleges of Chicago, O'Hare Airport, the RTA, the State of Illinois, Illinois Toll Authority and the University of Illinois.
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Posted on August 30, 2013
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