The [Monday] Papers
"More than a year after he took his own life, new details are emerging that show former Chicago School Board President Michael W. Scott had been under growing financial pressure," the Sun-Times reports.
Here's the important part as far as the public is concerned:
"About two weeks before Scott's suicide, a development company that had been paying him $10,000 a month 'for consultation in regards to future projects involving the possible Olympic Games in Chicago' canceled his contract, according to new details from the Chicago Police Department that officials previously had refused to release . . .
"The new information about Scott's consulting contract appears to contradict statements that had been made by Scott and Mayor Daley that Scott wasn't planning to cash in on his dual roles as an Olympic organizer and a real estate developer."
Appears to contradict?
From "Daley Insider Corners Prime Olympics Lots; Olympic Committee Member Michael Scott Has Won Aldermanic Backing To Develop A Swath Of City Land Near A Proposed 2016 Site. The Plan Includes Homes, Shops - Even A Nike Store," Tribune, Aug. 7, 2009:
"A member of Mayor Richard Daley's team working to bring the Olympics to Chicago has quietly arranged to develop city-owned land near a park that would be transformed for the 2016 Summer Games, potentially positioning himself to cash in if the Games come here, a Tribune investigation has found . . .
"Scott's designs on the public land are sure to reinforce concerns of residents that it's the mayor's friends who would benefit from Daley bringing the 2016 Olympics to the city. The story is a familiar one in Daley's administration, where City Hall insiders have personally profited from even the most civic-minded of projects, from recycling garbage to building Millennium Park.
"The development team includes six West Side ministers, some of whom are politically connected . . .
"Earlier this year, Scott's roles as school board president and as a member of the city's Olympic committee stirred controversy.
"In May, he asked all of the city's school principals to form plans to promote the Olympics. Teachers and union officials said Scott's tactics were heavy-handed and they feared retaliation if they did not support Daley's quest for the Games . . .
"Daley first floated his vision of bringing the Olympics to Chicago in 2005 after previously dismissing the idea as too costly. He assembled an exploratory committee in mid-2006 that included Scott.
"As Daley forged ahead with his plans, the exploratory team evolved into Chicago 2016, the committee spearheading the city's push for the Olympics.
"When the committee unveiled its original ideas in summer 2006 for hosting the Olympics, Douglas Park did not figure in the plans, nor was the park part of revised plans unveiled months later.
"By March 2007, however, Chicago 2016 announced it had again tweaked its plans. Among the changes, Douglas Park would play a role in the Olympics: The aquatics center would move from the University of Illinois at Chicago to the park . . .
"Scott Sr.'s role in potentially developing the city lots is especially sensitive given that he is a co-chair of a Chicago 2016 subcommittee that crafted an agreement ensuring jobs and contracts for minorities, as well as promising affordable housing to be a part of the Olympic Village agreement.
"The agreement, approved by City Council in April, grew out of concerns from neighborhood groups that economic benefits from the Olympics would go mostly to politically connected insiders.
"In addition to his Olympic committee role, Scott also is involved in the proposed Douglas Park sports venues through his position as president of the school board. Chicago 2016's velodrome plans call for tearing down the Collins High School campus' two gyms and indoor pool, a sensitive issue with many community residents who don't want the recently renovated facilities demolished."
From "2016 Panel Member Denies Deal Profits Him," Tribune, Aug.8, 2009:
"Daley declined to answer questions about Scott's development Friday."
From "School Bd. Chief Won't Profit From Olympics Deal, He Says," Sun-Times, Aug. 8, 2009:
"Developer and Chicago 2016 committee member Michael Scott insisted Friday that he will not profit if some West Side land near a proposed Douglas Park Olympic site is ever developed with his help.
"'I would not profit . . . not at all,' Scott told reporters at the Chicago Board of Education, where Scott also serves as School Board president.
"He was responding to a Chicago Tribune story contending he was 'potentially positioning himself to cash in'' if the Olympics come to Chicago because he was helping a group of ministers try to turn some city-owned lots across from what would be an Olympic site into affordable housing.
"Scott noted that the ministers, whom he said he has known for years, came to him with their development idea in the summer of 2006 - a year before he was appointed to a committee that has been trying to bring the Olympics to Chicago.
"Scott said he agreed to advise the ministers on how to put the deal together, navigate city departments and train people on how to sell affordable housing.
"Any profits were to be split among the ministers because 'I have no monetary interest,'' Scott said."
From "Daley: Scott Wouldn't Benefit From Project - 'Not involved' In Site Near Olympic Venue," Sun-Times, Aug. 9, 2009:
"Mayor Daley denied Saturday that Michael Scott , a member of the Chicago 2016 committee, would financially benefit from a proposed West Side development near the site of a potential Olympic venue.
"'He's not involved,' Daley said after the Bud Billiken Parade, where he spent the morning riding a float blasting out the music of Beyoncé. 'He's supporting the Olympics . Everybody is supporting the Olympics . . . The facts are wrong. The conclusions are wrong . . .He never had any interest - none whatsoever.'"
From "Michael Scott's Last Big Deal - Olympic Leader Worked On Massive Project Near Proposed Village For 2016 Games," Sun-Times, Dec. 14, 2009:
"Even as he served on the city's Olympic planning committee, Michael W. Scott , the late Chicago School Board president, was also involved in a multibillion-dollar lakefront development project near the proposed Olympic village, records and interviews show.
"Scott, who was a close friend and political ally of Mayor Daley, was a consultant on the proposed condo-and-hotel project across from Soldier Field when he committed suicide last month. Since January, he had been getting paid an undisclosed monthly fee from developer Gerald W. Fogelson, according to B. Timothy Desmond, president of Fogelson Properties Inc. . . .
"About two weeks later, Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) went to Fogelson's office to talk with him about the lakefront project, which is in Fioretti's ward. Scott showed up, and Fogelson invited him to the meeting, Fioretti recalled.
"'Sit with us while I explain it to the alderman,' Fioretti said Fogelson told Scott .
"Scott 'just stood there,' the alderman said. 'I didn't know what his role was.'
"Fioretti said he never heard anything more about the project until about six months ago, when Fogelson went to the alderman's City Hall office asking for $500 million in city 'tax-increment financing' for the project - more than the city has spent on any single project."
The Weekend in Chicago Rock
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How To Make A Christmas Wreath Balloon
* TONIGHT! Yes, we'll have the Bears-Vikings game on in HDTV. Plus, cold Old Styles and free pizza.
* TUESDAY! I may be back behind the bar for Tuesday night, which features free pool. Stay tuned for details.
* THURSDAY! I'm on the early shift, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
* FRIDAY! Working Christmas Eve with Bob - all night! Try to figure out the miracle of Santa Bob as he slips out to visit all the bars in the world in one night and returns with us barely noticing.
Stop in, the Inn is rather cozy these days with Christmas lights (the blue ones are my favorite) and other decorations (including Beachwood mistletoe) worth taking in.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Tubular.
Posted on December 20, 2010
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