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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration on Monday produced a letter showing it knew about questions surrounding Amer Ahmad and a controversial government contract in Ohio before the mayor hired him as Chicago's comptroller in April 2011," the Tribune reports.

"The letter was released as the administration attempted to show how it vetted Ahmad, who pleaded not guilty Monday in federal court to a kickback scheme stemming from his tenure as Ohio's deputy treasurer. Ahmad, 38, abruptly resigned from his City Hall job nearly a month ago.

"The administration has said Emanuel didn't know about Ahmad's federal problems until the former aide was indicted last week."

Unlikely, given Emanuel's obsessiveness about political gossip.

*

"In a letter to the Emanuel transition team dated April 1, 2011, attorney Vincent Connelly said he had interviewed Ahmad about an Ohio contract awarded to an East Coast bank and found Ahmad 'acted appropriately.'"

Oh, well, if Amer told Vince that, I'm good. Are you good? We're all good here, Rahm.

*

Vincent Connelly: "He has the full package: he's a lawyer of enormous talents and a tremendous human being."

*

"Connelly said he and Zaldwaynaka 'Z' Scott, who were then both attorneys with the Mayer Brown law firm, vetted Ahmad. They interviewed him by phone."

And when Ahmad didn't confess, they gave him the green light.

*

"Someone involved in the transition also looked into the Ohio treasurer's office contract with Boston-based State Street Bank, according to Connelly's letter. Connelly said Monday he did not remember who did that part of the review."

Right. The full package with enormous talents has such a slipshod memory that he can't even find the paperwork!

*

"Was I comfortable we vetted this guy and gave him every opportunity to let us know if there was anything awkward, embarrassing or worse that needed to be brought to our attention? For sure. Could we have gone further? Of course. But he hid it from us," Connelly told Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times.

Weren't the Ohio newspaper accounts enough to warn Emanuel away from Ahmad? Was it really that important that this particular man become comptroller? Apparently unasked and unanswered.

And did someone recommend Ahmad in the first place? Was it his former Wasserstein Perella colleague - oh, what was his name again? Oh yeah, now I remember.

*

Meanwhile . . .

"Emanuel asked Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton and Inspector General Joe Ferguson to join forces in investigating Ahmad's two-year tenure in Chicago."

*

"Independent Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and Scott Waguespack (32nd) demanded Monday that Patton 'stand down' in favor of Ferguson.

"To bring the mayor's attorney on - the person who fought him all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court - is foolish and a way to reroute the investigation," Fioretti said. "We know that Joe Ferguson is independent. Why do we need somebody looking over his shoulder and saying, 'You can look at this. You can't look at that.' They already did that on a small contract. Why do it on something this big and this important? Patton should step to the sidelines, give Ferguson unfettered discretion and allow him to go down any road."

"In a text message to the Sun-Times, Waguespack said, 'The IG should have complete independence to run an audit of the mayor's ex-comptroller. If anyone is at the table with the IG, it should be the U.S. attorney working with him on the audit - not the corporation counsel.'"

*

Who is Stephen Patton?

"[A] corporate litigator known for representing tobacco companies and defending the closure of Meigs Field."

*

Also:

"Amer Ahmad, the former Chicago comptroller who was indicted last week in an Ohio kickback scheme, served on the boards of all four of Chicago's pension funds, helping supervise the investment of billions of dollars in public funds, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration now confirms," Greg Hinz reports for Crain's.

"As a result, City Hall says, a review of his work here now will be expanded to include his votes as a pension fund trustee from 2011-13, with some form of 'outside resources' being brought in to expedite the probe."

Maybe bring in Vince Connelly.

Demolition Man
The [Whittier] Papers.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Comp stat.



Permalink

Posted on August 20, 2013


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SPORTS - SportsMonday: Action Jackson.

BOOKS - Chicago History Museum Card Catalog Going Digital.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: War Of The Rainbows.


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