Sunday, September 10, 2017

Jack Hagerty for Judge?

We urge the good citizens of Cook County to Vote NO on Hagerty 

Connected laddie, Jack Hagerty, and his cronies at Shefsky & Froelich (now Taft) have made millions on legal work that could have been provided fully within the City of Chicago Law Department by in-house licensed attorneys already on the payroll (paid municipal patronage workers), at each of the Sister agencies; Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, City Colleges, MPEA, etc. etc. etc.

How do you get rewarded for making a career out of feasting on taxpayer money?

You parley your political connections and cronyism to receive an endorsement for Judge from the Cook County Democratic Party. 



In December 2010 Shefsky billed MPEA $17,000 to research if a Non-Profit is subject to FOIA and Open Meetings Act (OMA) in advance of the January 4th, 2011 incorporation of the bogus 501C3 Navy Pier Inc. 

Shefsky assigned 4 attorneys to this task, knowing full well in advance of this alleged "research" that non-profits are exempt from FOIA and OMA. This was simply a money grab at taxpayer expense.


MPEA's General Counsel Renee C. Benjamin could simply have referenced the Illinois Attorney General's manual (Pg. 9) that states non-profits are exempt from FOIA and OMA at no charge to taxpayers.

Navy Pier Inc. receives almost 100% of its revenue from Unrelated Business Taxable Income and is currently under audit by the IRS. 

In addition, MPEA has transferred millions of dollars in bond monies that it raised under its bonding authority as a government agency without any accountability to taxpayers.


BGA's FOIA lawsuit against MPEA and Navy Pier Inc. 2014-CH-10364 is scheduled for trial October 30, 2017.


Corruption Busters obtained a FOIA response from City Colleges on October 19, 2015 related to $40,000 in blanket fees Hagerty charged City Colleges without details just prior to the demotion of General Counsel James M. Reilly as a going away present.



Jack's firm billed City of Chicago $62 Million between 2012-2013



Hagerty billed Chicago Public Schools over $4 Million in legal fees.


Here is a Who's Who on Jack's donors to date


Note one of the contributors is former Judge Roger Kiley Jr, a sitting Board Member at MPEA and the chief purveyor of nepotism who handed his son Roger Kiley III and Hagerty a lucrative $400,000 no-bid legal contract from MPEA. Kiley coincidentally happened to be a tenant in Shefsky's law office.

Good citizens of Cook County, be sure to prevent Hagerty from collecting a Cook County salary and pension at further taxpayer expense.


VOTE NO ON HAGERTY.





Friday, July 21, 2017

MPEA CONTINUES LEGACY OF ABUSING $55 MILLION TIF DISTRICT MONEY ON TOP OF THE SLEIGHT OF HAND TRANSFER OF $115 MILLION IN MPEA BOND MONIES TO THE BOGUS NON-PROFIT, NAVY PIER INC.

MPEA has continually abused its governmental bonding authority to provide a financial benefit to Navy Pier Inc. since its inception in 2011. In fact, there has never truly been a separation between the entities except for the 501C3 NPI filing in January 2011.

Ex-MPEA employees who had worked at Navy Pier are still at their same desks, same phone numbers, same emails, just a different signature on their paychecks. The non-profit never even bothered to move into its own office space and continues to enjoy rent-free occupancy at the west end of the Pier.

Crain's and Better Government Association today released an expose of continued abuse by MPEA shifting $55 Million in TIF funds to NPI received from the City of Chicago. As soon as the monies were placed into MPEA's bank account, they were immediately transferred to NPI, not directly located within the TIF district. Again, this a direct abuse of taxpayer funds and a continued breach of fiduciary by the MPEA board.

NPI receives a gift of all revenues derived from for-profit activities on the Pier; tenant leases, rooftop leases for cell phone carriers, parking, exhibition hall rentals - all now under review by the Internal Revenue Service in an ongoing audit to determine if these transactions are Unrelated Business Taxable Income.

Click here to read the entire article, 

HOW CITY POWER PLAYERS DIVERTED $55 MILLION IN BLIGHT-FIGHTING TIF CASH TO NAVY PIER

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Monday, July 17, 2017

BREAKING NEWS!

Just in Navy Pier Inc.'s 2016 Audited Financial Statements Disclosure On-Going IRS Audit for Unrelated Business Taxable Income

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B86hsukGDw90LTdFYjluYzN0YTQ/view?usp=sharing

See Footnote (J) on Page 11

In 2016 Navy Pier Inc. recorded $54,947,107 in Revenue.

All of this revenue constitutes Unrelated Business Taxable Income, not related to typical charitable donations received by a Non-Profit, fully subject to Income Taxes.



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Former McPier head gets probation for lying to the FBI

A federal judge handed a year of probation Thursday to a former head of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority who quietly pleaded guilty this year to lying to the FBI.
Leticia Peralta Davis, 58, told the FBI during a July 5, 2012 interview that she never discussed money with an unidentified public official. But Davis’ plea agreement indicates that the public official had, in fact, asked Davis for money in connection with that person’s official duties. No money changed hands, records show.
http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/former-mcpier-head-gets-probation-for-lying-to-the-fbi/

Jim Riley, former CEO of MPEA handed Marilynn Gardner, CEO Navy Pier Inc., a bogus 501C3 Non-Profit, a $1 - 25 Year Lease Agreement resulting in a windfall of $1 Billion in Taxpayer Monies outside of FOIA, OMA and public scrutiny and goes unpunished.  

Where is the US Attorney and the FBI?

Guess we will just let the IRS audit wrap up for Unrelated Business Income Tax and Excess Benefits Transactions resulting from excessive compensation to NPI Executives to recover the funds with penalties and interest and finally terminate NPI's tax exempt status.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BREAKING NEWS 11/16/2016 
FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

IRS AUDITS NAVY PIER INC


Below is a disclosure on the IRS990 for 2015 filed by Navy Pier Inc. 


"NPI recognized no interest or penalties for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014.

NPI is currently undergoing an examination by the Internal Revenue Service for the year ended December 31, 2013. 

The scope of the examination includes a review to ensure all Unrelated Business Income has been properly reported. As of the date of this report, the results of the examination have not been finalized. NPI is no longer subject to examination by Federal, State or Local Authorities for periods before 2013."

This is not accurate. In fact, the IRS can go back 7 years or to the inception of NPI in January, 2011 to determine if NPI is a bona fide 501C3 by its operations and business practices. 


CorruptionBusters has reported extensively on the sham creation of Navy Pier Inc. from MPEA (Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority comprising Navy Pier and McCormick Place) since the end of 2010 when General Counsel Renee Benjamin commissioned a "study" to determine if a Non-Profit is subject to FOIA and OMA -- at taxpayer expense of $17,000 paid to insider lawyers at Shefsky (now Taft Law).

Navy Pier Inc. was then incorporated in January, 2011 and by June 30, 2011 was split out from MPEA. Marilynn Gardner was General Manager at Navy Pier earning $165,000 per year. The NPI IRS990 for 2015 reported her compensation at $443,000 as CEO of NPI!


Today, Crain's reported this story and highlighted the revenue from Pier Tenant Leases - all percentage rent contracts - that mandate taxable income according to IRS regulations.


NPI raised only $0.9 Million for actual donations (in addition to receiving $25 Million from MPEA), well below the 50% threshold to maintain 501C3 Non-Profit status.


Click here to read the Crain's article

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Updated Story

DAVID WILHELM'S HOPEWELL VENTURES UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE US SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 

According to Crain's writer, Lynne Marek (May 21, 2016) 
(click here for a link to the complete story)





"Democratic heavyweight David Wilhelm tapped Illinois pension funds and the federal government to raise a $105 million venture fund, but it has lost more than half its value even as he and his partners collected millions of dollars in fees.
The partners launched Chicago-based Hopewell Ventures in 2004 with backing from a Small Business Administration program that primed the pump for other investors. Today Hope-well owes the federal program $30 million and seems to offer its other investors, which include the biggest pension fund in Illinois, little prospect of a return on their investments."
Corruption Busters reported the plot by David Wilhelm and convicted felon Joe Cari to approach pension funds solely for the purpose of garnering management fees without regards as to safeguarding the investment monies.
The TRS responded to a substantial number of FOIA requests to reveal the extent of these reckless investments that totaled over $30 Million of teacher retirement funds and resulted in massive losses. We requested that TRS pull these investments from these shaky deals and they repeatedly refused. 
This is certainly a breach of fiduciary and we encourage teachers to initiate a lawsuit against the trustees of the TRS and management in order to compel Wilhelm and Cari to reimburse the funds for the management fees.
Updated Story

DAVID WILHELM'S HOPEWELL VENTURES UNDER INVESTIGATION BY THE US SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 

According to Crane's writer, Lynne Marek (May 21, 2016) 


"Democratic heavyweight David Wilhelm tapped Illinois pension funds and the federal government to raise a $105 million venture fund, but it has lost more than half its value even as he and his partners collected millions of dollars in fees.
The partners launched Chicago-based Hopewell Ventures in 2004 with backing from a Small Business Administration program that primed the pump for other investors. Today Hope-well owes the federal program $30 million and seems to offer its other investors, which include the biggest pension fund in Illinois, little prospect of a return on their investments."
Corruption Busters reported the plot by David Wilhelm and convicted felon Joe Cari to approach pension funds solely for the purpose of garnering management fees without regarding as to safeguarding the investment monies.
The TRS responded to a substantial number of FOIA requests to reveal the extent of these reckless investments that totaled over $30 Million of teacher retirement funds and resulted in massive losses. We requested that TRS pull these investments from these shaky deals and they repeatedly refused. 
This is certainly a breach of fiduciary and we encourage teachers to initiate a lawsuit against the trustees of the TRS and management in order to compel Wilhelm and Cari to reimburse the funds for the management fees.