Former US Attorneys in Chicago purport to undertake "independent investigations" to garner legal fees
Appearances are everything!
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of independent is "free from outside control; not depending on another's authority".
The definition of bribery is "The offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value for the purpose of influencing the action of an official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties.The expectation of a particular voluntary action in return is what makes the difference between a bribe and a private demonstration of goodwill. To offer or provide payment in order to persuade someone with a responsibility to betray that responsibility is known as seeking undue influence over that person's actions. When someone with power seeks payment in exchange for certain actions, that person is said to be peddling influence.
Regardless of who initiates the deal, either party to an act of bribery can be found guilty of the crime independently of the other.
The judicial system requires impartiality; neither party to a complaint are allowed to pay the Judge to influence a decision.
So, what is the logic in Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority compensating former US Attorneys now in private practice to engage in "independent" internal investigations?
This would equate to King George III paying the revolutionaries to craft the Declaration of Independence!
According to Ordinance No. MPEA 04-02 (pursuant to Illinois Legislative mandate in 2004) requires the MPEA board chair to appoint an Ethics Enforcer.
We are awaiting the results of FOIAs to obtain the identity of these Ethics Enforcers since 2004 to determine if the MPEA General Counsel complied with the legislative mandate.
You read that correctly; MPEA hires an outside law firm at $400 plus per hour to perform duties that are contained within the job description of the General Counsel as Ethics Officer! This is truly a circle jerk.
The outside law firm doesn't just assign one attorney to the task, so the effective hourly rate is substantially higher.
Any findings of improprieties or ethics violations on the part of MPEA employees or board members is reported directly back to the agency that committed these acts, cloaked in privilege and deliberately withheld from the purview of the public.
There is no independent Inspector General that has jurisdiction over MPEA since MPEA is an authority 50% owned by both the City of Chicago and State of Illinois.
To boot, MPEA has spent almost $10 Million in outside legal fees since 2008 and has a reported deficit of $999 Million according to the audited annual report.
Patrick Collins at Perkins Coie billed $80,000 for an independent report in 2009 that was not independent.
He had an opportunity to remove corrupt employees and instead engaged in a cover up.
In response to a Whistleblower Complaint filed in 2013 against MPEA for fraud, waste of taxpayer funds and breach of the public trust, Valarie Hays at Schiff Hardin, Collins' former associate at the US Attorney's Office, has just been engaged to undertake an ethics investigation at MPEA that will also cost taxpayers substantial funds. We eagerly await the outcome of this investigation and her findings.
This would be a wonderful opportunity for newly confirmed US Attorney Zach Fardon to join in the investigation of the abuse of taxpayer monies for personal gain.
Mayor Emanuel filed suit to unravel the Millenium Park contract saying that the taxpayers were "taken advantage of". Mr. Mayor, we call upon you to personally look into the blatant drunken sailor spending spree at MPEA on wired deals to connected patronage employees and board members' friends and family. The MPEA scandal makes the Millenium Park deal look like chump change!
Mayor Emanuel, here is a hint. You are losing 50% of $43 Million in revenue for the next 25 years (not including the 4-20 year renewal periods). Simple Arithmetic. That is 1/2 Billion dollars just for the first 25 years! Corruption Busters welcomes the opportunity to share the results of our investigation of MPEA where you are a direct stakeholder.
Feel free to invite us to a meeting.