MPEA DELIBERATELY SHREDS RECORDS
In a new twist to the orchestrated efforts to conceal information from the public regarding daily operations at Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, MPEA employees are doing a great Colonel Klink impersonation..."I know nothing, NOTHING!"
Two of our latest FOIAs have resulted in MPEA's response that they have no records to provide.
The first requested all written documentation (email, memos, etc.) between Juan Ochoa, CEO, and his appointee to Acting Chief of Staff, Carlos Ponce during Ponce's 9 month's employment in 2009 and 2010.
Here is the response...."we have no documentation responsive to your FOIA"
That's right. Not one piece of paper! NOTHING. NADA.
We had previously issued a FOIA for a copy of the Process Plan work product that was to be produced for Ochoa by Ponce as a consultant in 2008 that also has miraculously disappeared. Ponce was paid $28,000 by MPEA for this work that he then parlayed into an employment agreement. Ponce then negotiated a Separation Agreement that resulted in an additional payment to him of $34,000 (as previously reported).
Again, there is no written documentation related to Ochoa's signing off on this abuse of taxpayer funds.
The 2nd FOIA related to documentation surrounding the crafting of the MPEA Interim Board Report issued April, 2010. "Somebody Who Somebody Sent" authored a 145 page fully wordsmithed and polished masterpiece in under 20 days while 2 meetings chaired by John Gates and guided by Bruce Rauner went through the motions of information intake regarding restructuring MPEA and Navy Pier.
Again, NOT ONE PIECE OF PAPER...no notes, minutes, emails. NOTHING. NADA.
We urge the NSA to point their attention to MPEA to conserve records callously destroyed so that taxpayers will have documentation of written communications and phone conversations to determine how a select few can continue to increase the MPEA annual deficit now at $1.1 Billion with impunity!
Patronage workers need to be accountable to taxpayers to protect assets and not channel money to folks seeking personal gain from sole source wired contracts and employment arrangements.
Bruce Rauner says he’d shake up Springfield.
Hmm.check out the complete story by clicking on the link above.
News reports tie Rauner to Stu Levine. Remember him? He’s the Blagojevich crony now in prison.
Levin testified that a company financed by Rauner’s firm gave him $1 million to get state contracts by “whatever means,” including payoffs.
At the same time, Levine voted to help Rauner’s firm get $50 million in state pension funds.
Trust Bruce Rauner to shake up Springfield? He’s tied to people who shook it down.
There is much more to this story....
Joe Cari (convicted felon), former Chair of the Democratic National Committee was the link between Stuart Levine (convicted felon) TRS Board Member, Bruce Rauner and David Wilhelm (former Chair DNC).
In 2003, just after Blagojevich was elected Illinois Governor, there were numerous pay-to-play private investments rammed through the TRS board (all unanimous votes) engineered by Levine to politically connected firms who found an angle to legally grab "Management Fees" that were not tied to the performance of the investments. These results in personal gain at the expense of the funds.
The TRS Investment Agreements negotiated with GTCR (Rauner - $50 Million), Healthpoint Partners (Cari - $35 Million) and Wilhelm (Hopewell Ventures $10 Million) are protected from FOIA specifically by the Illinois Legislature as "trade secrets".
These TRS agreements preclude disclosure by the private investment firm of the destination of the investment or individual performance. In fact, the TRS cannot direct the private investor to pull the investments that are performing poorly. No rational investor would give complete control of their assets to a manager that loses investment monies.
GTCR lost 17.5% in 2009 and 7.9% in 2012.
Healthpoint lost 20.10% in 2009, 0.7% in 2010, 11% in 2011 and 9.9% in 2012.
Hopewell has lost money from 2003 to 2012.
Wilhelm (Hopewell) pulled $3 Million in Management Fees out of a $10 Million initial investment currently worth just over $4 Million! At this rate, the TRS will lose the complete $10 Million in the next few years.
The TRS refuses to terminate these shady investments despite requests by CorruptionBusters since 2011 to do so.
Illinois faces a substantial deficit to fund the pensions in accordance with negotiated labor agreements. Wired investment deals to politically connected individuals severely impacts the TRS' ability to make payments into the future.
We call for an investigation by the United States Attorney to recover TRS funds that have become a pot of gold for these cronies.