Saturday, February 1, 2014

Must be the luck of the Irish. Nice to be in the Family Business....

Former MPEA employees hit a gold vein by moving to Navy Pier Inc. all at taxpayer expense. But they never actually moved. Same desk, same phone number, same email, brand new computer paid for by taxpayers; just a different company's name on their paycheck.
And, all outside the purview of FOIA and OMA. 

There is no Inspector General that oversees MPEA or Navy Pier Inc.

Pursuant to legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2010, Navy Pier was formally split out from MPEA. On Jan. 4, 2011 Navy Pier Inc. was incorporated in Illinois as a not-for-profit and on June 30, 2011 the MPEA board approved spinning out NPI. 

The Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan, rammed this legislation through in three months! The Senate concurred and Governor Quinn signed the legislation in quick order.

It is interesting to note that Ethics Reform headed by Patrick Collins, former US Attorney, did not pass. Pension Reform has been a wrestling match not easily resolved and still a major issue related to the financial stability of the State of Illinois. Gambling Expansion has passed the legislature only to be vetoed by Governor Quinn.

Of course, there have been recent stories of Madigan's protection of patronage workers and this is the hidden story that has not been well publicized until now.

Ah, tis good to be Irish!

NPI was provided with a $5,000,000 interest free loan to get the family business started. Over $100 Million of taxpayer assets were shifted from MPEA to NPI. Annual revenue of $43 Million was gifted to these former MPEA employees to the detriment of taxpayers.

Does any sane person simply give away revenue and profit? Or, was there some nefarious reason to put this deal together?

The answer is direct. These political patronage workers received a two year no cut contract to "move" over to this fake non-profit, Navy Pier Inc.

Would Mayor Emmanuel or Governor Quinn willfully forfeit their 50% share of $43 Million in annual revenue? Certainly not! But they don't know what they don't know.

All in exchange for a $1.00 25 Year Lease Agreement with four 20 year renewals!

Navy Pier Inc. has received NO DONATIONS OR CONTRIBUTIONS since inception but continues to engage in running a profitable mall at 600 E. Grand.

Here is the ultimate reward for party loyalty. Each politically connected foot soldier strategically placed at MPEA have cleaned up nicely and obtained personal gain protecting the family business. 

These are the same management folks that ran up the MPEA deficit annually and should have been removed for gross mismanagement and waste of taxpayer funds. The numbers speak for themselves.

ANNUAL AUDITS OF MPEA (performed by KPMG who is fully asleep at the wheel) disclose the MPEA financial statements for the years 2006-2011 annual deficits as follows:

·         Net Deficit June 30, 2011 $833.0 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2010 $696.5 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2009 $556.4 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2008 $408.3 Million
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2007 $309.5 Million

·         Net Deficit June 30, 2006 $287.8 Million

Since the split effective July 1, 2011, the deficit has actually increased geometrically under the regime of Jim Reilly, former Trustee, now CEO...

·         Net Deficit June 30, 2013 $1.1 Billion
·         Net Deficit June 30, 2012 $999 Million

How does a losing venture stay in business? By feeding at the public trough financed on the backs of Illinois taxpayers?

Who introduces legislation each year to cover the shortfall? You guessed it. Mike Madigan is the direct sponsor.

Contrary to logic and best practices, political hacks have effectively and deliberately been financially rewarded for screwing taxpayers.

Marilynn Gardner, Navy Pier General Manager was earning $168,000 as an employee of the State of Illinois. Daniel P. Blondin, Senior Attorney was earning $110,000. Patrick Gardner, Marilynn's husband was earning $59,610. Mike Degnan was earning $130,713.

Navy Pier Inc. is a 501C3 non-profit not subject to FOIA and OMA. Taxpayers have no checks and balances to prevent looting the public coffers.

According to the Navy Pier Inc. IRS990 filing for 2012, here are the astounding compensation numbers:
Marilynn Gardner         $ 391,493
Daniel P. Blondin           $ 284,384
Patrick Gardner             $   79,018
Mike Degnan                   $ 240,746
Steven J. Haemmerle      $ 360,445

(Haemmerle was employed by MPEA just prior to the split and NPI has been paid by MPEA for a portion of his services on behalf of MPEA while employed by NPI)

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich is serving a 14 year sentence and didn't steal anything close to the looting by these conspirators who betrayed the public trust for personal gain.

We call upon the US Attorney and Illinois State's Attorney to investigate this matter and recover taxpayer funds improperly transferred out of public scrutiny and accountability.

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