Chicago's Polk family gives $20 million to Navy Pier Inc. but fails to note that NPI owes the taxpayers $5 Million from the interest free loan received July 1, 2011!
By Kathy Bergen, Tribune reporter
1:35 p.m. CDT, July 17, 2014
Read the article here http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-navy-pier-0717-biz-20140717,0,3649192.story
Kathy Bergen, previously reported that Navy Pier Inc would not be subject to FOIA and OMA when it commenced operations on July 1, 2011 under the $1 25-year Lease Agreement with Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.
At that time, Bergen was fully informed that $100 Million in taxpayer assets and the $43 Million annual proceeds from the Tenant Lease Agreements at Navy Pier was gifted to NPI by the MPEA Board, including $60 Million in bonds raised by MPEA under its bonding authority granted by the Illinois legislature. Recently, MPEA transferred another $55 Million municipal bonds to NPI, a not for profit, thereby rendering the interest to bondholders taxable, in violation of the Prospectus.
In three years since inception of Navy Pier Inc., a bogus non-profit, the former patronage workers failed to secure even $1 in charitable contributions, as required by the Internal Revenue Service statutes re 501C3 non-profit entities.
Suddenly, NPI's luck has dramatically changed.
Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune pocketed proceeds from a full page photo-op ad placed by NPI touting the Polk Foundation's generous gift.
Press Release in the Chicago Tribune July 27, 2014
What is the cost of the ad? Certainly insignificant against the $20 Million yield! And, it is not Marilynn Gardner or Dan Blondin's personal funds, so money is no object!
The administrators of the Polk Foundation made no other significant contributions that come close to matching the generosity of this single gift.
Polk Foundation IRS 990 as of Aug. 31, 2013
Navy Pier Inc. is now further flushed with cash with no accountability to taxpayers or the donors.
What is the actual Naming Rights cost of erecting signage at Navy Pier heralding the contribution? $500,000? $1 Million? $2 Million? Christmas is certainly coming early for Marilynn Gardner and her gang.
Tim Novak at the Chicago Sun Times recently published an article citing significant raises to the select few managers of Navy Pier Inc., all former patronage workers at MPEA.
Andy Shaw, at Better Government Association recently filed suit against Navy Pier Inc to obtain FOIA information that rightfully belongs in the public domain, currently not available because NPI is hiding behind its non-profit status.
As taxpayers, We call upon the MPEA Board to uphold their fiduciary responsibilities by immediately investigating this matter and strongly encourage them to recall the $5 Million loan post haste that provided working capital to these patronage workers until they commenced collecting the proceeds from the tenant leases.
Perhaps the Polk Family should reconsider this contribution to avoid embarrassment and association with individuals who are under investigation by the IRS and SEC for fraud and waste of taxpayer monies?