Friday, October 26, 2007


Corruption In Chicago

Business as usual

According to Mayor Daley, this is "not a sweetheart deal:"
...developer Thomas DiPiazza and a partner bought the highly contaminated 1.8-acre parcel at the juncture of the river's South Branch and a tributary known as Bubbly Creek for $50,000 in 1998. The city paid 24 times that in 2004 when it bought the land for a park, which still has not been built.
The Sun-Times notes:
Daley could not explain why the purchase price paid by the city was not based on the land's industrial zoning designation at the time. Instead, the appraisal assumed that the land was zoned for residential use.
I can explain why in one word: corruption. Consider this:
The Tribune reported that Bridgeport Village, a single-family home project bordering the waterway for which DiPiazza was a highly paid consultant, also benefited from the city pricing policy. City Hall paid a price for the DiPiazza land based on residential zoning even though it was zoned for industry, but the city-owned land for Bridgeport Village was sold to its developers based on its then-industrial zoning.

DiPiazza, a former city sewer worker who has participated in real estate deals with mayoral associate Fred Barbara, has declined to discuss the sale of the park site. His lawyer contends the city paid a fair price for the land and that it is "silliness" to suggest that DiPiazza was helped by political connections.
It seems the city takes the worst of it in every financial transaction it makes, with one exception -- tax collection.


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