Rahm's 'Chicago way' pays off with huge profits with the right political connections

Wow! A 400% profit on a million dollar land deal in just 14 months. Hiring people with the right connections definitely pays off in Chicago. And don’t worry about Chicago going bankrupt under billions of dollars of debt. The check will be cashed and the money gone well before that happens.

The Chicago Sun-Times’s The Watch Dogs column, written by Tim Novak tells us.

The property doesn’t look like much — a weed-strewn eyesore at the northwest corner of 21st and Prairie in the shadow of McCormick Place.

But the vacant piece of land proved to be very profitable for Drapac Group LLC, Australian developers who hired Langdon D. Neal, one of the city’s most politically connected lawyers.

Neal was a registered lobbyist for Drapac when it paid $1,020,000 for the 21,857-square-foot property in the shadow of McCormick Place in May 2013 — its first deal in Chicago.

Little more than a year later, Neal’s firm helped another client, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority — the government convention agency known as McPier — buy the Drapac property to turn into a dog park and playground. The aim was to placate neighbors upset with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plans to build a basketball arena for DePaul University and a Marriott Hotel near their homes just west of McCormick Place.

McPier paid Drapac $5,473,750 — meaning Neal’s current client helped his former client make a 400 percent profit in just 14 months, records examined by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

The authority — which will own the hotel and arena — had no appraisal to determine the value of the Drapac property it bought from Neal’s former client last summer.

Neal informed McPier about his earlier work for Drapac, according to a spokeswoman for the agency who says Neal received a waiver from McPier to be involved in the deal that profited his former client.

Hey, who needs an appraisal? The taxpayers will never even notice. If you know the right people, anything is possible in Chicago:

Neal is also chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections, the agency that sided with Emanuel when his opponents tried to keep him off the 2011 ballot, arguing he was ineligible to run for mayor because he had been living in Washington while serving as President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff.

McPier officials would not release Neal’s request for the waiver nor the waiver itself, claiming attorney-client privilege.

Under his contract with the agency, Neal also advises McPier about how to handle public records requests.

Nor would McPier officals say what reason Neal gave for requesting it.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol

Wow! A 400% profit on a million dollar land deal in just 14 months. Hiring people with the right connections definitely pays off in Chicago. And don’t worry about Chicago going bankrupt under billions of dollars of debt. The check will be cashed and the money gone well before that happens.

The Chicago Sun-Times’s The Watch Dogs column, written by Tim Novak tells us.

The property doesn’t look like much — a weed-strewn eyesore at the northwest corner of 21st and Prairie in the shadow of McCormick Place.

But the vacant piece of land proved to be very profitable for Drapac Group LLC, Australian developers who hired Langdon D. Neal, one of the city’s most politically connected lawyers.

Neal was a registered lobbyist for Drapac when it paid $1,020,000 for the 21,857-square-foot property in the shadow of McCormick Place in May 2013 — its first deal in Chicago.

Little more than a year later, Neal’s firm helped another client, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority — the government convention agency known as McPier — buy the Drapac property to turn into a dog park and playground. The aim was to placate neighbors upset with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plans to build a basketball arena for DePaul University and a Marriott Hotel near their homes just west of McCormick Place.

McPier paid Drapac $5,473,750 — meaning Neal’s current client helped his former client make a 400 percent profit in just 14 months, records examined by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

The authority — which will own the hotel and arena — had no appraisal to determine the value of the Drapac property it bought from Neal’s former client last summer.

Neal informed McPier about his earlier work for Drapac, according to a spokeswoman for the agency who says Neal received a waiver from McPier to be involved in the deal that profited his former client.

Hey, who needs an appraisal? The taxpayers will never even notice. If you know the right people, anything is possible in Chicago:

Neal is also chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections, the agency that sided with Emanuel when his opponents tried to keep him off the 2011 ballot, arguing he was ineligible to run for mayor because he had been living in Washington while serving as President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff.

McPier officials would not release Neal’s request for the waiver nor the waiver itself, claiming attorney-client privilege.

Under his contract with the agency, Neal also advises McPier about how to handle public records requests.

Nor would McPier officals say what reason Neal gave for requesting it.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol