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Strange transaction; Plus a couple of Rezko updates

Thursday, May 29, 2008

* What the heck is up with this?

Jeffrey Duerwachter isn’t a player in Chicago real estate. He doesn’t even own a home. Duerwachter, 39, lives with his parents in Wilmette. He did OK last year at work, making $1,756 a week working on the set of the new Batman movie filmed in Chicago.

But he did even better investing, making a $413,000 profit by buying and immediately reselling a historic South Loop building that once housed the Chicago Defender, the city’s biggest African-American newspaper. And he did it all in one day — June 8.

Duerwachter reportedly paid $3.72 million for the building and a vacant lot, and flpped it the same day to a company owned by Matthew O’Malley.

Remember him? O’Malley’s the guy who runs the Park Grill Restaurant in Mayor Daley’s prized Millenium Park. As the Sun-Times notes, this deal became controversial “after the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed in 2005 that O’Malley and his partners won the 20-year deal with the Chicago Park District to run the restaurant while he and a top park district official, Laura Foxgrover, were romantically involved and having a child.”

* Anyway, back to the real estate flip…

O’Malley bought the property with three loans — including $1 million in city pension funds managed by DV Urban Realty Partners, a company co-owned by Mayor Daley’s nephew, Robert Vanecko, and one of Daley’s key African-American allies, Allison S. Davis. This was one of the investments Davis and Vanecko made after their newly created company was hired to manage $68 million for five pension funds for city workers, police officers, Chicago teachers and CTA workers.

Gee, I wonder if something’s hinky there.

* Meanwhile, Tony Rezko has more legal trouble

Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who is standing trial on federal corruption charges in Chicago, is wanted in Las Vegas for failing to pay $472,275 in gambling debts to Caesars Palace and Bally’s and related processing fees to the Clark County district attorney’s office. […]

At Caesars, between March 25 and July 14, 2006 Rezko cashed a $195,000 personal check that came back for insufficient funds and was given $55,000 in markers on four other occasions, according to the complaint. He also was given four markers totaling $200,000 on July 13, 2006, at Bally’s, the complaint said.

* Duffy responds

[Rezko defense attorney Joe Duffy] said Rezko had “old debt” in Nevada with two casinos that is covered by a settlement agreement. “Why they decided to issue a warrant, I do not know,” Duffy told the Tribune late Wednesday.

* And the Rezko jury is taking its own sweet time

All told, it has taken the jury of 10 women and 2 men more than two weeks to deliberate for a combined 6 1/2 days. With this week book-ended by a holiday and a day off on Friday, jurors could confer for as little as 2 1/2 days.

Rezko is facing 24 counts, so the jury has so far deliberated an average of 2.2 hours on each count.

* Somewhat related…

* NU grads say Daley too small for big day

* Expediters’ role under federal scrutiny at latest City Hall probe

* Children’s Museum lists rejected sites: Reilly noted that Children’s Museum vice president Jim Law, Daley’s former special events director, has spent the last year insisting that Grant Park was the “only location considered.'’ “Now we’re supposed to believe he wasn’t telling the truth. The museum team is running dangerously low on credibility,'’ Reilly said.

* Children’s Museum lists 37 alternate sites

* Stroger gets backing for final 4 for hospital oversight board

* Sangamon County State’s attorney candidate wants to create anti-corruption unit

* Senator’s Pension More Than Former Salary

* Jurors send mixed signal on Rezko deliberations

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ghost - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 8:55 am:

    Typo in a name, Luerwachter I beleive is Duerwatcher.

    Who sold their building to a guy with no finanicng or apparent ability to pay? This smacks big time of somthing hinkey. It looks like they used him as a straw man to hide or break the connection between the buy and the seller. He was paid well for it as well. That or they are laundering money.

  2. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 8:56 am:

    How many other real estate deals like this are there? Wasn’t this called a straw man transaction?

    This may be an example of the type of deal that keeps the Mayors allies happy and tightly aligned with the interests of the Democratic party rule.

    $$$$ rule, others drool…..

  3. - Anon - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 9:21 am:

    If Blago did not know the Ronen’s pension bump and how it would impact her and the citizens he is stealing from then he must not know the pension system. What a sad state of affairs!

  4. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 9:42 am:

    Why didn’t anyone call me? I’d be happy to flip a property for half that.

    For a straw man call…(maybe I should take out an ad somewhere)

  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 9:53 am:

    Great story in the Sun-Times. What a cast of rogues. I’m glad Mr. Sengstacke isn’t around to witness his legacy being picked over by this crew of hustlers.

    Rezko must be one smooth talker to run up all those markers. And bouncing a $195,000 personal check? Talk about testicular virility. What a character. Can you imagine trying to keep all those deals straight in your head all the time?

  6. - OneManBlog - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 9:58 am:

    I have no idea who my graduation speaker was. Then again December LA&S graduation at NIU (I was a CompSci major, not an English major obviously) wasn’t exactly a hot ticket.

    I think the kid should be happy he got a degree from NU and should not be getting his briefs in a bunch over the speaker.

  7. - A Citizen - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 10:33 am:

    Was Chris Kelly with Rezko in Nevada when he ran up those gambling debts? Sounds like Tony used the Kelly theory of gambling - or perhaps money laundering?

  8. - GofGlenview - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:06 am:

    Rezko. Wow.

  9. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:13 am:

    Broadway Bank comes up again…..and Alexi is the “change” candidate?

  10. - The Doc - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 11:36 am:

    Quimby, good and often overlooked point about Broadway Bank. Alexi isn’t a rags-to-riches story, and his resume certainly does not reflect that of a reformer, primarily because he’s new to the game. He has the Obama good luck charm, a nice jump shot, and youthful exuberance, whatever that means.

    Not saying he’s doing a poor job (he isn’t) or that he shouldn’t be considered for higher office at some point (he should), but all of this fawning over a 30-something family banker is a bit of a head-scratcher.

    Summary: Considering the asset size of Broadway Bank and its share of the Chicago banking market, its name does surface quite a bit, and not necessarily for the right reasons.

  11. - Chanson - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:13 pm:

    Is it common practice for juries to dictate the days and hours that they will meet?

  12. - nino - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 2:44 pm:

    chicken feed.

  13. - GofGlenview - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 4:59 pm:

    Well, considering the Nevada info maybe those that have taken part in this poll might want to change their vote:

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* I'll be back later
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* Once more, with feeling
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* Yesterday's blog posts

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