* I’m coming a little late to this story…
The Rev. Leon Finney Jr. spent the last half-century building a real estate empire on Chicago’s South Side while amassing political power and hobnobbing with politicians like Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Richard M. Daley and Toni Preckwinkle.
Now in his twilight years, Finney’s fiefdom teeters on the brink of collapse.
Once revered for his community work, Finney, 81, stands accused of fraud, self-dealing and mismanagement after his nonprofit, the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation, filed for bankruptcy in October and the curtains were pulled back on its finances.
Finney has been ousted at the organization he helped create. And, in a rare step, a federal judge appointed a trustee in April to take control of Woodlawn, a move the nonprofit fought. Piece by piece, its real estate holdings are being sold off.
After the bankruptcy came more financial blows. Woodlawn’s main source of revenue — lucrative contracts to manage more than 4,300 apartments for the Chicago Housing Authority, bringing in about $170,000 a month in management fees — was canceled in June after the CHA accused Woodlawn of mismanagement resulting in nearly $400,000 in damages.
Go read the rest. Classic Chicago.
* Parishioners stand with Rev. Leon Finney amid fraud allegations: ‘His heart’s in the right place’ - Days after a judge’s stinging rebuke of the longtime Chicago powerbroker was reported by the Sun-Times, Finney forcibly removed a reporter from Sunday service at his church
* Lori Lightfoot orders review of Rev. Leon Finney Jr.’s ‘significant portfolio’ of CHA buildings: The mayor called the South Side minister ‘an iconic person’ who has ‘done good work over the course of his life’ and said his downfall is ‘clearly disappointing.’