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*** UPDATED x1 *** City Club rejects Jay Doherty’s resignation

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

* I somehow forgot to include this in today’s Corruption Roundup post. Greg Hinz

The City Club of Chicago is contending with the fallout of its president’s involvement in a federal probe of Commonwealth Edison influence in Springfield. Weeks after Jay Doherty’s City Club offices were raided—and in the wake of disclosures that the prominent public affairs group’s chief was paid more than $3.1 million over a span of years by the utility giant—a growing roster of speakers are canceling upcoming City Club appearances. […]

After some internal debate, the club’s board decided to reject Doherty’s offer to resign, insiders tell me, at least in part because Doherty in recent years has been critical to the club’s success in landing prominent public officials to its forums, including governors and mayors, U.S. senators and even candidates for president.

“Mr. Doherty is the president of the club. I don’t know of any move afoot to change that,” club attorney Michael Hayes told me. “I hope he stays. He’s largely the reason we’ve been successful.”

At the same time, club leadership has declined to press Doherty for some explanation of exactly what he did to earn that much from ComEd, a state regulated entity, and to answer whether that big check conflicts with the club’s very public role in helping shape city and state public policy.

Yeah, well, they can add me to the list of people who aren’t speaking this year.

*** UPDATE *** Look who’s speaking tomorrow…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

50 Comments
  1. - 10th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    atta boy Rich!


  2. - Montrose - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    If they were really thinking about what is best for the future of the City Club, they would have gleefully accepted his resignation. I’m sure he did a great job bringing people in, but I think there are a couple other people that could that that aren’t under investigation. Or at least it isn’t public that they are under investigation.


  3. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    And when speakers stop showing up because of the scandal (they already are), he will largely be the reason the City Club goes belly up. Just a nonsensical, short sighted decision. Good luck with that.


  4. - Just Me - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    This whole nightmare is disgusting. Those in power are falling over themselves justifying ways to help others in power.


  5. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    The idea that they need Jay in order to bring high-level speakers to City Club at this point is absurd. They need to except his resignation and move on or there won’t be much of a City Club left.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    === After some internal debate, the club’s board decided to reject Doherty’s offer to resign, insiders tell me, at least in part because Doherty in recent years has been critical to the club’s success in landing prominent public officials to its forums, including governors and mayors, U.S. senators and even candidates for president.===

    This is incredibly telling of the folks there.

    Let’s break this logic down;

    “After some internal debate”

    Someone offers their resignation due in part to a federal raid that may, or may not, have to do with the club, even if it was the club’s OWN offices were raided… they had a… debate. Whew

    Well, what happened in this debate? Any conclusions?

    “…the club’s board decided to reject Doherty’s offer to resign“

    So, again, the club’s OWN offices get raided. Raided. These folks debate how that might look, be, whatever, and it’s concluded to… reject… a resignation of someone the FBI deemed to be important enough to raid. He wanted to resign.

    Why would they reject this?

    “…insiders tell me, at least in part because Doherty in recent years has been critical to the club’s success in landing prominent public officials to its forums, including governors and mayors, U.S. senators and even candidates for president.“

    So here’s the bottom line;

    If you can deliver, essentially be a “booker”, not unlike someone who is a booker for The Tonight Show, or a bad radio program looking to fill time… the Board of the City Club of Chicago likes Jay Doherty, whom I heard is ageless and priceless, especially when eating with the indicted, but former powerful chairman and current indicted alderman Ed Burke… this board is “fine” with someone… as long as they can book folks for luncheons.

    What a bunch of pathetic folks.

    I’m embarrassed for y’all.

    Hope the bookings go well, I mean, in between federal raids of your offices…


  7. - BigLou - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    “critical to the club’s success in landing prominent public officials to its forums”

    And they don’t think this is becuase he was offering them something?


  8. - Bud's Bar Stool - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    === “He’s largely the reason we’ve been successful.” ===

    Leave it to the lawyer for the stunningly obtuse.

    Doherty is the reason for the City Club’s success? As best I can tell, the City Club developed – and maintained until recently – a reputation as a solid and inclusive public affairs organization. It’s based on that reputation, I presume, that many public officials and others would have been happy to attach themselves to its brand and have for an hour its audience.

    In any case, Doherty now appears to be quite the opposite of the City Club’s chief asset – he is its albatross.


  9. - Bogey Golfer - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    Glad that Paul Green isn’t around to see this.


  10. - Steve - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    The City Club has a big heart.

    https://tinyurl.com/wrs5j34


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    - Steve -

    Why do you keep linking to that blog?

    Is it your blog?


  12. - Anon 12:10 - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    I suppose when you hand-pick your entire Board, this is the outcome you are going to get every time.

    What I find interesting is that Jay and the Board though that this hollow offer to resign, and the resignation’s subsequent denial by the Board, would be enough for them to save the City Club in it’s current form. For as long as Jay remains involved with the City Club, the organization is going to suffer reputational damage that may broach upon irreparable.

    The Board at the City Club, in my opinion as a long-time member, should be ashamed.


  13. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    Rich, I clearly have missed it, but are you doing your traditional speech and toys for the kids event elsewhere?


  14. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    ===are you doing your traditional speech and toys for the kids event elsewhere? ===

    I’ll announce something after Thanksgiving.


  15. - Billy Sunday - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    Wow…When is Jay Doherty memorial being built and paid for by the Board of the City Club?


  16. - Anon 12:10 - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    =Yeah, well, they can add me to the list of people who aren’t speaking this year.=

    I suspect that these developments made it an easy decision for you.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    “The City Club of Chicago; If you can do stuff to get folks to speak at a lunch, honesty, integrity, ethics, and morals are disposable”

    Granted, that’s a lot to out on a mug…


  18. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    To the update: Speaking of stunningly obtuse…


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    Lets remember;

    Mr. Frerichs is obsessed with Mr. Frerichs. He’s tall. Any chance to seem important, Mr. Frerichs will be there.

    It’s as though the tone-deaf Comptroller learned nothing from the disaster that was the Attorney General Raoul appearance.

    I’m sorry, my bad. Mr Frerichs is tall. So there’s that.


  20. - Anon 12:23 - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    I wonder if the esteemed WTTW, particularly “Chicago Tonight”, will drop the City Club as a sponsor, if they haven’t done so already?


  21. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    Point of order: He’s the tone deaf Treasurer. Should get a nice picture with Jay while he’s there.


  22. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===Comptroller===

    Treasurer.

    But everything else you said is spot-on.


  23. - Anon 12:25 - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    =Any chance to seem important, Mr. Frerichs will be there.=

    One way to make news would be to announce today that he won’t appear. One way to not make news: move forward with his plan to appear.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    - 47th Ward -

    He’s so self important, I forgot which position he held,

    My bad. My mistake, but he’s tall


  25. - Responsa - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    I am actually stunned at this cluelessness on the part of City Club and others. I am glad you are refusing to “play” with them at this time, Rich.


  26. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    Wow. It’s not just an endorsement of Doherty, but a huge bet against the Feds winning cases as a result of this investigation. It’s very, very unlikely that is the case.


  27. - Anon 12:30 - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:30 pm:

    Oswego, just curious, do you have editing rights? I noticed it said “Comptroller”, then changed to Treasurer, then back to Comptroller.

    I don’t care one way or the other, it ain’t my blog, but I was merely curious, that’s all. No harm meant by the question.


  28. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===a huge bet against the Feds winning cases===

    Stop.

    This was an executed search warrant. They could’ve been looking for a lot of things and maybe they didn’t find what they thought they might. I mean, it’s possible. It’s not like he’s been indicted.

    Still, when Jay offered to resign, they should’ve accepted it.


  29. - anon - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    This actually seems to make it worse.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    Tall Tales

    The ageless and priceless Jay Doherty, booking master, extraordinaire, will have the Treasurer of the State of Illinois Mike Frerichs speaking at the City Club of Chicago tomorrow.

    To wit;

    After the raiding of Jay Doherty’s office Treasurer Frerichs will give his speech, sharing a podium too.

    Up shot: Frerichs is tall. The height jokes are a luncheon delight.

    Down shot: The raid of the offices of Jay Doherty are still fresh in the minds of many, many who have now declined speaking.

    Buck shot: Frerichs will talk bucks, pennies, and investments, maybe even discuss transparency while Doherty is a few seats away.

    Sneedless to say, when you feel important and you’re tall, the sky is the limit, even if the thin air up there might lead to bad decisions.

    Natch.


  31. - Payback - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    So when was this City Club board meeting? I didn’t get an invitation. I don’t know Jay, and I don’t know why the G raided City Club offices, but I’m disappointed in the Club.

    IMO the MC at AG Kwame Raoul’s speech on Oct. 21, Jacki Robinson-Ivy, fawned over him like a fan at an Elvis concert. She gave Raoul a full four-arm hug at the start, so they appear to have a pre-existing relationship. The audience questions she put up were softballs. Seeing the cancellation notices I’ve received, City Club has lost major street cred in my book.


  32. - merasmag - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:15 pm:

    where does all the money from those expensive events go?


  33. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    ===So when was this City Club board meeting? I didn’t get an invitation. I don’t know Jay===

    Are you nuts? Why would you be invited to a board meeting if you’re not a board member. You need a nap.


  34. - merasmag - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    would be interested to hear that from a member


  35. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    Credibility and integrity scorecard:

    Rich—A
    City club—F
    Frerichs—F

    Hard to restore


  36. - City Guy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    I’ve defending City Club here before and think they are a great asset. But they really blew this. They should have accepted Doherty’s resignation. If he is cleared of wrongdoing, he can come back, but he is currently damaging the reputation of the organization. Last time I checked, a Board doesn’t need to approve your resignation. Its not like he has a legal contract. Doherty needs to resign and quit playing games before he destroys the City Club. And as a reminder, in 2012 there was a scandal where a board member accused Doherty of using the City Club for his benefit.


  37. - Corruption Buster - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    Why isn’t the IRS looking into Doherty running a for profit business from a not for profit office? City Club is paying the costs of an office, employees, computers etc. just to profit Doherty.


  38. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===Still, when Jay offered to resign, they should’ve accepted it.===

    That’s why it is so bold.

    I really find the criminal procedure lectures condescending. Rep Arroyo is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Has anyone jumped up to defend his civil rights? Either commit to civil liberties for everyone all the time or recognize the common sense speculation about the investigation.


  39. - R A T - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    - Steve -
    Why do you keep linking to that blog?
    Is it your blog?

    OW, tinyurl is a site that takes long urls and makes them easier to click on in your post. With that being said, I’d highly recommend you neither use it or click on one of the links. They are mostly malicious.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    === Either commit to civil liberties for everyone all the time or recognize the common sense speculation about the investigation.===

    The City Club refusing to accept a resignation is a decision by the board that can, has, and will have/d a backlash

    It was a voluntary (so it appears) resignation that was refused.

    Ok. It’s their club. How others see that decision is the choice others can make for themselves.


  41. - crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    “Maybe he’s corrupt, but he HAS used a lot of clout to benefit us” is exactly the “public affairs conversation” quality I associate with the City Club.


  42. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    Obviously the City Club feels Mr. Doherty is indispensable. But, in a quote going back to the Irish Dial (parliament) in 1924: “Glasnevin Cemetery is full of indispensable people.”


  43. - NorthsideNoMore - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 4:01 pm:

    Just maybe he is not the focus of investigation ? He offered up to resign or take a leave, if you have respect for the entity take a break till the dust settles.


  44. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 4:44 pm:

    “After the raiding of Jay Doherty’s office Treasurer Frerichs will give his speech, sharing a podium too.” Is any one else having deja vu in regard to this story? The same person and the same club were investigated from 2009 to 2012 for the same thing. Nothing burger. How many times have those negatively commenting either attended or spoke at the Club since 2012????


  45. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 4:50 pm:

    - “Anonymous” -

    Blaming those commenting, the choice is still the same, friend.

    It’s who Mr. Frerichs is.


  46. - Responsa - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 4:53 pm:

    I kind of wonder how many others and who may have declined the speaking opportunity that Mr. Frerichs is embracing.


  47. - Leatherneck - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 5:42 pm:

    Maybe the City Club also has a few light bulbs which need replacing in their building–and they might also need Frerichs’ help with them too.


  48. - Payback - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 6:56 pm:

    merasmag @ 1:24 pm: “would be interested to hear that from a member” I am a member, and I was at Kwame Raoul’s luncheon. My comment about not being invited to the board meeting was a joke.

    The point is that if City Club is supposed to promote honest and transparent government and business in Chicago, maybe we should know more about how they operate. How does someone get on the board? Are there open elections for board positions like Pres. Jay Doherty?


  49. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    “Blaming those commenting, the choice is still the same, friend.

    It’s who Mr. Frerichs is.”

    I’m assuming you may have attended since the previous investigation ending in 2012. It must be who you are.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 14, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    === I’m assuming you may have attended since the previous investigation ending in 2012.===

    First, choose a name.

    Second, Doherty offered to resign. The pubic heard of *this* raid, not from Doherty, from the papers.

    It appears others who attended and even spoke… they ain’t going back either.

    So… your comment… makes no sense to… the today… and all who are walking away… less Frerichs… because that’s who Frerichs is… it’s about him.


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