* Greg Hinz…
Both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker are pushing different candidates to take the helm of the agency that operates Chicago’s economically crucial McCormick Place convention center, a development that could be resolved amicably or could lead to some serious jockeying between the two officials.
Sources close to the matter say the mayor has been talking up Jeff Bethke, now executive vice president and CFO at DePaul University, to take over as CEO of the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, or McPier as it’s generally known. Bethke served on Lightfoot’s transition team and once worked as an aide to former Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey, a close kitchen cabinet adviser to the mayor. […]
Sources say Pritzker has promoted two local officials: Arnie Rivera, the former budget director at Chicago Public Schools and now CPS’ chief operating officer, and Larita Clark, a veteran McPier staffer who currently is its acting CEO and the CFO. […]
By tradition in recent decades, the mayor has chosen the person who becomes chairman and the governor the CEO. But that situation began to break down under former Gov. Bruce Rauner, who “didn’t care about McPier very much,” one agency source told me.
United Airlines General Counsel Brett Hart is the current chairperson.
According to a search of the State Board of Elections, the only campaign contributions ever made by Jeff Bethke were to Mayor Lightfoot.
Unless Pritzker’s choices are completely unacceptable (and I have not yet seen any evidence of that), perhaps the mayor should let tradition dictate here. She’ll eventually get to choose the chairperson.