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Judge Lets Daley Off the Hook in Park Grill Case

The former Chicago mayor's health issues offer protection from taking the witness stand

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    Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley attends a press conference after the Chicago 2016 presentation on October 2, 2009 at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 121st session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will vote on October 2 on whether Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro or Madrid will host the 2016 Olympic Games.

    A Cook County judge cut ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley a break on Wednesday, sparing him from having to testify in Chicago's lawsuit to against the owners of the Park Grill eatery at Millennium Park.

    The Circuit Court Judge Moshe Jacobius sided with Daley's lawyers in ruling that the former city boss should not be summoned for testimony due to an unspecified health issue.

    Jacobius said the 72-year-old Daley -- who reportedly suffered a stroke in January but has not confirmed it -- was allowed to privately reveal his medical records rather than expose them in public court.

    "We saw the medical information, and it was such, that the right thing to do is to throw out that subpeona," Jacobius said.

    The Park Grille team will rely on a deposition provided by Daley last year.

    "If he were the way he was, back at the time of the deposition, we were counting on him to give very good testimony for us," lawyer Stephen Novack said.  

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to terminate the expensive, long-term contract with Park Grill's clouted-up investor group that dates back to 2003.

    City Hall filed suit three years ago and Emanuel has said Chicago taxpayers were exploited in the deal. Daley was considered a crucial witness in Emanuel's crusade to break up the lease.