Daley Suspends Official Over $11 Million Deal

Commissioner Picardi gave man who ripped off city $11 million in fleet services contracts

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010  |  Updated 10:38 AM CDT
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The mayor says a multimillion-dollar contract with a man who once defrauded the city

The mayor says a multimillion-dollar contract with a man who once defrauded the city "is unacceptable."

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Mayor Daley suspended a top city commissioner for three months Saturday after the Chicago Sun-Times  reported his department paid more than $11 million to a businessman who had previously defrauded the city.    

Michael Picardi, the Fleet Management Commissioner, met with Daley today about reports that Central Auto Body Shop, owned by John Szybkowski, had done millions of dollars of body work on city vehicles since 1993. 
         
John Szybkowski told the Sun-Times  his shop works on about 20 city vehicles a month, many of them police vehicles.

His new contracts are worth more than $11 million.
         
He says he learned his lesson after being convicted of submitting fake bills to the city back then, which was also for work on police vehicles.
         
Raymond Orozo, chief of staff for Mayor Richard Daley, says the mayor will hold commissioners accountable for what happens in their departments.

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