Daley Spouts Off at Unwanted Questions

Mayor refuses to answer questions about insider's Olympic deal

By Steve Bryant
|  Saturday, Aug 8, 2009  |  Updated 3:35 PM CDT
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The mayor is not happy about questions he is taking right now.

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Reports that a member of Mayor Richard Daley's Olympic team is positioning himself to cash in on the 2016 Games prompted angry reaction from the city's chief executive.

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The Big Swingin' D is insulted -- insulted! -- at the suggestion he helped secure a lucrative Olympic site real estate deal for a close pal.

That pal is Chicago School Board President and real estate developer Michael Scott, picked by Daley to be one of the early members of the 2016 bid effort. He has the inside track to develop a city-owned parcel in Douglas Park adjacent to one of the proposed Olympic sites, according to the Chicago Tribune's Watchdog group.

The value of that land could skyrocket if Chicago is awarded the Games, but Daley refuses to discuss the deal. When pressed by a reporter at a Northwest Side press conference about when he'd be available to discuss Scott's project, Daley erupted in anger.

"I do it everyday.  You've been with me every day. Never insult me with that question. You're insulting me because every day I'm here, you're never here," Daley said.

At another press event, Scott said that the situation isn't the insider deal that some are making it out to be.

"This is just a proposal that has been discussed by certain individuals in the 24th, 28th and 27th ward, department of planning staff, and nothing more has come of those discussions.  The city has no formal plans or deal at this time, for any lots to be sold or conveyed for any amount of money for this proposed project," he said.

Scott said he's simply continuing to invest in the community where he was raised.

"I've had an interest in Douglas Park long before the Olympics came and will probably have an interest long after we get them or not," Scott was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as saying. "That's where I was raised, that's what I know, so if that's something that's punishable, I can't tell you that."

The International Olympic Committee will award the 2016 Summer Games to either Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid or Rio de Janeiro during an event in Copenhagen, Denmark on Oct. 2.

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