City Council Erupts Over Parking Meter Investigation

One day after Chicago’s inspector general issued a scathing report on the city’s parking meter lease deal, aldermen exploded over the issue at City Council.

Aldermen are asking for changes in how quickly big contracts are approved, citing the IG’s investigation, which found that officials didn’t consider viable alternatives to the lease, or provide any meaningful public review of the decision.  The deal was approved in December, just two days after it was presented to the City Council.

If Mayor Richard Daley tries again to sell a city asset valued at over $100 million, aldermen will have at least 15 days of legislative review. 

But Daley quickly countered, saying, “this is a good, good financial transaction for the city." At the same time, he acknowledged "the only mistake we made" was not having a three or four month transition period to work out glitches in new system.

The IG also found that the 75-year lease was grossly undervalued, short-changing the city by an estimated $974 million over the length of the deal.

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