Mark Flessner

City Attorney Gives Up Access to Private Road, to Pay Back Property Tax Exemption

Flessner admitted he made a mistake in taking the exemptions on two properties

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Chicago City Attorney Mark Flessner has given up his access to a private road used by officials to avoid congestion in downtown Chicago and will pay back monies he was paid through a property tax exemption that he claimed on one of two properties he owns in the state, according to a city spokesman. 

Flessner, who was hired by Lightfoot earlier this year, received a pass to use a private road, nicknamed “the Bat Cave,” that connects downtown Chicago and McCormick Place, helping officials to avoid traffic jams. 

Flessner’s condo is just blocks from McCormick Place, but the mayor’s office says he has given up the pass voluntarily. 

“Well over 100 individuals have access to the busway, including members of the Chicago Police Department, the Department of Streets and Sanitation, security detail members, and others,” a spokesman for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said in a statement. “Mr. Flessner has already voluntarily voided his access to the busway, which he used as a convenience in his daily commute from his South Loop residence, given traffic congestion.” 

This week, an NBC 5 Investigation also revealed that Flessner claimed a property tax exemptions on properties in both Chicago and Naperville. State law stipulates that the exemption can only be claimed on one property, and Flessner will pay back the extra money he received. 

“As soon as Mr. Flessner became aware of this issue on Monday, he took steps to begin addressing it, which will include paying back the appropriate amount to Cook County through a Certificate of Error, in whatever timeframe is requested by the county,” a city spokesman said. 

According to NBC 5 Investigates, Flessner saved approximately $2,600 on his South Loop condo by using the exemption, and also received $1,600 on his Naperville house. 

The exemptions were uncovered in an NBC 5 Investigation after questions came up about Flessner’s residence. He has said he resides at the South Loop condo, as city law requires employees to live within city limits. 

Earlier this year, the COO of the Chicago Department of Aviation was forced to resign after an NBC 5 Investigates report revealed that although he claimed residence in the city, he had been living in a Naperville home instead. 

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