Chicago has long been known for its corrupt politicians. A former executive of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (ISFA) claims that the IFSA is no exception in a recent lawsuit. The Authority denies those allegations.
Perri Imer, the former executive director of the ISFA, has filed a lawsuit against former Illinois governor Jim Thompson and the White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. The lawsuit alleges that the two conspired to have Imer fired two years ago to stop her reforms at the public agency from going through. The complaint alleges that Reinsdorf and Thompson, who was chairman of the ISFA at the time, “sought to silence Perri Imer and to stifle her efforts to protect Illinois taxpayers from Reinsdorf’s greed.”
According to the lawsuit, Reinsdorf allegedly pressured Thompson to remove Imer because of her success in getting the White Sox to pay $1.2 million in yearly rent to the agency for the use of U.S. Cellular Field. According to the lawsuit, Reinsdorf allegedly had “undue influence” over former Governor Thompson and apparently over all the members of the ISFA Board of Directors who became complicit in allowing Reinsdorf to treat Cellular Field and the surrounding publicly owned lands as his personal fiefdom.”
According to the complaint, the public agency used taxpayer money to build and renovate U.S. Cellular Field as well as to build the restaurant next door, Bacardi at the Park. However, most of the revenue from those two facilities has allegedly gone to the White Sox.
The lawsuit alleges that the “highly favorable terms granted to the White Sox in 1998 and intended to last until at least 2029 served to create a sense of entitlement on the part of White Sox Chairman Reinsdorf, who has repeatedly acted as though U.S. Cellular Field was a gift by the Illinois taxpayers to Reinsdorf and his team”.
Thompson dismissed the lawsuit as a “self-serving tirade” and both he and a Reinsdorf spokesman denied the allegations.
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