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Posted by on August 8, 2010 9:52 PM | Permalink
Bring back Jerry Sullivan. Oh wait i am only dreaming.One can only wish this will get better for local 130.I dont think this will happen with the present officers we have running this local.Just think Coyne may be running this local next.You thought we have it bad now. Oh boy we are in trouble my fellow plumbers.Thank God i am on the down turn of my plumbing career.I feel for my younger brothers but i think its to late for us.
Glad i am almost done. |
August 8, 2010 10:36 PM
Daley donor bounced $884,509 in checks to City Hall
Developer Latsko pays final bad check after Sun-Times inquiry
August 9, 2010
BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporter
Fred S. Latsko has led something of a charmed life.
He has hit a few tough spots, sure. But he also has some well-known friends and always seems to land on his feet.
» Click to enlarge image Fred Latsko (inset) and a partner built this upscale luxury department store, Barney's New York, over an alley off Oak Street.
(Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)
» Click to enlarge image It took Fred Latsko 2 1/2 months to make good on this $837,500 bounced check he wrote to City Hall in 2009.
RELATED STORIESMayor's son had apartment in building run by Latsko
FRED LATSKO'S BAD CHECKS August 2008 -- Developer Fred S. Latsko writes a $47,009.50 check to pay city permit fees on a high-rise apartment building he and his partner want to build at 225 W. Illinois.
January 2009 -- City officials deposit check. They can't explain why it took so long to cash it. "As far as we can tell, we didn't receive the check in August, although that's when it was dated," says city spokesman Bill McCaffrey. "The best we can tell is the check wasn't given to us until December, and then we deposited it in January.''
Jan. 29, 2009 -- Then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich expunges Latsko's 24-year-old criminal record for theft and forgery. Latsko admitted using someone else's credit card to buy $747.86 in clothing from Mark Shale in December 1984, planning to return the clothes for cash.
Jan. 30, 2009 -- Latsko and his partner face a deadline to pay the city $837,500 for "air rights" they used to build a luxury department store, Barneys New York, above an alley at State and Oak streets. Latsko wants another six months to pay. Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) balks, saying former Ald. Burton Natarus already had let Latsko delay payment for three years.
"I believe it would be fiscally irresponsible to grant yet another deadline extension to a developer who has already completed construction of a building over the very land he was required to purchase," Reilly wrote the mayor's staff. "That compensation is to be paid to the city prior to construction."
Feb. 10, 2009 -- Latsko gives City Hall a check for $837,500.
Feb. 13, 2009 -- Latsko's earlier check for $47,009.50 bounces. His partner, James Letchinger, says the city waited too long to cash it.
March 9, 2009 -- City tells Latsko his $837,500 check has bounced, too, and gives him 15 days to "provide a replacement payment.''
March 20, 2009 -- Latsko gets city Zoning Board of Appeals approval to build a house on a narrow, 19-foot-wide lot at 1502 N. Dearborn, a plan that had been opposed by the city zoning department. Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Brian Crowe, a former city corporation counsel, is among those voting to approve it. Crowe is a partner in the law firm Shefsky & Froelich -- which is representing Latsko over his $837,500 bounced check to the city on the Barneys project.
April 1, 2009 -- Latsko pays $80,000 toward the $837,500 bounced check.
April 16, 2009 -- Barneys opens; Latsko still owes the city for building over the alley.
April 21, 2009 -- Mutual Bank in Harvey files a foreclosure lawsuit against Latsko and Letchinger over a $10.2 million loan they took to buy the property at 225 W. Illinois.
April 22, 2009 -- Latsko gives the city a $757,534 cashier's check -- final payment on the larger of his bounced checks. He also pays an extra $34 fee for bouncing a check.
July 28, 2010 -- Latsko pays the city $47,009.50 to cover his other bounced check, from August 2008. He pays another $34 bounced-check fee. This time, the city also charges him $500 for legal fees.
After some troubles as a 19-year-old left him with a criminal record, for instance, he turned to Rod Blagojevich. He'd never made any campaign contributions to Blagojevich, but, on the governor's last day in office, Jan. 29, 2009, he erased Latsko's criminal record -- without any explanation.
Way back, Latsko, now 44, was a driver for Sid Luckman, the legendary Bears quarterback. Today, Latsko's a Gold Coast developer of high-end real estate who's well-known on the social circuit.
A few years ago, Latsko bought a farm for nearly $7 million -- from Oprah Winfrey. His wife, whom he's divorcing, is partners with Oprah's former chef, Art Smith, in the wildly popular Gold Coast restaurant Table 52. Latsko owns the restaurant's building.
Latsko -- who grew up in Hinsdale, the son of a General Motors Fisher Body plant supervisor -- is a regular at Chicago's top parties, mingling with movers and shakers including Mayor Daley and his family.
And Latsko has been generous with politicians, including Daley. He contributed $28,000 to the mayor's last re-election campaign.
Two weeks after Blagojevich wiped out his criminal record, Latsko bounced the first of two checks to City Hall, city officials say -- for $47,009.50.
Altogether, the two checks to City Hall that he didn't have enough money in the bank to cover amounted to $884,509.50. They were for development fees for Barneys New York, a luxury department store that he and a partner built over an alley off Oak Street, and for a yet-to-be-built high-rise apartment building in River North, across from Gene & Georgetti, the popular restaurant.
Latsko previously had run afoul of City Hall. He has been caught working without building permits and ordered to stop. And the city has sued him to fix building code violations and to collect $1,020 in unpaid parking tickets.
But the Daley administration never sued Latsko over the nearly $900,000 in bad checks.
In fact, even as City Hall waited two years for Latsko to pay off the last of his bounced checks:
• The city's Zoning Board of Appeals, whose members are appointed by Daley, gave Latsko permission to build a house on the Gold Coast -- on a 19-foot-wide lot.
• And the mayor's son, Patrick R. Daley, moved in to a Gold Coast apartment building managed by Latsko.
It took Latsko 2Â½ months to make good on the bigger bounced check, for $837,500.
It took nearly two years for him to make good on the other one, records show. He paid that off July 28, after a Chicago Sun-Times reporter asked about Patrick Daley's apartment. Latsko walked in to City Hall and used two Visa cards to pay the $47,009.50 that he originally wrote the city a check for in August 2008 to cover permit fees over the high-rise he wanted to build on the site of what remains a parking lot at 225 W. Illinois, across Franklin from Gene & Georgetti.
He also had to pay an extra $34 -- the city's standard fee for anyone who bounces a check.
And even though the city never sued Latsko over the check, City Hall made him pay $500 in legal fees.
"He didn't get any special treatment," says Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city's Law Department. "They were disputing who owed the money -- [Latsko's company] or Latsko. We were prepared to file a lawsuit. Legal action was always contemplated."
Says Jacquelyn Heard, Daley's press secretary: "As far as I'm aware, this guy doesn't really have a connection to the mayor other than campaign donations and that he's a developer who's crossed paths with Mayor Daley, which would put him in a category with many people in this town."
Latsko agreed to talk with a Sun-Times reporter, but he never did.
Latsko is now facing even bigger financial troubles than he has had with the city. Three lenders have filed foreclosure lawsuits against him and his partners. They're trying to get back more than $30 million that was lent toward projects including a Lincoln Park home and the stalled apartment building.
Might be biggest story of the year! Nice job Tim Novak |
August 9, 2010 9:53 PM
Who gives a shit!
Move on |
August 12, 2010 8:39 AM
The only Plumbers that would answer "yes" to "Do you like the way things are going with Chicago Plumbers Local 130 UA" would be the present spineless officers (most officers) and kiss ass puppet plumbers, that haven't got the balls to man up and state how fucked up our Union is and has been run the past25 years...or more. We have have no say in any union business or matters with how things are run. How many B.A.'s there should be (especially now with no work), how many boards our Business Managers are on and collect $ from each, which contractors and how many are allowed to NOT pay into benefits as required by contract then go bankrupt. This has been going on for years, including the non union sector florishing ( I won't bother even defining the percentage of jobs and job/man hours lost...it's no wonder the contractors that are still signatory with Local 130 are bitching about our juridictional territory being NOT Contractor friendly with having to bid not just against or with other signatory contractors ...but having to try and bid against the NON-UNION contractors... 20 plus years ago union brothers ran against the same party that still exists and the state of Local Union 130 has diminished to the point that the Politicians we contribute to that use to respect our organization looks the other way after continued promises to get the membership vote and $. Members that hope to retire and especially the younger members better wake up and take care and if needed, take back control of THEIR UNION and focus on the future or there will be no future for anyone at Local 130 UA..... Been to long running down the wrong road for all the Union Trades of Chicago...especially ours. We use to have all the Plumbing Locals, 130, 507, 514, 93, and 422 as one when contracts were negotiated and guess who broke that off....now we don't even stick together with the other Chicago Trades.... United We Stand, Divided We Fall! There definitely needs to be change or WE'LL ALL be puppets....Change isn't a bad thing...it better happen soon and it needs to start at home...or we'll have nothing. (Response) Local 130 is a tumor from with-in. The self serving and inability to change is stunning.
Tom Plumb |
August 16, 2010 12:13 PM