| by Project Six

This originally appeared in the Chicago City Wire on November 17, 2017


By Brent Zell

An investigation by Project Six alleges the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn illegally use funds from an expense account.

The watchdog organization also alleges Quinn and House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) used equipment owned by the city for political use and permitted city-purchased equipment to be used outside the city’s limits, according to a news release.

According to the investigation, after the city rejected Quinn’s request for $25,000 to purchase an industrial motor vehicle, the mayor’s office overruled the city’s denial. Project Six alleges that the purchase is a violation of the expense code for aldermans.

In addition, Quinn and Madigan, with whom Quinn shares a service office, advertised a graffiti blaster purchased using Quinn’s expense account for use in Madigan’s district. That district extends outside the 13th Ward and past Chicago’s city limits. The watchdogs contend the pair placed a political sign on the equipment, which violates the law.

Project Six CEO Faisal Khan in the news release called Quinn’s spending and actions by the mayor’s office and Madigan troubling.

“When the law says an alderman cannot buy a vehicle with taxpayer dollars or put political signs on city property — regardless of their intent — they are required to follow the law,” Khan said. “No one, including the mayor or his staff, has veto power over Chicago’s Municipal Code. Chicagoans frustratedly understand government waste and mismanagement, but illegal actions compounded with collaboration by high-ranking political officials is unacceptable. This case shows how far Chicago is from truthful and corruption-free governance.”