Chicago Ends Charity Mandate for Firms in Subsidy Program

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has dropped a requirement that developers participating in a city financing program donate to charities on a City Hall-set list, a practice that had particularly benefited an organization led by his predecessor’s wife, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Mr. Emanuel had questioned the charity mandate last year after a report by the city’s fiscal watchdog publicized more than $900,000 in donations from subsidy recipients to After School Matters, an education group founded by Maggie Daley, the late wife of former mayor Richard Daley.

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson has said the gift requirement created an appearance of preferential treatment for certain charities. In a letter to Mr. Ferguson last month, Chicago Housing and Economic Development Commissioner Andrew Mooney said City Hall had ended the mandate in 2009 and that the Emanuel administration “re-emphasizes that the practice is not permissible.”

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