Skip to comments.Rezko gave Gutierrez a deal on town house (Gutierrez, IL Dem Rep)
Posted on 11/14/2010 8:06:03 PM PST by STARWISE
Congressman told FBI he asked for -- and got -- free home upgrades
Convicted political fixer Tony Rezko gave U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez free upgrades on a riverfront town house after the congressman asked for them, Gutierrez told the FBI, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
Gutierrez's comments to federal agents in a previously undisclosed 2008 interview contradict what the congressman told the Sun-Times in 2006 about the purchase.
"I walked in with my wife -- as any other consumer could have -- and purchased the unit at the listed price, with no considerations," the Northwest Side congressman said then, asserting that he never discussed the deal with Rezko, buying the home through a salesperson at Rezko's company, Rezmar Corp.
He told a different story when questioned by federal agents two years later about the town home he bought in River Walk, a Rezko development along the Chicago River north of Diversey, the Sun-Times has learned.
Gutierrez told them he and his wife had had dinner with Rezko and his wife, sources said, and that he told him that the price of the town home had gone up $35,000 in two weeks -- from $399,000 when they first visited a model home to $434,900.
Considering that the price had risen, Gutierrez told Rezko he thought he should get some upgrades, sources said.
The upgrades eventually included an additional bathroom and higher-quality carpeting, the Sun-Times has learned.
The congressman's explanation came after the FBI asked him why the closing documents for the sale showed no charge for the upgrades, sources said.
Gutierrez told the FBI he didn't know the value of the upgrades and didn't have documents that would show what they were worth, according to the sources.
He also told the agents that he'd bought the unit in Rezko's development to help out his friend because having a congressman living there could give the property a boost, the Sun-Times has learned.
Gutierrez was in Puerto Rico last week. Through his Washington congressional office spokesman, Douglas Rivlin, he declined to answer questions about his FBI interview.
But Rivlin said: "The congressman never received any free 'upgrades' -- or anything else for free -- on his home at River Walk, and certainly never told anyone that he did. Any report that he did is completely false."
The Sun-Times reported in 2006 that Gutierrez got the cheapest price on any of the 17 riverfront town houses in the Rezko development. Others paid $495,000 and $660,000, in some cases for smaller town homes. The congressman sold his unit in March 2006 for $610,000 -- 40 percent more than his purchase price.
Gutierrez was accompanied to the 2008 FBI interview by defense lawyer Michael Deutsch of the People's Law Office.
"I'm not going to go into what was discussed or why," said Deutsch, who said his office has done work with the Puerto Rican community and that Gutierrez has been a "good supporter" of that effort.
It's not clear why the FBI interviewed Gutierrez. The U.S. attorney's office would not comment.
The interview was done in spring 2008. At the time, Rezko was on trial for corruption involving state contracts under then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Rezko, who was a campaign fund-raiser for Blagojevich as well as Gutierrez, was convicted. He's scheduled to be sentenced in January.
A federal investigation into a Chicago developer with ties to Gutierrez was also under way at the time.
Gutierrez has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
He recently decided against running to succeed Mayor Daley. Gutierrez handily won re-election on Nov. 2 to his 10th term in Congress.
Gutierrez has a history of flipping real estate, in some cases in deals involving campaign contributors.
In a deal involving the Galewood Yards development on the West Side, Gutierrez stepped in and, in an unusual move, sat in on a December 2004 meeting with Daley and the since-convicted developer Calvin Boender to pitch a zoning change that financially benefitted Boender. Gutierrez sat in on the meeting after he accepted a $200,000 loan from Boender in relation to a separate real estate investment.
Earlier this year, Gutierrez told the Sun-Times he quickly repaid the loan to Boender, and "I lost money on the venture."
Same old thing: Chicago Way, pay to play. Gutierrez has been a big mouth on liberal immigration policies.
.. Another Chicago politician on the take - Rezko/Pay to Play list .. Ping!
Wondering if this Rezko stuff is building to a ‘coming
scandal,’ ala the WH Insider.
Also remember the Auchi connection and the ‘Broadway Barry’ comment:
A new headache for Giannoulias? Another Rezko loan
His family bank lent $22.75 million, in newly uncovered deal
August 2, 2010
News reports had linked Rezko, a key adviser and campaign fund-raiser for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to shady deals involving state pension funds — among the crimes that ultimately would send him to prison.
This was the Tony Rezko who, looking for millions of dollars for a massive South Loop development, turned to Broadway Bank, owned by the family of Alexi Giannoulias. Giannoulias, the Democrat now running for U.S. Senate, had left his post as a senior loan officer at the Chicago bank in late 2005 to mount a successful campaign for Illinois state treasurer, though he still held an ownership stake in the bank.
Rezko’s company asked. And Broadway Bank came through.
On Feb. 14, 2006, newly obtained records show, the bank made a $22.75 million loan to a company called Riverside District Development LLC, whose owners, it turns out, included Rezko.
You won’t find Rezko’s name on any documents filed in the public record in connection with the loan.
But Rezko acknowledged his ownership stake in Riverside District Development to a federal judge about a year after the loan was made, according to a transcript of the court hearing.
Following Rezko’s indictment in October 2006, he and his lawyers met in January 2007 with U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve to discuss his assets.
During that closed-door hearing, Rezko disclosed his ownership stake in Riverside District Development, the company that got the $22.75 million loan from Broadway Bank. Rezko’s lawyers said his main partner in Riverside was General Mediterranean Holding, a Luxembourg company controlled by Iraq-born billionaire Nadhmi Auchi.
That’s a lot of money for a tiny space. WOW.
Jeez...you’d think every politician in Illinois got a sweetheart deal from this guy....oops
Why does the info get out only AFTER the elections?
Every crook in Chicago got a deal from Rezko.
Including of course Obama, a fact long hidden by the democrat party controllede media.
The assessor argued---- after the story became public----that Guiterrez should not be penalized for a "clerical error." This came after Guiterrez paid minimal taxes for years and years b/c Guiterrez' home was listed on the tax rolls as a vacant lot.
Cong Gutierrez (D-Ill) has made a career out of helping illegal aliens drain whatever they could out of America. Good chance Gutierrez was aiding and abetting govt financial fraud and ID fraud. How many fake ID's were used to bilk govt agencies?
City investigating program that helped daughter of Gutierrez D-ILL---The Chicago Sun Times | May 4, 2010 |
The City of Chicago's inspector general has opened an investigation into an affordable-housing program under which U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez's daughter was able to buy a condominium at a discount, despite family income of more than $93,000, and resell it after 14 months at a 55 percent profit.(Excerpt) Read more at suntimes.com ...
FBI agents ask about Gutierrez, developer The FBI has interviewed City Hall employees and Chicago aldermen (a former cab driver) about U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez's ties to a corrupt developer, according to records and interviews that raise new questions about the congressman amid an ongoing federal investigation.
A former alderman convicted in the investigation told FBI agents that Gutierrez boasted of helping his longtime political supporter Calvin Boender obtain a lucrative zoning change for a development on the city's West Side. Another alderman told agents this year she thought Gutierrez was going to buy a home in the development. (Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
Rahm Emanuel is running for mayor.
Expect a lot of dirt to come out on a lot of Chicagoans - provided they’re not in Emanuel’s pocket.
Jesse Jagmo Junior took his hit a couple of months back when Emanuel first floated his candidacy, and the machine is busy behind the scenes promoting a number of half-baked black candidates (Carol Moseley Braun, anyone?) so as to split the black vote.
Now they’ve got to knock down any Hispanic problems - sorry Luis, you could be in the way.
Oh, and Rahm’s ties to Blago and Tony? They’ll look into that *after* the mayoral election.
So sick of all of these dirty politicos!
Praying that the whole Obama/Dem house of cards comes crashing down soon. Any word on where Fitzy has been of late?