He zones. She sells. And it's legal. -- Sales, Richard M. Daley

Full story: Chicago Tribune

It's hard to miss Barbara O'Connor's face on a drive through North Side neighborhoods, where her real estate signs beckon buyers to "find your way home." In the last decade she has built a thriving business ...

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my kind of town

Chicago, IL

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#368
Jun 5, 2008
 
Yes, to all those civic-minded citizens who defend
the cozy pay to play O'Connor way....I say what
are you doing on this blog? What motivates you?
Who pays you? Are you someone who has anything
to gain yourself or someone truly defending Mrs.
Alderman's rights? If you are simply standing up
for her ability to make a living, I agree, she has
a right to pursue a career in real estate.

What is the harm, after 10 years during one of the biggest building booms and hottest real estate
markets, if she makes her slice of the pie a bit
smaller? Why wouldn't they want to eliminate any
taint on themselves and the Ward? What would their
(and your) motivation be to allow people to keep
gaming the system? Perhaps ushering in a new level
of ethical conduct is too frightening and belt tightening for the friends, family and "associates"
of those in power...people engorging themselves on the gravytrain are clearly threatened if Barbara and
her husband clean up their act. Then it would be,
who is next?
Rezco OConnor

Morris, IL

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#369
Jun 5, 2008
 
My guess is that quite a few developers were shut out from doing deals i.e. the alderman would not approve permits and/or zoning and would kill the deal by delays and other tactics until his chosen developer was prepared to act. The O'Connor insider developers received generous permits/zoning, prompt approvals, and in several cases tax-payer money.

My guess is that quite a few real estate agents did not have a fair chance to bid on the broker assignments of new construction condos because the developer repaid the alderman for zoning/permits by hiring his wife for separate projects in other wards.

My guess is that community meetings in the 40th are arbitrary. When the alderman does have a community meeting for a development project it is only intended as a tool for Alderman O'Connor to eliminate developer competition. "The community has spoken," says the Alderman in the eliminating of some development projects in favor of projects (or developers who have projects in otehr locations) which will be more lucrative for his wife.

My guess is that there are a few developers who always market their new construction condos on their own... Until there is a 40th Ward permit issue. Then all of the sudden the developer determines to no longer market in-house and instead pays Barbara O'Connor to market new-construction condos at separate locations in order to avoid public detection of insider activity.

My guess is that Patrick also enjoys receiveing attourny fees from developers, but to mask the connection he sub-contracts another lawyer to do the legal work. That lawyer then pays Patrick O'Connor a refferal fee.

My guess is that the story has just begun.

My guess is that someone inside Patrick O'Connor's office will flip in a FBI investigation.

My guess is that we will all feel bad for Barbara and Patrick when they finally go to jail, but we will understand that justice is required.
Spanky

United States

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#370
Jun 5, 2008
 

Judged:

1

Admit the guilt, resign the office, quit the gravy train job. Then the common man will stop asking for jail time. Otherwise, I hope she's successful at selling cigs to cellmates. This stinks to high heaven
Estella

United States

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#371
Jun 5, 2008
 
Rezco OConnor wrote:
My guess is that quite a few developers were shut out from doing deals i.e. the alderman would not approve permits and/or zoning and would kill the deal by delays and other tactics until his chosen developer was prepared to act. The O'Connor insider developers received generous permits/zoning, prompt approvals, and in several cases tax-payer money.
My guess is that quite a few real estate agents did not have a fair chance to bid on the broker assignments of new construction condos because the developer repaid the alderman for zoning/permits by hiring his wife for separate projects in other wards.
My guess is that community meetings in the 40th are arbitrary. When the alderman does have a community meeting for a development project it is only intended as a tool for Alderman O'Connor to eliminate developer competition. "The community has spoken," says the Alderman in the eliminating of some development projects in favor of projects (or developers who have projects in otehr locations) which will be more lucrative for his wife.
My guess is that there are a few developers who always market their new construction condos on their own... Until there is a 40th Ward permit issue. Then all of the sudden the developer determines to no longer market in-house and instead pays Barbara O'Connor to market new-construction condos at separate locations in order to avoid public detection of insider activity.
My guess is that Patrick also enjoys receiveing attourny fees from developers, but to mask the connection he sub-contracts another lawyer to do the legal work. That lawyer then pays Patrick O'Connor a refferal fee.
My guess is that the story has just begun.
My guess is that someone inside Patrick O'Connor's office will flip in a FBI investigation.
My guess is that we will all feel bad for Barbara and Patrick when they finally go to jail, but we will understand that justice is required.
My guess is you're right.
Chris

AOL

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#372
Jun 5, 2008
 
zarathrusta wrote:
<quoted text>
Talk about hysteria - The spouse of an alderman sells real estate all over Chicago. Said alderman gets approval not only from the City Law Department but also the Ethics Board when voting on related matters. The alderman follows the rules and recommendations of both.
This is a crime? There's plenty of hysteria on this blog, but it's not coming from where you might expect.
Don't get too hysterical - nobody said it was a crime - and we all acknowledge that he follows the rules of the City Ethics Ordinance - what we don't like is that the fox is guarding the hen house, and they create weak ethics rules so that they can claim that what they are doing is OK - but you don't need a law degree or to win an election to know right from wrong, and we deserve better representatives in our civil governments than those who argue over what the meaning of "is is".

For someone who takes his name from one of the most thoughtful modern philosophers, who's "Attempt at a Self-Criticism" is an extraordinary examination of ethics in the modern era, you seem remarkably short sighted.
zarathrusta

Springfield, IL

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#373
Jun 6, 2008
 
Chris wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't get too hysterical - nobody said it was a crime - and we all acknowledge that he follows the rules of the City Ethics Ordinance - what we don't like is that the fox is guarding the hen house, and they create weak ethics rules so that they can claim that what they are doing is OK - but you don't need a law degree or to win an election to know right from wrong, and we deserve better representatives in our civil governments than those who argue over what the meaning of "is is".
For someone who takes his name from one of the most thoughtful modern philosophers, who's "Attempt at a Self-Criticism" is an extraordinary examination of ethics in the modern era, you seem remarkably short sighted.
"And you, scarlet judge, if you would speak aloud all you have done in thought, everyone would cry:'Away with this filth and poisonous snake!"

- Nietzche

Kinda says it all, doesn't it?
OConnor Staffers

Morris, IL

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#374
Jun 6, 2008
 
Just remember staff members of Alderman O'Connor, you cannot blog your way out of a federal investigation.

The best thing that you can do is to begin collecting documentation of the Alderman's illegal activities. When the federal investigation begins, your documentation will be your best insurance to keep yourself from going to jail for a long time --ask Tony Rezco about the importance of this advice.
Reliant Kaye

Chicago, IL

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#375
Jun 6, 2008
 
zarathrusta wrote:
<quoted text>
"And you, scarlet judge, if you would speak aloud all you have done in thought, everyone would cry:'Away with this filth and poisonous snake!"
- Nietzche
Kinda says it all, doesn't it?
Yep, nothing says 'crazy' like irrelevent quotes, alderman O'Connor.
zarathrusta

Springfield, IL

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#376
Jun 6, 2008
 
Reliant Kaye wrote:
<quoted text>
Yep, nothing says 'crazy' like irrelevent quotes, alderman O'Connor.
Or repeating yourself under different identities.
Reliant Kaye

Chicago, IL

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#377
Jun 6, 2008
 
zarathrusta wrote:
<quoted text>
Or repeating yourself under different identities.
Awwwww, you crazy alderman O'Connor!

“Grab a seat in REALITY FOLKS!”

Since: Jun 08

CHICAGO

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#378
Jun 6, 2008
 
Spanky wrote:
Admit the guilt, resign the office, quit the gravy train job. Then the common man will stop asking for jail time. Otherwise, I hope she's successful at selling cigs to cellmates. This stinks to high heaven
I second this statement!
Joe Lake

Chicago, IL

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#379
Jun 7, 2008
 
JOHN KASS-"GRAND JURY" REMARK

Did John Kass write, "Grand Jury."

Or did he write, "Secret Grand Jury?"

I forgot. Just asking.

Joe Lake, Bucktown
zarathrusta

Chicago, IL

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#380
Jun 7, 2008
 
Sorry, I'm not an alderman but I do live in the City.

Apparently the new owership of the Tribune shares my view of the work product.
Insiders Know

Morris, IL

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#381
Jun 7, 2008
 
The claim that nothing is "ethically or legally" wrong with the swindles of O'connor-O'connor is silly. Ryan and Rezco... just to name a two of the biggies emphatically said the same thing before trials began.

The prisoners at Shawshank prison claim, "everyone here is innocent." Why would we expect anything different of the O'Connor-swindles?

The question for the O'connor-O'connor swindlers is can they avoid a trial? I do not see how that could be possible now that the surface has been scratched.

The Tribune deserves much credit for this initial story. It would be dissapointing if the feds ignored investigation.
Realtor Question

Morris, IL

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#382
Jun 7, 2008
 

Judged:

1

Are there any real estate agents in Chicago who receive more new construction condo listings than Barbara O'Connor?

Other than her name on the listing, what does she actually do?

Barbara's personal assistants answer the phone. Barbara's personal assistants or co-listers do most of the showings. How much does Barbara spend on advertising for new listings compared to other real estate agents?

Is it really "hard work" that earns Barbara O'Connor those listings as she claims? I am convinced that Alderman O'Connor strong-arms new listings for her.

I am not a lawyer, but to an ordinary person, this whole thing sound very, very, illegal.
Suzanne Hoffman

Barrington, IL

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#383
Jun 7, 2008
 
As the resident immediately next to and across the street from the Edgewater Square development project, I KNOW that what was done was accomplished with the full support of the Alderman in collusion with his wife. I was bullied, lied to, sustained property damage, victimized by the police and forced to live in a law-breaking environment for the duration of the nine-months of development by CA Development. My vociferous complaints were met by police threats, false claims of restitution and derision by the Alderman, his staff, his wife and Paul Bertsche at CA. Trying to work through the city's code as a tax-paying citizen proved fruitless as well. Not one of their promises became a reality, and I gleefully support the class action suit against CA Development for the improper, shoddy and deceitful construction that is the result of this O'Connor debacle. I have a cadre of pictures and letters that underscore my claims and efforts to bring the entire development effort into compliance with City law, but none is worse that the underhandedness and deceit at the hands of the Alderman and wife in support of and profit-making by this scheme.
Lawyer Payment

Morris, IL

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#384
Jun 7, 2008
 
One of the many rotton things that the O'Connor's did, which is a small issue by comparision, is the legal advice Patrick O'Connor received. According to the Tribune story, Patrick claims that he consulted with the legal department of the City of Chicago.

Are tax payers footing the bill for the O'Connor's to have free real estate legal advice?

The legal advice that they received at tax-payer expense was for the purpose of using the elected pubilic office of Alderman to find out how to personally benefit from real estate transactions.

Why do taxpayers have to pay for the O'Connor's to receive legal advice for matters unrelated to the work of being an Alderman?
P McGarr

Chicago, IL

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#385
Jun 9, 2008
 
I am just disgusted with the Tribune's slant of real events. I could tell that the article on Pat O'Connor and his wife was going to be a negative just by the pictures. The pictures don't even resemble the two people the article is all about.
Critical facts that were not in the article: People in our neighborhood use
Barbara O'Connor because she has lived here her whole life, we trust her. She grew up here, taught our children when she was a teacher, and raised her 5 children here. That was another detail that was not mentioned - that while she was out selling up a storm and working all those hours - that she has five children (no nanny please).
I have referred developers to Barbara simply because she is the best broker in Lincoln Square, and they have reported back to me that she starts right off telling them that if they are looking for any type of zoning change and thought that she had any influence because her husband was the Alderman-they made the wrong call. The developers told me they
respected her more because for her direct and upfront manner about this. I
once told Barb that I was going to refer a developer who wanted to develop the site where the Whole Food's now is, and she made the same statement to me directly, "If they are looking to me to help them with zoning because of Pat-forget about referring them to me."
Let's not forget all of the terrible things Pat has done for us with these
rezonings-getting rid of those nasty motels, providing senior housing,
getting rid of vacant blighted hospitals and old gas stations so that they
could be redeveloped with new homes and businesses which are more compatible with our neighborhood, and getting the number one rated high school built in our neighborhood. If anyone wanted to know how to keep getting re-elected without ever having an opponent, they should follow Pat around
for a week (warn them they will need roller-skates to keep up). He has more
meetings and attends more community functions than any alderman I have ever
had in my life.
I would also note that no real estate person in this market receives all of the commission on a deal, it is split between the various agencies, then split again with the sales agents, and then again with their assistants. I believe that the Tribune had several un-informed, under-informed, and downright unethical "reporters" put together this piece, and then when no crime is found, they slanted the article to give the illusion of something inappropriate occurring. Shame on you.
Patricia McGarr, MAI, CRE, FRICS
Lincoln Square, Chicago
Patty McFaker

Morris, IL

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#386
Jun 9, 2008
 

Judged:

1

Well, Patricia, unlilke many of the responders here, who actually have been squeezed by the O'Connor-O-Cornered market, you have obviously have not experienced any of the shake-downs or perhaps you have been a personal beneficiary?

Sure, Barbara will say no to taking certain types of commissions in favor of receiveing larger commissions behind closed doors. The O'Connor's mix-up the way that they extort money. They don't want to get caught.

Sometimes Patrick takes a fee for legal work that he does not do.

Both Patrick and Barbara "outsource" from time to time to obscure who is representing the listing and who is representing the legal work.

Instead of taking broker fees for the purchase of a building/land for a new development, Barbara will take fees for the sale of new development condos from the same developer at a different location. This is done so as to mask the pay-to-play extortion.

Here is a scheme the Trib missed: Favored developers get very prompt attention from the Alderman. Everyone else who wants to develop is forced into such huge permission delays from the ward office that they are forced to abandon projects. This "hold-up-and-delay" is another strategy that O'Connor's employ to destroy the free-market and to obtain property for the pay-to-play investors.

The Tribune has much further to go in exposing the O'Connors. Yet, how can anyone fault the Tribune for the long over-due story? The Trib deserves much credit for calling reader attention to the numerous O'Connor conflicts of interest that have gone unchallenged for too many years.

The very lucrative conflicts have unfairly and excessively enriched the O'Connors. How many have been hurt in the proccess?

Patty McFaker, MIA, CRZ, SCIRF
Lakeview, Chicago
Patty McFaker

Morris, IL

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#387
Jun 9, 2008
 
Scummy O'Connor staff (paid by our taxes) at it again:

Post #385 "Patricia McGarr" has claimed that she is an MAI Appriaser. She is not. She is a fake name and/or has given fake credentials. Please Check the MAI Appraiser look-up directory to verify. Here is the link:

http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/findapprais...

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