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[16 Jan 2014 | No Comment | ]

The top executives and directors of ShoreBank, who weren’t made defendants in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s $73 million lawsuit alleging shoddy loan practices at the defunct low-income, urban lender, are likely to get caught up in the case after all.

In recent court filings, the lower-level ex-ShoreBank loan officers whom the FDIC did name in the suit assert that directors, including co-founders Ron Grzywinski and Mary Houghton, actually approved some of the larger business loans the FDIC cited in its August complaint and were aware of all of the rest. Likewise, the …

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[5 Dec 2013 | No Comment | ]

Despite the long road ahead, Illinois taxpayers have legitimate cause for optimism today. No one should be celebrating the fact that Illinois had to take this very difficult action. We all share the pain of a state that is unable to fully live up to its promises. However, taxpayers should be encouraged that the state is finally taking steps to halt its financial deterioration and stabilize its finances.

The legislation is a reasonable compromise achieved after a long legislative process requiring statesman-like concessions from the bipartisan conference committee, the four legislative …

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[9 Nov 2013 | No Comment | ]

Only hundreds of people enrolled in the Illinois health insurance exchange in October, state officials said today, offering the first glimpse into an online marketplace that has been vexed by glitches.

Insurance carriers have told state officials that hundreds of consumers signed up in October, confirmed Jennifer Koehler, director of the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. But she and Cristal Thomas, Illinois deputy governor, cautioned that it was just a guess since federal officials haven’t yet provided enrollment figures.
“We do not know,” Ms. Thomas said. “If we have to guess we would …

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[26 Aug 2013 | No Comment | ]

Dental administrator Kathryn Olson is stepping in as chairman of the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board at a time when its decisions are facing increasing scrutiny from the courts.
Ms. Olson, 57, was appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn to the position on Aug. 16 after the exit of former Chairman Dale Galassie, whose term expired July 1.

Ms. Olson declined to comment on the case, except to say the diversity of board members’ professional experiences leads to good decision-making.
She works as the dental director for Crusader Community Health in Rockford. …

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[19 Aug 2013 | No Comment | ]

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. sued five former loan officers at defunct ShoreBank, alleging they disregarded the firm’s lending policies on more than two dozen loans, causing more than $73 million in losses.
The loan officers at the Chicago-based bank — James Bringley, Drextel Amy, Olga Vikki Lakes-Battle, Eric Rader and Thurman Smith — did not collect basic financial information about the loans they approved, according to the suit, which the FDIC filed Aug. 16 in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
The defendants “repeatedly failed to undertake the analysis necessary to evaluate …

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[9 Jul 2013 | No Comment | ]

The city of Chicago is moving to acquire a huge South Loop parcel once co-owned by convicted power broker Antoin S. “Tony” Rezko.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is formally asking the Community Development Commission for authority to buy a 63-acre site bounded by Roosevelt Road, Clark Street, 16th Street and the Chicago River. The commission is scheduled to consider the matter at its meeting Tuesday.
The land is located in the River South Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District.

The local alderman, Danny Solis (25th) says he met a couple of months ago with a …

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[11 Jun 2013 | No Comment | ]

Urban Partnership Bank has accomplished something its predecessor, ShoreBank, never did: It’s obtained federal recognition as a minority depository institution.

The $1 billion-asset bank based on Chicago’s South Side is officially a minority lender despite an ownership dominated by Wall Street giants like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Urban Partnership Bank obtained the designation from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. by virtue of the fact that more than half of its directors now are minorities.
Under federal guidelines, banks can be deemed MDIs if they are minority-owned …

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[17 Apr 2013 | No Comment | ]

Politically connected real estate investor Allison Davis is fighting to regain control of a real estate investment fund his firm managed before its main backers, five local public pension plans, fired the company about a year ago.

Mr. Davis is appealing a judge’s decision backing the dismissal by the retirement plans.
The pension systems fired Mr. Davis’ Chicago-based company, DV Realty Advisors LLC, in early 2012, alleging DV failed to provide audited financial statements in a timely manner and lost money, posting a negative 28.5 percent return since the fund’s inception. Last …

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[20 Feb 2013 | One Comment | ]

Here’s Crain’s doing about 80% of the work on a story about a Rezko development in the South Loop
Even after Antoin “Tony” Rezko was sent off to federal prison, his bold plan for a massive mixed-use development in the South Loop lived on, just waiting for the real estate market to return and another developer to pick up where he left off.

Mr. Rezko’s political troubles heated up before he could start the development, and he sold the property for about $131 million in 2005 to Luxembourg-based conglomerate General Mediterranean Holding …

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[19 Feb 2013 | No Comment | ]

City and state officials today are announcing the latest step in their effort to revitalize McCormick Place: construction of a 1,200-room hotel adjacent to the convention center.

In a statement made available to Crain’s, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn say the $400 million tower, as yet unnamed, will give Chicago an additional weapon to compete
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