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Former Daley Aide Now New Restaurant Lobby Chief

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 30, 2007 3:00PM

2007_04_ira_logo.gifLast week, the Illinois Restaurant Association named Sheila O'Grady as its new president. Her first order of business will be working to get the foie gras ban repealed. The press release announcing O'Grady's appointment said that "she brings an incredible depth of knowledge and experience to the position at a very dynamic time in the restaurant industry."

Much of that experience is in City Hall. O'Grady is a former chief-of staff for Mayor Daley and a daughter of one of His Elective Majesty's original fundraisers. Her time as chief-of-staff was marked by the E2 nightclub stampede, the under-cover-of-darkness destruction of Meigs Field, the Hired Truck Scandal, minority contracting scandal, and the collapse of a porch in Lincoln Park that exposed the hiring of an unqualified, teenaged building inspector. Eventually, O'Grady was replaced by Ron Huberman, who did a commendable job in rooting out some of the deep-rooted patronage in City Hall, and now has the unenviable task of cleaning up the mess Frank Kruesi made of the CTA. Looks like the IRA picked a winner in O'Grady, eh?

It's the hope of the IRA that O'Grady's intimate knowledge of back-door politics will enable her to finesse a repeal of the ban.