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More O'Hare Headaches for Daley

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 24, 2009 3:20PM

2009_2_ohare.jpg New allegations have come to light in the ongoing federal investigation of patronage and fraud in the awarding of contracts for the O'Hare Expansion Project. According to the Sun-Times, 45th Ward Alderman Patrick Levar's brother Michael is under investigation. According to the Bright One's sources, Michael Levar, who was Mayor Daley's point man on the project, is a "major focus" of the far-reaching investigation. He's suspected of working with Diamond Coring, a concrete cutting and paving company that is accused of operating a phony female-owned company, the Stealth Group Inc, or SGI. Diamond Coring has contributed nearly $12,000 to Ald. Levar in campaign funds.

“No. [Not] so far. We don’t know yet. But, they’re all publicly-bid contracts. All of ‘em. They’ve been on the internet. They’ve been publicly-bid for years. You can look at ‘em," Daley replied when asked if he has an ethical cloud hanging over him. "He’s been gone three or four years or something," Daley said when asked if he was concerned about the connections between O'Hare contractors and Michael Levar. Diamond Coring isn't the only company under investigation for operating fake minority-owned businesses.

Authorities also are trying to determine whether Azteca Supply Co. -- the largest female-owned subcontractor on Mayor Daley's multibillion-dollar O'Hare Modernization Project -- is a legitimate woman-owned business or a front for a Lake Forest man who is facing criminal charges for physically attacking an FBI agent last year, according to sources. Azteca is a subcontractor to the O'Hare project's top contractors -- the Kiewit/Reyes Group Joint Venture and Walsh Construction Co.

Compounding the implications for the mayor is both Christopher Kelly, a former contractor and Blagojevich aide, who did work at O'Hare from 1998-2006 and who pleaded guilty to money laundering and federal tax charges, and Mayor Daley's former Chief of Staff John Harris, who was arrested the same day as the former governor was. Federal prosecutors are reportedly very interested in what both men have to say - which, given their closeness to Daley.

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