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Hearing Set For Blago-Loop Lab School Mess

By Marcus Gilmer in News on May 20, 2009 4:40PM

2009_04_04_LLS.jpg Finally, a hearing has been set in the case of the Loop Lab School, which may find itself having to pay back $1 million in grant money in may or may not have been given by mistake. Way back in '06, after Pilgrim Baptist Church burned down, then-governor Rod Blagojevich claimed he pledged the cool million to the church to help rebuild. At the time, the Loop Lab school was renting space in the church and burned along with it. But then-leader of the school, Elmira Mayes, claims Blago made the promise to her. To add another layer of intrigue, the school's current leader, Chandra Gill, was the recipient of a Blago pardon.

But it gets even better. The Loop Lab School used the money to buy a condo space in a building across from the Sears Tower. The school then flipped that property and allegedly made $950,000 from the sale, prompting Attorney General Lisa Madigan to sue the school, asking for court oversight in the wheeling and dealing. So, now what? Well, there'll be a hearing today for the school to perhaps determine whether or not the school has to pay back the $1 million to the state. According to lawyers for the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the school has managed to stall the hearing multiple times by switching up lawyers.