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Rep. Monique Davis to Return "Found" Statue

By Prescott Carlson in News on Jan 28, 2010 10:30PM

2009_12_22_davis.jpg Just over a month after it was revealed her office owed the Chicago Public Schools over a half-million dollars in back rent and taxes, State Rep. Monique Davis (D-27th) came under fire again, this time over a $25,000 statue decorating that same office. And not just because of its hefty price tag, but because it doesn't belong to her -- the statue of a female African slave by artist Dave Parvin is actually the property of Chicago State University.

As reported by the Sun-Times' Michael Sneed(!) last week, the school made several attempts over the last few months to have the 400 pound bronze statue returned to them, but Davis continually refused. The statue was used to decorate a student financial aid center at the school, but when that office was closed it went into storage for 5 years, and was only recently noticed missing during an audit overseen by new CSU President Wayne Watson.

When the information about Davis possessing the statue first surfaced, she said she was keeping it until she received a legal opinion from Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office -- Madigan refused -- on her twisted logic that she was somehow entitled to have it because the "student aid center was a state-funded program." While Davis didn't get an official legal opinion, a lot of amateur Jack McCoys in the Sun-Times' comment section insisted it was grand theft and wondered why Davis hadn't already been arrested.

Maybe someone with a little more authority on the subject also hinted the same thing to Davis directly, as she's suddenly had a change of heart and will return the statue to CSU. In a press conference this afternoon Davis said the statue wasn't decorating her office, but it was there for safekeeping. Former head of the student financial aid center Arnold Jordan appeared with Davis, and he claimed he was the one that "found" the statue in storage and he and another university employee (who went unnamed, but apparently had enough authority to give Jordan "permission") removed the statue from the warehouse.

What wasn't revealed, however, was the chain of events that led to Jordan and this employee deciding to bring the statue to Davis' office. Why do we have a feeling we'll never find out? Jordan is Davis' boyfriend.