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City Contract for Maggie Daley Charity Conicidence or Parting Gift?

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 3, 2011 10:00PM

Crain's Greg Hinz is reporting that After School Matters, the charity run by former Mayor Richard M. Daley's wife Maggie, received a city contract worth $6.5 million a mere four days before Rich Daley left office.

That's one hell of a coincidence.

Last week Hinz reported that former Daley Chief of Staff Ray Orozco and former Department of Cultural Affairs Acting Commissioner Katherine LaMantia also landed softly at After School Matters as the non-profit's CEO and Chief Financial Officer, respectively.

After School Matters' mission is to provide high school students with out-of-school activities through the organization's myriad of gallery37 programs, as well as science, sports, technology and writing programs. And by all accounts it's a wonderful, by the board charity. But the timing of the grant does raise the question: Why be so blatant about it? Especially since we can now use the city's data portal to see just how much After School Matters - known by all in city government during the Daley Administration as the unofficial charity of City Hall, to see how much After School Matters benefited from the Daley connection.

Here are the grants.


And here are the other payments.


Hinz doubles down on the timing of the grant:

What matters is that this year's contract now has been signed, preventing the new mayor from reviewing and perhaps cutting it in the same way that Mr. Emanuel has been reviewing and cutting and laying off all over City Hall.

With a new mayor in City Hall, Hinz writes "if After School Matters is going to survive and thrive, it's going to have to make its way without any more marvelous coincidences." But with all parties, including the Emanuel Administration, saying it's just a coincidence, one wonders if After School Matters will find a receptive ear on the Fifth Floor in the future.