Judge: Hearing On Daley's Health Will Be Private
By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 23, 2014 7:30PM
The details of former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s current medical condition will not be made public in court, a Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled Wednesday. Judge Moshe Jacobius said Daley’s privacy was more important than the public’s right to know exactly why he’s seeking a “medical hardship” to keep from testifying in the Park Grill trial.
"While Mr. Daley as the former mayor should not have any greater rights than a member of the public, nor should he have any lesser rights," Jacobius said.
Attorneys for Daley have been seeking the hardship and added placing him on the stand will not reveal any more than what he knew about the sweetheart Park Grill lease negotiated by his administration in 2004 in a previous deposition. The 20-year lease from the Chicago Park District gives the restaurant’s ownership team (which includes Daley confidants Matthew O'Malley, James Horan and Fred Bruno Barbara) an annual lease of $275,000, 4 percent of their gross receipts paid to the city, while freeing them from the responsibilities of gas, water, garbage collection, and property tax bills. The restaurant has become a $12 million a year operation.
The Emanuel administration sued to break the deal three years ago and contends the deal cheated taxpayers out of $8 million in revenue since 2004. Park Grill’s ownership group, which was looking to sell before the city filed its lawsuit, countersued to keep the terms of the deal in place.
It was reported in January Daley suffered a stroke but his brother, Cook County Commissioner John Daley, told reporters the former mayor is in good health and traveling.
Jacobius said in his ruling on whether Daley will be compelled to testify will happen in open court.