“It is the kind of transaction Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s much-touted ethics reforms appeared designed to halt: Chicago teachers’ pension money flowed to financial companies connected to some of the mayor’s friends and top donors.
“Emanuel, whose administration appoints some members of the teachers’ pension-fund board, received campaign cash from those same financial firms despite his own 2011 executive order purportedly preventing donors from receiving city business.
“‘When Mayor Emanuel took office, he said he was going to stop the culture of pay-to-play,’ said Alderman Scott Waguespack, who is among a group of lawmakers asking the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether the donations also violated that agency’s anti-corruption rule. ‘This is an example of his failure to follow through on those promises.’
“Emanuel’s office declined an International Business Times request for comment. According to city documents obtained by IBTimes, the firm affiliated with Illinois’ Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner -- a longtime friend of Chicago’s Democratic mayor -- as well as executives at private-equity giant Madison Dearborn have gained substantial investments from the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) since Emanuel took office. The documents also show the CTPF has an indirect equity stake in Grosvenor Capital Management. Executives at the latter two firms have donated nearly $1.8 million to Emanuel’s campaign and political organizations since 2011…
“In the case of Rauner’s company, GTCR, the teachers’ pension money flowed to the firm through several of that company’s private-equity funds. CTPF documents do not list GTCR as managing any Chicago pension money before Emanuel took office.
“Emanuel and Rauner have a long history. In addition to vacationing together, Emanuel worked with Rauner when as an investment banker he reportedly represented GTCR in a corporate takeover deal that saw the firm buy a home-security company for $479 million and then sell it for $1 billion only six months later. SEC documents indicate that Rauner continues to hold a stake in a GTCR subsidiary. GTCR documents filed with the SEC indicate that the firm may shift underperforming assets into other funds part-owned by public pension systems to ‘earn fees…’”
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