Ex-CBOT chief Patrick Arbor begins tenth week in jail as court denies release

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Former Chicago Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor, right, arrives for court in the Daley Center last month. | Max Herman/For the Sun-Times

The Illinois Appellate Court on Wednesday shot down former Chicago Board of Trade chairman Patrick Arbor’s bid to be released from the Cook County Jail as his multimillion-dollar divorce case drags on.

Arbor’s attorneys had filed an emergency motion with the appeals court to free Arbor after Cook County Domestic Relations Judge Myron Mackoff opted to keep him behind bars July 13.

Mackoff has not ruled on Arbor’s county-level emergency motion and still could release him following his next court hearing July 31.

But the state appeals court on Wednesday denied the emergency motion Arbor filed in the First Judicial District.

Arbor’s attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

Arbor, 81, is being held on a $1.4 million bond — the result of two contempt charges Arbor has been hit with since his divorce from Antoinette Vigilante six years ago. His attorneys claim he can’t access any money while in custody.

Antoinette Vigilante, former Chicago Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor’’s ex-wife, arrives for court at the Daley Center July 13. | Max Herman/For the Sun-Times

Antoinette Vigilante, former Chicago Board of Trade Chairman Patrick Arbor’’s ex-wife, arrives for court at the Daley Center July 13. | Max Herman/For the Sun-Times

Before he was arrested nine weeks ago, Arbor had spent the last five years trying to avoid the inside of a Cook County courtroom to keep his ex-wife from collecting on an $18 million divorce judgment against him.

He was arrested in Boston in late May as he prepared to board a flight to Rome, and was returned by deputies directly from the airport to Mackoff’s Daley Center courtroom.

Arbor’s attorneys have said he has a “heart condition” and cancer, and that he’s unable to get the treatment he needs while in custody. He is still receiving treatment at the jail, records show.

Earlier this month, Mackoff refused to lower Arbor’s bond and denied placing Arbor on electronic monitoring because “at least when he’s in jail, we know where he is.”

At the contentious July 13 hearing, Mackoff rejected attorney Howard Rosenfeld’s claim that “this has become a debtor’s prison.”

“Debtor’s prison is for people who can’t pay,” the judge replied. “This is someone who won’t pay.”

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