Sneed hears a knuckle ball may be pitched Monday at the next meeting of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, enabling Gov. Pat Quinn to make a last-ditch appointment before he leaves office.
Sneed has learned that Sports Facilities chief Kelly Kraft, who was Quinn’s controversial choice to lead the authority, is now out of a job because a contract expired last week. A movement may be afoot to hastily replace her on Monday, before Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner takes office next month.
But Sneed also hears Quinn could have a problem with such an appointment if his four handpicked facilities board team members decide not to approve the move before Rauner’s first day.
“Businessmen like doing business — and Rauner is now the state’s top businessman,” a Sneed source said. “Quinn would need all their votes to approve such a move.”
And a top Facilities Authority source claims that Lou Bertuca, Quinn’s former campaign manager, former deputy chief of staff and fellow Fenwick High School grad, is being floated as a possible appointee.
◆ Backstory: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who appointed three of the board’s seven members, went ballistic when Kraft, Quinn’s former communications chief/assistant budget director, was given the job in 2012. Rahm claimed Kraft didn’t have the proper credentials.
◆ Backshot: Quinn charged Emanuel with trying to block Kraft’s appointment to pave the way for the Facilities Authority to help the Cubs renovate Wrigley Field.
“We’re not gonna have any backroom deals involving the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority and Wrigley Field,” Quinn told the Chicago Sun-Times in 2012.
“I want to make sure there is someone there — the executive director — who is a goalie for the taxpayers and prevents any cooked-up deals behind closed doors on Wrigley Field,” he said.
Is this Sneed tip from left field?
Or is it down center?
Stay tuned for a Monday showdown.
Reader renderings . . .
My old pal, the Chicago Reader’s legendary media maven Michael Miner, just rewrote a piece he had written for the esteemed weekly in 1980, which was a look back at its coverage of Mayor Jane Byrne’s tenure in office up to that point.
Miner’s piece was originally subtitled: “What did Jane tell Mike about what Mike told Bill to do about Mike because of what he said about Bill?”
The article was written shortly after my return to the Chicago Tribune after a brief stint as Byrne’s press secretary.
It’s a hoot.
It’s a behind-the-scenes peek at a piece written by legendary columnist Mike Royko, who got his shorts in a bunch about alleged political skulduggery when Byrne occupied the main office at City Hall — which was really much ado about nothing.