More memory lapses from a Park Grill witness

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Laura Foxgrover, cast as the femme fatale in a titillating sweetheart contract scandal at former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Park District, reluctantly took the stage Wednesday.

Testifying as a “hostile witness” in the Emanuel Administration’s lawsuit against the owners of the Park Grill restaurant, the 45-year-old Foxgrover proved nearly as memory-challenged as the 72-year-old Daley about the events surrounding the Millennium Park deal.

“I don’t recall,” the dark-haired Beverly native told Cook County Circuit Court Judge Moshe Jacobius time after time in response to questions from city lawyers inquiring into what they allege was her role in steering the 30-year concession agreement to the father of her child.

You may recall that’s exactly how Daley answered more than 100 questions in his own deposition in this case, which his lawyers are now citing along with recent health problems in an effort to keep him from testifying at the trial.

The big difference is that Daley was called as a witness by defense lawyers who for some reason believe the most powerful man in Chicago had more to do with who got that contract at his signature park than a mid-level Park District bureaucrat—no matter her romantic entanglement.

Actually, “romantic” may be the wrong word, as Foxgrover strongly objected to that characterization of her relationship with restaurateur Matthew O’Malley, for whom she had worked immediately prior to joining the Park District in 2001.

“It was a very on and off thing,” she said when a city lawyer tried to pin her down about the particulars of the affair, which had started when she was working for O’Malley.


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