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Ald. Beale, longtime supporter square off in court: Mihalopoulos

Anthony Beale was sworn in for another term on the City Council last week after raising and spending well more than $100,000 for a landslide re-election win in the far South Side’s 9th Ward.

But a veteran Democratic operative who long had supported the alderman says he still owes her a lot of money — from his failed bid for higher office more than two years ago.

OPINION

The campaign consultant, Delmarie Cobb, has sued Beale in Cook County Circuit Court for more than $30,000 she says he owes for help with his 2013 campaign for Congress.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) | Sun-Times file photo

The next court date for Beale and Cobb — who also has worked for the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s 1988 presidential bid, ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., former U.S. Sen. Roland Burris and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) — is scheduled for June 4 at the Daley Center.

Beale did not return calls seeking comment on the case Tuesday.

“There is currently a meritorious motion to dismiss that was filed by our office on behalf of Alderman Beal [sic] that I anticipate will be successful,” wrote Beale lawyer Brendan Shiller, whose mother, Helen Shiller, was on the council with the alderman for many years.

Cobb isn’t a lawyer, but she’s representing herself in the case against Beale. She also declined to comment when reached Tuesday at the office of her firm, The Publicity Works.

Still, people who know Cobb in Chicago political circles are aware of her ability to hit back when crossed.

Just ask former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, whom Cobb accused of calling her an “Uncle Tom” at the 2008 Democratic National Convention because she supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama for president that year.

Cobb’s anger at Beale comes across clearly in her filings in the ongoing case against the alderman.

Beale finished a distant third, with less than 11 percent of the vote, in the 2013 Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District. The special election was held to replace Jackson Jr. after he resigned amid a corruption scandal.

Cobb was in Beale’s corner virtually from the start. Her name appeared as the contact in a news release touting the formation of his campaign committee in November 2012.

She says Publicity Works provided services worth more than $15,000 to the Beale congressional campaign and she arranged for help costing another $22,000 from two other companies.

In July 2013, months after Beale’s defeat, Cobb wrote to ask when he would pay up.

“There’s nothing I hate more than begging for my own money,” she told Beale, adding that his failure to pay forced her to let go of two employees.

A few months later, the Beale for Congress committee paid Cobb $3,000, according to court records. On the check, a Beale aide wrote that the money was for “partial payment,” noting a “$12,000.00 balance.”

No more payments were made, Cobb alleges. And she says just $4,000 was paid to one of the other two campaign consultants she retained for Beale. Those consultants have not sued Beale.

Cobb previously went to court to pursue another prominent client and alleged debtor: the Chicago Teachers Union.

Before filing suit against the CTU in 2012, Cobb wrote a scathing email to the labor group’s president, Karen Lewis.

“I think the way in which you ended our contract and ongoing refusal to speak to us is despicable,” Cobb wrote, according to court records. “Apparently, you decided to treat [The Publicity Works] in the same manner Mayor Rahm Emanuel is treating CTU.”

That case was dropped after the CTU agreed to settle up with Cobb.