Rich Daley stuck Chicago with the bills from his financially catastrophic reign as mayor.
He’s long gone from office, and yet the process of sorting through the mess he created is far from done.
Now — wouldn’t you have just guessed it — none other than a Daley nephew is making money from the monumental mop-up.
The Wall Street firm that employs William Daley Jr., son of the former White House chief of staff and mayoral brother, stands to profit from helping the city come up with a new payment plan for that tall stack of bills left behind by Uncle Rich.
On Wednesday, the City Council is expected to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $1.1 billion bond deal, the biggest borrowing plan since Emanuel replaced Daley more than four years ago.
The deal is being pulled together to combat the litany of fiscal woes rooted in Rich Daley’s long reign on the fifth floor of City Hall.
First, there are hundreds of millions of dollars in costs associated with Mayor Daley’s disastrous penchant for engaging in interest-rate swaps with bankers.
The plan that’s before aldermen this week also should generate tens of millions of dollars to pay off the loan Daley took out to buy the near South Side land where an Olympic Village would have been built for the games next summer.
Finally, there’s the matter of the $62.4 million check the city recently had to write to the investors in four downtown public parking garages.
That big legal settlement was necessary because Daley aides reneged on their promise to the investors to not allow any new competitors near the privatized garages. The Daley administration gave a permit to a new garage run by law clients of yet another mayoral brother, Michael Daley.
Yet, after all that fiscal carnage under Rich Daley, the best that Emanuel’s City Hall could come up with to help straighten up now was Morgan Stanley. The Wall Street financial giant’s Chicago office counts William Daley Jr. among its employees.
He signed on behalf of the firm in documents relating to its role as “senior managing underwriter” on the city’s proposed $1.1 billion bond deal. Doing those honors will pay Morgan Stanley a cool $2.64 million.
William Daley Jr. did not return callsTuesday.
Asked what the Daley nephew is being paid on the deal, a Morgan Stanley spokesman said he gets a salary and will receive no extra commissions for the Chicago bond sale, which is part of his work as “senior municipal finance banker” for this region of the country.
When Rich Daley was in office, Morgan Stanley officials said William Daley Jr. didn’t work at City Hall, only representing them before county and state officials. But he’s been registered as a City Hall lobbyist for Morgan Stanley since 2013, after Emanuel succeeded his uncle.
An Emanuel spokeswoman said William Daley Jr. and other “well-respected” Morgan Stanley executives met with city officials and provided “a variety of ideas that could help to address the City of Chicago’s current financial situation.”
William Daley Jr. reported being paid a total of just $4,800 in “lobbying-related compensation” by Morgan Stanley through March 31. Perhaps his next quarterly lobbyist disclosure could show him getting a bigger chunk of that $2.64 million in fees the firm is expecting.
Among the council members who’ll be asked to pass final judgment on the bond dealWednesdayis another Daley nephew, newly sworn-in 11thWard Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson. He also didn’t call back Tuesday, but you can expect he will recuse himself.
Yes, even after Uncle Rich retired, the Daleys remain so ubiquitous in Chicago’s civic life, it didn’t take but a month before one Daley nephew in elected office bumped into a cousin involved in the biggest municipal financial deal in years.
Maybe Rich Daley’s successor or one of the other 49, non-Daley aldermen could suggest replacing Morgan Stanley on the bond deal.
There must be a qualified, competing firm that doesn’t employ a nephew of the man most responsible for the problem in the first place.
Follow Dan Mihalopoulos on Twitter: @dmihalopoulos