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Friends gave Rahm Emanuel sports tickets, covered travel expenses

Sidney "Skip" Herman, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Meg Herman. | Provided photo

Mayor Rahm Emanuel received perks valued at $500 or more last year from two longtime gift givers, as well as from a newcomer to his annual Cook County ethics filing.

Michael Sacks, Emanuel’s closest business adviser and biggest campaign donor, provided gifts of transportation and sports tickets in 2016, according to the mayor’s statement of economic interest, which was made public on Tuesday by the Cook County Clerk’s office. Sacks is an investor in the company that owns the Chicago Sun-Times.

River North attorney Sidney “Skip” Herman, a fishing buddy of Emanuel’s, provided transportation.

Emanuel also stayed as a house guest with Sacks and Herman, who have appeared on the mayor’s gift list ever year since he took office in 2011, records show.

New to the list is David Helfand, CEO of the real estate investment trust Equity Commonwealth, who also covered travel costs.

Michael Sacks | Sun-Times file photo

Emanuel’s three reported gifts in 2016 continue a downward trend since 2011, when he collected 19 gifts that he split into two lengthy lists: one before he took office and one after.

The pre-inauguration list included: Don Edwards (transportation and house guest); Fred Eychaner (meals); David Geffen (house guest); David Heller (meals); Herman (transportation, house guest); Michael Koldyke (sports tickets, meals); Barry Malkin (meals); Penny Pritzker (meals); Bruce Rauner (meals) and Sacks (sports tickets, meals, transportation).

After being sworn in as mayor, Emanuel reported receiving gifts from: Bob Clark (transportation); Herman (transportation, house guest); Marc Lasry (transportation); Paul McCartney (concert tickets); Sam Mencoff (transportation, house guest, vacation activities); Tim Mullen (transportation, lodging); Don Wilson (transportation); Sacks (sports tickets, meals, transportation) and Sam Zell (transportation).

His gift list went down to 12 in 2012, followed by five gifts in 2013, three in 2014 and five in 2015, records show.

All elected officials in Cook County are required to report the gifts they’ve received each year, as well as income from other jobs or business stocks.

  • Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown made more than $2,400 working as a “motivational/religious speaker” and sales consultant out of her Calumet Heights neighborhood home.
  • Ald. Marty Quinn (13th) made more than $1,200 working as an adviser for Friends of Michael J. Madigan, a candidate’s committee that gave him sports tickets. The Illinois House speaker and his wife also gave Quinn a Christmas gift worth more than $500.
  • Ald. Ed Burke (14th) made more than $5,000 apiece from four different stocks and an investment partnership. He also reported more than $2,400 in income from his law firm.
  • Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart received a $650 honorarium for speaking at Elgin Community College. He donated it to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
  • Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) reported delegation travel expenses covered by the Israeli Consulate.

Officials had a deadline of Monday night to file their statements. As of Tuesday afternoon, 10 city aldermen were tardy and face a $15 late filing fee: Anthony Beale (9th), Willie Cochran (20th), Derrick Curtis (18th), Pat Dowell (3rd), Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th), Anthony Napolitano (41st), Matthew O’Shea (19th), Ariel Reboyras (30th), Roderick Sawyer (6th) and Patrick Thompson (11th).