One citizen's take on the Dick that makes Chicago tick.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Yes, more news on the Vanecko city pension scandal.

First, a little history regarding the Vanecko family and their ties to the city...with some Mike Royko thrown in for good measure: Mayor Daley...His Nephew Problem...and Mike Royko

[Royko] was writing about another generation of Vaneckos and Daleys and a disease he called "payrolliaitis."

"It isn't anything that would show up through scientific testing," wrote Royko in 1965, "but Mayor Richard J. Daley is a carrier of a fast-spreading germ . . . called payrolliaitis. The symptoms are easy to spot. A person gets close to the mayor. Crunch -- the payrolliaitis bug nips him. He wanders off in the direction of a city, state or county agency, sits down at a desk, and his name breaks out on a payroll."

Royko was talking about the hiring of Robert Vanecko's grandfather, Dr. Michael Vanecko, whose son married the late mayor's daughter. Shortly before the wedding, that Vanecko went to work for the Chicago Board of Health. And later, his son, Dr. Robert Vanecko, was hired as the physician for the city's municipal pension fund. And now today we have the third generation, as his son, another Robert Vanecko, lands a $68 million deal with -- what else -- city pension funds. He severed all business ties with the deal only after the feds began subpoenaing records.

Also, it seems our glorious Aldermen want answers about the city's lease of one of Vanecko's buildings. So do I, city council, so do I.

Unless the city can prove it needed flexibility to get out of the lease quickly, it appears that the month-to-month lease was designed to get around the City Council, said Ald. Joe Moore (49th).

"It would seem to me that someone was trying to hide something," Moore said.

He added, "One of the reasons we have these meetings is so the public and ... media can know who's getting these leases. It begs the question why, in this particular case, it was done in what appears to be a secretive fashion. We are owed an explanation."

Anthony Pascente a spokesman for the city's Department of General Services, did not return repeated phone calls on the lease.

Despite weeks of questions from the Chicago Sun-Times, City Hall yet to produce a lease document or invoices to justify the monthly payments, at a rate of $3.83-per-square foot for 70,565 square feet of space, 20 percent of the warehouse.

You're right Joe Moore, someone IS trying to hide something from us and we ARE owed an explanation. Maybe you and your 49 friends could do something about that. In the meantime, I'll be here waiting for that explanation...Though I'm sure if old Dick Daley ever gives one, I will not believe it. Such is life in the city of Chicago.

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