Emanuel responds to Quinn accusations

October 9, 2012

Scott Kanowsky

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The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority owns and operates U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn sparred Tuesday over a pick to head the state’s sports commission.

Speaking at a press conference, Emanuel fired back against accusations made by Quinn that the mayor is blocking his pick to head the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority in order to make a backroom deal to renovate privately-owned Wrigley Field with public funds.

Emanuel responded by saying his concerns lie with Chicago’s taxpayers.

“It’s not about personalities, it’s not about differences.  It’s about a view about the Illinois Sports [sic] Authority. The taxpayers of the city of Chicago are on the hook if it runs amiss,” Emanuel said. 

"That board and that staff, is the thin blue line protecting the taxpayers of the city of Chicago from paying in case something is mis-managed."

Quinn also stood by his accusations that the mayor’s office had engaged in “character assassination” against his pick, communications director Kelly Kraft.

"Everybody knows what's going on. They've been doing that, they know. They should examine their consciences, come on," Quinn said at a news conference in Chicago.

“[Mayor Emanuel] is a strong personality, so am I. I want to make sure that we have women in government in important positions that guard and guide the public interest.”

Both men appoint board members to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority – which is the developer, owner and operator of U.S. Cellular Field and helped restore Soldier Field.