O'Hare Expansion Foes Claim Chicago Involved in Suburban Elections

April 11, 2006

"A group opposed to O'Hare Airport expansion is rehashing charges that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley tried to influence suburban mayoral elections.

The Aviation Integrity Project alleges that in 2005, city workers campaigned against Bensenville Mayor and O'Hare expansion opponent John Geiles.

Terry Brunner is the group's executive director.

""Now, would the busy, pothole-fixing, flower-planting mayor of Chicago have time to get involved in Republican politics way out in DuPage County to try to blow out opponents of his $20 billion O'Hare expansion? The answer is, 'You bet',"" Brunner says.

Brunner cited photos he claims show Chicago Water Department workers volunteering on the campaign.

He did not know if the workers were on the clock at the time, but claims they were likely pressured by supervisors.

Brunner's accusations come on the heels of a filing by the U.S. Attorney, alleging the Daley administration destroyed documents that prove patronage hiring.

A spokesperson for Mayor Daley could not immediately address Brunner's claims.

But she says the mayor's office invites anyone with a complaint to call the city inspector general.
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