WBEZ | bankruptcy http://www.wbez.org/tags/bankruptcy Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Gary Mayor Rudy Clay not seeking re-election http://www.wbez.org/story/gary-mayor-rudy-clay/gary-mayor-rudy-clay-not-seeking-re-election-84924 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-08/92429857.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gary Mayor Rudy Clay announced Friday morning that he is suspending his re-election bid due to continued treatments for prostate cancer.</p><p>“I owe it to my family, myself and the great people of Gary to suspend this campaign for another term as mayor,” Clay said at an emergency press conference at Gary City Hall.</p><p>The 75-year-old Clay intends to finish his current term, which ends Dec. 31.</p><p>Clay said his actions were prompted by a strong recommendation from his physician, Dr. Walter M. Stadler of the University of Chicago.</p><p>Clay shared excerpts from a letter he received from Dr. Stadler: “Given your age and medical condition, and to avoid any potential reversal or harmful setback, it is my professional opinion that you give strong consideration to a less demanding routine when your current term as mayor expires.”</p><p>With his wife Christine by his side and many city department heads in attendance, a visibly shaken Clay said, given the situation, he has little choice but to follow his doctor’s orders.</p><p>“Stadler, Dr. Edwin Posadas and Carolyn Marinier successfully guided me through a grave and difficult challenge in my life and I completely value and trust their judgment,” Clay said in a written statement.</p><p>Clay will remain on the ballot with nine other Democratic candidates in May 3 mayoral primary, however.</p><p>“His name will just stay on at this point,” said Sally LaSota, head of the Voters Registration and Election Office in Lake County, Indiana.</p><p>LaSota said she conferred Friday morning with board attorney Jim Wieser.</p><p>There’s also one lone Republican candidate in the primary.</p><p>Early voting in the race started this week.</p><p>Clay came into office in April 2006, after the city’s Democratic precinct committee selected him to complete the term left behind by Scott King, who left office after serving more than 10 years office. King said he wanted to return to practicing law, so he could earn enough money to finance his child’s education.</p><p>Clay won his first election to the mayor's office in 2007.</p><p>Clay is also the former head of Lake County’s Democratic Party. He’s also had a long political career, including stints as a state senator and county commissioner.</p><p>Clay’s decision to suspend his campaign comes while the city is facing serious financial challenges. In less than a week, the city will learn if it will receive property tax relief from the state of Indiana. Gary is seeking about $11.1 million in tax relief through the state’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board.</p><p>Gary’s budget has dwindled in recent years due to a loss of residents, decline in property tax collections and a state-mandated property tax cap of one percent. Industry is also paying fewer taxes to the city than it had in previous decades. The city is also in a dispute with the owner of its two casinos for millions of dollars in revenue that has yet to be paid to city.</p><p>The city has had to reduce city services and cut staff, including firefighters.</p><p>Clay is also trying to fend off his city losing its status as Northwest Indiana’s largest city. Figures recently released by the U.S. Census show the city lost more than 20,000 residents during the past decade. That puts its current population at 80,000, or about 500 less than the neighboring city of Hammond. Clay has vowed to appeal the U.S. Census for a recount.</p><p>Clay is also in the process of trying to prevent the closure of a U.S. Postal Service sorting facility that employees hundreds of workers.</p><p>“I want to sincerely thank the God fearing people of Gary who always supported and voted for me to serve my community as Indiana State Senator, County Councilman, County Recorder, County Commissioner and Mayor of Gary,” Clay, whose public persona is usually optimistic and joyful, said. “The decision to cease my campaign is most difficult and disappointing but maintaining good health is my top priority. I have faith that my supporters will understand this decision and recognize there is no other option for me at this time.”</p><p><em>A correction has been made to this story.</em></p><p>Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the year Rudy Clay first won the popular vote for mayor. That year was 2007.</p><p>Here is the text from a Media Release provided by the Office of Gary Mayor Rudy Clay:</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">CLAY SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN FOR MAYOR<br> Prostate cancer treatments and the dynamics of a political campaign do not mix according to Mayor Rudy Clay: Clay said' "lowe it to my family, myself and the great people of Gary to suspend this campaign for another term as mayor." Clay said these actions were prompted by a strong recommendation from Dr. Walter M. Stadler, an expert in prostate Cancer at the University of Chicago. Dr. Stadler is an Internist, Oncologist, Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Director of Genitourinary Oncology, Associate Dean for Clinical Research, and Chairman of the Cancer Research Center.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">In a letter from Dr. Stadler he wrote: "Given your age and medical condition, and to avoid any potential reversal or harmful setback, it is my professional opinion that you give strong consideration to a less demanding routine when your current term as mayor expires." Clay said "Stadler, Dr. EdWin Posadas and Carolyn Marinier successfully guided me through a grave and difficult challenge in my life and I completely value and trust their judgment." I want to sincerely thank the God fearing people of Gary who always supported and voted for me to serve my community as Indiana State Senator, County Councilman, County Recorder, County Commissioner and Mayor of Gary. The decision to cease my campaign is most difficult and disappointing, but maintaining good health is my top priority.</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">I have faith that my supporters will understand this decision and recognize there is no other option for me at this time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">God Bless Gary, Indiana...The City I Love</p></p> Fri, 08 Apr 2011 16:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/gary-mayor-rudy-clay/gary-mayor-rudy-clay-not-seeking-re-election-84924 Tribune Co. creditors begin bankruptcy court fight http://www.wbez.org/story/bankruptcy/tribune-co-creditors-begin-bankruptcy-court-fight <p><p>Creditors of the Chicago-based Tribune Company began battling it out in bankruptcy court in Delaware today. The bankruptcy judge will decide between two competing reorganization plans submitted by creditors. &nbsp;<br /><br />No matter which plan wins, the company will eventually be owned by a group of lenders that financed Sam Zell&rsquo;s buyout in 2007. That group includes J.P. Morgan Chase. &nbsp;<br /><br />Media analyst Ken Doctor says once the lenders are in charge, they&rsquo;ll focus strictly on the bottom line. &nbsp;<br /><br />&quot;This is like buying a razor blade company that&rsquo;s been on hard times,&quot; Doctor said. &quot;We can buy it cheap, we can pretty it up and then we can sell it for more than we paid in three years.&quot; <br /><br />Doctor says the new owners will likely try to sell off some newspapers and broadcast outlets. He says they&rsquo;ll possibly try to merge the rest of the company with another media business to cut costs.</p></p> Mon, 07 Mar 2011 21:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/bankruptcy/tribune-co-creditors-begin-bankruptcy-court-fight Is bankruptcy an option for municipal debt? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/bankruptcy-option-municipal-debt <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/illinois debt tea party.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Any major fixes to transportation may just have to wait given the financial situations facing Chicago and Illinois. Chicago is not alone - local governments across the country are struggling to make ends meet. Some administrations are even talking bankruptcy. But is bankruptcy a good option? Are there other ways to deal with what seems like an insurmountable load of debt? For answers, &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; spoke to <a href="http://www.chapman.com/attorneys.php?AttorneyID=24" target="_blank">Jim Spiotto</a>, a partner at Chapman and Cutler law firm, which specializes in corporate and municipal finance.</p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 15:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/bankruptcy-option-municipal-debt Florida county hires official tied to Chicago scandal http://www.wbez.org/cmitchell/2009/10/florida-county-hires-official-tied-to-chicago-scandal/6913 <p>Miami-Dade County has hired a former Chicago window company official near the center of an alleged scheme to loot the business, pilfer manufacturing gear and set up a new operation in Iowa. Former Republic Windows and Doors Chief Operating Officer Barry Dubin will earn $425 an hour to help turn around Jackson Health System, Miami-Dade's struggling system of hospitals and clinics, according to the <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami-dade/story/1283281.html">Miami Herald</a>. Dubin will serve as the system's chief restructuring officer over the next nine months, the newspaper reports. Cook County prosecutors last month charged Republic CEO Richard Gillman with defrauding company creditors and stealing cash from the firm. The indictment identifies an unnamed co-schemer as the company's chief operating officer. Republic shuttered its Goose Island plant last winter without federally mandated severance payments to the factory's roughly 240 employees. The workers, members of United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), responded with a sit-in at the plant. The sit-in quickly became a national symbol of the nation's economic crisis. It ended <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=30801">six days later</a> when two Republic creditors -- Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase -- agreed to pay the workers a combined $1.75 million. "Dubin is the last guy I'd want to see in charge of a hospital," says UE organizer Mark Meinster. I tried to reach Dubin on his cell phone Thursday evening. My message asks whether Cook County authorities have been in touch and whether he's the right fit for the Florida job. He hasn't returned the call.</p> Thu, 15 Oct 2009 18:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/cmitchell/2009/10/florida-county-hires-official-tied-to-chicago-scandal/6913