The Real Deal Chicago

Massage parlors, Viagra and developer favors: The real estate connections in the Solis wiretaps

The retiring chairman of the City Council’s powerful Zoning Committee so far hasn’t been charged criminally
January 29, 2019 09:00AM

Alderman Danny Solis (Credit: Facebook and Wikipedia)

Alderman Danny Solis received favors from developers and real estate investors in exchange for backing their interests, according to federal court documents related to wiretaps of Solis that also picked up his lurid conversations about trips to massage parlors and securing Viagra.

Solis (25th) is the chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, so far is not facing criminal charges, but the documents came to light after fellow Alderman Ed Burke (14th) was charged with attempted extortion over a city permit request, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The documents show Solis was under investigation as far back as 2014, long before he started wearing a wire to record Burke. Solis has denied any wrongdoing.

The documents show a Solis operative soliciting campaign contributions from the Cacciatore family, which has real estate holdings in Solis’ ward and had donated to Solis for many years, in exchange for Solis’ help saving one of their businesses $1 million in water bills.

Other allegations said developer Fred Latsko provided Solis with free weekend use of a 180-acre Indiana farm once owned by Oprah Winfrey for a graduation party for Solis’ son. Solis proposed a city ordinance “favorable to Latsko’s business interests” and voted in favor of multiple Latsko real estate projects, according to the Sun-Times.

Solis also sought a “gratuity” from McHugh Construction in exchange for backing a 500-room hotel and data center project near McCormick Place, the documents said. [Chicago Sun-Times] — John O’Brien