Powerful attorney helped developers win favors from Solis: report

Brian Hynes gave money to Solis and once represented the owner of the land now known as “The 78”

Chicago /
Feb.February 01, 2019 12:00 PM

Brian Hynes (left) and Alderman Danny Solis with the site of ‘The 78’ (Credit: Howard & Howard and Facebook)

Court documents detailing allegations of corruption against Alderman Danny Solis (25th) repeatedly mention longtime attorney and lobbyist Brian Hynes, saying he “extended personal benefits for the alderman” in return for favorable treatment of developers.

In June 2015, Hynes helped set up a meeting between Solis and developer Fred Latsko to discuss a project that eventually won approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, according to the Sun-Times. The documents later claimed Latsko offered Solis free use of a 180-acre Indiana farm once owned by Oprah Winfrey.

Bank records show Hynes’ real estate consulting group in 2011 donated $30,000 to Solis Enterprises, the alderman’s company, according to the Sun-Times. Hynes defended the donation by saying that his company “does no business with the city,” and paid Solis for a “legal consulting fee” unrelated to city development.

And the documents also said Hynes represented Nadhmi Auchi, the Iraqi billionaire co-developing the 62-acre stretch of riverfront land now known as “The 78” with Related Midwest. Approval of the development was contingent on Solis’ support.

Hynes is a former business partner of Solis’ sister, Patti Solis Doyle, a political consultant and longtime aide to Hillary Clinton.

After the allegations against Solis went public this week, the alderman resigned his post as chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, passing along the title to Alderman James Cappleman (46th).

Neither Solis nor Hynes has been publicly charged with a crime. [Sun-Times] — Alex Nitkin

 

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