“How the world works”: Solis hit up contractor for contribution, contractor sought job for relative

After City Council approved a West Loop hotel project, the alderman and contractor, Spiro Tsaparas, started horse trading: report

Chicago /
Feb.February 07, 2019 09:00 AM

After the City Council approved a new West Loop hotel in 2015, Alderman Danny Solis called a contractor on the project and sought a political contribution from him. The contractor responded by trying to get a city job for his brother-in-law.

Those revelations revealed in court documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times are the latest development in the corruption saga involving Solis, which has already led to corruption charges against Alderman Ed Burke and embarrassing conflict-of-interest questions for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The contractor, Centaur Construction CEO Spiro Tsaparas, has not been accused of wrongdoing. He told the Sun-Times he’s never been forced to give financial support to an alderman in a direct quid-pro-quo, but said making such contributions is “how the world works.”

“It is impossible to operate in the real estate development world without having a relationship with the alderman,” he told the Sun-Times.

He said his brother-in-law never got a city job after the taped conversation with Solis. The discussion came days after the city approved the planned Nobu Hotel at 854 West Randolph Street, which Tsaparas said should be done in July. [Chicago Sun-Times] — John O’Brien


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