‘Milk man’s’ world
BY CHRIS FUSCO AND TIM NOVAK Staff Reporters
Frank J. McMahon
A “milk man” — that’s what Frank J. McMahon calls himself.
He’s the oldest of eight children born to the late Catherine Keane McMahon and Frank J. McMahon, who founded a milk-delivery business called McMahon Food Corp. and a second business, Windy City Electric Co., which together have won $162 million in government contracts since 2005. He’s close to politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, including his first cousin, Illinois Appellate Court Judge and former DuPage County State’s Attorney Joseph Birkett; his second cousin, DuPage County Board member Michael McMahon; and former Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine, who hired two of McMahon’s daughters. Owns a 33-foot-long boat called “Milk Money.”
Other key figures and businesses in McMahon’s world:
Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th): Chicago’s most powerful alderman. Owns a law firm that’s won property-tax cuts for the warehouse where the McMahon family businesses operate. Has received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Frank McMahon and his siblings, including Anthony McMahon, who’s a precinct captain for Burke’s political organization.
Gery Chico: President of the Illinois State Board of Education. Was Chicago school board president under former Mayor Richard M. Daley. Lost last year’s mayoral race to Rahm Emanuel. A McMahon-led joint venture that has the $20-million-a-year contract to supply milk to Chicago’s public schools hired Chico’s law firm.
Daniel T. Frawley: McMahon’s first cousin, now awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a $4.4 million bank fraud. A former Chicago cop and onetime business partner of convicted political fixer Tony Rezko. Has filed a “whistleblower” lawsuit accusing McMahon brothers Frank, Anthony and John of fraudulently obtaining government contracts set aside for businesses owned and operated by women or minorities — claims the McMahons deny.
Windy City Electric: Owned by the wives of McMahon’s brothers Anthony and John. Fighting Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s recommendation that it should be banned from getting city work over allegations it was operating as a phony woman-owned business seven years ago.
Dean Foods and Bareman’s Dairy Inc.: Sell milk to McMahon and the company’s partners, who resell it to the Chicago schools.