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Del Valle: Parking meter deal violates city ethics law

Mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle talks about parking meter contract how city may possibly get out contract Del Valle's campaign

Mayoral candidate Miguel del Valle talks about the parking meter contract and how the city may possibly get out of the contract at Del Valle's campaign office 1325 west Grand. Tuesday, February, 8 2011 | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 10, 2011 12:21AM

City Clerk Miguel del Valle believes he has found a way to invalidate the city’s controversial 75-year, $1.15 billion parking meter deal — and he has asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office to investigate.

Employees of Morgan Stanley did not register as lobbyists when they worked on the deal, so del Valle believes the contract is void under a city ordinance.

“This is a violation of the city’s ethics ordinance,” del Valle said at a news conference at his West Town headquarters.

Other candidates for mayor such as Gery Chico and Rahm Emanuel have criticized the parking meter deal but have said the city is stuck with it. Candidate Carol Moseley Braun and del Valle have pledged to join lawsuits challenging the deal.

Many candidates for aldermen are pledging not to automatically vote for proposals similar to the parking meter lease, which the mayor’s office sprang on City Council members with little background information and an extremely tight deadline for passage.

The built-in parking rate increases have fueled voter anger in congested areas of the city, especially in business districts where parking used to be much cheaper.

Del Valle said companies that worked on the deal, including the law firm of Katten, Muchin, Rosenman donated a combined total of $29,000 to Emanuel’s campaign.

A spokeswoman for Madigan said she was reviewing del Valle’s request.

Chico has said that even if the deal were voided, the city would not be able to come up with the $1.15 billion to pay the company back.

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