Former Ald. Ed Vrdolyak fighting law office foreclosure
By Chris Fusco Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org August 8, 2011 1:34AM
11-3-08 Ed Vrdolyak's law office at 9618 S. Commercial ave..... Vrdolyak plead guilty Monday to fraud charges.....Rich Hein/Sun-Times
Updated: November 2, 2011 3:32AM
Even as former Ald. Edward R. Vrdolyak serves a 10-month prison sentence — he’s due to be released in mid-November from the federal prison camp in Terre Haute, Ind. — he continues his fight to keep two of his family’s Vrdolyak Law Group offices from being foreclosed upon.
The lawsuit stems from a $750,000 loan that Vrdolyak obtained on Dec. 26, 2002, from the old First Suburban National Bank — which federal regulators shut down last year in the investigations that came amid the nation’s financial crisis. First Suburban’s assets were then sold to Seaway Bank and Trust, which continues to pursue the Vrdolyak case.
It involves former Chrysler/Dodge dealer Gerald W. Gorman, who is the husband of Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth Doody Gorman (R-Orland Park) and also is a contractual employee of Illinois state Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
Vrdolyak’s original loan was supposed to be repaid within a year, but it turned into a multiyear deal, renewed and renegotiated several times, the most recent renewal coming in March 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times reported last year.
Vrdolyak put up the Vrdolyak Law Group office buildings at 9618 S. Commercial and 741 N. Dearborn as collateral for the March 2009 loan, which was due to be repaid on Sept. 29, 2009, but wasn’t, according to loan and court documents.
Now, in court papers, Vrdolyak blames Joseph Hogan, a former president of First Suburban, for the loan not getting repaid. Vrdolyak says Hogan “requested” that he take out the $750,000 loan and then lend the proceeds to Gorman’s former auto dealership, Midlothian Dodge. According to Vrdolyak, the loan was to be secured by the bank’s “security interest in certain vehicles at the Midlothian Dodge dealership.”
Vrdolyak says he met with Hogan and Gorman, a onetime Vrdolyak business associate, and jotted down a handwritten note — a copy of which is in the court file — to formalize the deal.
Despite signing the deal, “Vrdolyak did not receive the funds and/or the funds were transferred immediately to” Gorman’s dealership, Vrdolyak claims. Vrdolyak also says he never was given the stake he says he was supposed to have gotten in Midlothian Dodge cars.
“Vrdolyak reasonably relied upon the false and misleading statements of Hogan in that the bank was a lender of Midlothian Dodge and Vrdolyak was assured by Hogan of the bank that the security interest would be provided to him,” according to a Vrdolyak court filing.
Vrdolyak says the foreclosure action against his family’s law offices “would not have occurred but for the fraud of the bank.”
Hogan couldn’t be reached for comment.
Gerald Gorman — who declined to comment on the pending case — started work in April for Topinka, a Republican, under a six-month contract paying him $36,000 to get local governments to file required financial reports with the comptroller’s office.
“At six months, we’ll review his performance and determine whether it’s beneficial for the office for him to continue or whether the relationship ends there,” says Brad Hahn, Topinka’s spokesman. “There’s a backlog. Gerry has been working on that and has been getting results.”