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City to audit parking-meter deal, other contracts

Updated: October 16, 2012 10:32AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday that he’s ordered an independent audit of long-term city contracts, starting with the widely criticized parking meter deal put in place by his predecessor, Mayor Richard M. Daley.

“To ensure we are responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars being paid to [Chicago parking Meters], it is imperative this administration vigilantly exercise due diligence while effectively managing each contract,” Emanuel said in a written statement. “These comprehensive, regular audits will help ensure accountability and keep those behind the agreements honest and responsible.”

Emanuel noted that the audit team expects to interview Chicago Parking Meters’ CEO, CFO and representatives from its principal investor, Morgan Stanley.

The mayor’s office pointed out that Chicago Parking Meters has submitted invoices to the city totalling $50 million.

“This administration will continue to fight any charges sent by CPM that we feel are not accurate or justified,” Emanuel said. “As I have said before, the city does not cut a check simply because we receive a bill.”

The CPM audit is expected to begin in November, the mayor’s office said, and it may be expanded to include “additional financial and operational processes.”

The City Council-approved plan that in 2008 privatized the city’s 36,000 meters for 75 years was a deal that was widely criticized for selling taxpayers short.

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