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Rangel vote this month could give CPS work to key UNO contractor

Updated: June 30, 2013 6:45AM

In one of his last acts as a member of the Public Building Commission of Chicago, the chief executive officer of the United Neighborhood Organization voted this month to approve spending $160 million for work at Chicago Public Schools that could benefit a key UNO contractor, according to documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

UNO CEO Juan Rangel, who announced Tuesday he is stepping down as a mayoral appointee to the city-county panel that oversees public works projects, voted with the majority of the PBC board May 14 to go ahead with the work to prepare CPS facilities for an influx of students from schools being closed at the end of this school year.

Reflection Window Co. — owned by a brother of Miguel d’Escoto, Rangel’s former top deputy at UNO — was listed on documents the PBC gave board members prior to the vote as a subcontractor for a portion of the work, to be overseen by Wight & Co. of Darien and Hickory Hills-based Henry Bros. Co.

Whether the company will get work under the PBC deal is unclear, though. A spokeswoman for Wight, which worked with Reflection Window on a stalled UNO high school project, said that although the company owned by Rodrigo d’Escoto was listed as a potential minority-owned subcontractor, it hasn’t been decided who will end up working on the PBC projects. On March 12, Rangel was part of a unanimous PBC vote to approve a $7.25 million deal with Wight for an addition to Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School, 3730 N. Oakley — a deal in which Reflection Window was listed as having a $255,000 subcontract.

Henry Bros. representatives did not return calls Tuesday.

“Absent a showing that the Reflection-PBC contracts were out of order, I believe I voted the right way,” said Rangel, who was appointed to the PBC board by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Rodrigo d’Escoto could not be reached Tuesday. In 2011, most of his company’s revenue of more than $7.6 million came from UNO projects funded through a $98 million state grant, the Sun-Times has reported.

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