Today's Chicago Muckraking: Clout Hospital

Mercy Hospital and Medical Center–the birthplace of Mayor Richard M. Daley–has stayed afloat despite financial troubles. Part of that is because of profits the hospital earned from a real estate venture located in a special tax district the mayor created to benefit the hospital, the Chicago Sun-Times reported October 13.
Reporter Tim Novak used city records and uncovered how the hospital continues to make money on the deal, as well as former Ald. Ted Mazola‘s role in the sinking real estate venture.

Novak found that Daley created a special taxing district to benefit the hospital. As part of the deal, the hospital sold about 10 acres of its land to a developer. The hospital got more than $12.4 million over the last three years from that sale. The hospital also expected to receive as much as $60 million in property taxes from condos, townhomes and apartments proposed for the land.

Because of the recession, however, the medical center has seen none of the expected $60 million.

Other notable Chicago muckraking:
*In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Tracy Swartz of RedEye analyzed data about 43 women murdered in Chicago since January 2009. Swartz found that domestic violence was one of the prime motives for homicides against women last year and that more than two-thirds of this year’s victims were black.

*In an editorial for The Huffington Post, Tracy Siska, executive director of the Chicago Justice Project,
examined the physical dangers of sending Chicago children to schools outside their neighborhoods. Siska looks at schools in Little Village and North Lawndale, where residents are predominantly Latino and black, respectively.

-Compiled by Jeff Kelly Lowenstein and Christopher Danzig

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