POLLAK TO FILE EXPANDED ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST SCHAKOWSKY
Joel Pollak, Republican challenger in the 9th district of Illinois, will file an expanded complaint today with the Office of Congressional Ethics of the U.S. House of Representatives against incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky.
“Jan Schakowsky claimed that by helping a political contributor and his associates avoid foreclosure by United Central Bank, she saved Devon Avenue from going ‘dark.’ We now have proof that suggests she was not telling the truth. Schakowsky’s actions appear to be nothing more than pay-to-play politics ahead of an election,” Pollak said.
Pollak’s extended complaint alleges the following:
a. Schakowsky acted to benefit a few individuals, not a large number of small business owners.
While initial reports suggested that Schakowsky had helped about 20 businesses in the local South Asian-American community, court documents show that 19 of the 24 loans (80%) in foreclosure involving United Central Bank and South Asian borrowers in Cook County were held by just three individuals: Mr. Amrit Patel (12, including 3 held jointly), Mr. Balvinder Singh (5), and Ms. Shahira Khan (4, including 2 held with Patel). One of the remaining 5 loans is held by Mr. Haresh Patel, who is apparently Mr. Amrit Patel’s son. (See attached chart of foreclosures.)
Chart: United Central Bank Foreclosures in South Asian Community
b. Few of the properties affected by Schakowsky’s actions are actually in the Devon Avenue area.
Court documents indicate that only 3 of the 24 affected properties are actually located on Devon Avenue. Only 4 are actually in the neighborhood. Except for those few, and for a small cluster of multi-unit properties further north near the intersection of Touhy Avenue and Clark Street, most are well outside the area, including properties as far away as Calumet City, Itasca, Barrington, and Sauk Village, IL. (See attached maps of foreclosures.)
Map 1: All United Central Bank Foreclosures in Cook County
c. Some of the key individuals who benefited from Schakowsky’s actions have close political ties to her and her allies.
Mr. Singh contributed $500 to Schakowsky in 2004 and $2000 in 2006. He has also given thousands of dollars to other federal, state, and local Democratic candidates. Mr. Patel contributed $1000 to Ms. Schakowsky in 2002, and raised $50,000 for former governor (and convicted felon) Rod Blagojevich (D) in 2006. He also paid $34,000 to Mr. Blagojevich’s wife in real estate consulting fees; similar transactions were probed by prosecutors during Mr. Blagojevich’s recent corruption trial. Mr. Patel has also contributed thousands of dollars to other federal, state, and local candidates, predominantly Democrats.
In addition, Mr. Patel’s lawyer is Democratic state senator Ira Silverstein, whom Schakowsky backed successfully in 2008 for the position of 50th Ward Democratic Committeeman. Senator Silverman’s wife, Debra, is currently challenging incumbent Bernie Stone for 50th Ward Alderman.
Mutual Bank, which failed in 2009, had once facilitated an inappropriate land transaction between Barack Obama and convicted felon Antonin “Tony” Rezko which Mr. Obama later called “boneheaded.” The former CEO of Mutual had also been a major fundraiser for Blagojevich.
For further information, please email media director Mason Marcus at email@example.com or call the campaign office at (224) 217-9669.