From today’s Chicago Sun-Times.
Rahm’s CPS CEO threw a Christmas Party in 2012
Baux sent Byrd-Bennett the proposals with recommendations: “Gary thinks the JW (Marriott) is prettier. Tom and I both like the Union League Club. Everything there is classy.”
The Dec. 21, 2012, party that Byrd-Bennett hosted for top CPS staffers, Chicago Board of Education members and the mayor’s education deputy, Beth Swanson, was cited in the 43-page federal indictment that charged her and the two men in a scheme promising her kickbacks for contracts. She has since pleaded guilty to a single charge and awaits sentencing.
Though Byrd-Bennett paid the $4,108 Union League Club tab with a personal check, federal authorities say Solomon sent her emails in December 2012 agreeing first to pay the expenses for the party and then, instead, to reimburse her for the cost after they realized she’d get a better deal if she booked as a club member.
According to CPS, no taxpayer money was spent on the party, which had servers passing out appetizers and three hours of an open bar at $7 per cocktail for Smirnoff vodka, Beefeater gin and Bacardi Rum, with an option to upgrade drinks individually. Among those, the club logged two Hendrick’s gin and tonics at $10 each. It also charged an extra fifty cents to add ice to someone’s White Russian.
Guests were offered an assortment of tiny sandwiches — crab cakes with aioli, meatball subs and mini-burgers and hot dogs — as well as french fries and sweet potato fries. Instead of the mini-Reubens normally on the menu, lime-marinated chicken skewers were substituted. For dessert, there was a chef’s selection of mini-pastries and cookies — 10 dozen pieces.
Baux also made sure all the guests would be dressed appropriately. “Blue jeans are not allowed, correct?” Baux wrote to the club the day before the fete. “Business casual is accepted though. Please confirm.”
“Correct . . . no jeans, gym shoes, T-shirts,” came the reply.