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Langdon Neal, the powerbroker and chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections (CBOE), was mysteriously absent from the last board meeting, where board members heard arguments to remove 40th Ward Alderman Pat O’Connor from the ballot in the upcoming municipal Election.

At the previous meeting on December 29, Neal was asked by attorney Andrew Finko, to recuse himself from hearing complaints against O’Connor, in part, due to a previous RebelPundit expose, which connected Neal to O’Connor in a controversial Tax Increment Financing (TIF) deal involving a shell company called JJJ Properties.

However, rather than hearing evidence and deciding on whether or not he should recuse himself, Neal moved the entire case to January 5, 2015, because one of the three board members, Richard Cowan, was absent that day.

But at the following January 5 hearing, Neal was absent. Cowan called it an excused absence and because of this, Cowan said testimony on Neal’s recusal was “moot” and the hearing proceeded without him.

His sudden and mysterious absence was labeled as a “dodge” according to a press release by The objectors to O’Connor’s candidacy, Leah Fried and Daniel Sheehan, called Neal’s absence a “dodge” and said his silence spoke volumes.

“Langdon Neal dodged a bullet. I was prepared to talk about the TIF-077 public funds that went to Neal & Leroy, a total of $230,000, but also the local chambers of commerce that were used as PR tools for the incumbent. Those chambers both donate to Mr. O’Connor’s political campaign and regularly promote his agenda. It would have been awkward, but the Chairman’s absence speaks volumes.”

Because Neal along with his law firm, Neal and Leroy benefits from tens of millions of dollars’ worth of contracts with the City of Chicago, his recusal in this case could have opened the door to his recusal in many other cases in front of the CBOE and thus render him nearly powerless in a position which pays him $91,233 annually for part time work.

A message at Neal’s law office was not returned, and Neal also didn’t respond to a message at his law office when RebelPundit first attempted to get a comment about the original expose in August. He’s never spoken publicly about his role in securing this controversial TIF.

The suit itself which centered on past due bills owed to the City of Chicago by a condominium in which O’Connor owns one unit was also dismissed when O’Connor’s lawyer, Jim Nally argued successfully that debts against the property should not be considered debts against the individual.

While Nally never admitted the past due bills were legitimate repeatedly referring to them as “alleged”, he cited several prior cases in which ballot objections were dismissed against an individual tied to a company, which owed money to the City of Chicago, arguing a condominium where a candidate lives amounts to the same thing.

Cowan and the other CBOE board member, Marisol Hernandez, accepted Nally’s argument and threw out the case.

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