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WGN Investigates: O’Hare Contract Controversy

An ex-con’s mistress is missing and a Chicago cop admits he tried to pay her off to go away. It all made salacious headlines 30 years ago, but today that Chicago cop is a multimillionaire businessman who just won a $99 million janitorial contract to clean up at O’Hare International Airport.

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The Service Employees International Union, SEIU, is again calling on a new janitors contract at the airports to be voided.
The action comes in response to an article in today’s Chicago Sun Times.
The paper reported the head of United Maintenance Company, which won the contract, sold off a significant portion of the company during the bidding process.
The SEIU says this development is grounds for re-opening the bidding process.
A spokesman for the city’s Office of Procurement Services says United`s electronic disclosure form was updated prior to the company starting work on the project and the city is not required to take any action as a result of a company not filing an updated report.

Mayor Emanuel’s choice for a $99 million contract to do cleanup at O’Hare comes under more fire. Pointing to allegations first reported by WGN, a group of Chicago aldermen has asked the city to re-bid the contract.

United Maintenance president Richard Simon has worked hard to polish his image. But his past came front and center tonight in another WGN investigation.

The report cites alleged mob connections of the company’s founder, employees with criminal records, and the mysterious disappearance of the mistress of Simon’s one-time mentor and boss.

Mayor Emanuel was forced to defend his pick to give a $99 million dollar contract to United Maintenance for cleaning up O’Hare. It’s a story first broken by WGN-TV.

Now we uncover more about the checkered past of men the CEO of this company has surrounded himself with.

As O’Hare maintenance workers marched to Mayor Emanuel‘s Chicago house Thursday, a WGN investigation uncovers questionable business ties to the firm the mayor just awarded to clean the airport.

ohareThe picketing workers are worried United Maintenance will hire cheaper non-union workers and oust them.

But why this firm got the contract is raising eyebrows after we reveal its past business is a reputed mobster.