Real estate exec Prather fined in email lobbying inquiry
Greg Prather, a senior-level executive with the global real estate firm JLL of Chicago, has been fined $2,500 by the Chicago Board of Ethics for failing to register as a lobbyist before sending a business-related email to a Chicago alderman.
The board determined that Prather, who argued that he was neither a politician nor a lobbyist, broke the ordinance requiring registration within five days of engaging in lobbying activity.
Prather’s emailed 25th Ward Ald. Daniel Solis in October 2016 seeking assistance on rehabilitation work being done at the old Canal Street structure and related issues with Amtrak..
“Alderman Solis, I understand you met with [redacted] late last week and briefly spoke about our ongoing issues with Amtrak,” Prather wrote. “There is quite a bit of work we need to do beneath our building at track level. Amtrak has some very restrictive and onerous language in the licensing agreement they impose on neighbors when they are required to perform work at track level. We are seeking your assistance with Amtrak to be more flexible in their scheduling protocol and to waive the exorbitant fees they impose."
In the email, Prather also appeared to ask that a special arrangement with Amtrak be negotiated.
"I am asking for assistance in establishing a protocol whereby I believe their added costs and lack of flexibility in the work is a major reason why this maintenance and repair work is continually deferred up and down the track near the train station," he wrote. "Your assistance with this issue is greatly appreciated.”
Solis forwarded the email from Prather to Chicago Mayor Emanuel’s attention.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Prather was one of six people fined by the board for illegally lobbying the mayor, including former 43rd Ward Ald. William Singer, who was fined $25,000 for making contact with Emanuel in 2016 on behalf of United Airlines regarding gate expansions at O’Hare International Airport.