Arena denies asking for special parking during Cubs-White Sox game
Even alderman aren't allowed to park at the Chicago Police Department’s Town Hall District lot, which happens to be two blocks from Wrigley Field.
But that’s allegedly what happened on May 11, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, when 45th Ward Alderman John Arena insisted he be allowed to park in the lot so he and his family could view the game between the Chicago Cubs and White Sox.
“Parking around Wrigley Field is notoriously hard to find on Cubs game days,” the Sun-Times noted. “Fans lucky enough to find space in the precious few surface lots pay a premium for it.”
The Sun-Times reported that Arena first denied the claim and later back-pedaled, saying it didn’t happen the way officers recounted the event.
“On May 11, I did not talk to anybody at the desk,” Arena, an alderman since 2011, told the Sun-Times. “There was no controversy. I was allowed to park there. If they have a problem with anybody parking there, they should tell them at the time and say, 'Don’t park here.’ … If they have a problem, they should take it to whatever authority exists – whether within the 19th District or within the IG to decide whether something happened that shouldn’t have happened."
The Chicago Police Department issued an internal memo stating the lot was exclusively for officers, whether on or off duty, the Sun-Times reported.
The controversy is the latest chapter in a saga of intrigue between Arena and the CPD. The Sun-Times reports that Arena filed an ethics complaint earlier this year against police officers, claiming they made racist statements on social media as they protested an affordable housing development he backs at Jefferson Park.
“If Chicago police officers file a complaint against Arena, you might call it: Turnabout is fair play,” the Sun-Times wrote.