State senator wants Rezko-linked office building lease canceled

 
 
Published: 5/13/2008 9:31 AM

A senator is calling on the state to cancel its office lease with a firm linked to political fundraiser Antoin Rezko and seek the return of $3.4 million in rent paid since 2004.

Democratic state Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg of Evanston says testimony at Rezko's federal corruption trial indicates the corporation that has the lease did not comply with state law and disclose its true owners.

The building on Chicago's South Side is used by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Ali Ata, a former state agency director and one-time business associate of Rezko, testified this month that he gave Rezko a hidden interest in the lease.

Ata said he made his secretary a partner in the corporation owning the building as a front to hide Rezko's ownership after the lease was almost canceled. Neither Rezko nor the secretary's ownership was ever disclosed to the state as required.