The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Wall Street investors are very upset by the financial and ethical issues at the UNO charter chain in Chicago.
UNO is a politically connected charter chain. Its founder, Juan Rangel, was co-chair of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s campaign.
UNO obtained $98 million from the state legislature to build new charters. It turns out that $8.5 million of that money went to companies owned by two brothers of UNO’s number 2 official, Miguel d’Escoto. When the scandal broke, he stepped down from his $200,000 job, then Governor Pat Quinn halted payment on the balance still owed to UNO.
In a conference call with Wall Street investors who had loaned UNO $37.5 million through state bonds, Rangel sought to reassure them. Rangel told the investors:
“We’re talking about a construction grant that has no guidelines…In our minds, there was no conflict.”
Of course, the governor did see a conflict of interest, which is why he suspended state funding.
Investors were also concerned about the recent decision by UNO teachers to unionize, because they are paid $20,000 less than teachers in the public schools.