Updated at 6:15 p.m. 12/16/10
CHICAGO (CBS) — The public may finally be learning the reason why the man who is renting Rahm Emanuel’s home was once a candidate for mayor.
Rob Halpin, the man who filed as a candidate before dropping out, is now accused of demanding $100,000 from Emanuel to leave the Emanuel family’s North Side home so that Rahm could run from that address.
At the time, Emanuel called the demand ridiculous, CBS 2’s Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports. What Emanuel didn’t know was that Halpin was already meeting with the attorney who would lead the fight to knock him off the ballot.
The former White House chief of staff also didn’t know that Halpin’s wife would question the existence of boxes Emanuel said he’d left under lock and key in a secured area, proving he intended to return.
The boxes, photographed Thursday by a board of elections employee, were stored in a locked crawl space. Halpin’s wife said Wednesday she has not come across locked possessions.
But Halpin let Emanuel’s attorneys into the house this afternoon. They say they found the storage area. The photos they submitted show boxes, bins and plastic containers, some of them stacked on shelves.
They purportedly contain family photos, children’s baby clothing, books and his wife’s wedding dress.
All of it was right beneath the feet of the renters who at first, Emanuel friend Paul Levy said, seemed willing to let Emanuel have his house back — for a price.
“He suggested to me that Mr. Halpin was looking for $100,000 to leave the house early,” Levy said.
The negotiations, through their attorneys, continued with Emanuel countering with $5,000 a month for every month Halpin left before the lease extension was up. Levy said Halpin indicated he didn’t want to move.
A short time later, Halpin started talking about running for Mayor, and in November showed up with his petitions. His candidacy lasted only two weeks, however, before questionable petitions and no money forced him to withdraw.
Objectors say Emanuel forfeited his standing to run for mayor by going to Washington, D.C., to serve as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff. State law requires any candidate for mayor to live in the municipality for a year before the election in which he is running, but there are exceptions made for national service.
The official presiding over the hearing is expected to issue his report and recommendations on the residency challenges next week.
CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall contributed to this report.