Local

Attorney Hopes To Undo Parking Meter Deal

Chicago Parking Meter (CBS)

Chicago Parking Meter (CBS)

Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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(CBS) —  A little-discussed, under-the-radar lawsuit is making its way through the courts and could, if successful, declare the Chicago parking meter deal to be illegal.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.

It’s no secret that the city’s parking meter lease deal is wildly unpopular.  Chicago attorney Clint Krislov argues the city broke the law by delegating its police powers to a private company.

“The way that it plays out, dollar-wise, is worse. If you think the structure’s bad, wait till you see what it costs you,” he says.

Krislov filed a lawsuit alleging illegality. He’s lost one round in Cook County Circuit Court and is now planning an appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court.

Mike Brockaway, the so-called Parking Meter “Geek” who runs the website Expired Meter, has studied the suit.

“It sounds like it has some legs to it,” he says.

Of course, Mayor Emanuel has made no bones about his distaste for the deal crafted by the Daley Administration.

Just last week, he told reporters, “This is a bad deal and its worse than we knew.”

So why hasn’t the mayor joined in and supported the lawsuit?  The city’s lawyer, Corporation Counsel Steve Patton, says Chicago is “contractually obliged to defend it. If there was a way to declare the agreement void, we would take that route. There isn’t.”

Krislov is disappointed.

“They’re important things that need to be done, but finding company to do them with is rare. And if we win in the end and will have changed the way the city operates, that’s good,” he says.

Krislov suspects the real reason the city won’t challenge the deal in court is a fear of damaging chances for the Emanuel Administration’s own privatization deal for Midway Airport.