By Todd Feurer
CHICAGO (CBS) — Citing an unspecificed “medical hardship,” lawyers for former Mayor Richard M. Daley have asked a Cook County judge to excuse him from testifying at a trial where the Emanuel administration is seeking to break a long-term lease for the Park Grill restaurant at Millennium Park, signed under Daley.
The motion filed by Daley’s attorneys also argues his testimony “would serve no legitimate purpose,” as in testimony during pretrial depositions, the former mayor already said he has no relevant testimony to offer about Park Grill’s 30-year concession deal to operate the restaurant.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office has argued the Park Grill deal cheats taxpayers out of millions of dollars in revenue, and was illegal because the Park District did not seek City Council permission to allow the restaurant to operate on city-owned land.
The restaurant’s investors include several businessmen with political ties to Daley.
During depositions in the case, Daley repeatedly said he did not remember how the Park Grill operators were selected to run the establishment. He also testified he didn’t know if there was anything improper about how Park Grill got the contract.
“His deposition testimony established he had little to no substantive recollection concerning the issues and events about which he was questioned,” Daley’s attorney, Terrence Burns, wrote in the motion.
Burns also argued compelling Daley to testify “would constitute a medical hardship for him at this time.”
Daley was hospitalized earlier this year, after becoming disoriented during a business trip at the end of January. Published reports said he suffered a stroke, but his family has not discussed the nature of his illness or treatment, or his current health.
The motion from his attorney provides no details either, but offers to submit an affidavit under seal, “in light of the significant privacy interests at issue and publicity concerns relating to Mr. Daley’s status as a public figure.”