CHICAGO (CBS) — Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico responded to CBS 2’s original questions about his flooring business’s involvement with a development project he’s supported as mayor with two different explanations on two different days. CBS 2 reported that.
But then after the report, Chirico went online with a third explanation. A post and several comments from Chirico on his Facebook page brought CBS 2’s Tara Molina back to this story because they led to a few questions for CBS 2 from people in Naperville.
Watch the full interview here:
“We have not bid that job, nor do we intend to bid that job,” Chirico said during his first sit down with CBS 2 after bringing information independently confirmed by CBS 2 directly to him.
The information directly tied his family flooring business, Great Western Flooring, to a development project he’s supported and voted on for years — Central Park Place.
But hours after that interview the phone rang with a different explanation. Because he’s no longer involved in Great Western’s day-to-day, with his daughters at the helm, Chirico said he didn’t realize at the time of the interview that day that his business is involved in the project. So CBS 2 went back to Naperville to re-interview the mayor the next day.
“I had no knowledge when I was working with the city council on this project that we would ever be involved with it,” Chirico said.
Because he’s not actively involved in the company he founded and still owns, the mayor said he would be more comfortable answering questions if his daughter, who is acting president, was present for the interview.
So, she was in the room.
“We have sent them a proposal with pricing, and now we are waiting on them to make up their mind on what direction they’re gonna go,” he said.
CBS 2 did not hear from the mayor’s office again. But residents of Naperville did bring concerns about some different information posted online.
For example, one person wrote, “Your story on Naperville Mayor Chirico talked about him bidding on a project for the Central Park Condos. Chirico’s response on his Facebook page was that it was for one condo, not the developer. I need to know if your information confirms his story or not. What can you tell me?”
“Our company was contacted by a design company that was hired by the developers of Central Park, and they asked us if we would give a quote on a product that was proprietary to our company. Evidently, the company that they were using or had been working with, and possibly still are working with, we don’t really know that, was not able to source that material. We are one of a few providers of it, so we did give them a quote, and after that quote, and pricing, they asked us if we would be interested in bidding the job. So our company did bid the job. We have given them a bid. We have given them samples that will be included in the bid. We’ve been working back and forth on different allowances and things like that. We have not received any word on contract. We have not sent them a contract nor have they sent us a contract. We have not met with any of the buyers to make selections, which would be the first step of us being involved,” Chirico said.
Tuesday night Naperville’s city council members are set to review the Central Park Place development project, along with the owner’s acceptance agreement.
Mayor Chirico has said, on the record, that now he will recuse himself from votes involving the project.