A judge today ordered Chicago Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino to testify in a pre-trial deposition in connection with a lawsuit United and American airlines filed against the city over financing the expansion of O’Hare International Airport.
Cook County Circuit Judge Richard Billik denied a motion by the city’s attorneys saying that Andolino is too busy to testify and that other city aviation officials could fill in for her. A date for Andolino to give her deposition was not immediately set.
The airlines are seeking to stop Chicago from selling about $1 billion in bonds, without airline approval, to start building the final phase of new O’Hare runways, at a projected cost of $3.4 billion. The airlines contend the city's borrowing plan to finance construction will cost the carriers $7.7 billion in debt service.
The carriers pointed out that Andolino has been Chicago’s lead negotiator with the airlines on the O’Hare project and that the effort to “insulate (her) from deposition’’ is part of a “conscious effort by the city to thwart the airlines’ prosecution of this case.’’
Billik rejected city attorneys’ argument that it would be “burdensome" and "unreasonable'' for Andolino to set aside time for a deposition.
The case is scheduled for trial Feb. 22.Copyright © 2015, CT Now