Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave embattled Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott a vote of confidence Tuesday in the wake of controversy surrounding bond deals she’s been involved with and her recommendation that the mayor hire now-indicted ex-comptroller Amer Ahmad.
"Lois Scott is a very good public servant and is doing a great job. And she has had a tremendous career in the private sector and gave that up to join the city, to serve the public," Emanuel said when asked whether Scott should recuse herself from city bond deals given her recent history working on them in the private sector. "And she continues to do that with my full confidence."
The Tribune reported last week that Scott selected for city bond business a firm that employed the former Ohio state treasurer whose office previously had given Scott’s private firm work in that state.
Rice Financial Products, the firm former Ohio treasurer Kevin Boyce worked for after losing his November 2010 election, collected $82,227 in fees from Chicago wastewater project bonds in 2012 after Scott selected the firm for work here. Rice Financial also received $144,568 in fees tied to a water bond issued by the city in 2012.
That came after Scott Balice Strategies, the firm Scott co-founded, got bond work in Ohio while Boyce was Ohio treasurer and now-indicted former Chicago Comptroller Amer Ahmad was deputy treasurer there and signed the contracts.
Both Scott and Boyce recommended Emanuel hire Ahmad, who is charged in federal court with profiting from a kickback scheme in Ohio but has not been accused of wrongdoing in Chicago. Ahmad, who resigned abruptly July 23, has pleaded not guilty. A team of forensic accountants is looking at Ahmad’s tenure at Emanuel’s City Hall.