''Da Mayor'' making his people suffer for him!!!!
Date: Saturday, June 17, 2006 @ 14:36:29 CDT

From Clout On Wheels: Top City Hall lawyer once again in eye of the storm

She sits at Mayor Daley's elbow on the rostrum at City Council meetings and stares up at him as he speaks. When scandal hits, she's the one who's trotted out to control the political damage.

For seven years, Corporation Counsel Mara Georges has been on the City Hall hot seat on issues ranging from the E2 nightclub disaster, the Lincoln Park porch collapse and the midnight destruction of Meigs Field to the hiring of teenage building inspectors and Daley's ongoing effort to overturn the Shakman decree against political hiring.

Now Georges, 42, is sitting on the hottest seat of all. She was called to federal court to testify about conversations with Daley's indicted patronage chief, Robert Sorich, in 2005 after the FBI raided the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

On Wednesday, aldermen were buzzing about Georges' claim she didn't know City Hall's worst-kept secret: that the IGA was involved in hiring -- even for jobs supposed to be protected by the Shakman ban.

The see-no-evil claim was not new for Georges.

On New Year's Eve 1999, she concluded that men ran a maintenance company owned by the mob-connected Duff family and stripped Windy City Maintenance of its status as a woman-owned firm. But Georges insisted there was no evidence of fraud because ownership of the company evolved when Patricia Green gradually withdrew from the company. James Duff ended up pleading guilty to engineering a $100 million fraud.

Georges was at the center of controversy again last year when the list of cooperating witnesses in the hiring scandal ended up in her hands. It was provided by an attorney representing Sorich -- angering prosecutors who didn't want the witnesses identified.

Who is this lawyer in the eye of the storm? It depends on whom you ask.

"She's a wonderful person and a very intelligent lawyer," said former Corporation Counsel Brian Crowe, Georges' predecessor and political patron, whose law firm has received millions of dollars in legal fees under Georges' watch.

'She's one tough cookie'

But a City Hall insider said, "For someone who occupies a job as important as hers, she seems to be blissfully ignorant about the basics. Everybody knows IGA was heavily involved in every aspect of hiring."

Georges is a graduate of Downers Grove South High, the University of Notre Dame and Loyola Law School. She and husband Michael Mutz, vice chancellor for development at Chicago City Colleges, have two children, ages 5 and 2.

A fitness fanatic who nearly died in a 1999 biking accident, she is the daughter of former Circuit Court Judge Peter Georges, a friend of former Illinois Senate President Phillip J. Rock.

Peter Georges died of a heart attack at the age of 47, despite CPR administered in the middle of the night by his 19-year-old daughter, home from college for the summer. His death prompted her to drop out of pre-med and switch to law to follow in her father's footsteps.

The cycling accident happened when a dog ran in front of a tandem bike ridden by Georges and her then-fiance during a 100-mile ride. She suffered a concussion, fractured skull and pelvis, a broken nose, a dislocated shoulder and a pair of ugly shiners. After four days in the hospital, she was back at work the following Monday and was lifting weights within a week.

"She's a charming young woman," said another City Hall insider. "But behind that charm, she's one tough cookie."

This charming, tough and intelligent lady is obviously carrying a lot of weight on her shoulders. I just don't see as how she should be obligated to carry of that by herself. I think she should do herself the best favor in the world and just hand over Mayor Daley to be crucified. These scandals and lies are his creations, let him deal with them.

This article comes from ICarry.org

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