United Working Families Files Complaint Over Father-Daughter Mell Contributions

Lobbyist limits exceeded in shady rent deal

CHICAGO (February 4, 2015) -- United Working Families (UWF) late Tuesday filed a complaint with Chicago's Legislative Inspector General over in-kind contributions given by former 33rd Ward Ald. Richard Mell to his daughter Deb, whom he engineered to have appointed as his successor.

In the period since she was appointed alderman, the father Mell has gifted the Kedzie Avenue office, where both share space, as an in-kind contribution to his daughter.

Richard Mell is registered as a lobbyist with the City of Chicago and is prohibited from making contributions of more than $1,500 annually.

The monthly in-kind contributions of $300 apiece exceed the $1,500 limit.

"We are filing this complaint because we believe that while Deb Mell may benefit from nepotism and the advantages that come with being her father's daughter, being able to break the law should not be one of them," Kristen Crowell, UWF's executive director, said Monday.