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The Story That Keeps on Giving
March 27, 2008 - Joe Gorman
News junkies should be thrilled that the saga of the purchase of the former South Side Hospital is not going away.
At least two elected officials, as well as Anthony and JJ Cafaro, received subpoenas from a grand jury to turn over documents about their role in the county's purchase of the building in federal bankruptcy court.
As I wrote a couple of months ago, this story was one of the few I have ever covered that had a life of its own and seemed to grow. It was also different in the fact that there was no hiding the animosity between the Cafaros and those in county government who favored moving county agencies from the Cafaro owned McGuffey Plaza to Oak Hill.
Several county officials opposed the move, which made for good, spirited copy because far too often, they rubber stamp each others' actions. There were dueling press conferences, informecials and a trial before a visiting judge who digested almost four continual days of testimony and issued a ruling on the bench without waiting to study the documents in a move that would have wowed even Solomon.
Since the trial, the venom has gone out of the story, but today the news of the subpoenas should bring it back, along with memories of Paul Gains' famous chart showing hundreds of calls between the Cafaros and officials opposed to the purchase.
Even if nothing untoward happened, the chart did not make them look good and I'm sure the last thing they wanted was to have this dredged up again. If this is a story that has grown up, its like it went to college, got married and moved out of sight but is now back home for a visit with its parents.
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