The more we learn about Alexi Giannoulias' activities and decisions when he was a senior loan officer at his family's Broadway Bank, the greater concern there seems to be that some really questionable decisions were being made by Alexi.
Let's recall that when Alexi campaigned for his current position as State Treasurer, he leaned heavily, if not exclusively, on his experience as a loan officer for why he should be put in charge of the state's finances. But now that many of his decisions as a loan officer to, shall we say, 'colorful' characters, are coming to light, Alexi has been working overtime to distance himself from the taint of these decisions.
I think the Chicago Tribune said it best a few weeks ago:
"When the family bank was flying high and Giannoulias had his eye on the treasurer's office, he was the senior loan officer, but when the tough decisions were made or the questionable characters came to call, it was almost always Alexi's day to empty the wastebaskets."
The Tribune has relentlessly been pursuing the behind-the-scenes doings at Broadway Bank during Alexi's tenture as a loan officer and VP, and just keeps finding more and more dirt. Today's scandal is as follows:
The family bank of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias loaned a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period when Giannoulias was a senior loan officer, according to a Tribune examination that provides new details about the bank's relationship with the convicted felons.
Broadway Bank had already lent millions to Michael Giorango when he and a new business partner, Demitri Stavropoulos, came to the bank in mid-2004. Although both men were preparing to serve federal prison terms, the bank embarked on a series of loans to them.
Was Alexi emptying wastebaskets that day too? Seems that's their story, and he and his family (including his brother, Demetris Giannoulias, who now runs the bank) are sticking to it:
Alexi Giannoulias, who started his professional career at the bank in 2002, said in his statement that he was "one of" the senior loan officers at the bank and was not a member of the loan committee that approved the financing for Giorango.
Alexi Giannoulias' role was limited to "getting the appraisals ordered, getting the loan documents prepared, coordinating with attorneys, getting commitment letters prepared. All that kind of stuff," Demetris Giannoulias said.
Sure. I guess that once the Tribune finishes digging, what's left of Alexi's significant banking experience (if you can call it that) will be such that the citizens of Illinois will be astounded that they elected such an inexperienced and unqualified buffoon to the office of State Treasurer.
But, they've been fooled often before. Let's hope they are not fooled again.