We've noted before how ironic it is that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias touted his banking experience at his family's Broadway Bank as a primary credential (heck, his ONLY credential) while running for State Treasurer. Then, as soon as the details on Broadway's loans to shady characters became clear, he began running from his banking past at warp speed.
We weren't the only ones to notice. The Tribune noted:
"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."
Now, details of new loans to the likes of Tony Rezko are surfacing, and Giannoulias continues to retreat from his banking ties. Today, in response to the Sun-Times story about the Rezko loan that we told you about earlier, Giannoulias' campaign team said:
"Alexi left daily operations of the bank in September of 2005, months before this loan was made," says Kathleen Strand of his campaign staff. "He had no knowledge of it, and his name is not on any documents related to the loan.
The Kirk Campaign responds:
Giannoulias Claimed to be Senior Loan Officer in Late December 2005
Misleading Giannoulias Claim: In response to the Chicago Sun-Times uncovering a Broadway Bank loan made to Tony Rezko and Nadhmi Auchi while Alexi Giannoulias was Vice President and Senior Loan Officer, the Giannoulias campaign said: “Alexi left daily operation of the bank in September of 2005.”
FACT: As late as December 20, 2005, Alexi Giannoulias told reporters that he was still vice president and senior loan officer at Broadway Bank. “Giannoulias noted that he currently serves as vice president and senior loan officer at the four-branch Broadway Bank in Chicago.” (State Journal-Register, “Senator announces run for treasurer,” 12/20/05)
FACT: The newly disclosed loan to Auchi and Rezko was completed in February 2006, which suggests negotiations began in late 2005 while Giannoulias, by his own account, was Senior Loan Officer.
FACT: The Chicago Tribune reported that Alexi Giannoulias received a $41,000 salary from Broadway Bank in 2006.
FACT: Alexi Giannoulias cannot explain why Broadway Bank would loan money to a convicted felon (Auchi) and an individual known to be under federal investigation for corruption (Rezko), especially when the latter was already delinquent on a previous loan.
FACT: Alexi Giannoulias cannot explain why he misled the Chicago Tribune when he suggested his family and Broadway Bank could not have known about Tony Rezko’s alleged criminal activities when loans to him were made.
A little Internet research reveals that Alexi was still making the claim to be front and center of the bank's loan operations as recently as a March 2006 interview with the LGBT Windy City Times:
Windy City Times: What's your biggest advantage and your biggest disadvantage?
Alexi Giannoulias: That's easy. My biggest advantage is that this is a fiscal office and I'm a banker and a financial manager. The state treasurer is responsible for investing $12 billion—and you want someone who's [ invested ] before. My opponent may be a nice guy, but he's more qualified to be an attorney general.
My parents founded Broadway Bank; over the past four years, we've more than doubled in asset size. I'm senior loan officer and vice president, so I oversee a $600 million loan department. I'm also chief investment officer and invest about $150 million.
What a short memory you have, Alexi.