New Reporting Exposes Ken Griffin’s Involvement in Richard Irvin’s Pay-to-Play Politics
New reporting from Bloomberg exposes Richard Irvin for yet another pay-to-play scandal — and this time, Irvin’s biggest fan and megadonor Ken Griffin is at the center of the corruption.
In a February interview, Griffin said Irvin “understands the joint prosperity that comes with a successful business community,” but new reporting shows that “joint prosperity” isn’t for all the people of Illinois — just Irvin and Griffin themselves.
The city of Aurora is a key financial trading point, making Mayor Irvin a “gatekeeper for high-speed traders” like Griffin’s company Citadel.
Irvin and Griffin both have close ties to one stakeholder company called Scientel Solutions, which donated over a hundred thousand dollars to Irvin’s campaign and committees connected to him and, in return, received millions in city contracts and permission to build a high frequency trading tower that officials warned would interfere with fair access.
“From what I understood, [Irvin] and his team were reaching out directly to the aldermen to sway their opinion,” said one alderman. “I didn’t like anything about it.”
After they won the vote, the CEO of Scientel sent out pictures celebrating with Irvin at a Mexican restaurant near City Hall. Scientel only connected their antenna to one firm inside the data center: Griffin’s.
“Richard Irvin and Ken Griffin may claim they’re for honest government, but in reality, both only do what fills their own pockets and campaign coffers,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “Now, Griffin is leaning in even more by backing Irvin in hopes that Irvin will sway things to his company’s benefit. Irvin and Griffin’s corruption is getting harder to hide.”
Read full coverage below.
Crain’s Chicago: Three key reasons Ken Griffin picked Irvin for governor: Location, location, location