(Chicago Tribune) A federal lawsuit filed by a Chicago nonprofit in an attempt to block the Obama Presidential Center from being built in Jackson Park accuses organizers of pulling an “institutional bait and switch” by shifting the center’s purpose away from being a true presidential library.
Protect Our Parks Inc. also claims in its lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, that the Chicago Park District and the City of Chicago don’t have the authority to transfer public parkland to nongovernmental entity such as the Obama Foundation.
It has long been expected that the Park District would sell the land to the city for a nominal amount and the city would enter into a long-term lease with the Obama Foundation. The lawsuit, which also names three Chicago-area residents as plaintiffs, argues that such a maneuver would violate state law and represents “a short con shell game, a corrupt scheme to deceive and seemingly legitimize an illegal land grab.”
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