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Businessweek Archives

The Landlord Knocks

Up Front


Chicago is still zapping moneyman Barry Sullivan, even though he decamped for New York a year ago. The latest: His landlord back in the Toddlin' Town is suing the former First Chicago chairman for $13,226 in back rent on Sullivan's Gold Coast digs. That's for three months in 1992 when the place stood vacant before the lease expired. Sullivan, now New York City's deputy mayor for finance and economic development, says the Sudler Nagy real estate outfit has waited till now to pressure him through embarrassment while his boss, Mayor David Dinkins faces a tight election.

Sullivan left First Chicago under a cloud in mid-1992 after his go-go strategy turned into a morning after of sour loans. Plus, although Sullivan wasn't involved, his assistant was convicted of accepting $1 million in kickbacks. And he took the heat when some of the bank's top officers allegedly ran a high-stakes basketball pool. Sullivan says he didn't know about the kickback scheme and won't comment on the betting pool.

Sullivan isn't a hardship case. He has a $780,000-per-year consulting contract with First Chicago, and he donates his $112,000 salary to charity. His lawyer says he's not paying because the landlord sabotaged his plan to sublet the place.EDITED BY LARRY LIGHT AND JULIE TILSNER David Greising

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