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Mayor Orders Audit of Parking Meter Deal

By  Lizzie Schiffman Tufano and Ted Cox | October 15, 2012 1:44pm | Updated on October 15, 2012 1:59pm

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling for stricter scrutiny of city contracts.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling for stricter scrutiny of city contracts.
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CHICAGO Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has repeatedly challenged the terms of the parking meter deal signed by his predecessor, on Monday called for a team of independent auditors to conduct their own evaluation of the program.

"This is a bad deal," Emanuel said at a press conference. "I don't want a bad deal to get worse."

The city's finance and legal teams have been tasked with arranging independent audits of long-term contracts, starting with the parking agreement with Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, approved in late 2008 under Mayor Richard Daley.

The mayor is also ordering "periodic" assessments of concession agreements for the lakefront parking garages and the Skyway, his office said.

On Monday, Emanuel said the audit was not an attempt to quash the long-term parking meter contract, but to keep the firm on the straight and narrow.

The parking meter audit will start in November, and include financial and operational evaluations as well as interviews with Chicago Parking Meters executives, investors and key contractors, according to a release from the mayor's office.

As I have said before, the city does not cut a check simply because we receive a bill," Emanuel said in a statement.