CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel Monday donated nearly $11,000 in campaign contributions from disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein to a group that counsels Chicago girls exposed to violence, his campaign spokesman said.
"The campaign cut a check first thing this morning," said campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco, Emanuel's campaign spokesman said in an email to DNAinfo Chicago.
Four days ago, the New York Times published a story detailing sexual harassment allegations from employees and actresses against Weinstein, who founded film studios Miramax and the Weinstein Co. The paper reported he settled eight lawsuits. He was fired Sunday.
Emanuel's campaign gave $10,900 to Working on Womanhood, which is part of Youth Guidance, a nonprofit group that also includes Becoming A Man, that uses cognitive behavioral therapy and mentoring to help teens and young adults who live in some of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods.
Emanuel has touted mentoring as a solution to the soaring violence on Chicago's South and West sides.
The city's 2016 spending plan called for $36 million to be spent during the next three years on mentoring for 7,200 junior high school and high school boys enrolled in city schools. Much of the money is earmarked for Becoming A Man, which has been lauded by President Barack Obama.
Weinstein — a major donor to prominent Democrats including former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — gave Emanuel, who was Obama's first chief of staff, $5,300 in September 2013, when Weinstein hosted a dinner for the mayor, who was halfway through his first term.
Weinstein gave Emanuel another $5,600 in June.
Emanuel, although he has not announced a final decision, is widely expected to run for third term as mayor in 2019.
Emanuel has made a concerted effort to attract television and film productions to Chicago, with the number of projects jumping 25 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to city officials.