Inside these posts: Rocky Wirtz

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Wirtz Beverage gets $9.7M in TIF funds for Cicero warehouse, office

Cicero town President Larry Dominick (center) talks with a staff member (left) as Cicero project manager Craig Pesek adjusts a drawing at a Cicero town meeting in January. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

By Joseph Ruzich | A beverage company planning to build a 600,000-square-foot distribution center on the former Sportsman’s Park racetrack site in Cicero will receive $9.7 million in tax increment financing funds, according to an ordinance approved by Cicero trustees at Tuesday’s town board meeting.

Cicero officials said Wirtz Beverage Illinois, one of the state’s largest beverage-alcohol distributors and part of the family-run corporation that owns the Chicago Blackhawks, will receive the funds from the town through rebating a portion of the company’s taxes. Get the full story »

Appellate court guts Ill. public works program

An appellate court tossed out Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature $31 billion construction program, widespread plans for video poker and higher taxes on candy and booze, declaring Wednesday in a ruling that they were unconstitutional.

The justices ruled the problem with the law is that it violated the state’s basic constitutional tenet that legislation must address a single subject only. They wrote that wide-ranging issues in one of four bills passed in 2009 failed to have a “natural and logical connection.”

The decision knocked out all four laws that represented the backbone of the public works program Quinn put together with bipartisan support two years ago. It was the culmination of an effort with legislative leaders who had found working with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich futile. Get the full story »

Wirtz plans to build office and warehouse in Cicero

A view of Sportsman's Park in Cicero as it is demolished, Jan. 5, 2009. Wirtz Beverage Illinois has its eye on the now-vacant land there. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

Wirtz Beverage Illinois announced Thursday that it plans to build a $70-million, 600,000-square-foot distribution center in Cicero, which would include 100,000 feet of office and conference center space. The new center, if approved, would incorporate Wirtz’s other offices and warehouses in Schaumburg, Wood Dale, Bensenville and Elk Grove Village.

Most of Wirtz’s 1,000 employees would move to the new center as well, the company said in a statement. Get the full story »

‘Robin Hood’ banker gets 63 months for fraud

First Security Trust & Savings Bank loan officer Jeffrey Gonsiewski, pleaded guilty in August to one count of federal bank fraud, was sentenced to 63 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo on Tuesday.

The U.S. Government last summer had accused the 56-year-old high school graduate of changing loan terms or arranging loans to be made in a scheme that ultimately caused the Elmwood Park-based lender, part of the Wirtz family empire, to lose more than $5.5 million. Get the full story »