CHICAGO (CN) – A real estate analyst claims that Mutual Bank fired him because he reported that someone had taken his appraisal of the lot where Antoin and Rita Rezko built a home – and of the famous 10-foot strip of property that the Rezkos eventually sold to their next-door neighbors Barack and Michelle Obama – and replaced it with another document in the bank file, after Rezko’s business deals became national news.
Kenneth Conner says that another appraiser overvalued Rezko’s vacant lot by about $134,000 in 2005. Rezko bought the land on Greenwood Avenue in June that year for $625,000, with a $500,000 loan from Mutual Bank, Conner says.
Conner says the bank asked him to appraise the lot, and the 10-foot strip of it that the Rezkos were selling to the Obamas, about 6 months later. Conner says he appraised the entire lot at about $491,000.
After Rezko was prosecuted for his business deals, and made national news, Conner says, someone replaced his document in the Rezko file and replaced it with a third document.
Conner says that he complained to his bosses that this monkey business could get the bank in trouble. Shortly after that, he says, he was fired for blowing the whistle.
Conner demands $4.2 million for wrongful firing, lost wages, retaliation and pain and suffering. He is represented in Cook County Court by Glenn Gaffney.