Edited by Alex Constantine
CBS 2, Chicago
Nov 17, 2009
November 17, 2009
BY MICHAEL SNEED Sun-Times Columnist
The big question? Why didn't Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott leave a suicide note?
The big irony:
The big probe: Although the Cook County medical examiner's office has ruled Scott's death a suicide, the police will investigate the possibility of foul play.
The big clout: Scott, who has been described as a Mayor Daley "go to" guy, was seated at Daley's table during the 1983 mayoral debate, when Daley and Harold Washington were running against Mayor Jane Byrne in the Dem primary," said a Byrne source.
Media outlets around the city are reporting that a body pulled from the Chicago River near Merchandise Mart early this morning is that of CPS Board of Education President Michael Scott. As of 9:00 a.m. this morning, police have yet to confirm the news but outlets such as the Tribune, Sun-Times, and ABC 7 (where Scott's wife, Diana Palomar, was vice president of community affairs) have reported the body as being Scott's. The body was discovered around 3:15 a.m. and Scott's car was found parked in a lot near the river; the body was pulled from the river around 4:30 a.m. Scott had last been seen yesterday evening around 6 p.m. after visiting his sister in a South Loop care facility, something family members said he did every Sunday. Scott's family later reported him missing. Neither police or the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office have confirmed the body was Scotts, though ABC 7 reports the CCME confirmed the body is an unidentified man, black, in his 50s.
Scott was first appointed to the Board of Education by then-mayor Jane Byrne in 1980. He was appointed again by Mayor Daley, this time as President, in 2001 until 2006. He was re-appointed to the position this past February. Under Daley, Scott also served a stint as President of the Chicago Park District Board. Scott was also a member of Chicago's 2016 Olympic Bid Committee, a connection that eventually led to scrutiny when it was learned he was involved with two different developments - via his real estate development and investment firm, Michael Scott & Associates, LLC - that were in close proximity to proposed Olympic venues. Chicago 2016 denied there was any conflict of interest.
Update: The Trib has updated its story and is reporting that Chicago Police say Scott died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, his body then falling into the river. Police have recovered the gun.
... Chicago Mayor Richard Daley visited Scott's family in their West Side home in the morning and spoke afterwards outside the home, expressing condolences to Scott's wife, son and daughter and saying what a shock the death was.
He said he saw Scott at a school-related meeting last week and Scott did not appear troubled at the time.
"He always helped people," Daley said. "He always had a smile, he was always upbeat."
"He loved Chicago just as much as I did." ...
September 25, 2009
He claims he's not the captain....The Tribune has discovered that Michael Scott has more of an interest in the Olympics than civic pride. Scott, a Chicago 2016 committee member, president of the Chicago Public Schools and a "friend of Richie", also served as a consultant to a condominium developer near the proposed Olympic Village site, a deal that could result in the project being worth far more than it currently is. For his part, Scott says that there's no conflict, given the depth of his role in the project. "I had no financial interest. I didn't do any real work," Scott told the Tribune. This, of course, is all in addition to the story from earlier this summer that Scott owns land located near the proposed Olympic cycling venue, something that Scott and others have said was not a conflict of interest.
Gerald Fogelson, the developer, summed up his relationship with Scott in a way that harkens back to a quainter time in Chicago.
Scott has denied much of a role in the project, even though his office is in Fogelson's building, and he has a Fogelson Properties email address.