Arlington Heights officials deny taking payoffs from Bears

Bears helmet
Photo credit Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Arlington Heights officials were quick to respond this week to a resident who hinted at a recent village board meeting that officials were taking payoffs from the Chicago Bears.

Resident Debbie Fisher was the one who suggested the village board was putting profit over people.

“My family cannot afford another financial burden, whereas the Chicago Bears can afford the world — and they’re paying you off with it,” she said.

Fisher claimed it was mayor Thomas Hayes’ idea to have the Bears come to Arlington Heights. Hayes rejected Fisher’s suggestion.

“That just does not happen in Arlington Heights, and it will not happen for this and any other proposal,” he said. “And, for you to accuse me or anyone on the board of that is offensive.”

Talks with the Bears only began, Hayes said, because the racetrack had closed.

“If I had my druthers, the racetrack would be there for another 100 years,” Hayes said.

Village trustee Jim Tinaglia called it comical that some people think board members must be gaining personally from the process.

“There’s nothing going in anyone’s pockets so, please, if you’re at home and you believe something like that is going on, call any one of us and we’d be happy to show you our checkbooks,” Tinaglia said. “It’s not happening.”

Hayes told those at the meeting in-person and on the livestream that not a dime of their money would be committed without input from residents.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images