08/09/2012 02:55 pm ET

Gene McNeil, Mayor's Office Employee, Arrested Twice For Allegedly Soliciting Sex

This story is courtesy of the Better Government Association:

When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel holds a news conference, Gene McNeil is the city employee who makes sure the sound system runs smooth.

But the veteran city employee was a little too smooth with the ladies, police reports indicate.

McNeil was arrested twice since 2005 for allegedly soliciting undercover cops who were posing as prostitutes. One of those arrests came while he was on the clock for taxpayers, he acknowledged.

McNeil, 55, was not convicted in either case; the arresting officers for some reason didn’t show up, so the cases were thrown out, court records show.

Reached just before a mayoral news conference a few weeks ago, McNeil said the arrests were misunderstandings. He said he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In 2005, McNeil was arrested for allegedly soliciting oral sex for $10, court records show. In 2007 he allegedly offered $25 for sex, records show. In the second instance, McNeil relayed to us that he was on the clock and en route to buy a newspaper when a woman approached him on the street and starting walking with him.

Referring to the Chicago Police Department, he said, “I understand they’re trying to get their numbers up...I
didn’t make any overtures.”

Whatever the truth, it’s interesting to consider McNeil’s proximity to a politician known for such a carefully crafted image.

When asked about McNeil, an Emanuel press aide said this was the first she heard of his troubles. But within
an hour, word came down that McNeil was being transferred to other duties, at least for the time being.

McNeil, who’s been on the government payroll for 25 years and worked for Richard M. Daley as well, has a salary of about $84,000 a year.

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