The progressive political organization United Working Families is calling out Chicago Ald. Deb Mell (33rd) for allegedly violating campaign finance rules.
Former Ald. Dick Mell, who is a registered lobbyist, is Deb Mell's father. He has allegedly contributed "thousands of dollars" in in-kind donations to Deb Mell's political fund to pay for office space, according to United Working Families' analysis of campaign finance records.
Under city law, an official can receive only up to $1,500 in political donations from a lobbyist in a calendar year, and United Working Families says the in-kind contributions from Dick Mell have exceeded that limit.
When asked about the accusations by DNAinfo Chicago on Wednesday, Dick Mell said: "I have no idea about that."
Deb Mell told the news site, "I didn't even hear that."
"I'll look into that," she added.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Deb Mell to fill her father's 33rd Ward seat after he retired in July 2013. Deb Mell, who is seeking a full term in the upcoming municipal election, is being challenged by Annisa Wanat and Tim Meegan. United Working Families, which is considering bringing a formal complaint about the alleged campaign finance violations to the city's ethics board or the legislative inspector general's office, has backed Meegan in the race.
"The people of the 33rd Ward have seen their services cut and their voices ignored by the type of politics practiced by a powerful political family that believes it can play by its own set of rules," said Kristen Crowell, executive director of United Working Families.
Next Thursday, Mell and her challengers will take part in an aldermanic forum at Bateman Elementary, 4220 North Richmond Street, at 7 pm.