A Chicago lawyer has taken to court his dispute with his neighbors
and a Chicago alderman over his Wicker Park home construction project, asking a
Cook County judge to order the city of Chicago and Alderman Joe Moreno to turn
over all emails, text messages and other communications which may show whether friends of Moreno – the lawyer’s neighbors –
had used the alderman to block him from installing a heated sidewalk at his
On Nov. 18, Ameer Ahmad, a mergers and acquisitions attorney with
Greenberg Traurig, of Chicago, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against
Moreno and the city, demanding disclosure of the communications under the
Freedom of Information Act.
The lawsuit centers on a dispute involving Ahmad and his neighbors
in the 1300 block of N. Leavitt in the heart of Chicago’s Wicker Park
In 2012, a report published by DNAInfo.com indicated Moreno had
supported Ahmad’s plan to demolish a three-flat on the site and replace it with
a “5,180- square-foot
However, in more recent months Ahmad’s lawsuit contends his
neighbors have complained to Moreno about his construction project, purportedly
alleging that the work at Ahmad’s home over the last two years had damaged
their property. Ahmad alleges Moreno has since moved to complicate the project,
and particularly frustrating Ahmad’s attempt to install a so-called “hydronic
system” to heat the sidewalk. Ahmad specifically has alleged Moreno has so far
refused to sign off on a so-called “grant of privilege” Ahmad said Chicago city
officials told him was required to install the sidewalk heating system.
Ahmad said he did not believe such a permit was required, as other
neighbors had installed similar sidewalk heating systems without first obtaining
“grants of privilege.” However, he said he applied to Moreno’s office to obtain
the permit in June 2015.
In the weeks that followed, Ahmad alleges Moreno’s staff told him
the alderman would not issue the permit until Ahmad resolved “alleged issues in
a private dispute” between him and his neighbors, who Ahmad said are “social
friends” and political supporters of Moreno.
Ahmad alleges the city of Chicago has also issued him citations at
the request of Moreno’s office, which, in turn, allegedly came at the urging of
In September 2016, Ahmad’s lawsuit said he asked City Hall and
Moreno’s office to supply Moreno’s electronic communications concerning Ahmad’s
home construction projects. The FOIA requests purportedly indicated Ahmad
believed the communications were handled via “non-City accounts.”
The lawsuit said the city and Moreno’s office have replied that
they do not “maintain these records.”
Ahmad is represented in this lawsuit by attorneys Matthew Topic
and Joshua Burday of the firm of Loevy & Loevy, of Chicago.