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Part Owner Of Building Where Weekend Mass Shooting Happened Has Had Properties In Trouble With City Before

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We've reported on the building where a mass shooting happened this weekend and the tenants that held the keys. On Monday, CBS 2’s Chris Tye had a more thorough look at the man who is part owner of that address - and another troubled address.

Video Transcript

IRAKA SARGENT: And tonight police are investigating a weekend mass shooting. 15 people shot, two of them killed at a party in Park Manor. The building houses a makeshift tow company and auto-repair business, but police say there was a bar set up.

And we've reported on the building that housed the party and the tenants that held the keys.

BRAD EDWARDS: Yeah, only on 2, a more thorough look at the man who is part owner of that address and another troubled address. CBS 2's Chris Tye live at CPD headquarters with what he's learned. Chris.

CHRIS TYE: Brad, Irika, he says he's a proud property owner and investor in some of the city's toughest neighborhoods. He sits on boards and committees. He donates to politicians. And yes, he owns part of that property that turned into that deadly pop-up bar this weekend. And as we uncover today, he also has deep connections to another property that was forced to shut down for breaking the rules this fall.

Three years before the deadly pop-up party, the 2018 tenants at the South Side Think Tank were slapped with four cease-and-desist orders for unlicensed parties at the auto-body shop, then four more the next year for breaking them again. The operator arrested, the facility shut down.

All the while part owner of the building was Andy Skolnick. He's also part owner and president of The Grand Ballroom less than a mile away. Investigators with the city's Business Affairs and Consumer Protection or BACP say on November 14 of last year it housed a party with over 200 attendees and no face coverings or social distancing. It was cited, slapped with a closure order, and required to remain closed until BACP approves a plan for reopening. On January 8 of this year, it reopened.

JEANETTE TAYLOR: The city needs to make heads roll. This not need to be no, oh, this is his first time or oh, it's OK. No, oh, it's closed.

CHRIS TYE: Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor says business owners and landlords are getting simple slaps on the wrist for allowing deadly behavior.

JEANETTE TAYLOR: If you don't follow the rules, I don't care who you connected to. I don't care who you friends with. You don't deserve a slap on the wrist. You deserve to lose your business.

LORI LIGHTFOOT: I'm just learning about that history. Obviously that was an unauthorized use for that facility. And given the history, I would expect there to be some significant activity taken.

CHRIS TYE: In the meantime, Skolnick, who declined an on-camera interview, says it's the first fatality at one of his properties. He says the November infractions at The Grand Ballroom are unrelated to the deadly party this weekend, calling it sheer bad luck that it happened.

JEANETTE TAYLOR: You need to pay for what happened. You need to take ownership. As a matter of fact, since two lives was lost, you don't get to operate a business in this city at all. How about that?

CHRIS TYE: Skolnick tells me he has tried unsuccessfully to reach out to his tenants who are the ones who have believed to have thrown that party this weekend. As for what the alderwoman said, he says he'd rather not address her topics through the media. He'd rather talk to her, Brad, one on one.

BRAD EDWARDS: So the alderwoman says the business owner, landlords, and city hall are to blame. What does she want changed first?

JEANETTE TAYLOR: Yeah, she says at the top of the pyramid of this is seriously a dysfunctional city hall. She says the mayor's office, aldermen, and alderwomen all work in these silos, and they really don't talk to one another. She says certainly landlords and business owners really need to take responsibility, but city hall has some skin in the game here too, Brad.

BRAD EDWARDS: Yeah, OK. Chris Tye, thank you.