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City Official Owes Woman's Family $50,000

CBS (CHICAGO) – Ghian Foreman is Mayor Rahm Emanuel's handpicked Police Board president and a prominent Chicago real estate developer.

In 2005, he borrowed $50,000 from Karyn Usher's mother to help finance a Bronzeville condominium project. The units sold but the Usher family has waited 13 years to be paid.

"He owes this money and I want him to pay this money," Usher says.

Usher says her family was close with Foreman's, the reason her then 73-year-old mother, Ann Marie Usher, entered into a legal limited partnership and loaned Foreman the money. "Mother had known them all her life and so she, of course, wanted to help Ghian," Usher says.

Foreman rehabbed the four condos and sold three for a total of more than $1 million. By 2007, he owned the fourth and final unit free and clear.

Usher's attorney says Foreman could've paid off the debt.

"There were proceeds from these sales," says Phyllis Price. "[But} Ms. Usher got not a dime."

Foreman acquired more properties through the years. His investment groups bought the well-known Schulze Bakery building for $3.1 million and a shuttered Chicago Public School for $325,000.

He did this even as Usher took legal action to get her money back. Ann Marie Usher died at age 84 without ever seeing her investment returned.

"I imagine he believes he was pretty much clear when Ms. Usher passed away," Price says.

Foreman declined to speak on-camera. But in a phone interview he insists he plans to pay Karyn Usher the money. He blames the delay on both the real estate market crash in 2008 and his recent bankruptcy protection filings.

"The regular citizen who works for the city everyday has to be responsible for paying their debts or have repercussions," Usher says. "Then Mr. Foreman… should be responsible for his debt to me or to my mother as well."

Usher's attorney says with interest and attorney's fees, Foreman owes Karyn Usher more than $100,000.  She says Foreman called and offered to pay Usher $50,000 next week and another $50,000 on October 1st.

CBS 2 also reached out to mayor Rahm Emanuel for comment on his appointed police board president's financial debt.  His office declined to comment.

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