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Candidate for IL Treasurer to answer questions about mob ties

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Campaign photo of Alexi Giannoulias

By Ben Calhoun, Illinois Public Radio

Chicago, Ill. – The Democratic candidate for Illinois Treasurer says he's ready to answer questions about how the bank his family owns loaned millions of dollars to a man with ties to the mob. Alexi Giannoulias' family owns Broadway Bank in Chicago, which loaned the money, and where Giannoulias is a senior loan officer.

For a while, Giannoulias gave partial answers about the loans. Mostly, he emphasized they were completely legal - and that he was not totally familiar with the transactions.

Then, about two weeks ago, Democratic leaders - including Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama put the heat on the 30-year-old candidate to give more details.

A campaign spokesman now says Giannoulias will speak with reporters Wednesday, and offer whatever documentation he can, but the spokesman also warns some information might be off-limits because of banking privacy laws.

The certainties at this point are that the loans were big, and they went to a man with connections to organized crime, prostitution and bookmaking.

The spokesman says Giannoulias is prepared to talk about how his family's bank approves loans and his own involvement with the deals in question.

Giannoulias will face Republican State Senator Christine Radogno in the November election. The two are vying to replace Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, who is instead running for governor.

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