Residency Hearing Focuses on Items Left Behind

Article excerpt

Byline: Associated Press

The second day of a hearing into whether Rahm Emanuel has the legal right to run for Chicago mayor focused Wednesday on the family items he says were left behind in his basement when he went to Washington to become President Barack Obama's chief of staff.

The woman renting Emanuel's house testified at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners hearing that she had not seen treasured items Emanuel said were left in the basement.

But Mee Kim-Chavez, a friend of Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule, told a hearing officer she helped pack up their family heirlooms and mementos so they could be stored in a basement crawlspace under a home addition they'd build. She recalled helping Rule store 20 to 30 boxes in the crawlspace.

"She was going to come back. There was no need for her to take them with her to D.C.," Kim-Chavez said of the possessions.

Her testimony came after the woman renting Emanuel's Chicago home told the panel she hadn't come across most of the items Emanuel described leaving behind.

Lori Halpin told a hearing officer that she has never seen any of the 100 boxes or some of the other valuable family possessions that Emanuel has said were left behind, including in a locked area of the home's basement.

Emanuel testified Tuesday about belongings in his home, including his wife's wedding dress, clothes his children wore home from the hospital just after they were born, and the family china, to defend himself against allegations that he forfeited his Chicago residency when he leased his home and moved to Washington.

But Halpin said she was unaware of any items like that being left in the house.

"I have never found anything locked in the house," said Halpin, who moved into the house in August 2009. …