Tenant contradicts Emanuel's testimony

December 15, 2010 (CHICAGO)

Emanuel testified Tuesday that his family kept possessions in the house when they moved to Washington.

As he greeted commuters on the CTA Red Line Wednesday night, Emanuel said that it's up to the election board to decide the matter.

"I answered all the questions that were put forward to me, and I answered them about every subject, many of the same topics, multiple times, and I think that was the right thing to do," said Emanuel.

He told the board many of the family's heirlooms and valuable possessions, including his wife's wedding dress, remain locked in a crawl space in the basement of the home on North Hermitage. He said it's an indication he considers the place home and he always intended to return.

The current resident, Laurie Halpin, has rented the home for a year and a half. She told the board she has seen a piano, a bed and a few other things the family left behind but nothing else.

"I've never noticed any boxes in the house," Halpin said.

Emanuel's attorneys, however, brought in a family friend who says she helped Emanuel's wife Amy pack the boxes.

"On two separate occasions, I helped Amy sift through her basement items and some things we donated to charity, and the things held most valuable to her we boxed up and put in the crawl space," said Mee Kim-Chavez, Emanuel family friend.

Kim-Chavez said her husband also helped by putting a deadbolt lock on the door to the crawl space. Emanuel said he hopes that puts an end to the questions.

"Amy, with our family friends, put away our most precious family items, and there is really nothing more to say," Emanuel told reporters.

The hearing officer is expected to make a recommendation to the election board about whether Emanuel's name should be on the ballot soon. After that it's likely one side or the other will appeal and bring the matter to court.

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