Chicago mayoral candidate gives away more money, reform group calls for investigation

It was a wild scene at the Cook County Building Wednesday as Chicago mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson handed out $100,000 dollars to help people pay their property taxes.

It's Wilson’s second big money giveaway in a week, and now a campaign reform group has filed a complaint with the state alleging Wilson appears to be trying to buy votes.

More than 100 people packed the hallway outside the Cook County Treasurer's Office to get a piece of Wilson’s money.

"I'm here today because Willie Wilson is paying the taxes for residents of the city of Chicago or Cook County,” said John Searcy.

The self-made multi-millionaire, philanthropist and mayoral candidate handed out $500 dollar checks to people who applied for help to pay down their property taxes, but insists he's not buying votes.

"Taxes are just too high. We must protect our citizens. And my wife and I, we're not just talking about it. We're sharing our resources,” Wilson said.

"We think there's some problems with this,” said Mary Miro of Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

Miro heads the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a watchdog group which on Wednesday filed a formal complaint against Wilson’s campaign with the Illinois State Board of Elections. The complaint says Wilson violated election law last week when he handed out $40,000 dollars in cash and another $200,000 dollars in checks to parishioners at a South Side church.

Wilson's foundation, which supplied the money, never reported it as an in-kind donation to Wilson’s campaign, even though the cash giveaway was publicized on Wilson’s campaign Facebook page.

"And there's no way to distinguish the fact that he is front and center running for mayor and then providing financial assistance for people,” Miro said.

Wilson insists the money giveaway has nothing to do with his political ambitions, and says he's been giving away his wealth for years.

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