“Like 9/11 with hookers…”

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Such was the description that arose last night at Marina City to describe the prostitution bombshell that earlier this week shocked residents and scandalized the condo board of this twin-towered, 60-story apartment complex. Lobbies, elevators, and hallways were abuzz with residents trying to gossip some sense out of now federally indicted dentist Gary S. Kimmel’s alleged high-rise hooker ring. The general consensus: you’d have to drill pretty deep to find enough reasonable doubt to save poor Dr. Gary.

For many of us who live here, the facts speak for themselves. In fact, they positively scream.

As widely reported in local news media this week, Kimmel, a family dentist who lives in East Tower with his wife and three children, is accused of knowingly renting nine Marina City condos that he owns with his wife to two pimps associated with a national prostitution ring of young and underage girls, and allowing the pimps to house in the condos a parade of hookers who turned tricks within the apartment complex from 2000 until 2005. Kimmel is also alleged to have laundered money for the hooker ring, to have accepted more than $400,000 in kickbacks, and to have made available to the ring a fleet of luxury cars–one of which bore the vanity plate “SECRET”, named after one of the girls. It is also reported that Kimmel did free after-hours work on the teeth of several girls who had been beaten by pimps and johns.

Although one prominent resident painter did note to the media that at least the hookers had good teeth, most residents were not feeling quite so charitable towards Dr. Gary last night. Here’s why:

Besides being Vice-President, until his resignation on Wednesday Gary Kimmel was also the condo board’s Screening and Security officer, overseeing and approving all apartment rental applications, and reviewing all security issues and complaints. Essentially, he was the condo board’s gatekeeper. If you wanted to rent a unit from a Marina City owner or have a security concern acted upon, you had to get past Gary first. So if Gary wanted to rent nine apartments out to two pimps, or to keep burglary or nuisance complaints regarding those apartments and their transitory occupants away from the eyes of the board, Gary didn’t have to look to anyone other than himself for approval.

Moreover, if that kind of an only-in-Chicago racket proves true, how financially liable will the condo board be–and, by extension, unit owners–if lawsuits arise claiming that losses or even personal injuries took place in the building because of the activities that a condo board officer was allowing to occur on the premises? And if that happens, it may not just be Kimmel and the hookers who end up getting screwed.

Whether Kimmel ends up exonerated or behind bars remains to be seen. But although many here at Marina City are trying desperately to cling to some reasonable doubt, most seem to agree that it pretty much kills your case when you start to name your Hondas after your hookers.

All I know is my mother always told me don’t shit where you eat. Word to the wise: don’t eat at Dr. Gary’s house anytime soon.

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