CHICAGO - The Chicago City Council approved the appointment of a new comptroller and up to $1.9 billion of general obligation and Midway Airport borrowing at its meeting Feb. 5.

The ordinances authorize the sale of up to $900 million of new money and refunding general obligation bonds planned in two separate issues. The other allows for up to $1 billion of new money and refunding of Midway airport revenue bonds, although the city is planning a roughly $550 million sale.

The GO ordinance also allows for a major expansion of the size of the city's commercial paper borrowing capacity.

The first of the two GO sales is expected to sell next month. It represents mostly refunding bonds for savings and as part of an ongoing restructuring of the city's debt service schedule. The second sale of mostly new money GOs will come in the second quarter, as will the Midway issue.

Wells Fargo Securities is the lead on the first GO sale, Loop Capital Markets LLC on the second, and Barclays is lead on the Midway sale.

Four city council members voted against the bond ordinances, including several who were critical of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration for failing to provide sufficient detail on the borrowing plans during a Finance Committee meeting Monday.

The council approved Emanuel's pick of Daniel Widawsky to serve as comptroller, replacing Amer Ahmad who resigned over the summer just weeks before he was charged with corruption stemming from his previous tenure in the Ohio Treasurer's office.

"Dan is committed to ensuring the efficient management of city finances, and he will serve a key role in continuing my administration's efforts to strengthen the City's fiscal health, address our long-term obligations, and invest in Chicago's future," Emanuel said in a statement.

Widawsky most recently was managing director at Citadel, LLC. He was a partner and senior member of the firm's financial team, overseeing activities associated with a number of Citadel's largest and most successful transactions and initiatives. Widawsky also served as a senior executive at GE, and prior to that, was a vice president at NBC.

The comptroller is one of three key city fiscal positions with the chief financial officer's office overseeing debt management. Ahmad entered a guilty plea recently in federal court to charges he orchestrated a kickback scheme involving Ohio state investment business while he was deputy treasurer.

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