A Cook County Circuit Court judge earlier this month denied Chicago’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges the legality of its $1.15 billion, 75-year lease of its parking meter system to Chicago Parking Meters LLC.

Judge Richard J. Billik Jr. ruled that the motion was “not persuasive.” Billik, did however, throw out a portion of the complaint that asserts Chicago was improperly using public funds to enforce parking rules for the benefit of the private company that operates the system.

The lawsuit, filed by the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization on behalf of city taxpayers, argues that Chicago cannot legally hand over regulation of the system to a private company.

“We are very pleased with court’s conclusion and will proceed ahead for the benefit of Chicago’s taxpayers,” lead attorney for the plaintiffs Clint Krislov said on his firm’s website.

The city leased the system last year and by the end of next year will have exhausted all but $76 million of the deal’s proceeds in order to balance the 2009, 2010, and 2011 budgets.

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