Former President Barack Obama’s ex-campaign manager David Plouffe received a $90,000 fine on Thursday for illegally lobbying Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on behalf of Uber.
The Chicago Board of Ethics found he violated ethics rules. He didn’t register as a lobbyist after contacting Rahm. Uber was also fined $2,000.
Uber hired him because they wanted an amendment to laws making it difficult for them to pick up fares at airports.
It came to light after lawsuits accused Emanuel of breaking the state open record law. As a result of those lawsuits, Rahm had to release hundreds of email. Among them was an email sent to him from Plouffe on November, 20, 2015:
“Assume both of us thought the airport issue was settled and we would never have to discuss again, but unfortunately two significant new hurdles were introduced,” wrote Plouffe, who was then a senior executive at Uber. “Coming to you because of their severity that would prevent us from operating. We were all set to announce Monday we were beginning pickups.”
Plouffe was hired because of Uber’s concerns over pick-up fees and its desire to get airport regulations changed that insisted Uber cars had to display a company placard when picking up customers.
Plouffe registered months after the fact and tried to fight the fine, but no one was buying it. The fine stands.