Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush is facing down a million-dollar lawsuit over failure to pay back a massive loan he took in 2008.To Rush’s credit, the loan was used to fund the building of a church in his home district, in Illinois
The church, recipient of the funds, is part of a center that focuses on local-level poverty alleviation. However, the poverty alleviation center is a major recipient of taxpayer funding. It has collected a huge $2.6 million in tax-payer money so far, in form of different grants by the administration during the year and has received several grants that accumulate to a staggering sum of $17 million from its inception in 2008, records show.
The Beloved Community Christian Church is a non-denominational church located in Chicago and was founded by Rush. “I founded a church in Englewood, one of Chicago’s poorest and most fragile neighborhoods, and named it Beloved Community Christian Church,” Rush had written in a 2011 op-ed. “The church, once the site of a Black Panther breakfast program for children, now stands in tribute to Dr. King’s vision of the power of community. A social service center, a health center and an after-school robotics program are also part of the church’s mission to care for people.”
The Democratic Representative Rush paid a sum of $800,000, in the beginning, to buy the land for the church, along with the $550,000 loan from the New City Bank. Rush also started the Rebirth of Englewood, an organization that is focusing on the development of people as a community to solve minor problems, like building themselves a technology center, providing cheaper residence, and several other programs to help the people of Chicago, though none of the aims and goals of the organizations were achieved.
The bank is looking to recover lost payments, and has since passed the judgment of $1.1 million, which was issued against Bobby for the unpaid amount of $542,000 along with interest, totaling to $441,000 combined with the attorney fees that sum to $50,000.
Representative Rush was forced to move his church from in 2014 after it had its stained-glass windows shattered, by severe weather. This resulted in the bank to choose to ask for money that Bobby had loaned from the bank, on a promissory note, before foreclosing the vacant unit, which proved difficult to sell.
Just only two years after the church started its operations, the representative had begun sending huge donations from his own campaign, titled, the Citizens for Rush. Rush has since then sent $200,000 from his own campaign’s funds to his church in Chicago.
Not just the unpaid loan, Rush is also facing criticism for his failure to pay his taxes on the associated entities titled to him.
The Better Government Association, which is a government watchdog organization in Illinois, reports that in 2013, Rush and two other nonprofits that he himself founded, had failed to pay any of the federal, state, and local taxes for nearly a decade.