The Rialto Square Theatre no longer is using the insurance brokered by Joliet Councilman Pat Mudron’s firm.
The insurance coverage, brokered by Mudron Kane Insurance in April, led to an investigation by the city’s inspector general, who concluded that Mudron violated the city’s ethics ordinance when his firm entered into the deal.
Rialto Board Chairman Robert Filotto told the council Monday that the theater has a new insurance provider as of Nov. 15.
The Rialto now is insured by Chubb Corp. in a deal arranged by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Filotto later said the Rialto was under no pressure to switch agencies but was able to get coverage at a lower price.
“We changed insurance companies because of an additional $26,000 in insurance savings,” he said Tuesday.
The Rialto now has the same coverage previously provided by Cincinnati Insurance, the firm represented by Mudron Kate, at an annual rate of $248,000. But the Rialto now is paying $222,000, Filotto said.
The Rialto turned to Mudron for insurance when it faced an increase in its annual premium from $72,000 to $450,000 on a policy that would not provide full coverage for the theater.
Mudron at the time served as the council’s liaison to the Rialto, which operates with help from a $375,000 annual subsidy from the city. He did not disclose to the city that his firm got involved in the Rialto’s insurance coverage, although the inspector general investigation was initiated in April on a tip that came a couple of days after the Rialto signed onto the new policy.
Mudron has contended he did nothing wrong. He has said the insurance was handled by his son, Shamus, who would have received any commission from the deal. However, Mudron has acknowledged that the entire firm benefited from the business.
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk criticized Mudron’s involvement in the Rialto insurance at the Monday meeting when city officials were discussing the 2023 subsidy for the theater.
“I think there’s an ethical issue,” O’Dekirk said. “No one of us votes for that yearly stipend so one of us can profit from that, and that’s what happened.”
After the mayor’s comments, Filotto announced that the Rialto has a new insurance provider.
He said the Rialto turned to the National Trust after being advised to do so by an engineering firm hired to work on renovations of the theater.
Mudron did not respond at the meeting to the comments by the mayor, who mentioned him by name.