The Rialto Square Theater is no longer using the insurance brokered by Joliet’s councilor Pat Mudron.
The coverage, brokered by Mudron Kane Insurance in April, led to an investigation by the city’s inspector general, who concluded that Mudron had violated the city’s ethics ordinance when his firm made the deal.
The chairman of the Rialto board, Robert Filotto, told the council on Monday that the theater has a new insurance provider from November 15.
The Rialto is now available from Chubb Corp. insured under an agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Filotto later said the Rialto was under no pressure to switch agencies but could get coverage at a lower price.
“We switched insurance companies for an additional $26,000 in insurance savings,” he said Tuesday.
The Rialto now has the same coverage previously offered by Cincinnati Insurance, the company represented by Mudron Kate, at an annual rate of $248,000. But the Rialto is now paying $222,000, Filotto said.
The Rialto turned to Mudron for insurance when faced with an increase in its annual premium from $72,000 to $450,000 due to a policy that did not fully cover the theater.
Mudron was then acting as the council’s liaison to the Rialto, which is run with the help of a $375,000 annual subsidy from the city. He has not disclosed to the city that his company was implicated in Rialto’s insurance coverage, although the Inspector General’s investigation was opened in April over a lead that came a few days after Rialto signed the new policy.
Mudron has claimed 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 whole company has benefited from the deal.
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk criticized Mudron’s involvement with Rialto Insurance at Monday’s meeting, as city officials discussed the theater’s 2023 subsidy.
“I think there’s an ethical issue,” O’Dekirk said. “None of us are voting for this annual stipend so that one of us can benefit, and that’s exactly what happened.”
Following the mayor’s comments, Filotto announced that the Rialto has a new insurance provider.
He said the Rialto approached the National Trust after being advised to do so by an engineering firm hired to refurbish the theatre.
Mudron did not respond to comments from the mayor, who mentioned him by name, at the meeting.