"When you said you wanted to meet after work, I was hoping it'd be a Bulls game, not a charity event."
— Dennis Nivens to Keri Allen

Dennis Nivens is the head of Midwest Portage.


"Okay, I admit it. We're behind on the buses. Guilty as charged."
"I appreciate the mea culpa, Dennis, but the mayor still thinks that you're punishing him because you didn't get the Lansing deal."
―Dennis Nivens to Keri Allen[src]
Dennis Nivens is the head of Midwest Portage, a transportation company, who has a bus contract with the city of Chicago. However, Nivens chooses not to honor the contract. Press secretary Derrick Mayes informs Chicago mayor Bobby Novak that the press is aware Novak's buses have been late again and are asking him for a statement, as Novak had promised that the buses would be fully electric by the end of the previous year and that nearly half of the old fleet is broken down or off the road. Novak tells Derrick to just write a statement on his behalf that doesn't make him look stupid before dismissing him, asking to have a minute alone with Keri Allen. As they step inside the office, Novak asks Keri about the buses, and she replies that Nivens is obstructing them as Novak did not give him the Lansing contract. Keri then assures Novak that she would handle the matter as she handles everything else for him, although Novak suggests that Jessica Pearson would be a better fit.

Jessica visits Keri at her office, telling her that she drafted a lawsuit for the city to file against the bus manufacturer, although Keri explains that they have a relationship with the CEO lasting over a decade and that suing would bring attention to the fact that Novak's statement to have the buses working is failing. Jessica retorts that the way the office would deal with it would be to have endless lunches on the taxpayer's dime, to which Keri responds that it's a business relationship and that Jessica had much to learn how things worked at the mayor's office, prompting Jessica to wryly reply that Keri had much to learn about being a lawyer.

Keri attends a charity event with Nivens, where he admits he was behind the bus mishaps. Keri inquires as to whether he was being petty as Mayor Novak did not get him to the Lansing deal, although Nivens claims that it was due to the supply chains. Jessica mentions a possible settlement, and Keri intercedes that she was merely discussing a possible expedition on the buses. Jessica then serves Nivens with a lawsuit, and while Keri attempts to salvage the situation by claiming that the mayor's office is not suing him, Nivens sees it as a good cop/bad cop deal and informs Keri that he still has many pending deals with her office. Realizing that she is trapped, Keri allies with Jessica's stance and tells Nivens that unless he starts honoring his contract with them, she would reconsider the deals her office has in place with him. As he walks away, Jessica commends Keri on her turn around; Keri asks whether Jessica is trying to humiliate her, although Jessica replies that she made Keri look better as Nivens now sees her as someone with a spine.

As Keri heads to court, Jessica meets up with Nivens, convincing him to hire alderman Deborah Coates as his Vice President in exchange for settling the lawsuit.[1]



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