A few days ago, I had a post on Corruption in Chicago. A statistic was quoted, and I had to track down an actual reference. Not that I don’t trust people, but I have found that people don’t trust me, unless I have a “legitimate source.” Though I’m not sure you can say that any of the news media qualifies these days. Still, here’s a reference from last year.
Alderman being investigated, and convicted is nothing new in The Windy City. EDITORIAL: Don’t back off, Mayor-elect Lightfoot, in ending aldermanic prerogative
By CST Editorial Board May 15, 2019, 3:41pm CDT
I hate to keep picking on Chicago, but they make it so damn easy.
The story/editorial isn’t important at this remove, and it’s behind a paywall anyway, but the point is they document the history of corruption in the city. Or part of it anyway.
The Chicago City Council blew its chance to be treated like responsible adults a long time ago.
Why do we think Chicago’s patience with aldermanic prerogative has finally run out?
Because Ald. Cochran pleaded guilty in March [of 2019].
Because Ald. Burke was named in a criminal complaint in January.
Because Ald. William Beavers was convicted in 2013.
Because Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers pleaded guilty in 2010.
Because Ald. Arenda Troutman pleaded guilty in 2008.
Because Ald. James Laski pleaded guilty in 2006.
Because Ald. Percy Giles was convicted in 1999.
Because Ald. Virgil Jones was convicted in 1998.
Because Ald. Larry Bloom pleaded guilty in 1998.
Because Ald. John Madrzyk was convicted in 1998.
Because Ald. Jesse Evans was convicted in 1997.
Because Ald. Joseph Martinez was convicted in 1997.
Because Ald. Allan Streeter pleaded guilty in 1996.
Because Ald. Ambrosio Medrano pleaded guilty in 1996.
Because Ald. Fred Roti was convicted in 1993.
Because Ald. Marian Humes pleaded guilty in 1998.
Because Ald. Perry Hutchinson was convicted in 1988.
Because Ald. Chester Kuta pleaded guilty in 1987.
Because Ald. Wallace Davis Jr. was convicted in 1987.
Because Ald. Cliff Kelley pleaded guilty in 1987.
Because Ald. Louis Farina was convicted in 1983.
Because Ald. Tyrone Kenner was convicted in 1983.
Because Ald. William Carothers was convicted in 1983.
Because Ald. Stanley Zydlo pleaded guilty in 1980.
Because Ald. Edward Scholl pleaded guilty in 1975.
Because Ald. Donald Swinarski pleaded guilty in 1975
Because Ald. Paul Wigoda was convicted in 1974
Because Ald. Tom Keane was convicted in 1974.
Because Ald. Frank Kuta was convicted in 1974.
Because Ald. Joe Potempa pleaded guilty in 1973.
Because Ald. Casimir Staszcuk was convicted in 1973.
Because Ald. Joe Jambrone was convicted in 1973.
Because Ald. Fred Hubbard pleaded guilty in 1972.
And those were just the crooks that got caught.
And those are all Democratic politicians in a city and county dominated by Democratic politicians. And where the fix is in. Probably why a fair few were taken down by the feds.
There are other politicians, not all aldermen of course, who got caught doing something they shouldn’t have been doing. Matthew J. Danaher had been clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County since 1968, when he was found dead in a hotel room of “natural causes” at the age of 47. A long-time associate of Mayor Daley, the elder, he had been indicted in a $400,000 kickback scheme. Danaher was awaiting trial. David J. Shields was convicted for taking $6,000 in bribes in 1988 to fix a court case.
There was Tony Rezko, who Obama managed to shed, even though the shady real estate deal between Rezko and Obama is legendary in Chicago.
Then there was Operation Greylord from the 1980s.
It was called Operation Greylord, named after the curly wigs worn by British judges. And in the end—through undercover operations that used honest and very courageous judges and lawyers posing as crooked ones… and with the strong assistance of the Cook County court and local police—92 officials had been indicted, including 17 judges, 48 lawyers, eight policemen, 10 deputy sheriffs, eight court officials, and one state legislator. Nearly all were convicted, most of them pleading guilty.
So as you can see, Chicago is not populated by the most ethical politicians in the universe.