Tag: corruption

Chicago aldermen seek control over all city licenses in their wards

Chicago’s 50 aldermen hold near-despotic control over commercial activity within their wards. This has lead to an unrivaled culture of graft, greed and corruption within Windy City municipal government. But instead of taking steps to roll back extraordinary powers, some aldermen are dead set on expanding them. Under an ordinance introduced March 29, not only... Read more »

Chicago alderman indicted on federal charges of extortion, theft

Chicago Alderman Willie Cochran, 20th Ward, has been indicted on federal criminal charges. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois on Dec. 14 announced charges that Cochran “pocketed money from a charitable fund that was intended to help families and children in his South Side ward.” He was also charged with extortion... Read more »

Chief of staff for powerful Chicago alderman makes lobbying dough on the side

Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly, 42nd Ward, is one of Chicago’s most influential City Council members. His territory includes the city’s commercial center: River North and the Loop. As is the case throughout Chicago, local aldermen have tremendous sway over what gets built, how and when – perhaps none more so than Reilly. It’s concerning then... Read more »
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40 Chicago aldermen blow off annual ethics board hearing

The city of Chicago has a well-documented, longstanding, widespread problem with public corruption. The latest example can be found in the 20th Ward, where Alderman Willie Cochran is under federal investigation for his use of campaign funds. For reform-minded aldermen, annual budget hearings are an opportune time to address this problem. But at the Chicago... Read more »

Chicago alderman under FBI investigation for misuse of campaign funds

Alderman Willie Cochran, 20th Ward, is under federal investigation for his use of campaign funds, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times previously reported Cochran paid himself more than $115,000 from his campaign funds over a three-year period. Chicago City Council is one of the most corrupt political bodies in the nation. Over the past... Read more »

Navy Pier makeover shrouded in secrecy

Update: Crain’s Chicago Business reports the IRS is auditing Navy Pier Inc., the controversial nonprofit that controls Navy Pier. The audit will determine whether the group properly disclosed income that isn’t related to the tourist attraction’s primary purpose.  Officials at Illinois’ most popular tourist attraction are pushing the site’s largest renovation in decades. But are they taking... Read more »
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Rahm offers 1.5M motorists chance to contest red-light and speed-camera tickets

A city program built on bribery got another black eye Sept. 12, as Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to head off a major lawsuit that could cost the city $200 million in ticket refunds, according to the Chicago Tribune. In February, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy ruled city... Read more »

Chicago aldermen using private emails for city business

For all the talk of email servers in the presidential race, you’d think Chicago aldermen would have learned their lesson by now: Don’t mix city business with private property. But 19 city aldermen are using private email accounts for their public duties, according to an Aug. 31 report from Project Six, a corruption watchdog group... Read more »

37 of 50 Chicago aldermen took illegal campaign cash in 2015

A recent survey of Chicago business leaders showed over 90 percent believed city government engages in some form of cronyism. A July 18 report from Project Six, a new corruption watchdog headed up by former Chicago Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan, helps to show why. The report finds more than two-thirds of Chicago aldermen took... Read more »
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Over 90 percent of Chicago business leaders say city is home to cronyism

Chicago is America’s corruption capital. And nowhere is that more evident than in the cronyism that tilts the city’s economy toward favored political players. More than 9 in 10 Chicago business leaders agreed that a form of cronyism is practiced in Chicago, according to a new study commissioned by the Committee for Economic Development. The... Read more »