Tag: corruption

Chicago deemed ‘corruption leader’ in 2015

From red-light cameras to a police dash cam, cigarettes to city checks, public schools to City Hall, 2015 was another black mark on the ethics record of Chicago government. A new report from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago details public corruption across Illinois over the course of 2015, noting that Chicagoans “experienced... Read more »

Rahm to seize one of Chicago’s largest buildings for private gain

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has his eyes set on the Old Main Post Office, and there’s a good chance he won’t be denied. Emanuel’s administration announced Feb. 20 its plans to seize the historic riverfront property and solicit bids for redevelopment, according to DNAinfo. While the U.S. Postal Service sold the building to investor Bill... Read more »

Burke, Austin are stonewalling oversight for Chicago City Council

A pair of Chicago aldermen with a combined 67 years in office is all that stands between impunity for City Council members and a vote on subjecting Chicago aldermen to the same oversight as every other employee of city government. Longtime aldermen Ed Burke and Carrie Austin used a procedural rule on Jan. 13 to... Read more »

Federal investigation reveals Madigan and Daley ties to Chicago red-light-camera scandal

John Bills, a former Chicago transportation official now at the center of one of the biggest corruption scandals in city history, is alleged to have had meetings regarding speed cameras and red-light cameras with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan and then-Mayor Richard M. Daley, respectively, in new documents submitted by federal prosecutors. Bills was indicted... Read more »

More than half of Chicago aldermen took illegal campaign cash in 2013

The Second City is second to none when it comes to government corruption. And Chicago aldermen seem hellbent on keeping it that way. Chicago City Council’s chief watchdog says 29 city aldermen received a total of $282,000 in illegal campaign contributions in 2013. That means out of Chicago’s 50 elected aldermen, 58 percent violated campaign-financing... Read more »

Nothing to see here: Chicago aldermen run out the clock on their own oversight in wake of massive CPS scandal

Chicago’s perennial title as the nation’s “Capital of Corruption” was made all too real in October, as former Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett pled guilty to steering millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to a former employer in exchange for the promise of millions more in kickbacks. So understandably, when Chicago Mayor... Read more »

Turn them off, tear them down: Red-light cameras are Chicago politics at its worst

Carelessness, callousness and corruption: All three of these trademarks of Chicago City Hall have been on display since the start of the city’s red-light-camera system in 2003. Chicago’s system is the nation’s largest, filling government coffers with more than half a billion dollars since its inception. On Aug. 20, the former CEO of the company... Read more »

Muzzled: Chicago City Council’s corruption watchdog is about to go dark

Chicago aldermen can seem untouchable. Within their wards they typically operate with impunity, maintaining near-autocratic control over zoning, licenses, permits and more. But for a short time in 2010, public outcry was enough to spur change, and those same aldermen voted to establish an office dedicated solely to the scrutiny of City Council – rather... Read more »