Chicago Aldermen: Scandals are Daley’s, not ours

His call for watchdog to be able to probe them hits a nerve

Fran Spielman
City Hall Reporter
Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor Daley changed the subject and played to an angry electorate when he proposed that Chicago’s corruption-fighting inspector general be empowered to investigate aldermen.

But he also touched a raw nerve among City Council members with his audacity.

How could a mayor whose administration has been besieged by the Hired Truck, city hiring and minority contracting scandals claim with a straight face that a West Side alderman’s guilty plea “broke the camel’s back” on the corruption front?

How could Daley put aldermen on the hot seat without acknowledging his own pivotal role in elevating convicted Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) to a position of power?

Carothers endeared himself to Daley. He browbeat aldermen who dared to oppose the mayor’s programs and by commanding a West Side army of city workers who delivered the vote for Daley’s handpicked candidates.

Daley apparently returned the favor by promoting Carothers to a top job in Streets and Sanitation, supporting him for alderman in 1999 over a lackluster incumbent and choosing him over more senior colleagues to chair the City Council’s Police and Fire Committee.

Carothers’ allies allegedly fed at Daley’s Hired Truck trough. And he placed dozens of names on the mayor’s infamous “clout list” of political hires.

Now, the mayor is using the zoning shakedown that snared his most prominent African-American supporter to make the case for empowering the inspector general to investigate aldermen.

The article continues at the Sun-Times.

At read more about “the political environment that gave birth to Barack Obama” and view related video.

Comments are closed.