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The Mechanics
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Ward Politics Thu May 28 2009

Rename The Kluczynski Dirksen Building "The Fitzmas Tree"

According to Tribune reporter Jeff Coen (author of the wonderful book on the Family Secrets Trial), US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office will be announcing corruption charges against an elected official today at 2 pm. (The Capitol Fax Blog is on it, too, of course).

What kind of Fitzmas present will Fitzgerald be delivering to the public, brilliantly wrapped in indictment paper? We'll find out if it's something we wanted, or just another boring old sweater.

UPDATE: Wrong federal building. Oops. And as I'm sure you've heard by now, it is West Side political boss Ike Carothers (29th-Austin) who was indicted today by the feds, for allegedly accepting cash for a zoning change. Nice, old school Chicago corruption. Here's the indictment. I'll work on pulling out the juicy bits for ya.

UPDATE 2: I'm not an attorney, so I'll stick to the facts; these are the violations cited as the grounds for the indictment: (i) "theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds"; (ii) perpetrating a "fraud or swindle" using an interstate mail service; (iii) perpetrating a "fraud or swindle" using the phone; (v) obstruction of justice by "Influencing or injuring officer or juror generally"; (vi) entering a fraudulent or false statement to the IRS; (vii) and violating congressional campaign contributions in three different ways (including entering a contribution under a different name). These are the things that made the case federal, but the indictment lists a number of state and local laws that were violated, too. The "fraud or swindle" was literally of the citizens of the city; under Section 1346 of the US Code, this definition is provided: "For the purposes of this chapter, the term 'scheme or artifice to defraud' includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services." This was used in the Blagojevich indictment as well. The argument is that we were defrauded of our intangible right of honest service by this scheming. At least that's my understanding of it. Lawyers?


 
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Feature

Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

Civics

Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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