Daley Cogs Spin in Chicago Heights

Read my deep dive into the booming business of a south suburban mayor and his ties to Mayor Richard M. Daley’s formidable political machine.

Interestingly, the mayor hired a man sent to federal prison for perjury to be his $72,000 commissioner of streets and public property.

“You talk about the little CPA firm that is causing a little bit of havoc here by getting into a market that they are not supposed to get into because maybe I just want a little taste of that American dream myself,” said the mayor, whose part-time mayor’s salary doubled to $40,000 this year.

The Journey of a Judge’s Gun

The Chicago Sun-Times published my story about a Cook County judge’s gun turning up next to a dead body in a Cicero police shooting.

At the Better Government Association, we ran a slightly different version. I prefer the headline in the latter.

Anyway, Cicero agreed to settle the lawsuit connected to the shooting for for $3.5 million. In light of my story, Chicago has launched an internal affairs investigation into how the gun disappeared from police custody.

Video gambling in Illinois

thumbnail of Video Gambling Jackpot For Pols And Pals _ Better Government Association

Video gambling exploded in Illinois about the time I left to work for the Mobile Press-Register in Alabama.

After I left, thousands of video poker and slot machines placed in bars, gas stations, fraternal organizations, and restaurants began collecting millions of dollars in gambling revenue and returning a small portion of the windfall to the owners of the gambling establishments as well as the owners of the machines. The surge of new money and its intersection with government caught my interest.

I wrote a series for the Better Government Association about the expansion of video gambling at struggling taxpayer-owned owned golf courses, the surging influence of video gambling money into campaign financing, and how some local politicians used their clout to enrich themselves through video gambling.