Chicago Way Convergence

It’s too bad the Democratic National Convention is in Denver this August instead of right here, smack dab in the heart of the Old Politics. Oh, what a showcase to the nation we could have been! As Clout Street notes, “It’s going to be a busy fall on Dearborn Street.”

* On September 8, Niles Mayor Nicholas Blase is scheduled to go on trial “on federal
corruption charges
for allegedly using his public office for more than three decades to steer local business owners to purchase insurance through an insurance agency that paid him bribes and kickbacks from the revenue it collected from insurance clients in Niles.”

* On September 15, former Chicago alderman Edward “Fast Eddie” Vrdolyak (who has actually been a member of both parties) is scheduled to go on trial “on federal fraud and bribery charges for allegedly scheming with cooperating businessman Stuart Levine to obtain a kickback for Levine from the sale of a building in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood for a condominium development.”

* On September 17, former Chicago alderman Arenda “Most politicians are Ho’s” Troutman is scheduled to go on trial “on federal bribery charges for allegedly accepting a $5,000 cash bribe and agreeing to accept an additional $10,000 and other benefits in exchange for taking official action to support zoning changes and alley access on behalf of a purported private developer as part of an undercover investigation.”

* On November 10, gubernatorial kitchen cabinet member and gambling policy advisor Chris Kelly is scheduled to go on trial “on federal tax fraud charges for allegedly understating his true personal and business income by more than $1.3 million over five years, in part by concealing the use of corporate funds for personal expenses including gambling debts to sports bookmakers.”

* And while Tony Rezko’s trial will presumably be over with by then, the federal investigation from which it spawned presumably will not.

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