Is Mayor Daley a target of the federal investigation that just got a boost from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals? It’s hard to imagine otherwise. Consider:
“Despite the existence of a federal consent decree and other measures that for decades have sought to bring more transparency and legitimacy to the City of Chicago’s civil service hiring, patronage appointments have continued to flourish,” the appeals court said on Tuesday. “These defendants were key players in a corrupt and far-reaching scheme, based out of the mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, that doled out thousands of city civil service jobs based on political patronage and nepotism.The government alleged that the defendants concealed what they were doing by falsely assuring city lawyers that their hires were legitimate, and then shredding evidence and hiding their involvement once a criminal investigation began.”
And the mayor knew nothing? Inconceivable.
“The beating heart of this fraudulent scheme was the mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA),” the court said. “Formally, the office serves as a liaison between the City of Chicago and state and federal governments and has no role in hiring for the city’s 37,000 or so civil service jobs. Informally, the office coordinated a sizeable portion of the city’s civil service hiring, ferreting out jobs to footsoldiers in the mayor’s campaign organization and to other cronies.”
In other words, the scheme was enacted for the mayor’s benefit.
“What the court found is interesting,” former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins told John Kass, “that we have a form of corruption where the true recipients of corrupt schemes are not always the defendants themselves, but that they are doing it for their patron, for a third party.”
Get the picture?
“Daley twice refused to take reporters’ questions on the ruling at two separate events Tuesday,” the Sun-Times reports.
Maybe he’s trying to figure out how to accuse the federal appeals court of being racist – or how patronage is somehow about the children.
“He read a statement saying, ‘The court has made its decision, and there is nothing I can add to the legal debate.’ “He said the city has ‘moved forward’ since the investigation started.”
Right. Moving forward. I mean, don’t be silly.
“I also must express my concern for the individuals and their families who have been involved in this case,” he added – an expression of concern that could be read as his own worry that aides going to jail on his behalf may be tempted to self-evacuate like those Blue Line riders on Tuesday. (Robert Sorich is looking at 3 years and 10 months; Patrick Slattery at 2 years and 3 months.)
Next up: Former Streets & Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez, who is awaiting trial on nine counts of mail fraud and one count of perjury.