Convictions, Indictments at a Furious Pace

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 19, 1997 | Go to article overview
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Convictions, Indictments at a Furious Pace

Byline: Bill Granger

Poor Jesse Evans.

His 15 minutes of infamy only lasted long enough for the next Chicago official to get indicted for taking bribes.

Jesse was convicted of corruption Monday for taking bribes. The South Side alderman barely had time to say he really, really wasn't guilty before the government indicted the next public official waiting in line.

U.S. Attorney Jim Burns needs a sense of spacing. He's moving the suspects along faster than Skinny Sheehan introducing Bulls on the stage in Grant Park.

Burns rushed to announce the indictment of Thomas Fuller, who used to run the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. He said Tuesday he has Fuller on tape proclaiming himself an "honest crook" after taking a $5,000 bribe. Burns intends to make a federal case out of it.

Back to Jesse Evans. He said he wasn't happy with the verdict. But he said he was happy that he fought the charge, rather than caving in to a plea.

Mayor Daley was reminded that Evans can hold on to his aldermanic seat from the 21st Ward until he is sentenced in October. Daley said that was too long. "October is a long way off," Daley said. It depends on your perspective. From Evans' point of view, October is just around the corner.

Evans is the third alderman found guilty of corruption in the latest round. A fourth alderman is expected to be indicted momentarily and bets are going down around the Hall on who it will be.

The news cameras focused on Evans briefly but then had to hurry on to the Fuller indictment announcement, as well as squeeze in time for Mayor Daley to re-explain his stance on ethics for aldermen.

The mayor said he's against one alderman's plan to ban political contributions to aldermen from companies doing business with the city. He said there was nothing wrong with those doing business with the city giving money to pols who run the city - they should just report it.

Daley supports an ethics board with subpoena powers to investigate aldermen. Eight years ago he supported something like this - with subpoena powers in the hands of an inspector general - but backed off when aldermen said they didn't like it. Times have changed, Daley is stronger and aldermen have developed squeaks when they talk.

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Convictions, Indictments at a Furious Pace


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