The old Chicago motto “Where’s mine?” appears to still be alive and well in the heart of one Alderman. Alderman Arenda Troutman (20th) was arrested on bribery charges yesterday. Since she didn’t answer her door when the agents knocked, they broke in through a window (LOL). The agents found her paper shredder still warm to the touch.
The charges stem from a bribe solicited in exchange for a zoning change. When a developer requested a zoning change on a particular piece of property in Troutman’s ward, her response, according to the Federal government, was, “What do I get out of it?” So she was given $5,000 and the zoning change was made.
The Sun-Times also provides a short history of the most recent Chicago Aldermen who have been convicted on corruption charges of one form or another. Though I couldn’t disagree more strongly with this side article that says Troutman is a throwback of sorts. If anything, the Hired Trucking scandal has shown that political patronage for friends and family is as prevalent as it’s ever been in the Windy City.
Those that know me (born and raised in the Chicago area), know that I have an acute junkie-type interest in Chicago politics, its corruption especially. Chicago, for whatever reason, continues to produce some of the most brazen, unapologetic, and theatrically corrupt politicians and deal-makers. It never ceases to fascinate me. That Barack Obama managed to launch his politic career from there (where it seems everyone is neck-deep in corruption of one form or another) with only being brushed lightly by impropriety, is a miracle.