by Libby Hellmann
Welcome to 2009! I can’t remember a year with so many criminal developments, investigations, and trials on tap for Chicago. For blogs like the Outfit, you couldn’t ask for a better line-up. It’s every bit as exciting as the coming attractions at the movies. Here’s just a sample of what’s coming…
Roddy, We Hardly Knew Ye.
But we’ll get to know him a lot better this year. Apart from his impeachment –practically a done deal -- and subsequent trial in the Illinois Senate, there’s also US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s criminal complaint, which will be followed by another indictment and trial (assuming Blago continues to maintain his Nixonian innocence). Whatever happens, it’s safe to say we will have him to kick around all year. Btw, the ethics law that prompted some of Blago’s behavior went into effect January 1. For an interesting history of how it almost didn’t come to pass, click here.
Rezko: Round Two Everybody’s Favorite Fundraiser, Tony Rezko, will be on trial again in February. This time, he’s accused of a $10 million loan fraud scheme involving state deals. In part, he’s accused of asking a state official to draft a letter that got him big loans from the state to finance his pizza business. Oh, and Las Vegas would like to know why he skipped out on nearly half a million dollars in gambling debts.
The Cop you Love to Hate
We ought to be hearing more from the States Attorney’s office about suburban cop Drew Peterson’s role in the murder of Wife Number Three and the disappearance (and presumed death) of Stacy, Wife Number Four. Unfortunately, the unlawful gun charges against him – which could have put him in jail for a while – were dropped in November. Still, this guy’s arrogance and narcissism make OJ – and even Blago -- look like pikers. Oh, and he’s engaged – again. Can you say “Run .. don’t walk?”
The Other Peterson
Kevin has kept us up to date on the other Peterson situation, the murder of dermatologist Dr. David Cornbleet. (See below). Check out the show, Personal Justice, on Discovery this week.
Fast Eddie Slows Down
Former Alderman Ed Vrdolyak, who made daily headlines twenty years ago for, among other things, leading the “Council Wars” against Harold Washington, the city’s first black Mayor, will be sentenced this week for receiving kickbacks on the sale of a building. Ironically, Fast Eddie got his name, in part, for eluding the law – he’d been investigated for a number of shady schemes for years. (Think he was Blago’s mentor?) Now, though, thanks to Stuart Levine -- a guy who seems to know everybody’s dirty laundry, btw – Eddie skidded to a stop. He pled guilty last November.
Not So Entertaining
Although it involves a well-known Chicago entertainer. An indictment has been issued against the man accused of killing the mother, brother and nephew of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson.
Pretty impressive list, right? But I’ve barely scratched the surface. Time for you to report in. What have I missed? Which of these Chicago stories do you think will be the most compelling?