Past Chicago Heights Officials Appear in UIC Corruption Report
A new study says corruption is not just a Chicago problem and calls for the policing of suburban politics. Chicago Heights is cited in report six times.
Suburbanites used to throw stones at Chicago for its political corruption. But suburbanites live in glass houses, according to a new University of Illinois (UIC) study.
The University of Illinois-Chicago Political Science Department's sixth Anti-Corruption Report released Monday says that political misbehavior in the suburban ring around Chicago is equally prevalent, but faces far less scrutiny.
Which is why, according to the Huffington Post, the head of the department and co-author of the study, former Chicago alderman Dick Simpson, called for the creation of an independent Suburban Inspector General to police suburban politics at a press conference Monday.
At that conference, Simpson released the study's findings, which included detailed outlines of corruption incidents involving more than 130 individuals across 60 suburbs since the 1970s.
The report maps arrests stemming from corruption charges including instances of nepotism, police officers aiding or extorting criminals, kickbacks and bribes to administrators and public officials with ties to organized crime; a total of six categories of impropriety that are well-represented in many of the examined suburbs.
The six categories of corruption-related convictions in suburban Chicago, according to the report, are:
- Public officials with ties to organized crime,
- Police officers aiding or extorting criminals,
- Kickbacks and bribes to officials and administrators,
- Large development projects, and
- Stealing of funds by leaders of school districts and special purpose districts.
Chicago Heights makes the report six times across four years.
- In 1990, City Administrator Enrico Doggett and Director of Economic Development Joseph Christofanelli were found guilty of failing to report bribes as income.
- In 1991, Director of Public Works Ernest Molyneaux, pled guilty to tax evasion for accepting bribes and the finance commissioner was found guilty of extortion and accepting bribes.
- In 1993, Mayor Charles Panici and two city council members, John Gliottoni and Louise Marshall, were convicted of racketeering, extortion and bribery. The same year, four police officers were convicted of drug conspiracy, money laundering and/or fabricating evidence.
- In 1994, Deputy Police Chief Sam Mangialardi was found guilty of racketeering, extortion and narcotics conspiracy.
The report also documents corruption scandals in Bridgeview (multiple conflicts of interest); Chicago Ridge (a corruption scandal in 1975 that sent all but the village clerk to jail); and Crestwood (impending trial of two village officials who allegedly supplemented Lake Michigan water with a trainted well).
To read the entire UIC report, click here.
Chicago Heights Patch editor Christopher Paicely contributed to this report.