Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cook County Politics at its Finest

Chicago is a strange place when it comes to politics. Indictments of public officials are common.

But, things have been stranger than usual lately. There is a fight going on between city inspectors and the County Clerk over whether there are rats or mice in the basement of the County Building. For those who don't know, the County Building and City Hall are, effectively, the same building, with wings dedicated to each operation. There are different addresses only to reflect that there are different doors available. City inspectors are accusing the County of poor housekeeping while the County says the City is blaming the victims rather than dealing with the rodent (of whichever species) problem.

In the meantime, the City Clerk has resigned after being indicted for bribery. This is Chicago, so that is not too surprising.

But, the strangest story we've had in while is this one. It appears that a guard at the Cook County Prison actually allowed a prison break to take place just to embarrass the outgoing Cook County Sheriff and possibly influence the upcoming election. Chicago has a long history of fixing pot holes, delivery garbage cans, and other street-level incentives to vote. Letting convicted felons out on the street seems to be a new strategy. In the end, the cons were re-captured making the Sheriff's Department look well managed and up to the job.

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