Thursday, September 08, 2005

UPDATE: Chicago Mayor Daley more desperate than imagined

With his administration under siege from federal prosecutors and a wide range of scandals that have literally wiped out his management team -- by resignations and indictments -- Mayor Daley is showing signs of desperation.

It is evident in his appointment of David Hoffman, a federal prosecutor, as the new Inspector General. According to the Mayor, "Mr. Clean" has been told to ferret out corruption where ever he may find it -- even if it leads to the Office of the Mayor. City Hall is taking a zero tolerance approach to official corruption.

As any long time resident of Chicago would know, nothing ... but nothing ... except cold sweating fear and desperate terror could possibly have the machine mayor of Chicago promote real reform. He is taking the last ditch effort to save his own skin. He is going straight. Of course, it may be too late. However, the hiring of a federal prosecutor is a testimony to the Mayor's well deserved reputation as a survivor -- even at the expense of those who sit at his right hand.

A cynic my think that plucking a person out of the very office investigating the city might at once bring to his side (backside, that is) a person better able to understand and deal with the culture of the federal law enforcement office. Hoffman may prove to be a valuable negotiator for the Mayor, and may actually be able to deflect the thrust of the investigation. Of course, I am not sufficiently cynical to think any such thoughts.

The hiring of Hoffman, however, should be a warning to anyone who ever worked for the Mayor. If they broke the law, even at the request of ... or with the knowledge of the mayor ... or just believing the mayor knew, they can count on his well armored shield of deniability to cut them adrift in the sea of prosecution. As one associate of the Mayor noted, he (the Mayor) has thrown so many friends under the train that the wheels don't touch the rails anymore.

Image, real reform in City Hall ... no more graft, bribes, jobs-for-homage, fixed tickets, contracts based on contributions. It has never been truer that desperate times call for desperate measures.

On the other hand, if Hoffman turns out to be an Irish cousin, as the saying goes, then everything I wrote above in inoperative.

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