Four men that greased the wheels of the Daley machine in Chicago had their federal convictions upheld by an appeals judge, the Chicago Sun-Times noted in an April 16 article. Yet although Daley is a lifelong Democrat and the Democrats run Chicago lock, stock, and barrel, the Sun-Times failed to even casually mention either Daley's or Gov. Blagojevich's Democratic bona fides.
The federal appellate court in Chicago Tuesday upheld the conviction of four men charged with running the patronage hiring system in Mayor Daley's City Hall.
The ruling sent waves of angst through City Hall, Gov. Blagojevich's office and other government offices where some had hoped the court would find the age-old practice of giving plum government jobs to cronies was legal.
The former Daley aides -- Robert Sorich, Tim McCarthy, John Sullivan and Patrick Slattery -- were convicted of mail fraud:
The four men, led by Daley's patronage chief Robert Sorich, argued that since the men did not personally profit from the scheme, it wasn't "mail fraud." The court unanimously ruled that it was -- even if the men thought it a fine Chicago tradition to falsify documents to give city jobs to clouted candidates over qualified candidates.
"Robin Hood may be a noble criminal, but he is still a criminal," Judge Ann Claire Williams wrote.
The ruling appears to give a green light to ongoing federal investigations of city, state and county government.
"It is hard to take too seriously the contention that the defendants did not know that by creating a false hiring scheme that provided thousands of lucrative city jobs to political cronies, falsifying documents and lying repeatedly about what they were doing, they were perpetrating a fraud," Williams wrote.