Nice spin by Ronald Safer – Chicago isn’t more corrupt than other cities, it only seems that way because the US Attorney’s Office is so effective at rooting out the corruption. Well, that’s one way of looking at the situation I guess.
For more than three decades, the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago has made its reputation successfully prosecuting public servants. It has sent to prison Cook County judges, scores of Chicago aldermen and other City Hall officials, as well as former Gov. George Ryan. But in terms of pure news media spectacle and national profile, the Blagojevich trial may be the biggest test yet for an office with a storied legacy.
“The hobby of the office has been public corruption,” said Scott Lassar, the United States attorney whom Mr. Fitzgerald succeeded in 2001.
Though there is a common perception that the city’s politics are corrupt, “I don’t think it is only because corruption is rampant in Chicago and nowhere else,” said Ronald S. Safer, who worked as an assistant United States attorney from 1989 to 1999 and is now managing partner at the law firm Schiff Hardin. “It is, in part, because the F.B.I. and United States attorney’s offices have gotten so effective at uncovering it” that Chicago has a higher percentage of corruption cases.
(click to continue reading Chicago News Cooperative – Passion and Success in U.S. Attorney’s Office – NYTimes.com.)
The contrary view is that Chicago is incredibly and deeply corrupt, there are so many prosecutions here because the US Attorney’s Office doesn’t have to look very hard to find illegal activity.