Vice Squad
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Don't The Voters Always Fall for that Fake Drunk Driving Charge?

One of the mixed blessings of living in Chicago is keeping abreast of the goings-on in the near-suburban town of Cicero. Once home to Al Capone, Cicero continues to try to live up to that heritage. Today's Trib reports that the town has settled a lawsuit, only costing Cicero taxpayers some $400,000. (This figure cannot be substantiated, as the terms of the settlement are confidential.)

The lawsuit was filed by a fellow who was running for town President a few years ago. He alleged that the then-Superintendent of the Cicero police, accompanied by 5 other Cicero officers, staked him out when he hosted a Christmas party at a Chicago (not a Cicero) restaurant. They followed the candidate back to Cicero, goes the allegation, and then called an officer in Cicero with a heads-up. Less than three blocks inside the town border, the candidate was pulled over and charged with, among other things, driving under the influence. Prosecutors dropped the case two months later.

The arrested candidate thinks that the (allegedly false) arrest was concocted by his opponent, the sitting President. She won the election, but now she is sitting elsewhere, in federal custody, having been found guilty of other misdeeds that cost the town a bundle; indeed, $400,000 is a relative drop in the bucket: "The Town Board approved the settlement Tuesday night with no discussion."

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