The [Monday] Papers
"In the annals of Daley administration scandals, the name Duff still ranks high," the BGA reports in the Sun-Times this morning.
"The politically connected Duff family - campaign supporters of Mayor Daley - won about $100 million in city business, in part through what prosecutors said were bogus claims that they deserved breaks that are set aside for women-owned businesses. Those claims unraveled as James M. Duff pleaded guilty in 2005 to fraud and racketeering, among 33 federal charges.
"Daley knew the Duffs, went to their parties, benefitted from their campaign fund-raisers - but downplayed his ties to the family, which, during his tenure, got city cleanup and janitorial work from City Hall at Taste of Chicago, O'Hare Airport and the Harold Washington Library Center,among other lucrative city business.
"For anyone keeping score, newly released FBI files show that agents who were keeping tabs on the late John F. 'Jack' Duff Jr. - the family patriarch who was an ex-con, disgraced union boss and self-described pal of the late Chicago mob boss Anthony Accardo - had a source who told them 'it was common knowledge that Jack Duff Jr. and Mayor Daley were close friends and that Jack Duff Jr. had direct access to the mayor.'"
Well, that was always what John Kass said.
"Hey Chicago, grab your golf bags. There's a big party coming up. And you won't want to miss it.
"The Men of the Year labor union golf outing is scheduled for Sept. 10 at the Bloomingdale Golf Club. It will honor two of Chicago's prominent families - who now pretend they don't know each other.
"The Daleys and the Duffs.
"Daley spent all last week screeching that he doesn't know the Duffs. Now, it turns out, this party has been planned for weeks."
"Reporters were asking the usual question:
"How could he give $100 million in city business to people who have ties to big-time Mafia chiefs?
"'Don't ask me,' he said. 'I am the mayor of the city of Chicago.'"
"According to a Tribune investigation, Daley steered contracts toward the Duffs at the expense of minority contractors. But on Wednesday he made a speech about helping minorities.
"So did the bureaucrats behind him, including Troy Ratliff, a suit in the Purchasing Department.
"Since July, when the Tribune broke the Duff story, Ratliff has been investigating.
"Daley ordered Ratliff to investigate how the heck these white guys got $100 million in minority contracts.
"Ratliff should know. He's the one who gave the white-guy Duffs the minority contracts - even though his staff recommended against it. Later, Ratliff's office lost some Duff contract documents."
"'I am not suppose to laugh about this,' said Mayor Richard Daley after he clowned around through his news conference on Wednesday.
"Reporters wanted to know why he gave $100 million in city contracts to a family with ties to organized crime bosses.
"Daley said he didn't know nothing about nobody. He smirked his way through. He played dumb."
"Daley would drink with the Duffs at their legendary Como Inn parties. There must not have been enough light at those parties, because the Duffs received $100 million in city-related affirmative action contracts even though they were white men with pink necks."
Sure enough, the BGA found.
"One document, dating from 2000, summarized an FBI interview with an individual who isn't identified in the files that were released. That individual recalled seeing Duff 'sitting at a table together' with Daley and 'several' unnamed aldermen at the old Como Inn restaurant at a Christmas party hosted by the Duffs.
"Later in that same document, the Duffs are described as 'assisting Mayor Daley with promoting certain individuals for election.'"
"The elder Duff's ties to the Chicago Outfit included testifying on behalf of Accardo at the 1960 income tax fraud trial of the mobster known as 'Big Tuna.' Jack Duff testified that they did business together and were friends. Duff was working for then-Mayor Richard J. Daley at the time, a job Duff later lost."
"Over the years, the current Mayor Daley has acknowledged knowing the Duffs and accepting campaign help and money from them but has portrayed his relationship with them as nothing special, saying at one point, 'I know a lot of people.'"
Keep the Duffs in mind this week when Daley is being feted as the greatest mayor to walk the planet. As Al Pacino as John Milton says of God in The Devil's Advocate, "Worship that? Never!"
Jacquelyn Heard, you will not be missed either. I wonder what it feels like to lie for 22 years.
CORRECTION: Heard has been the mayor's chief flak since 1997. So she's only been lying for him for 14 years.
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The Weekend in Chicago Rock
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The Beachwood Tip Line: Peachy.
Posted on May 9, 2011
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