Thursday, February 17, 2011

The continuing saga of Chicago corruption

We are following the trail of wrongdoing by a Chicago Alderman, Arenda Troutman, involved in selling political favors to anyone who could pay. These incidents are detailed in a recent 7th Circuit case, US v Boone. Here's another snippet:

In August 2004, Kalpana Plomin sought help from the alderman's office. She had started a business called Homes with Heart, a non-profit organization which sought to renovate dilapidated buildings to provide affordable housing for low-income residents. She was interested in purchasing a large building at 4758 South Marshfield and converting it to a 12-unit apartment building. The property was zoned for use as a single family home or two-flat, and therefore she sought Troutman's support for a zoning change before she proceeded with the acquisition of the property. She met with Alderman Troutman and approximately 6 or 7 other persons in Troutman's office, explaining her request. . . . At the end of the meeting, Troutman expressed enthusiasm for the project, and told Plomin that a member of her staff, Reverend Gregory Hall, would escort her from the office and explain the “political things” that Plomin would need to do in order to obtain the support. Hall informed Plomin that she had to make a campaign contribution of $1,500 in order to obtain a letter of support from Troutman. Plomin ultimately decided against paying that money, and she did not obtain the letter of support. As a result, Homes with Heart did not obtain that property for its low-income housing.

By the way, the Alderman pled guilty to two counts of the indictment brought against her.

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