GOP Wants Info On Chicago's Mayor

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley addresses supporters Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2003 at a downtown Chicago hotel after being re-elected to a fifth term as Mayor of Chicago. Daley swamped three little-known, underfunded challengers to win a fifth term Tuesday after an unusually quiet campaign in a city known for raucous politics.
The Cook County Republican Party is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an indictment and conviction of Mayor Richard M. Daley, whose administration has been buffeted by scandal.

"The arrogance of Richard Daley is appalling," said Gary Skoien, chairman of the county party. "We hope this reward will inspire someone with critical knowledge to come forward."

Daley's press secretary, Jacqueline Heard, scoffed at the GOP reward. "This is ridiculous, politically motivated and undeserving of any further comment," she said in a statement.

The reward follows last week's announcement by federal prosecutors that they had charged two City Hall officials with rigging the city's hiring system to get around a 1983 court order that bars officials from hiring employees for political reasons.

The mayor, who has not been charged, reacted to the charges by proposing that municipal hiring be turned over to an independent commission.

Last week's indictments were an outgrowth of an ongoing federal investigation of bribes being given in return for jobs in a $38 million program in which the city outsourced hauling work. Twenty-one people have pleaded guilty, including some former high-ranking city officials.

The lawyer who obtained the 1983 federal court order on hiring has asked a judge to hold the mayor in contempt of court for violating the decree.

Michael Shakman argued in a court filing Tuesday that civil fines should be imposed on Daley and other city officials for what he says are "systemic, widespread violations" of the decree, which bears his name.

Shakman did not allege that Daley had been aware of specific violations, but he blamed the mayor for a "culture of disregard for the law and disrespect for court orders."

Corporation Counsel Mara Georges denied that the violations rose to the "systemic level" that would justify holding the mayor in contempt.