Friday, July 13, 2012

No place for decent people: More Illinois corruption stories

"Decent people shouldn't live in
Illinois, they'd be happier
someplace else."
"Decent people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier someplace else." ―Jack Napier/The Joker on Gotham City.

"I am sick and tired of subsidizing crooks." Former Ill. Rep. Roger Keats, before his move to Texas.

You know, more and more these days I think of that line from the Tim Burton Batman movie--and Keats' comment.

Corruption is entrenched in Illinois at all levels of government.

The private sector here has crooks too, I've seen them in action. Graft is part of Illinois culture. It's hard for honest people to prosper here.

As for that corruption--it's not only Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, over 1,000 public and business officials have been indicted in Illinois over the last 40 years.

In today's news there are two new tales of crookedness. Brendolyn Hart-Glover, the former acting director of a Cook County jobs training program that received over $5 million in federal stimulus funds, will be charged today for falsifying documents related to that program. WLS-AM says if convicted she could get up to five years in prison. I suggest a minimum 20 year sentence for her. If the law doesn't permit that, then the law needs to be changed. After over a century of rampant political corruption in Illinois, the nice-guy approach to sentencing clearly isn't working--although Blago's 14 year prison term for his crimes was a step in the right direction.

The program Hart-Glover was in charge of went by the acronym POET. Here's what the Chicago Sun-Times said about it this afternoon:
POET [it is now known as Cook County Works] has long been plagued with problems, from staffers sent to prison for on-the-job theft to accounting irregularities that lead to the county returning $8.4 million in federal job training money between 2003 and 2008.
I want potential government crooks to wonder before committing a crime, "Is this worth 20 years in 'the joint' to me?"

And now on to our second Friday story: An inspector general's report is accusing a dozen Chicago Public Schools principals and assistant principals of falsifying (that word again) documents so their own children could receive free or reduced-charge school lunches. Of course these alleged crooks, in addition to being well-paid, have master's degrees or doctorates, so you think they would know better. Their punishment could include termination.

I suggest that the OIG turns this information over to prosecutors so the reputed perpetrators can be charged with fraud. And if found guilty, they should be sent to prison for stealing from the taxpayers.

At one time I wrote that Illinois needs to be power-scrubbed with Mr. Clean. We're past that point now--this state needs to be roach-bombed so the grifter culture can be exterminated.

And finally, in Illinois these are small-time stories, they'll be forgotten by Monday. That wouldn't be the case in Minnesota or Utah--or a lot of other places.

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