Convicted City Contractor Caught Culling Contracts
James Duff, a Chicago "dealmaker" and man about City Hall, pled guilty Monday for 33 federal counts of defrauding the city. Mostly because his businesses claimed to be minority and woman-owned businesses, so he could get special dispensations. You'd think the city would want to cut ties with a guy like that, right? But yesterday the Sun Times found that he still had a sub-contract to truck salt for the city.
Today, claiming that the contract was missed because it was never disclosed in procurement documents, city officials abruptly canceled not only the Duff company sub-contract, but also the general contract for the Kansas City company that oversees all salt operations.
Kudos should go to the Sun Times reporters that broke this story, since they probably had great intelligence to find the contract, and had to spend a lot of time digging up the right paperwork.
The Duff sub-contract doesn't smell good though. The Kansas City general contractor may not have clean hands, but sub-contracting to a known City Hall insider and then not putting it on the procurement documents sounds an awful lot like being told to play ball and spread the wealth a bit. John Kass and Mark Brown discuss this in detail.
Photo via AP