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"Operation Crooked Code" Reveals Corrupt Licensing Practices

By Margaret Lyons in News on May 23, 2008 6:35PM

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who's in desperate need of a nickname, said there's "every reason to think there are more charges to come in the future," following the arrest of 15 people, including several city employees, charged with giving and receiving bribes in the zoning department. The investigation is called "Operation Crooked Code," which is amazing.

From the Trib:

City inspectors ignored problems, fabricated reports and sped up paperwork in exchange for envelopes of cash, work on their homes and tickets to skyboxes for Bulls games, the federal charges alleged. One inspector took $10,000 to approve two illegal basement units in a building, while another allegedly took $7,000 to "inspect" plumbing that was already covered by concrete, investigators said.

City Inspector General David Hoffman says "we're talking about systemic corruption," which Mayor Daley denied, trotting out the few-bad-apples model. [S-T, S-T, Trib]