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How Much of a Duff Man was Daley?

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 10, 2011 8:20PM

Throughout his mayoral tenure, Richard Daley has taken lengths to downplay his ties to the Duff family, even as he accepted campaign contributions from them and the Duffs wound up raking in major coin as a result of their connections to His Elective Majesty, to the tune of $100 million.

Thank God the Better Government Association is sharing for public view over 600 pages of FBI files on the late John F. "Jack" Duff, Jr. indicating that Duff had no problem calling Daley a friend, even as Daley tried to distance himself publicly from Duff.

There's nothing in the documents that infers Daley was doing anything under the table with the Duffs, but the documents do provide a stark contrast and necessary balance to the Hosannas Daley's been receiving as he rides into the sunset. The documents also serve to remind us of how much the Duff family gamed minority and women-owned contracting set-asides for their own purposes. The BGA and the Sun-Times remind us that Duff's wife Particia and one of their sons, James, were indicted with participating in a wide-raging minority hiring scheme. James Duff was convicted of the charges; his mother had charges dropped against her due to ill health.

Throughout Daley's run as mayor, his stock answer when questioned about his association with the Duffs was "I know a lot of people." But Jack Duff's ties to the Daley clan go back to Richard J. Daley's mayoralty. and Jack Duff also had ties to the late Outfit boss Tony "Big Tuna" Accardo. It's hard to believe that Daley, with a memory like an elephant, wwould forget a face like Duff's over the years.