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Report: City Treasurer Has Police Chauffeur Son

By Prescott Carlson in News on Dec 16, 2011 7:40PM

Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely
Prepare to brace yourself, because everything you've thought about how this town works is about to be rocked at its core. Here it is — a top Chicago official may be taking personal advantage of a city perk.

We know, right?

Working off of a tip, Fox Chicago and (allegedly) former reporter Andy Shaw's Better Government Association went all Pam Zekman on Chicago Treasurer Stephanie Neely, following her on five days this month to see how she utilizes her security detail. What they found is that Neely seems to be using assigned officers for more than protecting her from bodily harm.

On one morning, an investigative reporter spotted Neely seemingly getting a ride home from her gym. On another, the officer was hauling Neely's empty garbage can from the street for her. And to take the cake, on three separate occasions Neely's son was spotted climbing into the officer's city issued vehicle for a "police chauffeured drive presumably to school."

Security details for Neely and other city officials have been under fire since Mayor Emanuel took office in May, and Emanuel had previously cut Neely's security in half, as well as making cuts to security for Ald. Ed Burke and former Mayor Richard Daley. Emanuel reportedly wanted to cut Neely's security entirely, and this new report may cause him to do just that.

Shaw had the best zinger regarding the ridiculous nature of Neely needing a security guard, saying, "Unless she is carrying the city treasury around with her, it's hard to imagine why she needs an armed police bodyguard... especially one who is worrying about her garbage."

Neely issued a statement to the press about the Fox/BGA report, which defended rather than denied using the officer for personal use, saying that with her long hours and "trying to balance life and work" that it "is simply not feasible to have my detail clock in and out every time I manage to squeeze in a workout or a visit with my child."