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Kirk, Durbin push to rename D.C. ATF building for Eliot Ness

Eliot Ness

Eliot Ness

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Updated: January 11, 2014 6:36PM

U.S. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) joined an Ohio lawmaker on Friday in proposing to name a federal building after Eliot Ness, the Prohibition-era crime fighter whose unit brought down Al Capone.

The resolution, filed with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), would rename the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Eliot Ness ATF Building.

Ness — whose work was most portrayed on-screen in the 1987 movie “The Untouchables” — joined the federal Prohibition Bureau in 1926 and was the special agent in charge of the Chicago division. His work helped indict Capone with more than 5,000 Prohibition violations.

“Chicago gangster Al Capone believed that every man had his price,” Durbin said. “But for Eliot Ness and his legendary law enforcement team ‘The Untouchables,’ no amount of money could buy their loyalty or sway their dedication to Chicago’s safety.”

Ness, who was from Illinois, transferred to Cincinnati and then Cleveland after Prohibition ended in 1933 to serve as the special agent in charge of Ohio’s northern district Alcohol and Tobacco Unit.

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