Sneed: Ald. Beale led authorities to bribery suspect, court documents show
By Michael Sneed April 29, 2014 12:44AM
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times
Updated: May 30, 2014 6:24AM
Sneed exclusive . . .
The X factor!
Sneed has learned Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) has become a hero in the type of scandal that has sent at least 18 Chicago aldermen to jail since 1973.
The bribery scandal.
In recently filed court documents, Wasfi Mansour, 42, a Northwest Indiana man, was charged with attempting to bribe a Chicago alderman identified only as “Alderman X.”
That is, until Sneed found out Monday that the alderman was Beale.
According to court documents obtained by Sneed, Mansour allegedly contacted Beale’s aldermanic office in September of 2012 seeking to have $42,000 in business fines dismissed in exchange for a campaign contribution. Beale told police, who in turn told the State’s Attorney’s Office.
◆ Buckshot: An undercover officer posing as an aide to the alderman met with Mansour on several occasions, but the deal fell through. It wasn’t long before Mansour reached out again, this time about lifting a liquor license moratorium. Mansour was recorded offering $5,000 and $10,000 bribes for liquor license and zoning favors, according to court documents.
On Monday, Beale confirmed with Sneed that he was the alderman who did the right thing.
With charges and allegations swirling around certain Chicago aldermen and their staff members for bribe-taking, this caper comes with a very certain sense of irony.
“Historically, bribery tends to be the honey which has lured many alderman into jail cells,” said a Sneed source. “It turns out Ald. Beale became an unlikely hero because he immediately reported the bribery attempt to authorities and an undercover investigation began,” the source added.
◆ Backshot: According to a 2012 University of Illinois at Chicago report on Illinois’ history of political corruption, since 1973, 31 aldermen have been convicted of corruption. The report, which came out in 2012, calculated approximately 100 aldermen have served since 1973 — bringing the conviction rate to about one-third.
Some of the 31 aldermen who have been convicted since 1973:
Fred Hubbard (2nd), Joseph Jambrone (28th), Joseph Potempa (23rd), Casimir Staszcuk (13th), Thomas Keane (31st), Frank Kuta (23rd), Paul Wigoda (49th), Edward Scholl (41st), Donald Swinarski (12th), Stanley Zydlo (26th), William Carothers (28th), Louis Farina (36th), Tyrone Kenner (3rd), Chester Kuta (31st), Wallace Davis (27th), Perry Hutchinson (9th), Marian Humes (8th), Ambrosio Medrano (25th), Allan Streeter (17th), Joseph Martinez (31st), Jesse Evans (21st), Lawrence Bloom (5th), John Madrzyk (13th), Virgil Jones (15th), Percy Giles (37th), James Laski (23rd), Arenda Troutman (20th), and Ike Carothers (29th).
Of the 31 aldermen convicted, 18 had bribery specifically listed among their charges — though all were convicted of financial crimes. Some of the aldermen were indicted or convicted after their time at the City Council had ended.
The Clooney corner . . .
Church chat: Although no date has been set for the marriage of newly-engaged actor George Clooney and British attorney Amal Alamuddin, Sneed wonders who will perform the wedding ceremony.
◆ To wit: Clooney was raised in an Irish Catholic environment. According to the Brit press, Alamuddin, who comes from a prominent intellectual Lebanese family who fled war-torn Beirut when she was a child, is thought to belong to the Druze religious sect, an offshoot of Islam.
◆ Argh! When asked if Amal is anything like the other women who he has dated in the past, Clooney’s mother, Nina Clooney, told the Daily Mail: ”Heavens, no! She’s a lawyer, she is brilliant, she is a very bright woman and at the very top of her career.”
There ya go.
The Spitzer blitzer . . .
Patience pays: Silda Spitzer, the long-suffering wife of cheating ex-hubby/ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, has wound up with a post-nuptial agreement which includes a $7.5 million payout; $240,000 a year; and $100,000 a year to donate to charity. Hmm. Wonder who gets the tax break on the charitable donation?
Sneedlings . . .
Tuesday’s birthdays: Andre Agassi, 44; Daniel Day-Lewis, 57, and Michelle Pfeiffer, 56.