The Ryan Trial


The George Ryan federal corruption trial is winding down in a Chicago courtroom. The prosecution is rapping up its case against Ryan.


The local media gave up the gavel to gavel coverage of the trial after the first week. Witness after witness gave circumstantial evidence about the Gov's friends, business associates, campaign funds and general politics as usual playbook recitations. The worst testimony came from Ryan's accountants and his family members. The accountants verified that Ryan did not report the campaign money he spent on personal items as income. His family members admitted that they received campaign money for doing nothing. There were endless stories of how Ryan got the perks of public office, while his friends and colleagues got rich public contracts. Ryan's multimillion dollar pro bono defense team keeps trying to nail home the point that no one has testified that they saw Ryan take a bribe, or fix a contract personally.

But the parade of witnesses has led the courtroom observers to cringe at the amount of sleaze that has been woven into the fabric of Illinois politics. The defense's main worry has always been whether the jury will convict Ryan by sleaze by association logic.

The Trial will conclude in a matter of weeks. Each week, new indictments are leveled against city hall workers or family members of elected officials. It is a non-stop criminal crime spree. The city clerk, when indicted recently, lost his four police bodyguards. Now, why would a city official need four bodyguards? Why would any politician in America need a bodyguard? This is not wild west Russia; this is Chicago. Or maybe the Chicago of the prohibition era.


Opinion, Commentary, Editorial Cartoons by Ski.

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