Illinois political corruption is so common that few people even notice, but a crooked stunt by the leaders of a suburban town just outside Chicago is so outrageous it's making national headlines.
William Shaw, mayor of the Village of Dolton on the south end of the Chicago sprawl, has hired his twin brother to "root out corruption" ... for $70,000 a year.
As of Tuesday, Robert Shaw has the newly created position of Inspector General of Dolton, but his contract specifically prohibits him from investigating his identical twin brother or any of the town trustees who approved the scheme.
It seems the twin Shaw will have to focus his anti-corruption campaign on the town clerk, Veronica Gray, or maybe on the four-person park district or the trustees of the local library.
Village spokesman Sean Howard admitted there wasn't any actual corruption going on, but they still need the twin Shaw because "neighboring towns have fallen into it."
"We want to be proactive," Howard said. When a reporter suggested the whole thing was fishy, Howard went nuts.
"Show me where this is illegal," Howard yelled. "It is not illegal. [Robert Shaw] is qualified. There is no conflict of interest. There is not even an appearance of impropriety. There is nothing improper."
In a town where the median income for a whole family is $52,725, Shaw is getting $70,000 plus benefits ... and he's just a "contract employee," so he doesn't even have show up for work.
William Shaw, 68, has lost three consecutive local elections, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association, called the Shaw scheme "a gigantic waste of time and money."
"Even by Chicagoland standards, this stands out as a particularly shameless and wasteful ploy. It's a $70,000 joke on the taxpayers of Dolton."
at May 05, 2006
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