Monday, September 3, 2018

September 3, 1982 -- Walker Aides Indicted for Mail Fraud

September 3, 1982 –Three members of former Governor Daniel Walker’s administration and a top campaign contributor are indicted on charges of exchanging state contracts for campaign contributions. This will be the second time the group has been indicted in the scheme that involved state contracts in excess of a million dollars.  The original indictment was rejected by Judge Susan Getzendanner in the U. S. District Court in Chicago because it failed to define specifically the details of the alleged crime. The original indictment alleged that $1.3 million in state contracts went to Millicent Systems and Universal Design Systems at 201 North Wells Street in Chicago in exchange for $80,000 in campaign contributions.  Competitive bids were not required for the contracts because they were for professional services.  In the late 1980's the ex-governor, himself, would serve 18 months of a seven-year prison sentence for bank fraud and perjury.

Burnett M. Chiperfield
September 3, 1909 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports on an investigation by the Chiperfield land investigating committee, authorized by the state legislature to look into abuses related to “made land” along Illinois lakes and rivers.  The current brouhaha relates to land in Edgewater where “a few years ago a broad sandy beach stretched along the shore of that part of the city” and where now residents are not pleased “to have Sheridan road, which used to skirt along the edge of the lake between Bryn Mawr and Foster avenues, shoved back 200 to 500 feet, and to have their beloved beach turned into building lots by the dumping of refuse upon the sand.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, September 3, 1909] It is alleged that the Lincoln Park board has given two real estate agencies, Cochran & McClure and Corbett & Connery, the right to make new land in the area and sell the property.  One resident says, “When we bought our property last August we supposed that we were within two blocks of the lake, but instead of that we find a real estate sign offering lots for sale at the foot of the street.”  Burnett M. Chiperfield of Canton, Illinois, the head of the Submerged and Shore Lands Legislative Investigating Committee, says, “We have decided that in all cases where we have found individuals or corporations occupying land which we think belongs to the state we shall subpoena them to appear before us and bring with them any proofs which they may have to offer showing their alleged title to the land … We want to get a bird’s eye view of the whole shore line, and a general idea where the towns are located and of the water front streets and that sort of thing, so that when we take testimony regarding certain alleged land grabs, we will have some knowledge of the location … We found some things in East St. Louis and along the Illinois river that look like big steals, and I believe that conditions are as bad all along the water fronts of this state.”

September 3, 1950 – The Chicago Tribune reports that a 500-unit addition to Altgeld Gardens at 130th Street is soon to get under way.  It will be one of 13 sites that the City Council has approved as subsidized housing for low-income families.  The land for the project was purchased in 1946 and covers 32 acres.  Architects for the huge project will be Naess & Murphy, the same firm that will design the Prudential Building on Randolph Street before the middle of the decade.  The average monthly rental is projected to be $43, and the project will include its own shopping center and “an abundance of parking space.”  The Beaubein Forest Preserve is nearby, and the park district has acquired an additional 15 acres of green space adjoining the development.  It all sounds wonderful – an urban paradise – but as The Chicago Reader later observed, “Altgeld’s proximity to the southeast side’s slew of factories, landfills, dumps, and polluted waterways . . . left its residents exposed and vulnerable.”  [The Chicago Reader, September 4, 2015]

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