To the Editor:
If you had any doubts about our judicial system and the application of law, this article should put them to rest. Dateline Chicago: Found this tucked deep in the newsprint somewhere between liquidation notices and prayers to St. Jude.
Dominic Owens, a zoning inspector for the city of Chicago, was caught up in “Operation Crooked Code” and was charged with accepting more than $20,000 in bribes. He was convicted on the federal charges and sentenced to one year in prison.
Certain that this was a miscarriage of justice, the defense team filed an appeal. Upon appeal, the defense claimed that it was only proved that Mr. Owens took $1,200 in bribes and that the statute clearly states that the bribes have to exceed $5,000. Please, if your about to bite into a peanut cluster, put it down. Mr. Owens was acquitted of accepting bribes and was last seen doing an Irish jig with his ward boss.
What can be learned from the court’s decision? First, if you’re on the take, make sure you’re able to make change. It would behoove you to stay below $4,990. Second, if you’re a public servant in Cook County, you’ve got the green light to start a Christmas club.