Investigators have discovered yet another shadow budget used at the leisure of Chicago’s alderman.
Reporters at the Chicago Tribune discovered a fund, off the official city books, that allows alderman to pay their friends and family for services.
The friends and family budget isn't as large as the much maligned TIF fund but its pipeline is just as well hidden and the ethical questions that surround it are just as difficult to answer.
This payroll fund falls outside of tax money aldermen already get to hire staff. It is also separate from their rather sizeable expense accounts.
The Tribune’s investigators unearthed the fund just as Mayor Daley prepares to ask that the Shakman decree, a 40-year-old law that requires a judge to oversee political hiring, be ended.
The Tribune interviewed numerous alderman; some were forthcoming with information, others were not.
Read more here.