Marco Morales Due in Court After 13 Years on the Lam

An extradition to get excited about

By Steve Rhodes
|  Thursday, Oct 1, 2009  |  Updated 3:10 PM CDT
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Forget Polanski; Get Morales!

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Truth be told, this could get ugly for Mayor Daley.

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So they got Roman Polanski.

Good. Extradite him and string him up.

But Chicagoans ought to be far more interested in the little extradition case of Marco Morales.

Now here's a guy with tales to tell.

Morales pled guilty to bribery and mail fraud in the Operation Silver Shovel probe in 1997.

He said he paid off a high-ranking member of Mayor Daley's administration, and then went on the lam to Mexico.

Federal prosecutors have finally brought him back and he's due in court today.

What's the big deal?

Morales said he fled the country after he was told - at gunpoint - to stop talking about the bribery case. And then his son, who bought his fleeing father's construction company and stayed behind in Chicago, was awarded more than $60 million in city contracts.

That's what they call a "coinkydink" in these parts.

When John Kass once mentioned the words "hush" and "money" in the same sentence, a city purchasing agent said "It's ludicrous."

As Daley whispered "Legitimate firm! Legitimate firm!" into his agent's ear.

Oh, so you're familiar with the company, Mr. Mayor!

Now, coincidences do happen. Even in Chicago.

So we'll see.

But when Kass recently asked Morales' lawyer if his client had anything interesting to say to the feds about City Hall, he told Kass "I know he thinks so. I hope that he does [talk]."

So do we, my friend. So do we.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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