Garbage In, Garbage Out - NBC Chicago

Garbage In, Garbage Out

City Hall continues to roll in slop

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    Just days after we glimpsed the inner workings of the now-defunct Hispanic Democratic Organization and rampant cronyism in City Hall as laid out in the trial - and conviction - of former Streets and San Commissioner Al Sanchez, the city has awarded a lucrative contract that suggests business is indeed as usual in the Daley administration.

    "A company with ties to Bridgeport trucking magnate Fred Barbara and the Hispanic Democratic Organization has been awarded a three-year, $17.6 million contract to supply the giant garbage bins that helped Mayor Daley abolish the scandal-ridden Hired Truck Program," the Sun-Times reports.

    That company would be Allied Waste.

    Let us review.

    "It's the deal that could make Mayor Daley's friend Fred Bruno Barbara more than $100 million," the Sun-Times reported in 2006. " And just how much of that Barbara would get largely depended on City Hall . . .

    "Allied Waste has five contracts with the city. It sorts garbage for recycled materials, hauls garbage to dumps and supplies 'roll-off' boxes for city construction projects, a program the city started two years ago to cut back on the use of private trucks. The city has paid Allied more than $192 million since 2003.

    "Allied has employed a lobbyist, Daniel Katalinic, now linked to the hiring scandal at City Hall. He no longer works for Allied, the company said in a statement last year."

    Katalinic, you may recall, testified in the Sanchez trial - for the prosecution.

    And in 2007, the Sun-Times reported that "Outfit hit man Nicholas Calabrese . . . implicated a close friend of Mayor Daley's, Fred Barbara, as taking part in the bombing of a suburban restaurant in the early 1980s."

    Calabrese was sentenced last week for taking part in 14 mob hits.

    Lesson: If you stick around long enough, everything in Chicago politics comes full circle. And then rolls right along.