In fact, the sense of unfairness on Team Sanchez was palpable.
“I just did my job the way I was supposed to,” said Sanchez.
“Why does someone have to wear the jacket?” asked his lawyer, Tom Breen. “I don’t understand why Al Sanchez was singled out.”
Let’s take these in order.
1. Not a fair day. Now you know how all those qualified job-seekers whose applications went into the trash because they didn’t pay their dues doing political work for the mayor through the Hispanic Democratic Organization felt.
2. The way I supposed to. Not according to the law, mind you, but according to the Chicago Way – which includes sending sacrificial dupes to the pokey every few years.
3. Wear the jacket. Someone always has to wear the jacket. The mayor is the queen bee and it’s everyone else’s job to protect him.
4. Singled out. How quickly Breen forgot Sanchez’s co-defendant, Aaron DelValle, and Robert Sorich and his three aides who were also convicted in the same investigation – which grew out of the Hired Truck scandal (46 convictions).
Is Sanchez – like Sorich – taking the fall for the mayor? Yes. That’s part of the deal when you sign up to work for him. The only way to break the cycle is to do what the mayor always preaches poor people in gang-ridden neighborhoods do: snitch.
The mayor, for his part, says he feels bad. But not bad enough to change his ways. Or to step up like a man and take responsibility. Nice knowin' ya’, Al!
“Even if he didn't know the details of exactly how interview scores were cooked, the mayor must have known there was a system in place to take care of finding jobs or making promotions to keep his political backers happy,” Mark Brown writes in “How Could Daley Not Have Known?”
Breen must mean Daley when he says "This was a system of hiring that was in place for years, decades before he assumed his office and no one has had the guts to come forward and say that and accept responsibility for that."
Because Daley has been the mayor for the last 20 years. And he’s the one for whom the system was designed to benefit.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor ofThe Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago news and culture review.