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Jury Convicts Corrupt Chicago Alderman, Part of Daley Family’s Political Dynasty

'When he saw the opportunity to lie, to deceive, to pay less than what he owed, he took it...'

(Headline USA) A grandson and nephew of Chicago’s two longest-serving mayors was convicted Monday of tax crimes and making false statements.

Patrick Daley Thompson, a member of the city council, must immediately resign under state law.

Thompson was accused of falsely claiming mortgage interest deductions and lying about lines of credit from Washington Federal Bank for Savings.

The jury’s deliberations and verdict followed about three hours of closing arguments.

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Thompson’s grandfather was Richard J. Daley and his uncle is Richard M. Daley, who each served more than 20 years as mayor of Chicago.

Federal regulators closed Washington Federal in 2017. Investigators said Thompson lied about the extent of his loans to a new lender and said he only owed $110,000, not $269,000.

“When he saw the opportunity to lie, to deceive, to pay less than what he owed, he took it,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Petersen told the jury.

Defense attorney Chris Gair said there’s a big difference between lying and simply making mistakes.

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“We all make mistakes,” Gair said. “If it were a federal crime to make a mistake then we’d all be guilty.”

He suggested the government wanted to nail someone named Daley, though prosecutors denied it.

“Nobody targeted this defendant. He did what he did,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Netols said.

However, there may be political implications to the federal probe: New York’s partisan attorney general, Letitia James, has levied allegations of similar fraud against former President Donald Trump, claiming that he undervalued and overvalued his real-estate properties to gain favorable financing deals.

It is rare for Democrats to go after their own—particularly in the Windy City, where machine politics once turned a blind eye to the Daley family’s double-dealing.

Current Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a black lesbian, ran as an outsider to the city’s political old-boys network but also has faced allegations of self-serving policies that apply a different standard to her than to her constituents.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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