Wednesday, September 6, 2006
George Ryan through the years
NBC 5 in Chicago has been at the forefront of George Ryan corruption stories over the years. Starting with the intrepid Paul Hogan (left), who since has passed away, and continuing with indefatigable Phil Rogers (right), the station has a priceless archive of exposes posted online.
I was watching the clips recently and was struck by Hogan's reporting of a scandal when George was Lt. Governor. It was the so-called World Trade Center Association scandal where the insiders who ran the quasi state entity under George's control were handing out contracts to themselves.
After days of reporting on this, Hogan finally caught up to George at an event downtown. He gave the same type of blustery non-answer denial that he gave in the early days of the licenses-for-bribes scandal eight years later. The year was 1990.
It is remarkable that George escaped politically and from law enforcement officials. How things would have been different had Patrick Fitzgerald been on the scene in 1990.
As for George, 16 years later, he was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison and he still had little defense for his actions. His lawyers were so empty-handed they resorted to high cholesterol as a reason for leniency. I wonder if Rod watched the coverage.