Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Miami vice in south suburbs

Daily Southtown columnist Phil Kadner exams the candidacy of a former undercover cop who once was putting away drug lords...and paying a heavy price for it.

Terry Cornell Jr. claims he worked undercover as a Metro-Dade police officer in Miami to put one of the biggest cocaine kingpins in the country behind bars in the early 1980s.

A newspaper story from that time in The Miami Herald portrays him as being responsible for putting the drug dealer behind bars but describes Cornell as an informant who worked "both sides of the law" after leaving the police department.

Cornell, 48, now is a Palos Park resident and a candidate for the Moraine Valley Community College Board of Trustees.

"I don't see how any of this should matter now," Cornell said. "That was more than 20 years ago."

After the arrest of Jerry Lequire, the drug kingpin, Cornell's mother was murdered in a hail of submachine gun bullets.

"I know who did it," Cornell said Tuesday. "Lequire hired the people who killed my mother. But he's been behind bars for a long time. I try not to think about it."
Just in case his foes haven't finished exacting their revenge, I wouldn't want to sit next to him in a debate.

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