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A walk down Daley family scandal lane

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


Indicted Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson heads to court Friday to face criminal charges for allegedly lying to the feds and failing to pay taxes at Washington Federal Bank for Savings, a now-closed Bridgeport bank. 

Thompson, the grandson and nephew of the two former mayors, Richard J. and Richard M. Daley, is the first in the family to face these charges, according to the Chicago Tribune. But the powerful political dynasty is no stranger to alleged corruption

Before we take a walk down the recent Daley family scandal lane with the Chicago Sun-Times, reacquaint yourself with this Daley family tree

Patrick Daley and Robert Vanecko, the son and nephew of Mayor Richard M. Daley, secretly invested in a city sewer contract in the early 2000s. 

A company tied to Patrick Daley was part of the city’s multimillion-dollar WiFi deal at O’Hare and Midway during that same time.

Around then, the public learned the city wasted $40 million a year on the “Hired Truck” program under the younger Mayor Daley, where drivers were paid to do little to no work, and often bribed their way into the job. 

But perhaps the biggest Daley scandal until now was when Richard “R.J.” Vanecko, another grandson and nephew, pleaded guilty for involuntary manslaughter after a fatal drunken encounter on the Near North Side in 2004. 

As for the future of the Daley dynasty, that seems to be in limbo, wrote Chicago Sun-Times’ columnist Mark Brown.

“Team Daley’s bench has grown shorter with the succeeding generations, if not necessarily in terms of talent, then certainly in desire,” he said. (See William Daley’s failed mayoral bid.)

Trivia Question: Which son of Richard J. Daley didn’t (really) get involved in politics? Email with the correct answer, and we’ll send you a sticker!


Every year, scientists in Chicago try to pinpoint just how close we are to “doomsday.” And they do it with the Doomsday Clock, created in 1947 at the request of scientists who worked on the atomic bomb at the University of Chicago. 

Since then, the clock has moved closer to midnight when existential threats increased and further away when the world became safer. The clock currently stands at 100 seconds to midnight — the closest it’s ever been. 

Maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, president Rachel Bronson explains how we use the clock and why we are so close to catastrophe.

👉 Check out the clock.


▪️ Gov. JB Pritzker is activating the Illinois National Guard for the severe winter storm. Depending where you are in the Chicago area will determine how much snow you get. [NBC Chicago]

▪️ A man from Niles was charged with antisemitic hate crimes around West Ridge, police said. [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ Nearly 20 more convictions tied to disgraced former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts were tossed out. [CNN]

▪️ Join other Chicagoans in a Black History Month book report exchange! Go down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and produce a “Drunk History” episode, a postcard, and more! Peep last year’s submissions.

▪️ Why is it so hard to see owls in Chi? 🦉 [Chicago Tribune]


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When Chicago native Beth Follenweider took a job at Navy Pier, she was dreading the commute. But she decided to enjoy it by documenting it. 

“By car, I would alternate my routes so I could see different parts of my city. When the Dan Ryan would get shut down, every other driver would be furious. I would take it as a reminder to get out and see something new. 

By train, I walked and bussed so many different routes, riding the ‘L,’ in cabs and Ubers, pedicabs, Divvy bikes, my new electric scooter (I’m in my 50s), and water taxis.

Once a limo showed up out of nowhere and when their fare ghosted them, I splurged and bought myself a luxury ride all the way back to the south burbs.” 

Beth said COVID changed her commute, but when she does go to the office, her heart still stops every time she sees that breathtaking skyline.

👉 Check out Beth’s photos on Facebook under #ChicagoCommute.

If you’ve fallen in love in OR with our city, we want to hear from you. Email with your Chi love story! Maybe you’ll be featured next 👀


Please join us in wishing City Cast’s Simone Alicea happy birthday! 

Simone is our resident map expert, stepping student, and a top-notch producer. 

How lucky are we that she decided to move back to Chicago for City Cast? Couldn’t imagine our team without her 🥺

Happy birthday, Simoney Bologna and to Groundhog Day birthday babies everywhere!

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