Aldermen Jason Irving and Howard Brookins Jr. before the Chicago City Council voted on ordinances addressing security and protest permits for the upcoming NATO/G8 summits in Chicago at McCormick Place. Wednesday, January 18, 2012 | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times
The Democratic ward boss with the most to say about who will replace convicted County Board member William Beavers on Wednesday dismissed as a “minor infraction” charges that the leading candidate for that vacancy campaigned on state time.
Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) unwavering endorsement of Stanley Moore–and Brookins’ decisions to dismiss the ethics controversy surrounding Moore–leaves Moore as the odds-on favorite to replace Beavers.
While serving as an $86,388-a-year deputy director of the Il. Department of Transportation, Moore was accused of fundraising for his failed 2008 legislative campaign on state time. After a state ethics investigation, he paid a $3,000 fine.
Controversy of anay kind is a sensitive subject considering Beavers conviction last month of converting campaign money and county expense account funds to personal use without paying taxes on that money.
Voters of Beavers’ district were further disillusioned by the guilty pleas of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Il.) and his wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) on charges of illegally converting federal campaign funds to personal use to bankroll their lavish lifestyle.
Compared to those offenses, Brookins called Moore’s transgression minor to say the least.
“People fill out NCAA brackets on their employer’s dime. People go on line shopping in Black Friday on their employer’s dime. The question becomes, how egregious was what he was accused of in the grand scheme of his total work environment,” Brookins said.
Democratic ward committeemen will meet Thursday to choose a replacement for Beavers, with Brookins casting the highest number of weighted votes at 18,000 of the 40,000 needed to win.
Brookins stressed that it’s “not a done deal,” but he’s hopeful he can swing the 22,000 votes he needs to deliver his candidate.