Is local government corruption in America an unusual and isolated phenomenon? We think not. To prove it, today we bring you stories from two diverse cities — Miami and Chicago.

In Chicago, known as the All-American City, waste-hauler John Christopher and former state senator Ray Frias closed a deal in which Frias agreed to a scheme to defraud the city through a phony minority-owned business.

After the deal was complete, Christopher and Frias had the following conversation:

“Why do you think you’re a legislator for?” asked Christopher.

“Making money,” responded Frias. “There’s no politicians in this world that I know that don’t ‘give me this and I’ll give you that,'” he added.

These conversations were recorded as part of a corruption scandal that resulted in the indictment of Frias, the fourth Chicago alderman to be indicted thus far.

Thousands of miles away in Miami, America’s most international city, former city manager Cesar Odio also became a “recording star.” Odio is heard counting off the hundred dollar bills that were paid to him as part of a bribe. But Odio is outraged himself, as his payoff is only three — as opposed to five — thousand dollars.

Of course, if anyone knows how rare honesty is, it’s Odio. Prosecutors allege that he embezzled from his private sector employer, used his city job for personal gain, gave his friends city contracts — and that was all before he started taking bribes. We just wonder how he found the time.

(Source: Miami Herald.)

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