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Patronage not illegal in Illinois

UPI News Service, 05/05/2006 

A former Chicago alderman has been given the job of ferreting out public corruption in the town of Dolton -- which is run by his twin brother.

Mayor William Shaw hired Robert Shaw at an annual salary of $70,000 to root out corruption -- but his job description specifically forbids him from investigating the mayor or the village trustees, the Daily Southtown reported.

"This is a gigantic waste of time and money," said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association. "Even by Chicagoland standards, this stands out as a particularly shameless and wasteful ploy. It's a $70,000 joke on the taxpayers of Dolton."

The mayor was not involved in the selection of his twin, spokesman Sean Howard said.

"Any concerns about conflicts of interests are overblown, said Howard. "Show me where this is illegal. It is not illegal. (Robert Shaw) is qualified. There is no conflict of interest. There is not even an appearance of impropriety. There is nothing improper."

Robert Shaw is uniquely qualified for the post, said Howard, because he spent 16 years investigating employees and city infrastructure as a Chicago alderman.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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