My former neighbor in Chicago BS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman has an amazing story this week. Zekman found that Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas has a county-supplied driver who makes $94,000 a year and a cleaning lady making $57,000 a year.
Zekman’s staff secretly filmed Emanuel Hatzisavas as he waited for such things as Pappas to complete her yoga lessons at the East Bank Club.
When confronted with the film, Pappas had this to say: “You know what, okay, alright, you know what look.” That should wrap it up.
Pappas insists that she has paid $150 a month to reimburse the county for private use of the personnel. Pappas is shown stating “I don’t know, Pam I’m not hiding him.” However, the driver is hidden in the budget as a “Project Leader.”
Pappas is a lawyer who continues to list herself as in private practice on her resume.
Cook County is struggling under a mountain of debt.
27 thoughts on “Cook County Treasurer Found To Have Driver Paid $94,000 a Year and a Cleaning Lady Paid $57,000 a Year”
@ Isabel Darcy
I don’t see anything in the Wikipedia article about an auditor. When I worked for the City of Boston in 1977 …,they had audits by Coopers & Lybrand.
I never got the impression that anything of this scale was going on in Boston when I was there. Maybe I am naive but I think I would have heard about it. The mayor had a driver but that was OK I think.
So the events you were talking about were in the early 80’s ….?
NYC was close to bankruptcy in 1975 and there were ramifications in the bond market. There were a number of full time analysts looking at various forms of municipal risk. The Municipal Finance Officer’s Association did a great job of education.
Cities had computer departments and lots of people with advanced degrees in accounting, computers, finance etc. The accounting reports all had budget numbers and then there were sub budget numbers. I don’t think it is even feasible that this would have got thru the analysts in Boston. If it had, it would have gone thru the gossip train.
“Unless a man is honest we have no right to keep him in public life, it matters not how brilliant his capacity, it hardly matters how great his power of doing good service on certain lines may be…No man who is corrupt, no man who condones corruption in others, can possibly do his duty by the community.”
Teddy Roosevelt (R)
No wonder they assigned Pat Fitzgerald to the N.D. Il. Too bad he couldn’t “get” Blago.
She may be in “private practice” but according to the Illinois ARDC, she has no malpractice insurance so I hope she has no clients!!!
When I got out of law school I started as an associate at a Chicago law firm. In our orientation we were told that the firm refused to bribe the register of deeds to get documents recorded!!!
At the time in question, they had a land registration system called the Torrens system. This systm didn’t cover the whole city but just parts of it. Too complicated to explain but you essentially couldn’t do anything with your property [if it had been registered in torrens] unless you had a “torrens certificate” issued by the torrens registrar. Unless you bribed the Torrens registar, it could take years to get your torrens certificate issued showing the sale/mortgage whatever. We had a two year tickler system to check with the torrens office if we hadn’t gotten the torrens certificate by 2 years after the sale/mortgage.
If an inch of your property was located on property which had been “registered in torrens” you had to follow the system to sell your property. Condo developers couldn’t sell individual condos until they had the torrens certificates for each unit issued. They paid the torrens regitrar massive bribes to get their certificates issued quickly.
After I left Chicago, the Torrens office was charged with multiple fraud, bribery, etc. charges by the feds. [This was the same time that they Feds conducted the Greylord program, trapping state and federal judges in massive bribery schemes. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Greylord%5D
Fortunately, the whole system was done away with.
Welcome to Chicago, city of corruption.
Swarthmore Mom and pete,
The wind isn’t so bad in the city. It is worse out in the far burbs!
pete: Lived by the John Hancock building by the lake and I remember the wind tunnels. Also remember a crooked politician named Parky Cullerton.
i wouldn’t have a problem wearing the hat, it’s having to live in chicago that would be the deal breaker for me. went to navy bootcamp at great lakes. don’t ever want to feel “the hawk” again.
mr.ed: “The cleaning person? No explanation.”
If that was the going rate and I could afford it I’d have someone clean my house- it’d be worth it too. Some of us just hate cleaning the house 🙂
Srsly, some cleaning ladies are multi-tasked and more like housekeepers: cleaning, laundry, some cooking, see to the kids when they get home from school and 10-12 hour days. I’d be interested in seeing her job description.
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