LaShawn Ford, the state rep from the West Side and Oak Park, is scheduled to go on trial in federal court next week. The charges have to do not with Ford's years in public office but rather his time as a real estate agent and small developer on the West Side, and his financial relationship with the now failed Shore Bank.
We don't know all the evidence. We can't prejudge the outcome. But we will reiterate what we have said previously and that is LaShawn Ford is a man we admire, a politician we respect.
The easiest route here is to shake one's head and one's fist at the unending corruption of our politicians. The West Side offers up a rogue's gallery of crookedness and greed. Rep. Derrick Smith's recent conviction on bribery charges is only the latest sample of blatant thievery and the sale of one's office. To not be cynical and lump Ford into this cast of crooks is hard.
We'd urge you to try. This case is more about bad bookkeeping by a real estate entrepreneur, more about sloppy recordkeeping by a bank in boom times than it is about all the things which make us despair about our politics. LaShawn Ford is a good and decent man. We will see if the justice system can discern the differences here.
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