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Operation Greylord: Reforming Chicago

A History Fair project.
by

Andrea Azzo

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Operation Greylord: Reforming Chicago

Operation Greylord The Scales of Justice... Thesis Chicago's Cook County court system was reformed by the thorough investigation the FBI lead; the city's reputation changed for the better and corrupt officials were replaced due to Operation Greylord. The Convicted ... 1,531 convictions took place for public corruption in the federal
district in Chicago. Most were officials of the Cook County court system. 17 judges, 48 lawyers,8 policeman, 10 deputy sheriffs, 8 court officials, and 1 state legislator were convicted. All convictions were made in the course of 9 years.


*Conviction: A declaration that someone is guilty of a crime.
*Indictment: To officially charge said person of that crime. During the 1980's Cook County was known as Crook County. Chicago was known as a corrupt city and had a reputation of crime and corruption. Criminals such as Al Capone set Chicago's reputation as a city that committed crimes and ignored justice. FBI Tactics During Operation Greylord the FBI used tape recorders to obtain conversations criminals had when they were negotiating bribes. Hidden cameras in rooms recorded bribes being discussed. One of the FBI agents wore a microphone on his boot. Many of these hidden tape recorders were key pieces of evidence in order to bust crime and corruption in Operation Greylord. "Crook County" Change in Court Systems Operation Greylord had a positive effect on reforming court systems in Chicago. Operation Greylord helped create the Special Commission on the Administration of Justice in Cook County. This group was established on August 1984 in order to view the Cook County courts and give recommendations that would help reform the courts. This group was created by Harry G. Comerford. Appointing judges by merit and not by the people's votes were among the recommendations in order to prevent corruption, as often times ballopt boxes were fixed. Traffic classes were offered to the public in order to stop traffic bribes. Harry Comerford and Northwestern University joined to allow the public to take traffic safety school. 1980 Operation Greylord lead to other cases that busted political corruption. Cases that were influenced were Operation Silver Shovel and Operation Gambat. The FBI was also involved in these operations due to the successful investigation the FBI held in Operation Greylord. In these operations politicians took bribes to allow the dumping of waste and vote buying. Corruption Today

The FBI had changed the court system rapidly by taking away the evil and putting in the good. Although corruption has decreased over time corruption still goes on today. Chicago is one of the highest cities with public corruption, as noted by data from the U.S department of justice states. Chicago is still known as "the most corrupt cities in the nation," according to CBS Local News, too. Although corruption has decreased, it has still stained our great city. Important Judges Convicted Pre- The FBI was called to get involved. Agents assigned to Operation Greylord fixed as many misdemeanor cases as possible to test how judges would accept bribes to make the cases disappear. In their delinquent attempts, perfectly sober agents would pour alcohol over themselves and zigzag their cars in a clever way to fake a drunk-driving case. Others would commit petty theft or park illegally. The Agents Rumors started flying around about judges getting a share of the Chicago Mob's cuts and frequent bribery. Most were centered around Judge Wayne Olson's courtroom. New rules and recommendations were set up after Operation Greylord occurred. The Illinois Supreme Court made a rule that required judges to tell their financial holdings. This created the strictest rule for Illinois judges. Cases were randomly assigned to lawyers in order to keep lawyers from bribing the judges. Judges were prohibited from looking over parking tickets. Officials of higher positions were elected by merit and not by people's votes. Lawyers have to "move"to other court rooms so they won't be friendly with the judge. Primary Sources:
Cooley, Robert, and Hillel Levin. When corruption was king: how I helped the mob rule Chicago, then brought the outfit down. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004. Print.Annotation: This book told how corruption was taking over Chicago and what people were trying to do to fight it.

Lockwood, Brocton, and Harlan H. Mendenhall. Operation Greylord: Brockton Lockwood's story. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989. Print.
Annotation: This book was very helpful because it showed how life was for a judge and everything that was going on in the courts.

CHICAGO AREA JUDGE IS ACQUITTED IN 'OPERATION GREYLORD' TRIAL - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. The New York Times, 7 Aug. 1984. Web. 4 Mar. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/07/us/chicago-area-judge-is-acquitted-in-operation-greylord-trial.html>.
Annotation: This webiste was a little helpful, but it really just gave a brief summary of what was going on. Reaction of people and News Coverage People were outraged with the corruption and voiced their opinions after public knowledge of Operation Greylord was known. By the time it was known, the media had covered much of it. http://www.infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/HistArchive?p_action=doc&p_docid=0FAC0C8990F62945&f_image=19831207C013110007700016&f_pty=CL&p_docnum=1&p_queryname=5600&p_theme=ctha&p_nbid=K47A48SEMTM2MjI0NTI0NC42NzM2MzY6MToxMjo2NC4xMDcuMS4yMTQ&p_product=CTHA

http://www.infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/HistArchive?p_action=doc&p_docid=0FAC0D4264DB9980&f_image=19840615C014350015300035&f_pty=CL&p_docnum=2&p_queryname=5600&p_theme=ctha&p_nbid=K47A48SEMTM2MjI0NTI0NC42NzM2MzY6MToxMjo2NC4xMDcuMS4yMTQ&p_product=CTHA Judge John J. Devine was convicted for mail frauds. He was sentenced to fifteen years of prison.
Wayne W. Olson was a Circuit Judge and he was convicted for bribery, mail fraud, and for blackmailing people. He was in prison for twelve years, had a $35,000 fine and five years probation.
Richard F. Le Fevour was a Presiding Judge who was convicted for bribing, mail frauds, and tax counts. He was sentenced in prison for 12 years.
John M. Murphy was an associate judge who was convicted for conspiracy, blackmailing, and mail frauds. This jugde was sentenced 10 years prison and 5 years probation. The Aleman Trial occurs. A mob assassin, Harry Aleman was dispatched to kill William Logan. He was seen firing a pistol by Logan's neighbor, Robert Lowe, and the driver of the cab he took. While both later testified in court, Judge Wayne Olson still found him innocent: spurring outcry from the public. Created by... 1977 Influencing Other Cases After Greylord Secondary Sources:
Belsie, Laurent . "Operation Greylord bribery case leads to judicial reform / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com." The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com. N.p., 3 Feb. 1987. Web. 4 Mar. 2013. <http://www.csmonitor.com/1987/0213/agrey
Annotation: This website was not very helpful because it explained how Chicago was changed by Operation Greylord, but not quite as much.
Burleigh, Nina . "Greylord: After Math." Illinois Periodicals Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013. <lib.niu.edu/1989/ii890838.html>.
Annotation: This source helped by providing information as to how the court systems wee changed.

Einhorn, Robin. "Political Culture." Encyclopedia of Chicago. Encyclopedia of Chicago, n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2013. <http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/
Annotation: This website was helpful due to the fact that it explained how Chicago was in the 1900's.
"FBI — Operation Greylord." FBI — Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2013. <http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2004/march/greylord_031504>.
Annotation: This source was helpful due to the fact that it gave background information of what happened in Operation Greylord and it explained the basic fact about this subject.
"Making of a Greylord witness revealed in tapes." Chicago Sun-Times 21 Aug. 1988: NA . Print.
Annotation: This source helped me get information as to how Operation Greylord lead to other cases.

Mouat Lucia . "`Operation Greylord' flushing corruption from Chicago's courts. Incriminating tape recordings push latest judge to plead guilty ." The Christian Science Monitor. N.p., 19 July 1985. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. <www.csmonitor/1985/0719/alord.html>.
Annotation: This source was not very helpful yet it did give me some information about the after effect Operation Greylord had in Chicago.

Tuohy, James, and Rob Warden. Greylord: justice, Chicago style. New York: Putnam, 1989. Print.
Annotation: This source was helpful to my project because it explained what happened in this operation and how it reformed Chicago.

Maurice Possley."OperationGreylord". chicago Days. Wheaton(IL) Cantigny First Division Foundation,1997
An Operation Greylord: Turning Point in History Graph & Data Replacement of officials Since officials were being bribed to do dirty work, it was decided to let them be elected by merit and not the peoples votes. The people would definitely vote for the guy that would take bribes or give them. This would let them be off easy. This way no side would be able to win. In 1986 James O'Grady was replaced by Richard Elrod. Harold Conn which was a deputiy sheriff was replaced and so was Associate Judge John Murphy as well as other officials were replaced. List of People Convicted Timeline Police corruption was uncovered through Greylord, as. Operation Silver Shovel is launched in an effort to find it. 1996 Operation Gambat is launched, so named for "GAMBling ATtorney". It is an offshoot of Greylord, though operating with a more specific target in mind. "FBI" 1984 An undercover operation lead by the FBI was set up using moles- or undercover agents. These moles secretly gathered the information required to convict the guilty party and were the most important part of Operation Greylord. FBI Involvement Terrance Hake
Terrance Hake was an agent who posed as a dirty lawyer paying bribes for his "clients," who were also agents. He was recruited for the FBI due to his honesty. "Greylord prosecutors gathered much of their evidence from undercover FBI agent Terry Hake, who posed as a corrupt defense attorney interested in cutting deals with judges and prosecutors." (Gorman)His deal with the FBI included his eventual employment with them, as he hoped to become a full-fledged one himself.

Brockton Lockwood
Brockton Lockwood was a low-level judge disgusted by the corruption around him. Since he never accepted bribes, a more powerful but crooked Judge, Judge Wayne Olson, had demoted him. His drive was to rid the court system of people like Olson using microphones hidden under his judicial robes. Pre-Operation Unlike other urban areas, Chicago was known for two types of things. This included organized crime and political organization. Along came the problem of bribing officials, lawyers, prosecutors, etc. "While Mob bosses knocked each other off on the East Coast, in Chicago they united into a monolithic force called the Outfit. They would literally control the cops, the courts and the politicians..." (Cooley, Levin) Diana Velazquez,
Andrea Azzo
Sidra Shah

Group: C 1989 Bibliography Operation Greylord may have been a shameful event in the city of Chicago, but this important case helped reform the city for the years to come. New rules were made in order to prevent cases like this one recurring, including the strict qualifications now in place. "Chicago Tribune" Operation Greylord was also a precedent for other cases, for example, Operation Gambat. These cases helped uncover corrupt officials to replace. Although corruption didn't completely end, due to these operations corruption was becoming much more rarer over the years. Operation Greylord lead to the improvement of Chicago, for which without we would be riddled with problems. The Special Commission on the Administration of Justice in Cook County is established on August 1984 in order to review judicial canditates, either legalizing or turning down a potential corrupt judge. Without the public's voice this commitee would have not been set, demonstrating that Operation Greylord's media coverage had been crucial in the clean up of Chicago. 1983 News coverage of Operation Greylord breaks. The press only lets on that an undercover mole is in. Its first use of listening devices garners an arguement about Greylord's "legalness," though the investigation is nonetheless continued. Former Governor Rod Blagojevich is sent to federal prison for corruption, bribery, and the attempted selling of a vacant Illinois Senate seat- showing the city of Chicago that corruption is still there. 2009 Operation Incubator convict its first suspect.This similar federal investigation mimics Greylord. 1986
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