Since the 2017 failure of Washington Federal Bank in Bridgeport, nine individuals have been indicted for a variety of financial crimes. Yesterday, Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson became the 10th. He faces criminal charges for making false statements and for filing a false income tax return; most glaringly, he has been alleged to have made no payments at all on a mortgage through Washington Federal for his vacation home in Michigan.
Alderman Thompson has shown us over and over that he considers the needs of his working class constituents in the 11th ward to be low on his list of priorities; his mission as an Alderman is to advocate for powerful property developers and billionaire CEOs like Jeff Bezos. During Alderman Thompson’s tenure, the wealthy have become wealthier, and the working class people in our community struggle. Industrial pollutants contaminate our water and our gardens, and Amazon expands its massive empire to our community; our neighbors struggle to afford rent and groceries while Alderman Thompson relaxes in luxury funded by shady deals and handshake agreements.
When a working class person receives a cash windfall, they pay off medical or student loan debts; they make a down payment on a modest home; they stash some away for their children’s future. Alderman Thompson is profoundly disconnected from the challenges his working class constituents face; with his payment-free and interest-free loan from an insolvent bank, he is alleged to have purchased a vacation home in Michigan; he also (allegedly) had the audacity to claim a mortgage interest deduction on this home, though he’d never paid a dime of interest.
If these federal charges are found to be substantially true, then Alderman Thompson has profoundly betrayed the public trust. If he truly is the public servant he claims to be, then the best service Alderman Thompson can provide for his constituents and the residents of Chicago is to resign his position immediately so that our community can get to work solving the substantial problems that he has ignored.
April 30th, 2021