The Fall of the House of Cicero (Vol. 5)
The Fall of The House of Cicero
Trouble was brewing on the other side of the aisle in Cook County. The current mayor of Chicago was a lame duck mayor. It would read in his obituary many years later that the Cook County Democratic party died with his administration.
However, things had never been better in Republican-controlled Cicero. Papa Cicero was the town president, Mr. and Mrs. Cicero were the Food and Beverage Managers, Back Room Joe was the City Accessor, and Fast Eddie was the chairman of the Cook County Republican party.
The machine had hit its strength after they turned the mayor of Chicago Heights to the Republican side.
The Chicagoland Republicans had never been stronger, and Cicero and Chicago Heights were wide open municipalities.
The Cicero guys would commonly reserve their corner table at the back of Giordano's and make their shady deals.
Graft, racketeering, extortion, and all other RICO charges flowed through Cicero every weeknight at their corner table.
While the rest of the world worked from 8-5, or eight hours five days a week, the political hierarchy of Cicero was racking in millions. They made Wall Street look like a bunch of hobos.
Joe would often say that he never went to college after high school. His education was in the back rooms of and alleys of Chicagoland.
His mentors were Papa Cicero and Fast Eddie. They thought him more than any economics or civics professors from any IV league school ever could dream of.
When Joe looked back at the corruption and vice that infested their streets in the 1970's and 80's, it is not the money and glamour he misses most or even the power. It is the love and thrill of the game.
In the following decade, while Chicago would almost self-destruct during the racially motivated council wars under the Mr. Brownsville Administration. Cicero would prosper like never before under their own political machine.It would be like Sodom and Gomorrah, or the next Imperial Rome.