Press: Barroom Sting

Bribes flowed like beer

Everyone wanted to help the new owners of the Mirage bar, a sleazy little tavern on Chicago's Near North Side. For just $10, the fire inspector was willing to ignore the exposed electrical wiring. For $50, the plumbing inspector "fixed" the leaky pipes, and for $100, the ventilation inspector overlooked $2,000 worth of necessary duct work. Jukebox and pinball purveyors not only offered kickbacks but showed the new management how to skim off profits.

Their helpfulness was rudely repaid. The Mirage was indeed a mirage, a bar operated by undercover journalists to document widespread corruption in Chicago. Exposed in...

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