Stings from the Windy City

Concerning the courts, Jane Byrne and Jim Thompson

Chicago bills itself as "the city that works," and anyone familiar with the way it works soon realizes that the secret to smooth functioning is regular nourishment—preferably of the green, folding variety. Examples of this approach—questionable and just plain illegal—regularly come to public attention. But last week even some jaded Chicagoans were shaking their heads over the current run of jinks, high as well as low, being aired.

Potentially the most far-reaching scandal involved the Cook County circuit court, the nation's largest such unified system. The court for the past three years has been the...

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