Americana: It's All Relative

In Chicago politics, patronage is not exactly unknown. Even nepotism is a lively tradition: Mayor Jane Byrne's husband and daughter both work for her. But no one takes kinship more seriously than Chicago City Alderman Fred Roti. He admitted last week that 16 members of his family are on the municipal payroll. Roti, 60, a Byrne loyalist, says it is all relative: "So, I have some relatives on the payroll. They're doing an excellent job. What's the beef?"

All told, Roti's kin are paid $351,000 a year by the city. His daughter Rosemary Marasso...

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