Chicago Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) is supporting former Chicago 29th Ward alderman Isaac Carothers, who resigned in 2010 after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges, in his bid for the open Cook County Board's 1st District seat.
Mitts, also a West Side alderman, is also reportedly campaign head for the Friends of Ike Carothers committee, an organization working to promote Carothers' candidacy.
“I don’t think people should look at me as being horrible — look at me as being truthful,” Mitts told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’m not throwing a rock and hiding my hand . . . I’m putting my name on it.”
Mitts noted that some of the residents in her ward have been incarcerated, adding that, “When they come back they don’t get a hand, they can’t get no help."
Following that statement, Mitts said, “Whatever it says about Chicago, this would be the first time we’d be able to elect someone who went to prison [for corruption] and came back. I don’t know anybody who [has] been able to do that yet.”
University of Illinois-Chicago professor Dick Simpson, also a former Chicago alderman, told the newspaper that a number of convicted politicians have tried to return to public office, but they have failed.
“Most have been thrown off the ballot either by the board of elections or the courts,” Simpson said.
Last month, another convicted felon in addition to Carothers tried vying for the 1st District Cook County Board. But Former Streets and Sanitation commissioner Al Sanchez was kicked off the ballot because he is currently on court-ordered probation. Sanchez was convicted for participating in a mail fraud scheme to help get members of the Hispanic Democratic Organization hired and promoted. The organization has since disbanded.