Court Says Bribes Are OK as Long as They’re Small

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LEGAL NEWS OF THE WEIRD — In October, a federal appeals court overturned the bribery conviction of a City of Chicago zoning inspector — on the grounds that the bribes he was convicted of taking were too small to be covered by federal law. Dominick Owens, 46, was convicted of taking two bribes of $600 each to issue certificates of occupancy, but the law applies only to bribes of $5,000 or more. (Also in October, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel disbanded the city’s ethics board after a 25-year run in which it never found an alderman in violation — even though, during that time, 20 aldermen were convicted of felonies.) [Chicago Sun-Times, 10-11-2012] [Chicago Tribune, 10-3-2012]

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