"I'm looking for someone to explain justice," said Grace Slattery to Carol Marin. As Marin explained in her Sunday Sun-Times column, Grace Slattery is the 70-year-old mother of Patrick Slattery, a former Streets and San official serving 27 months in prison for his part in a scheme to circumvent merit selection in city hiring.
But Eddie Vrdolyak just got probation. And unlike Vrdolyak, who'd pleaded guilty to enriching himself through a "finder's fee" he'd done nothing to earn in a juicy real estate deal, Patrick Slattery and three other city officials who went down with him hadn't "been censured threee times by the Illinois Supreme Court for scamming legal clients and/or the courts," Marin noted, and hadn't "schemed to make money beyond keeping their city jobs."
So what is this thing called justice? Grace Slattery wanted to know. And Marin concluded, "Maybe someone smarter than I can explain this to Mrs. Slattery."
What about Mrs. Slattery's daughter? Criminal courts judge Maura Slattery Boyle has been on the bench since 2000, and she must have a handle on how justice, and everything else, works in Cook County. According to a Sun-Times article written four years ago when Patrick Slattery was indicted, the Daleys and Slatterys were friends and neighbors in Bridgeport, and Mayor Daley's brother John, a Cook County commissioner, backed Maura for judge. The Slatterys "were great friends of our family, very, very close," John Daley told the Sun-Times then.
Patrick Slattery's wife was a secretary in Mayor Daley's office. His father, Jeremiah Slattery, was a city electrical inspector convicted some 30 years ago of extorting bribes from contractors.
The world Grace Slattery has apparently lived in all her life requires more than an explanation. Maybe a novel.