Published on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 13:23
With a rash of crooked, or at least allegedly crooked, politicians being hired at talk radio stations, this very website did what was an obvious fake April Fools story
on April 1st, talking about Betty Loren-Maltese getting a radio job. The parody was written strictly for laughs. Looks like the joke is on all of us... On Monday, April 26th, Betty Loren-Maltese will be the guest-host for Cliff Kelley on WVON-AM's "The Cliff Kelley Show" from 3:00pm-7:00pm.
Loren-Maltese is the former Cicero Town President who was convicted federal charges of corruption in 2002 for funneling money from Cicero's own pockets -- a lot of money. She spent 6.5 years in prison for fleecing taxpayers of more than $12 million in a mob-related insurance scam. The money stolen from Cicero's treasury paid for an island golf course in Wisconsin, a horse farm, and a summer home for a supposed mob boss, Mike Spano, who went to prison along with Loren-Maltese.
Loren-Maltese's late husband, former Cicero town assessor Frank "Baldy" Maltese, brought her into politics and taught her all she knows about it. In 1993, she was appointed to the position of Town President by her husband, after the then-Town President, Henry Klosak, died in office and Frank Maltese -- who was next in line for the position -- was facing prison time. "Baldy," along with Rocco Infelice, a supposed boss of the Cicero mob, was indicted on corruption charges in the early 1990s. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to mob-related gambling charges in 1993, but died of cancer before going to prison. Loren-Maltese always claimed he was innocent. (Rocco Infelice died behind bars.)
Long known by many to be corrupt, Betty Loren-Maltese's 2001 re-election campaign had a fund of over $1 million. Considering that the entire town of Cicero only had around 80,000 people, many of which did not care for her or have much disposable money to donate, that seemed like a very large amount. Much of that money came from "questionable" sources.
The once powerful Republican Town President (Cicero calls their Mayors "Town President"), who campaigned on supposedly having Cicero's best interest at heart, clearly had only her own interests at heart and was willing to align with whomever she had to in order to achieve her greedy goals.
Despite strong evidence proving her decade of corruption, Loren-Maltese insists she has done nothing wrong and claims she is looking forward to clearing her name. Perhaps this radio try-out is another step in trying to sway public opinion her way. If it is good enough for Blagojevich and Laski, it must be good enough for her.
It should be noted that the man Betty Loren-Maltese is filling in for, Cliff Kelley, is himself a disgraced former politician. In 1987, the one-time Chicago Alderman of the 20th Ward was convicted of taking over $36,000 in bribes from bribes from Waste Management and a New York City bill-collection agency that wanted to do business with Chicago.
In addition to trying to clear her name, Loren-Maltese is in need of the money. Since politics have been her only job since the early 90's, and since she is a convicted felon, she is now working as a hostess at Salerno's Pizza and Pasta restaurant on Roosevelt Road in Oak Park and living in a small apartment in the south suburbs.
Reportedly, Frank Maltese met Betty when he was just a Cicero mobster and she was a top stripper at a club in Lyons, IL. It seems Betty, who is 61 years old this year, is still willing to do most anything for a buck or two...