When the dailies go on about corruption in Illinois they like to point out that four of the last nine governors wound up in prison. It’s an impressive statistic, diminished somewhat by inconvenient details: such as that Dan Walker (governor from 1973 to ’77) got in trouble over a business loan a decade after he left office, and that Otto Kerner (governor from 1961 to ’68) was convicted under a theft-of-honest-services theory that the Supreme Court later found unsupported by federal statutes, and that—after Congress corrected the omission—the Supreme Court in 2010 eviscerated.
But let’s not get distracted by what might have been or should have been. Kerner was convicted, and the case against him turned on racetrack stock he’d received while governor from Marjorie Everett, who controlled Washington Park and Arlington Park. Everett died at the age of 90 in Los Angeles March 23, and a competent obituary in a Chicago newspaper would have raked up this history.