Statehouse
5:12 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Father-In-Law Reflects On Blagojevich

Credit WBEZ

Retiring Chicago Alderman Dick Mell says his falling out with son-in-law Rod Blagojevich and the former Illinois governor's imprisonment for corruption continue to weigh heavily on him.  
Mell spoke with reporters Friday about his nearly 40 years as a City Council member.  
The 75-year-old says the events surrounding his son-in-law and his wife's death were two painful episodes in his life. He says they ``put a damper'' on what he otherwise regards as a lucky and fulfilling life.  
Mell says it was difficult to say what he really feels about Blagojevich, but he hopes Blagojevich gets an appeal and that his 14-year sentence could be reduced.  
Mell aided Blagojevich's rise to governor, but says he now wished he had ``done things differently.''

Mell says he hopes his daughter gets serious consideration as a possible replacement for him on Chicago's City Council.   But the veteran of old-school Chicago politics acknowledges the political world is changing and says he will ``live with'' whatever decision Mayor Rahm Emanuel makes.  
Emanuel has promised an ``open process'' to choose a replacement for Mell.
 State Rep. Deborah Mell's name has been raised as a likely candidate to replace her father in the 33rd ward.  
 The elder Mell says Emanuel will ``make a decision based on what he thinks is right.''  
 He says there is ``no understanding'' between himself and the mayor that his daughter will get the job.