The following article contains never-before-published accounts from first-hand witnesses to the events surrounding the Summerdale Scandal, garnered by one of the authors in personal interviews with key stakeholders. These include interviews with former Evanston and Bartlett Police Chief William McHugh, former Illinois Police Superintendent James McGuire, former Cook County State’s Attorney Chief Investigator Paul Newey and renowned attorneys Gerald Getty, Julius Echels and Louis Galippo. Though all have now passed away, their words bring to life an event that forever changed policing in America.
In 1960, a massive scandal rocked the Chicago Police Department. Rife with clandestine schemes, audacious exploits and a level of corruption that stunned the public, the Summerdale Scandal nearly brought down the entire Chicago police organization. Once the scandal unfurled, it would transform policing, not just in Chicago, but around the country. 2020 will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the Summerdale Scandal, and once again find ourselves recovering from police corruption. The scandal surrounding the events of the 2017 Chicago Police shooting of Laquan McDonald resulted in the firing of a police superintendent, affected the decision of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel in not running for re-election, and forced the Chicago Police Department into a Federal Oversight Consent Decree. Now, as we approach the 60th anniversary of the Summerdale Scandal, it bears revisiting this transformative event that dramatically overhauled policing four decades earlier.
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