Of all of Chicago’s suburbs, Ford Heights is one of the smallest and least well-known. Covering slightly less than two square miles, the village about 25 miles south of downtown Chicago has fewer than 3,000 residents.
Ford Heights is not too small to make headlines, however, which it did recently when its former mayor was arrested on public corruption charges.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said it arrested Charles R. Griffin on felony theft and misconduct charges. Griffin was Ford Heights’ mayor for an eight-year tenure that ended in 2017. Law enforcement officials say that they suspect him of diverting more than $147,000 in city funds to two secret bank accounts under his control.
He then used those funds for his personal use, according to law enforcement officials.
Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said Griffin has committed “a gross betrayal of the public trust.”
The current Ford Heights mayor reportedly uncovered the secret accounts soon after taking office. She reported their existence to county authorities.
Griffin’s alleged activities were investigated by the sheriff’s office, the FBI, state’s attorney’s public corruption and financial crimes unit and others. The Tribute reported that it reached out to Griffin for comment, but was unable to reach him.
Public officials who are under investigation or have been arrested on public corruption charges are wise not to speak to the press before talking to a criminal defense attorney who will protect their interests, rights and freedom. Contact the law office of Attorney Darryl A. Goldberg for more information.