Chicago mayor fires cousin in scandal

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

CHICAGO -- Declaring there "are no sacred cows in my administration," Mayor Richard M. Daley fired one of his cousins Monday for his role in a scandal involving $40 million a year paid to politically connected trucking companies, some with mob ties.

"It doesn't matter who they are or whether they know me, they have to do the job," Daley said in announcing the firing of Mark Gyrion from a Water Department job.

Gyrion was the third city official to lose his job in the burgeoning scandal over the no-bids Hired Truck Program, now under investigation by federal prosecutors. The first was Angelo Torres, the former head of the truck program, who is charged with extortion. Last week, William Abolt resigned under pressure as city budget director.

The scandal erupted last month when a Chicago Sun-Times investigation found that some of the trucking companies hired by the city did little or no work but got paid while city-owned trucks stood idle.

Gyrion's mother-in-law, Naomi Baker, owned one of the trucking companies.

The Sun-Times reported Sunday that Gyrion sold a city-owned dump truck used by the Water Department to a dealer, who then sold the truck to Baker's company.

Rich Kinczyk, first deputy water commissioner, said Gyrion should have informed officials about his connection to the program.

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