Report: Ald. Mell Gets Into Heated, Racially-Tinged Argument At City Hall

CHICAGO (CBS) — A published report is shedding light on a reported angry confrontation recently at City Hall.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the Chicago Sun-Times says Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), chairman of the City Council Rules Committee, got into a profanity-laden and racially-tinged shouting match with Budget Committee chairman Carrie Austin (34th).

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

The subject was the City Council remap process that Mell is overseeing.

During a Rules Committee hearing last week, Austin accused Mell of being a racist, and “treating African-American aldermen like ‘plantation n***ers,” the Sun-Times reported, citing an unnamed source.

The source told the Sun-Times that Mell seemed sincerely “afraid that somebody was going to hit him,” and that City Council floor leader Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th) told him to shut up because he was stoking racial tensions.

The source tells the newspaper that Mell is siding with Hispanics on the ward remap issue. The new map could include three more supermajority Hispanic wards, while African-Americans would lose two, the Sun-Times reported.

Chicago’s Hispanic population increased by 25,218 in the 2010 Census compared with a decade earlier, while the African-American population fell by 181,453, the Sun-Times reported.

Mell, 73, has represented the parts of the Albany Park, Irving Park and Avondale neighborhoods since 1975. He is known for some dramatic moments, most notably standing on his desk and demanding to be heard during the raucous City Council meeting to appoint an acting mayor following the death of Mayor Harold Washington in 1987.

But now, another source tells the Sun-Times that Mell “feels like he’s 100 years old, and is expected to step down midterm and urge the appointment of a rising star political figure such as his daughter, state Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago.)

Mell is also the father-in-law of deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose sentencing hearing for a corruption conviction is beginning Tuesday. Sources tell the Sun-Times that Mell might be called in to help his daughter, Patti, and his two granddaughters while Blagojevich is in prison.

  • Just Axin

    Doesn’t matter who was right, Mell is a Piece of Sh!t and cares nothing for taxpayers. He’s been a Daley kiss-a$$ and has never seen a tax or salary increase he has not liked.

  • iris

    Term limit please..

  • NWA

    What, a former member of the Vrdolyak 29, Patrick O’Connor, doing the right thing by cutting off this boob in mid-sentence. Mell is corrupt.


  • Jim Hamilton


  • malcom

    Chicago is a sewer, and blacks scream racism every chance they get. If you are a smart white person you would leve Chicago and let the blacks and mexicans have it. And watch it turn into another Detroit. Its time for our societies to be seperate again.

  • whocaresboohoo

    Malcolm is an idiot. Mell is an idiot and Carrie Austin is another idiot. I dont care for Mell or Carrie. Do away with 50 aldermen we won’t miss em.

  • Easy does it

    The mayor must step in,cut the wards to 25 larger areas problem solved along with big savings to the taxpayers.Simple

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live