Monday's guilty plea by former Chicago Ald. Edward R. Vrdolyak (10th) marks a stunning end fit for one of the most controversial figures in the history of Chicago politics.
Vrdolyak led the "Coffee Rebellion" against the iron-fisted control of Mayor Richard J. Daley's City Council floor, marshalled 29 mostly white aldermen against Mayor Harold Washington during "Council Wars" and served as Cook County Democratic party chairman during its "Punch 10" heyday only to become a Republican.
Now, the charismatic leader of the Vrdolyak 29 is headed for prison at the age of 71. That's tough for former City Council colleagues to swallow after watching Vrdolyak dodge countless federal investigations over the years.
"It's surprising, in as much as he always said that, when you speak, you always speak as if there was a microphone present. Obviously, he didn't take his own advice," said Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), the City Council's 80-year-old elder statesman.