Corruption On The Waterfront In 1980s Chicago | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Morning Shift

Corruption On The Waterfront In 1980s Chicago

When R.J. Nelson became the director of harbors and marine services for the Chicago Park District in 1987, he inherited a job where the last four directors had gone to federal prison. 

It was a world mired in corruption, and Nelson was there to fix it. There was only one problem: he had absolutely no business being there. 

At that point, Nelson was a former college chaplain with no experience as a harbor boss, but he made the job his own, and he tells the tale in his new book Dirty Waters: Confessions Of Chicago’s Last Harbor Boss

Morning Shift talks to Nelson about his experiences and his book. 

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.