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.