Bad Choice of Friends
- At the time she vanished in 1980, Karen Koppel was causing headaches for Ben Stein – a mob associate and felon whose Chicago janitorial company had grown fat through local government contracts.
Stein, who was in his 60s and married to someone else, wanted to break off what apparently was a romantic relationship with the much younger Koppel. However, Koppel wasn’t happy. She was making wild accusations about Stein, and demanded a large financial settlement to let things drop, Chicago police records indicate.
Stein asked a long-time friend – then-Chicago cop Richard "Rick" Simon, who moonlighted for Stein’s firm – to help amicably resolve things, according to police records and interviews.
Simon acknowledged to the Better Government Association meeting and talking with Koppel at a Rush Street-area tavern one crisp spring night 35 years ago. She left alone, and wasn’t heard from again, prompting missing persons investigations by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and Chicago police.
And who is the Better Government Association tagging with the "drip drip drip" of uncovered scandal?
- Koppel has never turned up dead or alive, the case remains "open" and nobody has been formally cleared as a potential suspect, authorities said. Yet Simon has a noticeably different relationship with law enforcement these days: He not only socializes with Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, as previously reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. He also has donated to and possibly raised money for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s political campaign, the BGA found.
Didn't we lose a Superintendent just a few years back over his choice in associates? Is history repeating?