Chicago officials show outrage at naming of ATF building after lawman Eliot Ness

Scott Greer Contributor
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Officials in Chicago took a break from present issues on Friday to deal with a matter of historical accuracy — does the record of famous lawman Eliot Ness justify the naming of a federal building in Washington, D.C. after him?

It’s am issue that would seem to have no pressing concern for the citizens of Chicago, since the man that Ness is often attributed for taking down, Al Capone, hasn’t terrorized Windy City streets for 80 some years.

But that didn’t stop former federal agents and historical experts from presenting their case that Ness was undeserving of the honor of having his name attached to the new Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency headquarters in D.C.

“The notion that he put Al Capone behind bars is pure unadulterated Hollywood fiction,” city Alderman Ed Burke said, according to an AP report.

But not all of the city council members were concerned about this resolved crime issue from the 1930s, and wanted the council meeting to focus on more pressing matters.

“To me, there’s more important things to worry about then the name of a building in Washington, D.C. that we have nothing to do with,” Alderman Nicholas Sposato said in the meeting.

The council voted to send a resolution to the full council meeting next week to voice their opposition to the name of the ATF building.

Ness was the subject of the popular 1987 film “The Untouchables,” which implied that he was the man behind the downfall of Capone.

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