The bizarre ‘Shoebox Scandal’ remains an odd tale of Illinois politics

John Landecker

John Rendleman III, a Carbondale lawyer and Jackson County Board member, discusses how his father, John Rendleman II, found $800,000 in cash left in a Springfield hotel suite belonging to then-Illinois Secretary of State Paul Powell when he died in this Oct. 8, 2020 photo in Carbondale, Ill. In the foreground is the lid to the infamous “shoebox” that held some of the money, leading to the incident being dubbed the “Shoebox Scandal.” Rendleman II, who found the money, was a friend of Powell’s who was executor of the $4.6 million estate. Powell died 50 years ago, Oct. 10, 1970. (AP Photo by John O’Connor)

One of the strangest stories in Illinois politics, the “Shoebox Scandal,” sounds like a tall tale: a dead Secretary of State, a hotel room, and shoeboxes stuffed with $800,000 in cash.

Associated Press political reporter John O’Connor joins John Landecker to talk about the scandal 50 years later and its impact on the state.

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