Smile Politely

LaDue: A shellfish “prick”?

There was an anonymous post in the Rants & Raves section of Craigslist last week. There’s really no improving on the story, so we’ll just reprint it here:

Last night, 3/27, I had the privilege of attending a nice event at the iHotel in Champaign. This event was a retirement party and was catered by the U of I catering. The Mayor was there, as well as council members, Fire Dept, etc.

The event was great, but the altercation I witnessed truly made me ill. Toward the end of the event, Councilman Michael LaDue asked an employee of the conference center for a trash bag. He then proceeded to fill that bag with the shrimp on the buffet. Literally. He just walked up and started putting shrimp in a garbage bag. That’s embarassing enough, then, he made it worse.

A supervisor for the catering, Jose, walked up to Mr. LaDue and instructed him of the catering policy that prohibits taking food. When Mr. LaDue protested, Jose let him know, politely, that this policy is in effect due to Champaign County Health Dept code. Can’t really argue with that. But Michael LaDue argued anyway, even going so far as to try to pull Mayor Gerard into the argument. The Mayor wisely refused to join in with the ridiculousness. Jose the supervisor left the room to attend to more important matters, or perhaps out of embarrassment for our Councilman.

Once Jose left, Michael LaDue started harassing the student workers. He said, and I quote, “What is Jose’s last name? Is it Jose B*tch? Is it Jose Unemployed?”

Seriously. Prick.

We reached out to the poster who responded under a name that was suspiciously close to the word anonymous. She verified that it was all real.

Mayor Gerard said in a statement:

The City of Champaign is exceptionally grateful to Peter Fox and the entire staff of the iHotel for their gracious hospitality, outstanding accommodations and wonderful service. In my position I find myself attending events at the facility and always appreciate the efforts the staff, which is substantially comprised often University of Illinois students, puts forth to ensure the experience is most enjoyable. I regret, should it be the case, if one of these employees has been treated in an unprofessional or disrespectful manner.

Smile Politely has learned the Mayor has spoken with representatives at the iHotel, and he intends to contact the individual personally as well.

Councilman LaDue would not go on the record about this incident. We’ve heard from multiple sources that the city paid for the shrimp, and he attempted to take it with him to avoid it being thrown away. The iHotel will not comment on private events and suggested we contact the city of Champaign. The city of Champaign has no comments in addition to the mayor.

Oh yeah, and there’s also this.

One person who will comment is George Costanza:

It was unclear at press time precisely what type of shrimp were involved.

Shrimp Linguine A La Due:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garbage bag full of shrimp (Hefty cinch sack works best)
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 lb linguine, cooked
grated parmesan cheese


1. Heat oil in a skillet.
2. Add trash bag full of shrimp.
3. Add the garlic and basil.
4. Tell Jose to go fuck himself. Doesn’t he know who you are!?
5. Add butter. Toss in the cooked pasta.
6. Return pasta to garbage bag.
7. Garnish with the cheese.

Robert Hirschfeld, Seth Fein, Justine Bursoni, Joel Gillespie, Molly Poganski, John Steinbacher, and Cody Caudill contributed to this article.

H/T to Mike Ingram for passing along the Craigslist post.

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