Mayhem in Markham: Mayor's promised makeover isn't pleasing everyone

WGN Investigates
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MARKHAM, Ill. — It’s a small town with a big history of trouble.

For years, south suburban Markham has been plagued by crime and political corruption. The new mayor campaigned on a promise to clean up the town of nearly 13,000 residents.

Since Roger Agpawa took office, he’s closed some strip clubs and businesses which he alleges were magnets for trouble.

According to police records, there were more than 35 shootings and six murders in 2017 and 2018, the year Agpawa took office. Many of those occurred at the suburb’s seedier nightspots that continued to operate.

“I think the government got out of touch with the community,” Agpawa said.

But not everyone is happy with Markham’s makeover.

Among the businesses fighting to reopen is an adult swingers club known as Couple’s Choice.

“We’ve been a club here in Markham for 32 years,” owner Tim Geary said.

He said his customer base includes a variety of professions.

 “They’re doctors. They’re nurses. They’re dentists. They’re politicians. They’re police,” he said. “I mean, they’re everyone.”

As for Markham’s future, change has been promised before but few officials have actually delivered.

Police Chief Terry White said it’s personal for him.

“This is my mission,” he said. “I live here. I got a vested interest in this town.”

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