Friday, February 28, 2014

Big Changes!

Well, maybe medium ones.

A number of commanders to be named today, a few lateral transfers, too.

Carry on.


We're Number Two!

  • Chicago's world-famous skyline is lit up and looking good Thursday night. But an unidentified critic put Chicago right next to Detroit at the top of a list of "Cities You Should Move Away From."

  • cited "long commutes, foreclosures, a lagging housing market, high dropout rates, even higher gas prices, and a serious gun violence program" as reasons to relocate. List-makers said Chicago is a great place to visit, but maybe not the best place to live.
  • National media, opinion-makers and some financial analysts have taken to comparing cash-strapped Chicago to bankrupt Detroit, but a major bond-rating agency says that comparison may not be apt.

    Yes, Chicago faces ominous financial woes, particularly when it comes to its government worker pension debt, but the city has the wherewithal to weather the financial storm that Detroit could not, according Standard + Poor's Ratings Services report to be released Thursday.
But that would involve Rahm not spending money amongst connected political cronies, which means we just might be Detroit albeit in 20 years.


Shooting Buses

Great, someone figured out that they're big, slow moving, easy to hit, usually full of people and will guarantee you a headline for anti-social behavior:
  • Shots, possibly from a pellet gun, damaged windows on two CTA buses in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side today, police said.

    The buses were in traffic on the Jackson Boulevard route near Kenton Avenue when the drivers reported that their windows had been broken, possibly from gunfire, around 10:15 a.m., police said.

    The No. 126 Jackson buses were moving in opposite directions, according to CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis. No one was injured.
Someone make sure we start some sort of initiative or special employment opportunity for this right away.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Custom Notifications Racist!

  • Under their “custom notifications” program, Chicago police try to forestall shootings by visiting and talking to people identified as likely to be involved in violence before anything happens.

    The idea is to try to prevent crime instead of chasing it after it happens. But it raises the question in some quarters: Isn’t this racial profiling? Don’t the people on the receiving end of police visits have a legitimate beef about being harassed when they haven’t necessarily done anything?

    When authorities profile a person, it means singling out a person who isn’t doing anything wrong but is a member of larger class that is perceived as likely to commit crimes.
So what's racist about this? Well, first of all, the program picks out people with criminal backgrounds. That's racist right there because most criminals are minorities. Don't believe us though, it's what the statistics say.

Second, it picks out people who associate with criminals. That's racist because of the previous statement.

Third, anything that involved the police is racist. Even computer programs that take into account only the mathematical formulas that are programed into it. Math is racist, too.

Is there any level these morons won't stoop down to as long as it doesn't involve them (and their communities) looking in the mirror?


Lawsuit Resolved?

We covered this over 3 years ago.

Word is popping up in the comments that the Plaintiff Officer won against a concerted effort to harass, intimidate and silence him.

Anyone have the verdict? Is it on=line?


FOP Ballots Due Shortly

We'll bet there are more than a few lying on dining room tables or on sideboards unopened.

Mail the damn thing in - they provided a stamp.

Even if you're only voting for one officer that you used to work with 12 years ago, at least you can say you participated.

Who knows? You might like it. And then you'll be attending meetings and running yourself in three years.

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City Sticker Grace Period - Done

  • Chicago drivers could lose the traditional 15-day grace period during which the city doesn't issue tickets on vehicles displaying out-of-date city stickers as part of the move to year-round sticker sales.

    City Clerk Susana Mendoza said Wednesday that when the sale of the city's 1.3 million vehicle stickers gets broken up over the entire year instead of taking place just in June, Chicagoans won't encounter the long lines that have prompted police and Revenue Department enforcement workers to traditionally give two weeks leeway after the old stickers expire before starting to issue $200 tickets.

    [...] Starting this year, the yearly city sticker will lapse six months after the vehicle's state license plate sticker does. The clerk's office will give drivers the option this year of either buying a cheaper sticker to cover those remaining months after June until they must buy a replacement, or a more costly sticker good for those remaining months plus another year. By the end of 2015, everybody will be on the new system of staggered sales.
This could be the smartest thing coming out of that office in years.

UPDATE: Post corrected as this is one of the few politicians who doesn't have a CPD bodyguard/driver.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Here Come the Clowns.....

  • Dan K. Webb — the special prosecutor who said he was unable to charge Chicago police officers with breaking any state law for botching an investigation into a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley — turned over all of his evidence to the FBI last June, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

    Some police officers involved in the case — in which files went missing and the special prosecutor said that a key police finding apparently was fabricated — may be under investigation for similar activities in other cases, according to a sealed court document obtained by the newspaper.

    Webb’s request to a judge for permission to turn over the files to the FBI came as he was wrapping up his investigation into how the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office twice failed to charge Daley nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko in the 2004 death of David Koschman.

    Webb got permission to give the evidence to four FBI agents “who have experience and expertise with police corruption investigations,” according to the court documents. Those documents are sealed under a court order issued by Cook County Circuit Judge Michael P. Toomin, who appointed Webb to investigate the Koschman case.
As we said, this is going to be used as a regular club to beat the Department with. And unless we're badly mistaken, Walsh is going to be Exhibit A in this disaster - unless he flips for a better seat on the bus. We fully expect someone is already looking to cut a deal on this and when the music stops, several someones might not have chairs.

Any predictions on another wholesale restructuring of the D unit?

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Parking Tickets Up

Evidently, the numbers of Parking Tickets being written by the CPD is up (via
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel touted the reassignment of hundreds of police officers to the streets as a better way to fight crime.

    And while crime did drop last year, the redeployment of officers from desk jobs to beat duty has had another possible outcome: more parking tickets.

    [...] Police spokesman [...] insisted police brass did not order officers to write up more parking scofflaws.
They certainly didn't - that would be trouble on various levels. However, the carrot-and-stick approach seems to work. If you want a shot at working Violence Reduction Initiatives (VRI), then you better come in with activity, to wit Parkers, Movers, Curfew, School Absentees, Arrests, ANOV's. No numbers, no shot at your portion of $100 million in overtime.


Should This be a Bigger Deal?

  • What happened one night under the same roof as the 28th Ward alderman’s office did not stay in the 28th Ward.

    So Ald. Jason Ervin has joined the ranks of politicians who’ve learned the hard way that it’s easy for camera phones and social media to take private moments and make them very public.

    [...] Still, Ervin had to spend much of Monday trying to explain away two minutes and 23 seconds that were captured at his November 2012 bachelor party and surfaced on Facebook over the weekend.

    The revelry — at least two strippers, gyrating in the most suggestive manner possible — took place in the same West Side building where Ervin handles constituent city-service requests. Near the end of the video, a woman tells the man who’s recording the scene to stop.
Strippers at a bachelor party - no big deal.

Strippers at the alderman's bachelor party - still not moving the needle.

Strippers at the alderman's bachelor party, in the office building "...where Ervin handles constituent city-service requests"? Now we're sensing scandal seeing as how aldercreatures use tax-payer provided funds to rent office space, usually from themselves of close friends to keep the money in the family as it were.

But does the media care enough to push this farther?


More Snow?! During Winter??!!!??

  • The worst of winter should be over by the end of February. That would be Friday, when it will still be miserably cold. Then we'll get more snow, maybe a lot of it.

  • There isn't a lot of snow in the forecast for the rest of this week – some light snowfall is expected Friday – but look out next week.

    A storm system that is expected to bring some rain to drought-ravaged California is headed this way early next week. It's too early to tell exactly where that snow will land or how much there will be, but Skilling did use these words to describe it: "Potentially significant."
Garry and Rahm are hoping this weather holds at least until May, especially after February 2014 surpassed February 2013 totals and they can't explain it away easily.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Optimistic" About Home Visits

  • When 14-year-old Venzel Richardson was shot to death on the South Side earlier this month, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy ordered his staff to draw up a list of warring gang leaders in the area.

    Within 48 hours, the commander of the Grand Crossing District was knocking on their doors, warning them to halt the shooting.

    Cmdr. Glenn Evans told the young men they’d face stiff prison terms for their next violent crime. But they also were given a contact for job training and other social services.

    No one has been charged with the teenager’s Feb. 12 murder at 61st and Vernon, but the conflict between the gangs in that pocket of Woodlawn ebbed.
The conflict "ebbed," so that's a success? And how many success stories are there now?
  • More than 50 people have been visited in six police districts. Even though most of the men have long criminal records, none has been arrested for a violent felony since a police commander knocked on his door. And none is suspected in a shooting, Kenney said.

    “I’m optimistic this could be an effective method to put a wet blanket on something that’s taking off,” McCarthy said.

    Asked whether some people might consider custom notifications a “hug-a-thug” tactic, he said: “It’s not an enforcement strategy, it’s an intervention. I don’t care what people think. If it works, I will give them a hug myself.”
We highly doubt that - in fact, he'll send commanders to go out and do the actual hugging.
  1. These “custom notifications,” which began as a pilot program on the West Side about seven months ago....(Barb West)
  2. Cmdr. Glenn Evans told the young men they’d face stiff prison terms for their next violent crime...
  3. Ogden District Cmdr. Maria Pena said she visited seven suspected gang leaders between Feb. 3 and Feb. 7....
Again, triple "merit" hacks who will do anything or anyone to keep their spots.

Any copper with any amount of street sense realized you don't grant these jagoffs legitimacy. That Hill Street Blues BS of having gang meetings in the station? J-Fledgar's meetings at Garfield Park? Complete fiction and complete nonsense. Of course these guys haven't been doing violent crimes - they've got shorties to do that for them. They gave up the low-level shit years ago in most cases. You give them a seat at the table, it only enhances their reputation. These are people who belong in jail, preferably under RICO penalties.

But here's McHuggyBear sending flunkies out to do this crap and pretend that he once again re-invented police work.


VRI Cuts?

Remember, since deployment doesn't stop crime, this is only to be expected:
  • Just a.nounced at VRI roll call: VRI is beibg slashed from 130 officers per shift down to 78 starting in March
We've seen a few different sets of numbers, but since Rahm is spending all of his day-to-day money on pothole repair and extra slat and parks and private stadiums and non-job-producing "factories," you can't say you weren't warned.


How Long?

This seems a bit extreme:
  • An autopsy conducted today determined that a 51-year-old woman whose body was found Friday wrapped in a blanket in an East Garfield Park alley had been strangled, officials said.

    Police found Velma Howard in an alley on the 600 block of North Homan Avenue at 2:20 p.m. Friday, said Chicago Police News Affairs [...].

    Howard was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:02 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
The body was laying out for three hours? That seems a bit extreme, doesn't it?


Monday, February 24, 2014

Not Zero

It was this time last week that McGoofy was congratulating himself by saying there were no shootings all weekend.

Someone, probably Karma, made sure that wasn't the case this weekend:
Making up for lost time evidently...and maybe a clue to keep one's mouth shut until after the last shooting of the year is tallied.

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Off-Duty Shoots Gunman

  • Charges are pending against two people after an off-duty officer shot and wounded one of them outside a Northwest Side restaurant in the Hermosa neighborhood Saturday night.

    The shooting happened about 9 p.m. in the 4300 block of West Fullerton Avenue, authorities said.

    The off-duty officer was at a restaurant with his family in the same block and saw two males inside “causing a disturbance,” Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said.

    The officer announced he was a policeman and escorted the males out of the restaurant, according to a statement from the Chicago Police Department. Police said one of the males went to his vehicle, got a handgun and pointed it at the officer. Camden said the two were waiting outside the restaurant for the officer, one armed with a knife, the other with a gun.
They knew he was a cop, had to know he was probably armed, and still went and got their own knife and gun to confront him when he's with his family. Be careful out there boys and girls - on and off duty.

Good job Officer.


Preckwinkle to Challenge Rahm?

  • Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel may face a formidable challenger when he runs for re-election in 2015: Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Though Preckwinkle says she will seek a second term on the county board in November, there is a precedent for a quick switch to the mayoral election in February: then-U.S. Rep. Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor, did in in the historic 1983 election, against all political odds.

    Preckwinkle would be the city's first black female mayor. She won the hearts of many of the city's reformers by defeating incumbent county board president Todd Stroger, widely viewed as corrupt, in the Democratic primary in 2010. She raised suspicions anew when she backed Joe Berrios, a party machine man, for county assessor. But her performance in office has been widely hailed, especially her work reversing an unpopular sales tax hike.

    Barack Obama owes much of his early political rise to Preckwinkle. She supported his campaign for state senate in 1996, and his doomed congressional run in 2000. She even takes credit for encouraging him to join Jeremiah Wright's radical church. The New Yorker quoted her in 2008: "'It’s a church that would provide you with lots of social connections and prominent parishioners,' she said. 'It’s a good place for a politician to be a member.'"
Preckwinkle is an unapologetic leftist in the mold of de Blasio in New York. We're talking hard-core left wing bordering on communist Ayers type of asshole. She is so far left, she thinks Obama is a centrist and she's a race-baiter of the highest order. Her running could actually win Rahm another term.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Park Legally

We have no idea how many times we've reminded people - park legally or you may pay the price. Like this poor bastard way up north in Edison Park:

Must not be an SCC reader.  Nicely done 016.


Snitch Boxes - Still Waiting

Our semi-annual reminder of the perfect crime fighting tool that never seems to get off the ground.

Anyone seen one yet?

The Clearance Rate inched upward to 35%, so we thought maybe the Snitch Boxes had been deployed, but then we realized we just made that number up - like other people seem to.


Chicago Lands a Factory!

Mostly by getting corporations to donate cash for the bid, then playing on Obama's sympathies for hte hometown folks:
  • Chicago will be the site of a digital manufacturing institute backed by $70 million in government money and another $250 million of private funding, giving the city, once a factory town, a better chance to re-establish its credentials as a modern maker of things.

    The decision, to be announced officially Tuesday by President Barack Obama, was hotly anticipated by city and state officials who recognized the opportunity to jump start high-tech manufacturing as a core component of Chicago’s economic vision. The city today, while still home to some manufacturing, is better known for its financial markets and convention business.

  • The $70 million grant will come from the Defense Department. But far more was at stake, as city officials and business leaders quietly raised private commitments in excess of $5 million each from General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter and Gamble, Siemens, Lockheed Martin and The Dow Chemical Co., according to World Business Chicago.
So hundreds of construction jobs, right?
  • The new institute, according to Chicago’s proposal, would be located in a leased building on the northern end of Goose Island. Oversight would be managed by UI Labs, a nascent University of Illinois-affiliated effort focused on turning academic research into moneymaking, job-creating products. UI Labs stands for “Universities and Industries.”
So, no construction jobs? And it's run by U of I people, a state university notorious for catering to and catered by the political elites of Illinois.

Have you read the article yet? Go ahead and read it - we'll wait.

Did you notice anything missing? Anything with a number attached to it? Anything like....hmmm....a total number of jobs to be created? We read it through a few times and there doesn't seem to be any concrete number of permanent high paying professional jobs or middle-class blue collar jobs in this so-called "factory." That's whispering to us that it's going to be populated by grad students and professors, people who (A) work for free or (B) have jobs as professors, but are looking for Department of Defense bottomless grant money.

The Sun Times article also notes no job numbers.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

No Police For You!

If you actually pay taxes, don't expect actual police for your money:
  • Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy made no excuses for his department's strategy of deploying more officers to higher crime neighborhoods, even if it meant fewer officers in low-crime areas.

    Speaking to Far Southwest Side community leaders Wednesday at St. Xavier University, McCarthy was asked about the number of officers assigned to the Beverly and Mount Greenwood communities.

    "We don't deploy as many officers to good neighborhoods as we do to bad," he said.

    Chicago's police superintendent said arresting criminals in high-crime areas can keep crime from spreading.

    "If they catch them there, they don't come to Beverly," he said.
Well that's bullshit. Thugs go where there's less pressure on them, as demonstrated over and over again during the summer wilding season. And the gigantic spike in armed robberies in 019. And the increasing burglaries (thefts) in places like 016. And the muggings in 022.

This guy spins more than a power station generator.

UPDATE: And how about this whopper?
  • "People think that deployment stops crime. It really doesn't," McCarthy told a crowd gathered for the "Breakfast with the Experts" speaker series. The morning discussion was hosted jointly by St. Xavier and the Beverly Area Planning Association.
Yet Rahm spent $93 million on police overtime just last year with another $50-100 million on tap for this year. The lies just keep on coming. Is anyone in the media going to call out this blatant lie? Or at least ask the uncomfortable questions? What a McAsshole.

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Arizona Pension Ruling

The Crain's article says don't read too much into it, but there are some telling signs there:
  • In a case scrutinized for potential ramifications for pension reform in Illinois, the Arizona Supreme Court today ruled unconstitutional efforts to curtail benefit increases for retired judges.

    Yet Illinoisans may not want to read too much into the ruling because the Arizona case involved only retired judges, a class of pensioners exempted from pension law changes in Illinois.

    Benefit cuts affecting compounded cost-of-living increases for other retired state employees, enacted in December, are being challenged before the Illinois Supreme Court.

    A spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, an indispensable factor in passage of the legislation, declined to comment on the Arizona developments, as did a spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago. Mr. Cullerton was another key backer of the legislation while voicing doubts about its constitutionality.
Cullerton and Madigan refusing comment? has another take:
  • State lawmakers cannot balance the budget by limiting pension benefit increases for retired judges, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The justices said a voter-approved section of the state constitution makes public pension plans a contractual relationship. More to the point, that provision says benefits “shall not be diminished or impaired.”
That is the argument being made in Springfield now as the Illinois Constitution contains that phrase almost word-for-word. Words are pesky things and contracts even peskier.


Nanny State Expands

  • In Illinois it’s called everything from pop to soda to sodi, but the state’s Democrats are now calling soda pop a money maker.

    State Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, on Wednesday laid out a plan to add a penny-per-ounce tax to soda along with a handful of other sugary drinks.

    Why? Kids (and adults) are getting chubby, and it costs a lot to treat people who get sick from weighing too much, according to Hunter.
Evidently, no one learned anything from Chicago's bottled-water-tax.

New York is even crazier:
  • New York state Sen. Ruben Diaz Jr. introduced a bill that would require parents of elementary school children to attend a minimum of four parent support classes. If parents don't go, 6th graders won't move onto 7th grade.

    Leslie Venokur, the co-founder of Big City Moms, called the idea "crazy" and "insane." She said that what is most concerning that the education commissioner and Board of Regents would develop the parenting guidelines. She said the Regents should "stick to what they're good at which is teaching kids and staying away from the parents."
Of course, New York elected an openly communist mayor, so you can't say it wasn't unexpected.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Well Well Well....Lookie Here

  • Former Chicago cop Steve Mandell took the stand in federal court Thursday to defend himself against charges he plotted multiple murders.

    The risky move — rarely taken by defendants, especially in such a high stakes case — comes at the end of a two week trial at which jurors have heard how Mandell built a torture chamber on the Northwest Side, where he planned to extort, then kill a wealthy suburban businessman, and how he allegedly planned to kill an owner of Polekatz strip club and his wife.
But then this happened:
  • Mandell said he did “a little bit” of the spying he was being paid for, but was conning Michael by claiming to be doing more work than he was being paid for.

    He said he used the computer databases and other tools at the civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy, where he was working as an unpaid process server, to research half a dozen targets Michael had asked him to keep tabs on.

    That’s a potential embarrassment for the highly-regarded law firm, which represented Mandell in a 2005 wrongful conviction case against the FBI.
Really? Do tell. The Loevys helped him win a suit against the FBI that was later overturned. And the Loevys also have a habit of scoring large payouts in suits against the City. It certainly sounds like Mandell was hip deep in the shit that got him placed on Death Row once before.

Very interesting.


Crossing Lines

If you'd like to read what we consider to be the most in-depth and thorough investigation of how Anthony Porter got away with a double murder and managed to get rid of the Illinois Death Penalty under false pretenses via skillful media manipulation, then click on this link RIGHT HERE.

We have no idea where to begin quoting the lengthy article, and if we did, it would be unfair the the writing as a whole. We first became aware of this article being under construction when we stumbled across a series of YouTube videos by a CPD Officer, Martin Preib.

Preib, an author of some renown apparently, skillfully presented interviews with people we had never heard of, taking down the entire Porter case and the circus surrounding it. The blog posting linked above appears to be the culmination of the investigative work that no one in the media bothered to do at the time. Porter was guilty as hell, yet managed to get sprung, created a celebrity persona and managed a media campaign to turn justice upon her head.

Set aside a bit of time today and read it.

UPDATE: Some of our copy/paste went awry and duplicated a section of the writing. We tightened it up


Predictive Analytics Rises from the Dead

  • When the Chicago Police Department sent one of its commanders to Robert McDaniel’s home last summer, the 22-year-old high school dropout was surprised. Though he lived in a neighborhood well-known for bloodshed on its streets, he hadn’t committed a crime or interacted with a police officer recently. And he didn’t have a violent criminal record, nor any gun violations. In August, he incredulously told the Chicago Tribune, "I haven't done nothing that the next kid growing up hadn't done.” Yet, there stood the female police commander at his front door with a stern message: if you commit any crimes, there will be major consequences. We’re watching you.

    What McDaniel didn’t know was that he had been placed on the city’s “heat list” — an index of the roughly 400 people in the city of Chicago supposedly most likely to be involved in violent crime. Inspired by a Yale sociologist’s studies and compiled using an algorithm created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the heat list is just one example of the experiments the CPD is conducting as it attempts to push policing into the 21st century
Anything to pretend they're saving money....more with less and all that, not ever seeming to realize that if someone is determined to "send a message" to another gang banger, they're going to find a way to set him up, hunt him down, and kill him....just not where the police are at.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sgts Sue - Is Chicago Broke?

Usually, when you sign a contract, certain things are promised and certain deadlines must be met. As anyone who has ever dealt with Chicago can attest, deadlines are mere suggestions that payment will take place at some unspecified point in the future. It looks like the PBPA that represents the Sergeants finally got fed up with Rahm's "promises" of retro payment:
  • The union representing 1,088 Chicago Police sergeants asked a judge Wednesday to order Mayor Rahm Emanuel to pay $5 million in retroactive pay raises with 5 percent interest dating back to November — mandated by an arbitrator’s ruling ratified by the City Council.

    City Hall insisted that the mayor’s 2014 budget includes $6.5 million for retro pay and that the delay stems from the painstaking process of calculating amounts owed to individual sergeants — not from a cash-flow crunch.

    “Mayor Emanuel has asked that the process be expedited, and we anticipate issuing checks within the next two weeks, ” said Kelley Quinn, a spokesperson for the city’s Office of Budget and Management in an emailed response.

    The sergeants association scoffed at that explanation and said the delay raises red flags.

    “They’ve known about this since November. What have they got — one guy with an eyeshade and a pencil calculating this?” said a source close to Sergeants Association President Jim Ade.
It's obvious to even the most casual observers that Rahm is messing with the Sergeants because they filed and won a grievance over the DSS debacle. But the entire incident also calls into question the City's ability to pay a completely foreseeable and predictable bill that has come due, and amazingly, Fran Spielman actually delves into that aspect of things:
  • The delay follows a financial squeeze that had forced Emanuel to plow through $25 million in snow removal spending — $4.5 million over a budget that was supposed to cover this winter and the start of next — even before Monday’s storm dropped another eight inches of snow on parts of Chicago with another one on the way.

    Earlier this month, Emanuel convinced the City Council to double — from $500 million to $1 billion — a so-called “commercial paper” program used to tide the city over between major bond issues.

    Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott said the short-term borrowing program would “ensure the city has liquidity for unseen needs such as retroactive salary payments and judgments.”

    Back pay for sergeants is hardly “unseen.”
Reporters straying from the reservation? Or did Fran leave her computer unattended and Jorasvsky writing a bit of satire under Fran's handle?


"...More Dangerous Position..."

We've seen some really dumb reasons for lawsuits before, but this one takes the cake:
  • A former officer in the Chicago Police Department’s news office has filed a lawsuit alleging she was unjustly transferred out of the department after she reported that another officer yelled and swore at her during a workplace confrontation.

    Laura Kubiak, now a patrol officer who worked in the Office of News Affairs from 2000 to 2013, filed the suit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday against the city and two of her former supervisors.

    The suit alleges that another officer in the division accosted her without provocation. When Kubiak reported the alleged assault to her supervisors, the other officer was not disciplined, while she was transferred to another, more dangerous, position as a patrol officer, she claims.
Um....wasn't that what you were hired to do? The fact that you managed to land a cushy gig for half of your career instead of doing what you were hired to do in the first place strikes us as some bizarre sense of entitlement all the way around. Gathering newspaper clippings, writing press releases, and answering calls from the media seems like intern work, not a job that pays $86,000 a year.

The Department appears to be taking this tac:
  • On Wednesday, city officials said they stand by their actions.

    "The City believes the evidence will demonstrate that the decision to return Laura Kubiak to her previous assignment was a valid personnel decision in line with CPD's efforts to civilianize the department and put more officers on the street," a spokeswoman said in a written statement.
And this is playing out as you probably expected:
  • Kubiak went on leave shortly after she lost her News Affairs post, her attorney M. Megan O'Malley said. Once her leave ends, Kubiak is planning to retire because she feels the incident has damaged her career, O'Malley said.

    "She's not just a police officer, she's a resident of the city," O'Malley said. "As a private citizen she is concerned about this pattern of retaliation. Being a police officer doesn't give someone a free pass to violate the law. It's unfortunate that the city chose to protect the officer that assaulted her and punish the victim."
Punished? No pay was lost. No benefits were denied. You are still getting a pension (not really earned though). You get treated far worse by citizens when you work the streets.

You serve in News Affairs (and most other Units) at the whim of the Superintendent or political-powers-of-the-day. In fact, Officers give up numerous contractual protections to go there. You have no right to that spot, and certainly no expectation of keeping the spot once you get on bad paper with someone heavier than you. It's part of the game.

As for someone else being an impolite dick, that comes with working in Units that have inordinate amounts of dicks assigned there, many hidden by their own political masters. You got out-clouted, which is kind of amazing in that even after being arrested for shoplifting and brawling at funerals....well, let's just say favors dry up after a while.


Numbers Are Down - and That's Bad

Shootings are down, homicides are down - That's good

Manpower is down, vehicles are down - That's not so good

The number of people signing up for the St. Baldrick's event - That's REALLY not good:
  • We're just under one month away from this year's St. Baldrick's event, Friday, March 21st. There is still time to sign up and get fund raising to help fund research into childhood cancer. Almost all of us have been personally affected by this horrible disease and through funding raised at events like ours, St. Baldrick's researchers have made huge progress in treatment of patients while searching for a cure altogether.

    For the first time we are combining efforts with the CFD members, feel free to share this information among either department and even challenge the firehouse in your district to a little rivalry. Talk to your friends on the suburban departments and see if they want to join us. The main web page where you can link to each respective event is

    The events will be held at three locations and you can contact the organizer for each location with any questions.

    022, Bill Murphy
    025, Anne Zamzow
    Headquarters, Bill O'Reilly

    Two Departments. One Mission. Conquer Childhood Cancers!
We imagine that the weather has gotten a lot of people distracted and free time being eaten up by clearing sidewalks, alleys, neighbors' cars, getting to work, extended commutes and such.

We also imagine that everyone has probably gotten a bit attached to their hair keeping their heads warm during these past winter months. You know you grow it just to cut it again and in any case, warm weather is right around the corner. There are kids out there with no hair at all fighting for their lives and everyone reading can make a difference. Let's get those numbers up.


Leaving Cook County

If you're smart or you have a decent job, you aren't staying in Cook County according to a new study:
  • As the Great Recession churned job prospects for many, Cook County lost about 13,000 residents with six-figure household incomes to other places, despite the widely hyped revival of downtown housing and jobs.

    Between 2007 and 2011, Chicago and its immediate suburbs also ended up with about 10,000 fewer residents with a bachelor's degree or higher, even after accounting for new arrivals, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's first attempt to track population shifts by income and education at the county level.

    In recent years, local officials and real estate developers have touted a resurgence in young tech workers and affluent empty-nesters revitalizing the city's core. Yet those trends are seemingly being overshadowed by more powerful factors, as other parts of the city and close-in suburbs send even larger numbers of prosperous, college-educated people to DuPage County and beyond.
This "brain-and-affluence" drain shows no signs of abating and ought to be a wake-up call to the powers that be.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Three Shot...Maybe by the Police

  • Three men were seriously wounded after Chicago police opened fire on a fleeing car on the Dan Ryan Expressway, then fired on the car again after it exited at 35th Street and crashed into a snow bank, authorities said.

    The three suspects were transported in serious to critical condition, two to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and one to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, officials said. No officers were hurt.

    Officers began chasing a white Kia Optima after it was involved in a shootout with another group of people at Ferdinand Street and Hamlin Avenue on the West Side around 11:25 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

    The officers witnessed the shooting and were radioing it in when someone began firing, according to a police statement and Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police. The attacker got into a car and it sped off and the officers, uninjured, followed.
Sounds like the first cops ran into a gang hit that escalated. An e-mailer tells us that at least one cop was injured went the suspects rammed a squad car. It still sounds like an excellent job all around, and best wishes to the possibly injured officer for a speedy recovery.



  • With the heat on in the high-profile David Koschman homicide case, the original Chicago Police Department case file — a file that had been presumed lost, then suddenly surfaced — ended up in a brick bungalow on the Northwest Side.

    It was taken there by the owner of the home, Lt. Denis P. Walsh, a well-connected cop with a troubled past. Walsh has now been tied to four instances of missing records in the case, for which former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko began serving a 60-day jail sentence Friday after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

    The file had been missing for months — possibly years — when it mysteriously turned up one summer’s night three years ago on a shelf in the police station at Belmont and Western.

    The officer who reported finding it? Walsh.
This is the type of case that gives fed-types wet dreams of hanging a scalp on the wall.

It also is the type of case that reporters can pick on for years, embarrassing both the Department as a whole and Rahm specifically for failing to take some sort of administrative action against an obviously connected individual. The lieutenant isn't going to jail - he got a limited grant of immunity and Webb has said that no one is getting prosecuted criminally.

But he's a convenient punching bag for the time being - Rahm will let the Sun Times bring him up and beat up coppers in general. Rahm will say there's a system in place to discipline cops for this malfeasance and decry the slow pace of the process on various union "roadblocks." The lieutenant may be stripped or stuffed in an out-of-sight unit before retiring if the heat gets to be too much. And somewhere down the line, it will die out for a while, then trotted out annually as yet another example of the thorough corruption of the Chicago Police Department.

No one in the media will point out that he isn't the cause of the corruption, just a symbol of how deep it runs. That Daley's handpicked promotees and people in a position to affect the levers of power are so deeply placed that they can allow an investigation to go so far off the tracks, that someone can literally, get away with manslaughter for 10 years.

And that is why the Sun Times (and other media) will remain a part of the problem as well.


Mel Makes Porn

  • Less than a year after disgraced former Rep. Mel Reynolds ran a failed bid for Congress under the slogan of “redemption,” the convicted sex offender is again facing allegations of sexual misconduct, this time in Zimbabwe, according to immigration officials and state media reports.

    The state-owned newspaper The Herald reported that Reynolds was found with pornography when he was arrested in the southern African country on Monday. Possession of pornography is illegal in Zimbabwe.

    There was no official confirmation of the pornography allegations. Francis Mabika, an assistant regional immigration officer, said Reynolds had been picked up for living in Zimbabwe without a valid visa.
The Tribune appears to have purged the following from its article, but a quick internet search reveals the rest of the story:
  • The Herald said Reynolds was accused of making pornographic videos and photographs of models and other women he brought to his room. At least one staff member from the paper arrived at the scene as he was being led away.
"Yeah baby, I'm a photographer. You may have seen my work in magazines? Playboy, stuff like that? Why yes, I do have a camera and my hotel is right around the corner. I'll make you a star!"

Good job Mel. You might as well stay there after your sentence.


A Fair Point

Racial politics, alive and well in Chicago:
  • SCC, this is off topic but needs to be brought to light.

    Maria Pena from 010 was slated to become the new Commander of 011 but the local reverends of 011 blew a [gasket] and are demanding a black Commander.

    How is this not blatantly racist. How can no one see the racism here. Simply put if the residents of 016 demanded a white Commander as well as the local priests it would be world wide news and the local black fake reverends would be demanding action.. To add fuel to the fire, the city has backed down and are now on the hunt for a "suitable" black Commander. So the reverends are openly racist and are rewarded and NO ONE IS ACCOUNTABLE.

    When will the world wake up.. Safe to demand a black president and those comments are common place..Demand a white president and you're a racist..
Even McJersey will never be able to overcome this sort of political thinking in Chicago.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CAPS is Good For Something

  • A supervisor accidentally fired his gun in the Central District police station in the South Loop, hitting a water pipe and causing it to leak for two hours while police waited on city engineers.

    The discharge happened about 9:40 p.m., according to police. After the gun went off, police noticed a trickle of water coming from the first-floor ceiling before it turned into a gushing stream.

    The ensuing downpour ruined computers and desks. A damage estimate wasn't immediately available.

    Police said the sergeant whose weapon discharged will likely face discipline within the department. No one was injured. The accident happened in the district's Chicago Alternative Policing, or CAPS, office.

    Police used CAPS literature to try and soak up water.
Hit a water pipe, ruin a few thousand dollars worth of equipment, get a few days off.

But let just one person kill a pencil sharpener in the Mass Transit office....


Is the Bro-Mance Over?

From the comments after the 72-year-old jacket murderer was arrested:
  • This one made Leo blow a gasket. A cheap homicide in a nursing home got his ass chewed out from gmac. I gotta agree with Leo on this one unless gmac has a plan to stop the random nursing home killings... Gmac threw a fit saying it should have been prevented. He demanded to Leo that an admin sgt in 007 pull the GPS to see where the beat and mission cars were.. Wtf does that matter if it happened inside and nobody called 911 until he was already stabbed.. Gmac has lost it
Evidently, someone rented "Minority Report." McJersey thought it was a documentary about his appearance at St. Sabina, but then believed it to be a CIA sponsored exposé about future crimes and he couldn't believe that Leo hasn't started using this as a training film.

In any event, we hear that the Bro-mance is on the way out as Leo supposedly has another job lined up with some former exempt(s) and is abandoning Chicago in short order.


Possible Identify Theft

From the comments:
  • OT- 015th district officers were called to a domestic on Quincy St, once they arrived the offender fled.

    The reason the girlfriend called was she saw him on his laptop with a roster of 015th district police officers names, address and social security numbers. The information was still up on the computer when the officers arrived. The roster contained the names of about 100 officers and was dated from 1999.

    How he came about getting the information is unknown but there are some ideas. Such as the old station on Chicago Ave. still contained file cabinets with official police documents inside them before being torn down. There were always people going inside and stealing copper and whatever they could get their hands on.

    The offender has two names that he goes by Tramble, Tom and Hinton, Quinton along with two IR #'s. He is from Alabama but has been arrested in Chicago. SCC feel free to edit this post if you feel the need to. Report is under HX153727.
Someone also related that a former 015 District officer had an account(s) opened in his name in Alabama or Mississippi for a mortgage fraud scheme. No idea if this could be related to it, but anyone working in 015 around that time frame ought to check their credit histories and maybe keep an eye out for unusual activity.



  • The official Chicago police tally of shootings last weekend was a rare number: zero.

    The streak started after a 41-year-old man was shot at 8:20 p.m. Friday in the Austin community and was still going as of midday Monday, according to a police spokesman.

    That streak nearly came to an end late Sunday when a crime victim pulled out a gun while trying to defend himself during an attempted robbery on the West Side, but he ended up wounding himself in the foot, authorities said. Police typically don't count self-inflicted gunshot victims as part of their official shooting tally.
Well, at least not since it might endanger a goose-egg on the board.

And don't you dare suggest that the fifth (and climbing the charts!) snowiest winter on record had anything to do with it. This is G-Mac's moment to shine!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Coppers Hurt in Accident

  • Two officers responding to a call were injured late Sunday night after a car blew the stop signal and crashed into their squad car in the city's East Garfield Park neighborhood.

    Shortly before midnight, the officers were responding to a call of shots fired and were near the 0 to 99 block of North Kedzie Avenue, said Police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro.

    A sedan ran the red light and crashed into the squad car. The driver attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was taken into custody, said Alfaro.

    The officers were taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries, he said.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery Officers.

On a side note, the car situation just got worse.


CPD Resource Fair

From the Chaplains:
  • CPD Resource Fair this Thursday, 20 FEB, 6:00 - 11:00 p.m. at FOP Hall.

    Free admission; free food and drinks; raffles; give-away items; door prizes.

    Come learn about the many resources available to Department members.

    Hosted by the CPD Survivors.
If you need help, these are the folks to point you in the right direction.


Another Large Bond

  • The second teenager charged in the attempted robbery of an off-duty sheriff’s sergeant that ended in the fatal shooting of one of the robbers has been ordered held on $2 million bail.

    Emannuel Jackson, 15, is charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery. Accompanied by his parents, the teen turned himself in at Area South headquarters at 11 p.m. Friday, according to a police report.

    A second suspect, 17-year-old Devante Graham, surrendered to police on Feb. 12 and is also charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery. Bail for Graham was set at $1 million.
And you'll never guess what these altar boys have been up to for the last 6 years:
  • Authorities said Mackey had 16 arrests on a rap sheet that went back to April 2008 when he was 10 years old.

    His most recent arrest was last month after Chicago police say he robbed a woman of her cell phone on December 16, not far from the Citgo station, authorities said. That was his only robbery arrest.

    Graham also has a long juvenile record of arrests for aggravated battery and criminal damage, prosecutors said.
But they were just going to turn it all around after this robbery.

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Don't F@#$ With my Jacket!

  • A 72-year-old man was ordered held on $500,000 bond Sunday, charged with stabbing his friend to death over a jacket at the retirement home where they both lived.

    Roosevelt Shaffer, 72, is charged with one count of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Raymond Robinson, 69, at the Bethel Terrace Senior Living facility, according to police and prosecutors.

    Robinson was stabbed in his chest about 10 a.m. Friday and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he died about an hour later, authorities said.

    The men, who were friends, lived at the facility at 900 W. 63rd St., prosecutors said.

    Shaffer allegedly stabbed Robinson in with a boning knife after they argued about a jacket in the hallway outside Robinson’s room, according to court records.
Word is that after the stabbing, he led responding officers on a merry chase, speeding away in his antique Cadi, crashing into a garage, over three fences, two rooftops and was eventually located in a nearby garage. No one is admitting to this however since we just made it all up, but it sounds more exciting this way.


Stop Already

  • Forecasters are predicting another winter wallop to the Chicago area, with up to 6 inches of snow expected to fall on Monday.

    A winter weather advisory for snow across all of northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana is slated to last from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m. in a slippery start to the week, according to the National Weather Service.
We are posting a bounty for the head of the groundhog causing the extended winter.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Car Situation.....Again

Winter takes its toll, and so does the complete lack of effort into maintaining equipment.

VRI is doubling up cars. The Area garages have no pool rides. Districts are downing cars in order to add a third (and sometimes a fourth body) to the cars going out.

The substandard equipment being bought is one reason - we've never seen so many SUV's down for blower motor failure. The non-existent maintenance is another - cars down for a month at a time for a "part" to come in.

It's been bad before, but we're reaching "takes-the-cake" proportions lately.


Avoiding Prison

  • Nearly three years after they were charged with sexually assaulting a woman while on duty, two former Chicago Police officers have pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of official misconduct and each been sentenced to two years of probation.

    Paul Clavijo and Juan Vasquez, each 41, were charged with criminal sexual assault and official misconduct after a 22-year-old woman said they assaulted her in March 2011.

    Clavijo resigned that year and Vasquez the following year, according to a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

    Court records show both men pleaded guilty Jan. 22 to official misconduct involving battery, which is a felony. They did not admit to any sexual offense and got no jail time.
Anita and her people had no comment, so we can't imagine the case was much good in the first place. But really? The story was just too these two told was just too fucked up from the word "go."

The poster boys for on-the-job-bad-judgement-and-idiocy. Count your lucky stars.


Info for Retirees

We hadn't heard of this, but it popped up so often in the comments, we figured a bunch of other people hadn't either:
  • My 1099 and others who had retired went to the unit of our last assignment. The office staff is so busy that they did not have time to call any of the retired people or to have the forms forwarded to them. I would not even have known about it if some of the people that I used to work with had not called me to let me know that they had seen a form with my name on it in the pile with the rest of the forms. 
Hopefully, you had a front office who looked out for guys and gals who retired early last year and may have fallen off the radars. Especially those who may have left town for warmer climes, or just places away from here.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Station Defibrillators

We see these things at the airport as we jet off to Vegas. And on the planes.

We see em downtown in nearly every building we wander into.

A quick google search reveals they cost anywhere from a grand to a few thousand.

So why wouldn't there be a couple in every single police station? People come in off the street and ask for ambulances. People in the lockups and under high stress, fall out occasionally. Coppers, like an unfortunate detective earlier this month, suffer medical emergencies at all hours and may benefit from having this device nearby.

Isn't this something that the City ought to have around? And if the City won't pay for it, many wouldn't object to the FOP and PBPA getting together and fronting the bill for a few to be kept in the stations out of the public areas - if the City wants them for the public, pay for them. If the bargaining units pay, they're for coppers.

Something to think about.


FOP Election

First - have you voted?

Second, we've gotten e-mails from two sergeants who were promoted in recent years. None of these sergeants maintained their membership in the Lodge, declining to send in dues for a "fraternal" membership.

Each related that they received ballots in the mail though. Is someone not updating the membership list and sending out dozens, maybe hundreds of extra ballots?

Those types of numbers could screw up an election easily.


Vanecko Jail Time

  • A nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley today began serving his 60 day sentence after pleading guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, officials said.

    Richard Vanecko, 39, turned himself into McHenry County officials where he began serving his sentence at the McHenry County Jail, according to McHenry County Sheriff's officials.

    A spokeswoman could not say if Vanecko would be in protected custody.
  • The BGA supported the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Koschman/Vanecko case, and filed an amicus brief on the matter back in 2012.

    We now support continued scrutiny – this time, by your office – to determine whether federal crimes were committed by police, prosecutors or other government figures in regards to the Koschman/Vanecko case.

    In many ways, we regarded Mr. Webb's report not as the end of the story, but just the beginning.
But they couldn't do any of this while Shortshanks was running the show.


Friday, February 14, 2014

There's the Big Bond

  • A Far South Side teenager was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail Thursday on murder and robbery charges tied to a botched hold up that left his alleged gun-toting accomplice dead.

    Devante Graham was charged with his cohort’s death based on the theory of accountability after an off-duty Cook County sheriff’s sergeant killed a teen when he was robbed by the younger men Monday night at a Citgo gas station in the 700 block of East 103rd, authorities said.
His lawyer is protesting the lack of evidence:
  • Outside of court, Rotunno said prosecutors are relying mostly on circumstantial evidence against her client.

    “All they have is the video we have all seen,” she said.
Um.....ok. Maybe she's hoping George Lucas will show up and insist it's all special effects or something.

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Morgue Improvements

New high capacity refrigeration units - just in time for summer:
  • The man charged with fixing a broken Cook County medical examiner’s office 18 months ago, declared his agency “risen from the ashes,” as he led a tour of a gleaming new morgue cooler Thursday.

    “These are exciting times for the Cook County medical examiner’s office,” said the office chief, Dr. Stephen Cina. “We will continue to look to the future, while we never forget the lessons of the past.”

    Some two years after the Chicago Sun-Times first detailed appalling conditions at the morgue on Chicago’s West Side — including bodies stacked on top of each other beneath blue tarps — Cina said his office has received “provisional accreditation” from the National Association of Medical Examiners.

    “It’s evidence that key standards and measures are being followed,” said Cina’s boss, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Perhaps more importantly, it should give assurance to those whose loved ones pass through the medical examiner’s office that the deceased are treated with dignity, care and respect.”
Everything is just about ready to go - now let's fill that thing!


Nice Going Dart

  • The Cook County Board next week is expected to approve spending $2.4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that Sheriff Tom Dart retaliated against deputies who backed his political opponent when he first sought the job eight years ago.

    Dart has objected to the settlement, believing he could ultimately win the case, but it was mediated under the auspices of the federal courts, endorsed by the state’s attorney’s office and recommended by the Cook County Litigation Subcommittee, making a rejection by county commissioners highly unlikely.

    Lurking behind the machinations of the lawsuit is a complex tale of Chicago politics, alleged jail abuse and public images.
The entire article spends some time pointing out 19th Ward connections, which makes it an entertaining bit of reading anyway. Not entertaining is the millions being paid out because 19th warders can't stop playing politics.


Flint Loses One

  • A Cook County judge today denied a new trial for a convicted murderer who alleged he was beaten into confessing by a detective who had worked under disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

    Shawl Whirl looked down as Judge Jorge Alonso ruled this afternoon that Whirl “was not credible” and denied his petition.

    Whirl pleaded guilty to the 1990 murder of a taxicab driver. His case had been sent back to the Circuit Court by the Illinois Torture Relief and Inquiry Commission after a hearing on Whirl’s claims that he was slapped and beaten by a Burge underling.

    But Alonso noted that Burge had left Area 2 several years earlier and found that certain details in Whirl’s petition – including that the detective had held a potato chip bag over his mouth – hadn’t been raised in his earlier claims.
Burge was gone for years - oops. And he's making it up as he goes along. How the hell did that judge end up on the bench? He actually read the file and made sense of it.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blood on Their Hands

  • A parolee has been charged in the shooting death of a clerk at a Bensenville store as police search for the gunman in the slaying.

    Kenneth Bardlett, 20, of Bellwood accompanied the man who fatally shot Hussein Saghir during an attempted holdup Jan. 19, DuPage County prosecutors said. Bardlett was charged with first-degree murder and ordered held Wednesday on $2.5 million bail. Assistant State’s Attorney Tim Diamond said he could not offer additional details about Bardlett’s arrest because of the search for the other man involved in the shooting.

    Saghir, 36, was shot during a confrontation outside Sam’s Tobacco and Food Mart, 235 W. Irving Park Road.
So to start, we have the parole board who granted this asshole freedom to commit more crimes.

But then you have this:
  • Bardlett has been arrested several times, the prosecutor said, including on a burglary charge as a juvenile. According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Bardlett is on parole for a 2011 conviction in Cook County for possession of a weapon by a gang member. He was given a boot camp sentence, according to authorities
Oops. A boot camp sentence.

For a weapon violation. Big Oops.

Some liberal judge, probably the same one that's already admitted to not following sentencing guidelines for weapon convictions, let this jagoff go to boot camp for a "gun + gang" conviction.

Tom Dart's people accepted this inmate whom they almost certainly knew was sentenced improperly.

Some reporters ought to ask if Anita's people raised any objections in court following conviction.

Preckwinkle and Chief Judge Tim Evans ought to be questioned as to what they are doing to re-train judges and suspend those who refuse to follow the laws passed by the legislature.

Someone paid in blood this time - and the blame can be placed squarely on the failed, broken Cook County "justice" system.


Well, This is a Relief

  • 16-year-old Deonta Dwight Mackey died after he held the off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s sergeant at gunpoint.

    [...] “To the correctional officer. I don’t have no hate in my heart, for what he did,” said Tonia Stevens, Mackey’s mother. “He was out doing a criminal act.”

    “I’m not one of those parents. I’m not. Everybody knows me. I’m not one of those parents. I promote fairness.”

    Tonia Stevens says she doesn’t blame the off duty Cook County Sheriff’s Office sergeant who shot and killed her son, Deonta Dewight Mackey.
Someone must have showed her the video, because there's nothing in there that any bottom-feeding lawyer would be able to make hay over.

In related news, one of fleeing would-be-robbers was located, probably by following the trail of excrement he left behind:
  • A suspect was in custody today in the attempted robbery of an off-duty Cook County sheriff’s sergeant, who fatally shot one of the two other robbers during the Monday night holdup, authorities told the Tribune.

    The suspect is a 17-year-old boy who, accompanied by a lawyer, turned himself in to Chicago police this afternoon after he saw himself on television when surveillance video footage of the holdup at a Far South Side gas station went viral, according to authorities.

    The teen has not been charged in the holdup and police were still looking for the third suspect.
Showing up with his lawyer - that's almost as good as a confession. Hello Felony Murder charges. And maybe a better seat on the bus to prison if he gives up number 3.


CPS Not Following Own Rules

  • CPS has spent the last week touting what officials say is a big decrease in suspensions, culminating with a school visit and press conference by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday, where the mayor declared that curbing suspensions was just the “right thing to do.”

    But a confidential document obtained by Catalyst Chicago shows that suspension data from last year is more troubling than something to boast about. Last year, young elementary-age students were suspended far more than in previous years.

    Plus, the racial disparity in suspensions of black students compared to whites and Latinos—long a problem in CPS and something that current CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett says she cares personally about—has widened over the past few years.
The people running the Catalyst-Chicago website seem to know what they're doing - stats, studies, and digging into the numbers like investigative journalists used to do. And willing to call out the political bullshit, too.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Former FOP Pres Suing FOP - Denied?

In Chancery Division of Cook County, Docket Number 2014 CH 2400, filed 10 February 2014.

The summary:
  • Michael K. Shields
    Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge No. 7
    2/10/2014 2014 CH 2400

    Action for violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Act, breach of contract and declaratory judgment. Defendant - "an organization consisting of approximately 10,500 active Chicago Police Officers and Detectives and 7,000 retired Officers" - unfairly suspended plaintiff and removed him as President of Chicago Lodge No. 7 without due process after he complained to the City of Chicago Inspector General that arbitration between the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Sergeant's Association "may have been rigged."
We don't have access (and neither does our tipster) to the on-line filing, but maybe someone out there does? We'd still like to see the specious reasoning behind it all.

According to a comment or two earlier yesterday, the motion was heard and denied already because - get this - Shields didn't get his letter in on time to contest the ballot issue! Talk about irony.


Shooting Video

We tried to embed the link, but there seems to be an issue with it, so here's the link:
The off-duty sheriff is one cool customer, confronted by three and distracting them by fumbling for his wallet before drawing and shooting the gunman. This video should forestall any sort of claims of innocence by the family - this was clearly a stick up, the deceased clearly pointed a gun at the sheriff a few times, and the sheriff was clearly acting lawfully within the scope of a life threatening situation.

Very well done Sir.


Killing the Taste Slowly

Honestly, just put a bullet in this thing. It was dying before and the packs of roving "wilding" yutes have made it a less-than-desirable destination for a few years now:
  • Former Mayor Richard M. Daley once declared that Taste of Chicago would “always be free.” Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s premier lakefront festival is getting a little less free every year.

    On Tuesday, Emanuel defended his latest plan to ring a profit out of what once was a money-losing Taste — by raising the surcharge on food tickets, doubling to $50 the cost of “premium seats” for concerts at the Petrillo Music Shell and selling 3,000 “general admission lawn seats” that used to be free.

    “If you’re going to the concert, you can still see the concerts free. If you want seating, that’s a different thing,” the mayor said.
And of course, Rahm was (and continues) to point out the Taste made money last year:
  • Taste of Chicago turned a $272,000 profit in 2013 for the first time in six years — thanks to a recipe that included perfect weather and a popular music lineup. It was a $1.6 million turn-around in just one year.
Sure - an all cash business, no real accounting, hundreds of thousands changing hands over a week or two. We're sure it just happened to start making money in half the number of days after a six year decline. And crime was down in the city if  you don't count that pesky 2012, reclassify burglaries as thefts and call dead bodies "death investigations" and just ignore the rise in arson.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cook County Officer Shooting

  • An off-duty Cook County Sheriff’s sergeant shot and killed a man who tried to rob him Monday night at a Far South Side gas station, police said.

    The shooting happened shortly before 10 p.m. on the 700 block of East 103rd Street in the Pullman neighborhood, officials said.

    The sergeant stopped on his way home at a Citgo station on 103rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue across the street from Gately stadium and was approached by as many as three men, a law enforcement source said, citing preliminary information.

    Police News Affairs Officer [...] said the robbers had demanded the sergeant’s wallet. But when the sergeant complied, the armed robber pointed his gun in the sergeant's direction. In response, the sergeant shot the robber in the head, said [News Affairs], citing preliminary information.

    That robber's gun was found at the scene and the off-duty sergeant was not hurt. Chicago police are trying to find the other suspects, who fled the scene.
Sounds like they ought to give the sergeant another crack at the rest of them. Nice shooting sir.


More Koschman Fallout

There is now a timeline of the behind-the-scenes actions of the Department and who was calling/texting/e-mailing whom:
  • After the Chicago Sun-Times began the investigation that led to former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, Daley’s administration began scrambling to write a police report that falsely concluded Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko was defending himself when he threw the punch that killed David Koschman.

    City Hall’s 59-day investigation involved 16 police officials — from top brass to detectives — as well as Daley’s law department and the mayor’s press office, including one of Daley’s closest confidantes, Jacquelyn Heard.

    Daley’s press office released the findings only after police officials met with Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s chief of staff, who apparently agreed Vanecko shouldn’t be charged.
So the mayor's people were kept in the loop pretty deeply. Webb says there's no evidence that Shortshanks participated in these exchanges, but when everyone involved was either hired by, worked for, or was promoted at the behest of one guy, one political Machine, well...let's not kid each other. This is still Chicago.

Also, the ASA who "threw away" the files from the case resigned - six weeks ago:
  • The prosecutor who declined to charge former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew in the killing of David Koschman — and apparently “threw away” the case file — has left the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

    “Darren O’Brien no longer works in the [state’s attorney’s office]. The state’s attorney accepted his resignation letter approximately six weeks ago,” said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

    According to county records, O’Brien, 56, retired on Dec. 30, as Daley nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko was awaiting trial for causing Koschman’s death. O’Brien had worked in the state’s attorney’s office since 1984, when he was hired under Daley, who was state’s attorney before he became mayor.
For the naive, Daley used to be the State's Attorney for Cook County, and when he moved up, he put his deputy Dick Devine in charge and kept a tight hold of the leash. But remember, there's no evidence that Daley knew anything. Ever. At any time. But when you control all the levers of power, and everyone knows what's expected of them before they're even appointed to a spot (elections being a mere formality), well then, you have insulated yourself from ever having to actually having to engage in something as sundry as covering up a homicide.

Down the memory hole everything goes, with only the police taking any heat in the media. As predicted, this case is going to be the new Burge or Abbate hammer with which to beat the Department.


An Idea Whose Time Has Come

From the frozen tundras of Canada, the brilliance of ....well, not exactly brilliance. More like enabling on a grand scale:
  • A nonprofit organization has installed Canada’s first-ever crack pipe vending machines in Vancouver in an effort to curb the spread of disease, according to Canada’s CTV News.

    The machines dispense Pyrex crack pipes in exchange for just 25 cents.

    “For us, this was about increasing access to safer inahalation supplies in the Downtown Eastside,” Kailin See, director of the Drug Users Resource Centre, told CTV.
"Drug User Resource Centre." We had those at one time - it was called "prison."

We can see the wheels turning inside some politicians' heads.


Workplace Accident

You hate to hear about incidents like this. It just screams for government attention:
  • BAGHDAD — If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.

    In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

    Iraqi citizens have long been accustomed to daily attacks on public markets, mosques, funerals and even children’s soccer games, so they saw the story of the fumbling militants as a dark — and delicious — kind of poetic justice, especially coming amid a protracted surge of violence led by the terrorist group, including a rise in suicide bombings.
Hopefully, OSHA-Iraq looks into this and comes up with a series of guidelines and manuals.


ISP Trooper Still Critical

The fiery crash that killed an Illinois Tollway worker and severely injured a Trooper has fallen mostly out of public sight. We heard that he is still in critical condition and accounts have been set up in both mens' names to help defray incidental costs not covered by insurance:
  • To support Tpr. Doug Balder and his family (two kids 3 and 8 and wife) there is an account set up at the Illinois State Police Credit Union under the name Trooper Douglas Balder Benefit. Those interested can send a check to the credit union 730 Engineering Ave. Springfield, IL. 62703. He could really use it. He is still critical in the hospital.

    If they also want to donate to Vincent Petrella's family (tollway worker killed) they can at any Chase Bank under the name Vincenzo Enzo Memorial Trust account # 3020146931. Vince had two small kids ages 4 and 7 and a wife he left behind.

    Any help is appreciated...

    ISP Troop
Godspeed Trooper.


Monday, February 10, 2014

FOP Ballots on the Way

According to the newsletter at least, ballots ought to be arriving by the 11th.

The different slates have been overly active in our comment section and we've clamped down a bit on the slanderous accusations and nonsense posting, the biggest of which was the 16% issue. Shortshanks pulled the 16% offer long before it would have been offered for a vote and the extra stuff 'Shanks wanted was intolerable. Give it a rest.

While we have refrained from endorsing a ticket or slate, we cannot let it be that this regime, from the top down, has been a source of constant disappointment. The infighting, the poor decision making, the lack of a cohesive voice, the constant bickering, backbiting and backsliding, the supposedly "tactical" decision to let the disgraced former president drag the entire organization into disrepute is intolerable.

For this reason, we will not be voting for a single office holder who is listed on the inside cover of the current FOP book, including the Trustees and Past President. Their efforts to keep their jobs rather that do their jobs, in our eyes, makes them unqualified to represent the rank-and-file of the Department.

When questions were asked, they were uncommunicative.

When confidence was lacking in the job being done, they were invisible.

And when we provided a more visible platform for people to air their concerns, we were asked to remove a post lest it embarrass the then-First VP (now acting president) and we were threatened with a lawsuit to shut us down by a lawyer whose behavior was something the FOP should have distanced themselves from years ago.

Again, we make no endorsements and encourage no one to follow our lead. We encourage everyone to do a bit of research, ask a lot of questions, and stay involved by voting. You're welcome to disagree with us - politely - and vote the way you want. We don't owe anyone a platform to rip us for the way we're going to vote and we aren't going to be a punching bag for the vitriol sure to be spouted our way, much of it from IP addresses we know are from Washington Blvd.

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Chicago Spire to Return?

  • The Irish developer behind the Chicago Spire said it has found an investor to pay its creditors, allowing it to emerge from bankruptcy and possibly restart work on the long-stalled residential project.

    In papers filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court Thursday, Shelbourne North Water Street LP, the firm headed by Irish developer Garrett Kelleher, is seeking court approval to move forward with an investment of up to $135 million from Atlas Apartment Holdings LLC, a Northbrook-based apartment development and management company.

    While Shelbourne said the amount would enable it to pay bona fide bankruptcy claims in full, there is no detail in the court documents about the additional funds that would be needed to construct the twisting, 2,000-foot tower designed by Santiago Calatrava that was to be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The 1,194-unit condo building captured people’s fascination but couldn’t get construction financing.
As long as their financing isn't coming from Rahm, build it.


This is Grisly

  • The founder and CEO of American Title Services in Centennial was found dead in his home this week, the result of self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun, according to the Arapahoe County coroner.

    Richard Talley, 57, and the company he founded in 2001 were under investigation by state insurance regulators at the time of his death late Tuesday, an agency spokesman confirmed Thursday.

    It was unclear how long the investigation had been ongoing or its primary focus.

    A coroner's spokeswoman Thursday said Talley was found in his garage by a family member who called authorities. They said Talley died from seven or eight self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun fired into his torso and head.

    Also unclear is whether Talley's suicide was related to the investigation by the Colorado Division of Insurance, which regulates title companies.
We imagine they're on safe ground assuming it was related to the business improprieties, but ouch! Seven to eight shots with a nail gun? That took some effort.

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