Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rule 14 - On Tape and Under Oath

  • The dramatic revelation that five officers had allegedly lied on the witness stand in a Skokie drug case, has called into question dozens of other cases which the officers have pending.

    The Cook County State's Attorney's office will only say it is reviewing the matter, but privately, authorities are clearly concerned about a case which fell apart, when the officers were confronted with a video which contradicted their sworn testimony.

    That moment came two weeks ago, when the officers, three from Chicago and two from Glenview, testified in the case of a drug suspect named Joseph Sperling.

    "All five officers were telling the same story word for word," said defense lawyer Steven Goldman. "They were caught in a lie."

    The officers testified that they pulled Sperling over under the pretense of a traffic stop, asked for his license and insurance, allowed him to exit his vehicle and walk to the rear, then removed a duffel bag containing marijuana. Only then, they said, did they arrest and cuff him.

    But Goldman confronted the fifth officer with the squad car video, which clearly showed the officers approaching Sperling's car and immediately taking him out of the car and putting him in handcuffs. Only then did they begin searching, finding the bag in the back seat.
This was something out of a television show - a genuine "GOTCHA!" moment that defense lawyers usually only dream about. But they got it in this case, hands down. We have a hard time believing the prosecutors didn't have some sort of heads-up once the defense subpoenaed the Glenview in-car-cameras. That should have been a clue that something was up. Espeically in this age of cameras everywhere - traffic, red light, cell phones, squad cars, body cameras, Google-Glass, etc. And if they did have a heads-up, why didn't it come up in prep?

Regardless, this one is going to reverberate for years. A Rule 14 violation is a bitch. Every single case that these coppers are involved in - as arresting officers, assisting officers, affiants on search warrants, inventory officers - is now in question. Every single piece of paper with their name on it can become suspect, even an innocuous To-From as a witness to a CR. And the sergeant involved? Defense attorneys are going to bury the city in a blizzard of paper for everything with his name on it - even such mundane things as Supervisor Logs that might show a car is supposedly logged at a certain location calls into question entire investigations.

In the most extreme cases, a sustained Rule 14 means a minimum of 7 years not even being able to sign a simple case report, a traffic violation, or a parking ticket - your word is no good under oath and the City isn't about to put you on the stand for anything. They'll dismiss or settle in an instant. Charlie Williams wanted to fire everyone with a sustained Rule 14 on their record around ten years ago - he said it was around 150-to-200 coppers and he was seriously pursuing it until told to stop by certain connected persons.

This is going to be ugly.

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Wow, Just Wow

Vanecko got out of jail this week. But we didn't see any media coverage on this - maybe we missed it:
  • The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed criminal defense attorney Marc William Martin to an 11th Subcircuit vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Carol A. Kelly.

    Martin's appointment is effective May 1 and terminates on December 5, 2016.

    Martin has been an attorney in Illinois since 1987. Martin was most recently in the news as one of the attorneys for Richard Vanecko, a nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Koschman.
How very....unexpected? Surprising?



Exempt Moves?

Someone said they move some people around?

Garry getting all his pieces on the board before summer evidently.

Any dumps? Or did everyone move up again? Funny thing about that - we remember more than a few dumps under Weis, but not so much under this guy.

It's almost like he isn't really running the Department.


The Paradox

Once again, the most observant readers:
  • The FBI says "You cant arrest your way out of the crime problem" and McCarty says "We need tougher guns laws to lock up the bad guys." Our leaders don't have a clue on how to fight crime. 
We'll drink to that.


By His Own Words

In regard to the latest Missing File scandal:
  • Chief Tracy said...More than one occurrence is a pattern, right Garry?
Well, that is what he (and McJerseyShore) says at CompStat whenever the number crunchers find two robberies in a half-mile radius and they rip the shit out of some tongue-tied gold star, isn't it? Not that we feel for the exempt - they know what they signed up for and they get paid to eat shit. But it's funny how that comes around, isn't it?


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

More Missing Files?

Where there's smoke, there's fire....and something is burning fierce:
  • A police lieutenant at the heart of the missing-files mystery in the David Koschman case was involved in another death investigation in which police records went missing.

    The Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division questioned Lt. Denis P. Walsh last year about missing documents in the death of Jason Stangeland — two years after IAD interviewed Walsh about the missing Koschman files, according to records and sources.

  • Walsh is among nine officers who were involved in both the Koschman and Stangeland cases, records show.
Nine coincidences? Who's yanking our legs on this one?


It certainly seems that there was a concerted effort on the part of a core group of people to manipulate and who knows what else deaths in the entertainment district. We don't see a political angle on this like the Vanecko case, but once again, a bar altercation resulting in a delayed death and files gone missing. Chicagoans are entitled to ask, "What the fuck?"

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Never Fear! The Feebs Are Here!

  • Chicago’s “ingrained” gang culture is to blame for homicide rates far higher than other large U.S. cities, FBI Director James B. Comey said Monday.

    Speaking a day after one of the city’s warmest and bloodiest weekends so far this year, Comey said gang values went back decades in Chicago, but he warned “you can’t arrest your way to a healthier neighborhood.”
We'd like to see them try though - one of the problems is Illinois gives day-for-day credit in prison. 6-to-10 becomes 3-to-5 with startling regularity. That needs to end. Another is the inordinately amount of time from arrest-to-trial-to-imprisonment. What good is 10 years downstate if it's already going to be 5 and the first 2.5 are served in Cook Conty jail waiting? There's no "rehabilitation," all the old crew is in there with you, all the old contacts and influences. These are local problems, not really on the FBI radar and certainly not addressable by them.

The Director did make this observation:
  • Asked why Chicago has failed to cut homicide levels as successfully as New York and Los Angeles, Comey told reporters,“Chicago has a larger and more ingrained and sophisticated street gang structure than many American cities.”

    [...] “They’re old, they’re embedded in a part of the culture in this city, and it’s an enormous challenge,” Comey said.
"embedded"? In many cases, since the early 1900's in fact, the gangs are part and parcel of the political structure - and this is something that the FBI can and should address. Political corruption on a massive scale in Chicago, comparable only to New Orleans and parts of New Jersey. The gangs own numerous aldercreatures, even today. And in other cases, the aldercreatures obtain tax-breaks for Outfit chop-shops. Those are things that the FBI ought to be looking at to break the cycle of corruption. That's where they can make a difference.


This Kind of Sums it Up

From a reader:
  • Try N. Tofigure-Itout said...

    So, when we have a "good" weekend with low shot/kill #s, it's because of his ingenious and innovative strategies.

    When we have the more common "bad" weekends with high shot/killed #s, it's the law's fault.

    Hmm. Weren't the laws the same during the "good" weekends?


Monday, April 14, 2014

Blame the Gun Laws?

  • At least 36 people have been shot, four of them killed, and one person was stabbed in Chicago violence since Friday, officials said.

    The most recent weekend homicide took place around 2:40 a.m. Sunday when a 32-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest.
But the tragi-comical part was this quote from our fearless leader:
  • In a statement, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said: "While Chicago continues to see reductions in crime and violence, there's obviously much more work to be done and we continue to be challenged by lax state and federal gun laws. Through our police strategies, the City's strengthened investments in youth violence prevention, and a close partnership with residents and community leaders, no one will rest until everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety."
Well Gar, your "reductions in crime" have been shown to be statistical manipulation of the highest order.

Your "police strategies" of doing-more-with-less has led to overtime bills that dwarf any in previous Chicago history as the Department has to spend more on less coverage.

Your blaming gun laws is pathetic as crime rates drop everywhere except Chicago in relation to increased gun ownership, though we hope Chicago will be catching up with that trend as Concealed Carry takes hold and gun ownership grows.

And your hope that "everyone...enjoys the same sense of safety" seems to mean that everyone experiences the despair and terror of the ghetto as wilding explodes across the business districts, drug dealing moves to all the outlying neighborhoods, and burglaries, thefts and robberies abound in areas stripped of police protection.

Congratulations - you and Rahm managed to do less with less and at a greater cost than ever before.

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I'm Tax Exempt

  • Nahshon Shelton didn’t want to pay the 22-cent tax on his $1.79 two-liter of Pepsi on Saturday afternoon, Chicago Police said.

    So he allegedly pulled a blue-steel Intratec .22-caliber submachine gun out of his Gucci satchel inside the convenience store in the 4000 block of West Madison Street where they tried to make him pay it — and he threatened to kill everyone there, a prosecutor said.

    This “is my neighborhood, I’m tax exempt!” he would later allegedly tell the cops. “Man, you know what, I’ll keep it real. I had to put them in their place.”
Because gangsters always carry their heaters in Gucci satchels. How much do you think he paid in taxes on the Gucci?

He did get one thing right in a manner of speaking though - he's definitely a tax drain. We doubt he's paid anything near what he's managed to drain in his 36-year existence.


Smart Phones and Meters

Anyone downtown know anything about this? Sounds like something cops should know, not just in the classier parts of town either:
  • For all you beat cops that like to check the meters in 001 and 018 and everywhere else get ready,

    The pay by phone program goes live next week.

    Supposedly there is an app on the city issued smartphones you will be required to use before you can just issue a ticket for Expired Meter.
Here's the app site - we can't imagine citizens leaving their phones on the dashboard with the meter info - they'd bake in the summer sun - or disappear. We haven't heard anything about "city issued smartphones" though - can such a thing exist?  We scanned the Expired site but didn't see anything last night.Sounds interesting to say the least, but how to pull it off?


Homicide Quilt

  • Lindsay Evans’ eyes gravitated to the lower end of the 4-foot-by-6-foot piece of fabric, where the names were so abundant in some neighborhoods that they were stitched on top of each other in a barely legible confluence of Chicago’s violence.

    “You can see the hurt and confusion in it,” said Evans, 26, a graphic-design student from Philadelphia.

    Hers is the desired reaction for the group of artists who created “Untitled (Homicide Quilt),” a quilted map of Chicago with the names of each of the city’s homicide victims from last year stitched into the neighborhood where a life ended.
Is it wrong for us to hear tomorrows weather report of rain mixed with snow and a 40 degree temperature drop and think to ourselves, "Damn, that quilt looks warm - it'd be nice to sleep under that tonight." And the fact that most of the names on that quilt are currently enjoying the balmy confines of Hell just make it feel all the warmer.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Down, I Tell You, Down!

  • Two people were shot to death and 14 others were wounded in city shootings from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning.
  • Three people were injured in separate shootings on the south and northwest sides, police said.
We confess, we are amused that the Tribune has taken it upon themselves to specifically say "Three people injured in separate shootings..." We suppose that they've realized every number that came out of HQ for the past 3 years was, of course, horseshit, and they look like morons reporting it.

The Sun Times shooting map is filling up nicely - and by nicely, we mean every single shooting was south of Chicago Avenue and East of Cicero as of yesterday.


Porter Case Going National

We'd say the so-called "Innocence Project" is a textbook study in how not to handle capital murder cases:
  • One of the guidelines of liberal propaganda is that if you are going to lie, lie big.  Global warming, Obamacare, Romney’s a heartless guy. It might be time to add to the list the famous Anthony Porter exoneration in Chicago in 1999.

    Not only is Porter likely guilty of the double murder he was initially charged with, an innocent man therefore sits in an east central Illinois prison serving a 37-year sentence. His probable framing was largely orchestrated by a since-discredited “journalism” professor and his students at Northwestern University, a cowed prosecutor’s office in Cook County, and a Chicago media that enabled the whole charade.
And the Sun Times lobs another few shells into the exploding mess:
  • At the heart of the memo, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, is an explosive allegation that’s never been made public.

    The memo alleges that the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop the murder case against Porter and charge Alstory Simon — who made a videotaped confession to the murders — was a “political” one.

    “A political decision was made that this case should be put to rest because it caused too much publicity against the imposition of the Death Penalty, caused great doubt about the validity of death penalty punishment for mentally challenged individuals and incited a significant amount of negative press concerning Death Row reversals,” the memo said.
So for the pure sake of political expedience, Porter was released, and whether by accident of design, Governor Ryan had his opportunity to show his true RINO colors and suspend the death penalty. We know ASA's and the States Attorney himself are immune from prosecution and punitive damages, but is Preckwinkle's bailiwick liable for putting the innocent replacement "offender" in prison? This part is ridiculous:
  • Then-Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Gainer Jr. presided over a grand jury in 1999 that was convened to reinvestigate the murders and the circumstances surrounding Simon’s confession.

    [...] On Sept. 7, 1999, Simon appeared before Judge Thomas Fitzgerald to enter his guilty plea. The judge asked about the evidence that prosecutors would have presented if the case had gone to trial.

    Gainer, the prosecutor, said he would have presented testimony about Simon’s confession and his wife’s statement implicating him.

    He also said he would have presented four witnesses who saw people in the bleachers and heard gunshots.

    But Gainer did not tell the judge that the witnesses were favorable to Simon and implicated Porter.
Some people ought to be disbarred over this.

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Amended Detective List

Tracy Ladner's ghost strikes again:
  • 050 - Alexander-Fallo, J
  • 006 - Armstrong , D
  • 010 - Avolos, J
  • 177/123 - Bartik,R
  • 017 - Berg, D
  • 017 - Bosch, M
  • 606 - Branch, M
  • 011 - Bryja, J
  • 017 - Byerly, T
  • 025/606 - Calle, D
  • 025 - Campos, M
  • 022 - Carroll, E
  • 114 - Collins, T
  • 001 - Connolly, J
  • 011 - Curran Jr, T
  • 313 - Cygnar, B
  • 192 - DiPasquale, G
  • 015 - Duignan, M
  • 312 - Granat, A
  • 312 - Hayman, P
  • 311 - King, L
  • 606 - Levigne, W
  • 011/193 - Lopez, J
  • 024 - Manaois, A
  • 018 - McCarthy, J
  • 015/213 - McDermott, D
  • 009 - McKEndry, B
  • 121/002 - McLaughlin, B
  • 007/120 - Montelongo, R
  • 003 - Moore, A
  • 024 - Nickeas, S
  • 191 - Olson, T
  • 116 - Padalino, N
  • 022/166 - Pilarczyk, J
  • 019 - Pokuta, M
  • 010/606 - Shalabi, M
  • 012/166 - Siergiej, J
  • 019 - Smith, W
  • 192 - Thomas, H
  • 008 - Torres, P
  • 009 - Trotman, R
  • 009 - Wathen, V
  • 005 - Williams, S
  • 019 - Whicher, A
  • 002/231 - Wooley, C
  • 353 - Yurisich, D
Congrats to the new crew.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Poetic Justice and Amazing Stupidity

  • An infant was wounded when the car it was in fled police officers who saw someone inside firing a gun in Humboldt Park late Friday, police said.

    The boy is in stable condition. He was taken to Lurie Children's Hospital, police said. Police found a revolver in the car.

    A baby bottle sat next to a flannel shirt among other debris from the crash. The hood of the car had a light-pole sized dent in the front of the hood.
Reporter Peter Nickeas does it again, describing a crime scene with the little details that really end up standing out when cops observe it.

The story goes on:
  • The car caught fire after the crash and police pulled a number of the occupants out. At least one had to be cut out by firefighters, who removed a door that sat leaning against a currency exchange.
And the Grand Finale!
  • A male driver, two female passengers and the infant child were in the car when it wrecked. The male driver of the car was pronounced dead after the crash at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said. Police were behind the car when it crashed.
Great date night - grab baby's momma, her best girl, and bring along junior to show him the ropes while you go out and bust a few caps and some Almighty Insane Unknown Traveling Dirtbag - in front of the police - and then wreck into a lamppost. Priceless.

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Chop Shop Jackpot

  • Police said they have recovered more than 200 vehicles from a Southeast Side salvage yard that had been previously identified as stolen.

    Sources said that 245 vehicles recovered from the salvage yard at 3033 E. 106th St., were found to have been stolen and that many of them had been destroyed and were not intact. Officials said the vehicles were taken to the salvage yard to be stripped for parts and scrap.
And again, this was a shop that an aldercreature got tax breaks for. We know politicians are crooks, and they aid and abet crooks all the time. But to actively subsidize them instead of letting them score their own graft? What is the world coming to?


One, No Wait, Four, No Wait, Eight Shot

This is just a preliminary accounting of course. The real numbers will be adjusted as either more people turn up with bullets in them, or Denis Walsh finds a new pencil with a fresh eraser:
  • Two people were shot to death, another man is in critical condition with a head wound and at least seven other people were wounded in Friday night shootings.
The Sun Times has provided a new feature for keeping track of shootings:
We don't know about you, but this is going to be amazingly helpful in deciding  how to plan our weekend family outings and avoid traffic tie-ups and brass/lead debris in the roadways - we certainly hope they make an app out of it for our smart phone.

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Unavoidably Detained

As happens occasionally in our line of work.

Posts will be up shortly.

Open post for the moment.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Nice Neighborhood Rahm

  • A man was robbed early Thursday morning around the corner from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home on the North Side, Chicago Police said.

    The 29-year-old man was walking on the sidewalk in the 1700 block of West Berteau Avenue at 5:45 a.m. when a man got out of a white van, implied he had a weapon, and demanded the victim’s backpack, according to police.

    The victim, who is hearing-impaired, gave the man his backpack and the robber got back into his van and drove away, police said.
We know that there are at least two and as many as four squads, marked and unmarked, parked within spitting distance of the Rahm homestead - spitting distance so Rahm can gob on those who keep him safe at night. You'd think with that kind of presence, robberies might be at a minimum in the area, but we guess not.

Earlier reports had the robbery across the street from Rahm's house. It's currently "around the corner." By next week, it'll be all the way in Evanston and no longer part of the CompStat equation.


Near North Non-Security

From a reliable source, three Officers had their personal cars broken into while attending training at the Near North location. Many districts are putting up a "station security"car lately. 

Perhaps if the city had actually planned ahead and build secure parking, this wouldn't be an issue, but open flat lots with a 3-foot-high perimeter fence isn't really "secure" by any stretch of the imagination - and Near North has none of that.


Olympic Disaster

  • Amid growing concerns that Brazil might not be ready to host the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, Olympic officials have launched a series of emergency measures to jump-start the much-delayed preparations.

    This latest effort follows months of sluggish construction, labor strife and governmental chaos in the host country.

    “We believe that Rio can and will deliver an excellent Games if the appropriate actions are being taken now,” Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said at a Thursday news conference.
As corrupt as Rio is, we imagine Shortshanks wouldn't have given them a run for the money if he managed to land this quadrennial financial disaster.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

40 Detectives

Must be promotion season - post it if you got it.

UPDATE: Congratulation to the new Detectives:
  • 050 - Alexander-Fallo, J
  • 006 - Armstrong , D
  • 010 - Avolos, j
  • 177/123 = Bartik, r
  • 017 - Berg, D
  • 017 - Bosch, M
  • 606 - Branch, M
  • 011 - Bryja, J
  • 017 - Byerly, T
  • 025/606 - Calle, D
  • 025 - Campos, M
  • 022 - Carroll, E
  • 114 - Collins, T
  • 001 - Connolly, J
  • 011 - Curran Jr, T
  • 192 - DiPasquale, G
  • 015 - Duignan, M
  • 312 - Granat, A
  • 606 - Levigne, W
  • 011/193 - Lopez, J
  • 024 - Manaois, A
  • 018 - McCarthy, J
  • 015/213 - McDermott, D
  • 009 - McKEndry, B
  • 121/002 - McLaughlin, B
  • 003 - Moore, A
  • 024 - Nickeas, S
  • 191 - Olson, T
  • 116 - Padalino, N
  • 022/166 - Pilarczyk, J
  • 019 - Pokuta, M
  • 012/166 - Siergiej, J
  • 019 - Smilth, W
  • 192 - Thomas, H
  • 008 - Torres, P
  • 009 - Trotman, R
  • 009 - Wathen, V
  • 019 - Whicher, A
  • 002/231 - Wooley, C
  • 353 - Yurisich, D
Eight years? Or nine? Long time waiting ladies and gents.



  • South Side rapper Blood Money, who had collaborated with his cousin Chief Keef, was shot and killed Wednesday night in West Englewood.

    Mario Hess – also known as Blood Money – was just signed by Interscope Records about two weeks ago, according to his manager and cousin, Renaldo Reuben Hess.
So once again, Chicago is deprived of a south side noisemaker who died the way he preached - at the barrel of a gun promoting disrespect and violence.

In the meantime, eight others were wounded Wednesday in a violent five-hour stretch. And the Monday/Tuesday timeframe was nothing to brag about either.

Crime is down!

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Tentative Fire Contract

Lots of comments popping up about this. Hopefully, there will be some info in the morning rags about what they got, what they lost and what they gave away - because it's going to affect the FOP Contract in more ways than we can imagine.

UPDATE: Here's the initial report from the Sun Times.

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Dean Meets Rahm

One comment said the "breakfast" was a cup of coffee and all of 15 minutes. This is a lot of ink for a quarter-hour meeting:
  • Newly elected Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo said Wednesday he’s hopeful he can work with the city to resolve the pension crisis and deliver a new contract for Chicago Police officers after breaking the ice with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    Emanuel and Angelo met for breakfast Tuesday, their first face-to-face meeting since Angelo’s victory in a runoff election to replace ousted FOP President Mike Shields, who was a constant thorn in Emanuel’s side.

    The two men never talked about the retroactive pay raise that Angelo wants Emanuel to put back on the table as a show of good faith to rank-and-file police officers who don’t trust the mayor.
Maybe if Rahm would come clean about his "1,000 Officers" lie and his lying Supernintendo and every other lie he's told to police, fire and taxpayers. Truth is an alien concept to this guy, as it is to most pols, and cops pretty much know when they're being bullshitted. No cop or fire fighter is ever going to "trust" Rahm - he's lied constantly. Angelo has to know this and we certainly hope he's trying to "look reasonable" before making Rahm look unreasonable.


Porter Still Guilty

  • The former chief of criminal prosecutions for Cook County is questioning whether his boss at the time, Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine, freed a convicted killer and put an innocent man behind bars for a double murder after failing to thoroughly review key evidence, according to a sworn affidavit obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Thomas Epach Jr., a highly regarded retired prosecutor, wrote in the affidavit that Devine’s decisions were “highly unusual, if not unprecedented” in the case of Anthony Porter, who was convicted of a double murder in 1983 but whose conviction was thrown out 16 years later.
You might think there was a thorough investigation of the so-called "confession," but you'd be mistaken:
  • In Epach’s affidavit, he said Devine decided to release Porter from prison less than two days after the media broadcast the videotaped confession of Simon.
Two days, and Alstory Simon has been serving Porter's time for the past 15 years. What a fucked up system we have here.

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Springfield Votes

Someone was asking:
Keep it handy - remember their votes.


Everyone Raising Taxes

  • Hoping to ward off another credit rating downgrade, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Wednesday that she will soon present a plan to reform the county’s underfunded pension system.

    And she’s leaving the door open to hiking property, sales and other taxes.

    When asked repeatedly about the possibility of tax increases, Preckwinkle responded: “We’re looking at all the options. Everything is on the table.”
The democrats' solution to everything. Nothing ever on the "cut spending" side, always with the tax hikes. No wonder everyone is leaving.


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Joravsky and Friends Strike Again

  • On March 5 the City Council voted 46-3 to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to spend $55 million in property taxes on a new Marriott hotel in the South Loop—part of his ambitious development plan that also features a basketball arena for DePaul University.

    The vote followed a September decision by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, a state-city entity, to award Marriott the coveted contract to run the new hotel.

    Following the council vote, the mayor and his aides crowned themselves wizards of economic development. "The hotel will generate new taxes and jobs while supporting the area's planned revitalization," said Andrew Mooney, the city's planning commissioner.

    However, what the mayor and his aides didn't mention—and what has gone unreported until now—is that in the year leading up to the lucrative deal for Marriott, the hedge fund of one of Emanuel's largest campaign contributors bought millions of shares of stock in the hotel chain.

    That hedge fund, Citadel LLC, is run by billionaire Kenneth Griffin, whom Forbes last fall deemed the wealthiest man in Illinois. He is famous in the financial world for making a killing in high-frequency trading.
Amazing how that works out, isn't it? But our pension funds languish as Rahm (and Daley before) fail to live up to their actuarial obligations. How about they slip a little "inside info" to the managers of the pension funds to take themselves off the hook? OR wouldn't that be legal/ethical? Not that it matters to these thieves.


Ball in Quinn's Court

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s partial city pension overhaul cleared the Illinois General Assembly today, putting the measure in the hands of a skeptical Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
    The Senate approved the city pension bill 31-23-2, hours after the House had done the same.

    The road to passage got much easier after the measure was changed to exempt state lawmakers from endorsing a property tax increase for Chicago, instead putting the pressure on Emanuel and the Chicago City Council to do so. The bill also would scale back the annual pension increases for retirees, meaning it could end up being challenged in court.
We're pretty sure it's going to the Courts no matter what. The House cobbled together a veto-proof majority, but not the Senate. Quinn did manage to put Rahm on the spot with the proposed property tax increases. That's going to be Rahm's baby all the way - not Quinn's and not the Springfield crowd. This is going to run completely counter to Quinn's proposed property tax relief though, so no matter what happens, once again, property owners are going to be screwed.

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Term Limit Support "Overwhelming"

  • A new poll released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows there's very little opposition to term limits in Illinois.

    In fact, 61 percent of those polled strongly favor term limits for legislators, while only 17 percent either somewhat oppose or strongly oppose them.

    "Regardless of your position on term limits, it's clear the idea has support," said David Yepson, director of the institute. "If organizers are able to get the measure on the ballot — and it's not clear the courts will allow that — it should be easy for them to win approval."
But for some odd reason, you'll never see this question on a ballot. It will literally take an Act of God.


Daley Crony Corruption?

  • Former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s deputy chief of staff admitted in court Tuesday that he cashed more than 150 large charity checks at a Chinatown restaurant then kept part of the money for himself.

    Gene Lee — a 65-year-old Chinatown community leader who for years was an aide to Daley — misused donations from major Chicago-area businesses including Comcast and McDonald’s, that were meant to be spent on Chinatown’s annual summer fair, he admitted.

    Pleading guilty to embezzlement and tax fraud, a contrite Lee repeated the phrase “Yes, your honor” dozens of time as he indicated to Judge John Darrah that he understood his rights and acknowledged that he cashed 161 charity checks worth a total of $132,000 at the unnamed restaurant.
We can hardly believe that anyone associated with the former mayor would have anything to do with shady accounting practices. Especially in light of how scrupulously his own spouse ran her charity.


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

McCarthy's Bad Day

Not only is McCarthy about to take a beating at the hands of the Chicago Magazine article we linked to late yesterday (he got pasted on Chicago Tonight,too) the Inspector General is assailing some other numbers:
  • About one-quarter of victims of aggravated assault and battery failed to get counted in Chicago Police statistics for 2012, according to a city Office of the Inspector General report released Monday.

    That’s because police didn’t count each person in a crime involving multiple victims as a separate offense, the inspector general’s office said.

    The audit reviewed a sample of 383 assault-related incident reports out of a total of 83,480 for 2012.
One-quarter? We knew, and so did every reader of this blog, that they were fudging numbers, but fully one-in-four? And that's just Aggravated Assaults and Batteries.

But guess who the goat is? And who the hero is? According to the Sun Times we mean:
  • The Chicago Police Department, which was headed by police Supt. Jody Weis in 2011, failed to change the way those crimes were reported. The problem came to the attention of police Supt. Garry McCarthy in late 2013, officials said.

    McCarthy ordered a review of 2012 and 2013 reports of aggravated battery and assault. He also is changing the field manual for officers, so they know how to report those crimes accurately.

    The audit didn’t address the way police counts shooting incidents. Shootings are not included as a category in the Illinois Uniform Crime Report, but the statistics are used internally by the police department. The shooting statistics count each incident, but not each victim.
Hey Jody, how does it feel to be the goat? Again? After you've been gone for nearly 3 years? And McCompStat supposedly noticed the discrepancies and ordered a review? After the Chicago Magazine article cited 4 deliberate reclassifications and at least 10 total killings, no one can trust a statistic out of this guy's mouth. And he's still allowing counting multiple shootings as one incident even though no one counted them that way for years and the annual comparisons are therefore meaningless.

This is going to get amusing.

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SW Side Shooting

Television reports have the usual whining from the family about how police didn't need to shoot him - he was only one man. If that's true, why even bother calling the police? Handle it yourselves:
  • Authorities were investigating a police-involved shooting in the Gage Park neighborhood this evening.

    The Independent Police Review Authority was notified of a shooting that took place about 6 p.m. in the 2500 block of West 50th Street this evening, said IPRA spokesman Larry Merritt.

    IPRA investigators were dispatched to the scene.

    There was no indication that police officers were injured in the incident.

    Police News Affairs did not immediately have details.
Knife-wielding assailant is dead after threatening numerous family members and the police. Cops are uninjured. News media is saying there may have been a TASER malfunction. If true, so what? The only backup to a malfunctioning TASER is your firearm and if there's a knife involved, deadly force is perfectly legal by State Law.

Well done Officers.


Rahm's Bad Day

  • Gov. Pat Quinn today came out against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to raise Chicago property taxes and cut retirement benefits as a way to shore up some of Chicago’s government worker pension systems.

    The re-election seeking Democratic governor called the bill floating around Springfield “a sketch” that "kept changing by the hour” and blasted the property tax as a “lousy tax” because it is not based on the ability to pay. (Quinn signed a major income-tax increase into law in 2011, and Illinois has a flat income tax rate that some liberal groups have criticized for not being based on the ability to pay.)

    “I don't think that's a good way to go,” Quinn said of hiking property taxes. “And I say it today and I'll say it tomorrow, they've got to come up with a much better comprehensive approach to deal with this issue. But if they just think they are going to gouge property tax owners, no can do. We're not going to go that way."
Quinn seems to be telling Rahm not to expect much help from Springfield - and he might make it stick. All he has to do it convince Cook County voters along with East St. Louis voters and he's three-quarters of the way to reelection.


Sharpton - FBI Mole

  • When friends and family members gathered recently at the White House for a private celebration of Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday, one of the invited partygoers was a former paid FBI Mafia informant.

    That same man attended February’s state dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande. He was seated with his girlfriend at a table adjacent to President Barack Obama, who is likely unaware that, according to federal agents, his guest once interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families. He even secretly taped some of those wiseguys using a briefcase that FBI technicians outfitted with a recording device.

    The high-profile Obama supporter was also on the dais atop the U.S. Capitol steps last year when the president was sworn in for a second term. He was seated in front of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two rows behind Beyonce and Jay Z, and about 20 feet from Eric Holder, the country’s top law enforcement officer. As head of the Department of Justice, Attorney General Holder leads an agency that once reported that Obama’s inauguration guest also had La Cosa Nostra contacts beyond Gotham, and engaged in “conversations with LCN members from other parts of the United States.”
If Sharpton can work for the feebs, there's nothing unbelievable about the rumors that Shortshanks himself was working for them, too. They're both big dumb idiots with unrivaled access to powerful politicos and connected businesses. Shortshank's family actually married into the mob and Richie himself golfs with made members of The Outfit.

So what do the New York families do about it though?


FOP Newsletter

We got the newsletter in the mail yesterday and read it to cover-to-cover and the amusing thing that struck us was that everyone else who wrote a column, even the guys who lost reelection, were polite, conciliatory and congratulated the winners of their respective races - even Aguilar, which is surprising given his personal animosity toward anyone who disagreed with him. Not the front page though.

Now we get this mere hours into the Dean administration:
  • OT: as Dean dropped the gavel for the first time during the swearing in ceremony, his letter to MLA triggered an order to be released which dumped all of those who didn't run with him. -Talk about trying to gain respect from the member.
You mean, like Nolan kept the Citywide guys out? Like every political organization has kept their opponents out of the inner circles where they could do damage? Like Shields dumped how many people he viewed as a threat and he couldn't control?

This isn't news, so expect similar such comments to be deleted for the time being. Angelo's been in office three days. We agree it's amazing he hasn't turned water into wine yet, but he's certainly producing lots of "whine" from the deposed Citywide guys and their supporters.


Monday, April 07, 2014

Smoking Gun - Homicides Reclassified

  • It was a balmy afternoon last July when the call came in: Dead body found inside empty warehouse on the West Side.

    Chicago police officers drove through an industrial stretch of the hardscrabble Austin neighborhood and pulled up to the 4600 block of West Arthington Street. The warehouse in question was an unremarkable-looking red-brick single-story building with a tall barbed-wire fence. Vacant for six years, it had been visited that day by its owner and a real-estate agent—the person who had called 911.

    The place lacked electricity, so crime scene technicians set up generators and portable lights. The power flickered on to reveal a grisly sight. In a small office, on soggy carpeting covered in broken ceiling tiles, lay a naked, lifeless woman. She had long red-streaked black hair and purple glitter nail polish on her left toenails (her right ones were gone), but beyond that it was hard to discern much. Her face and body were bloated and badly decomposed, her hands ash colored. Maggots feasted on her flesh.

    At the woman’s feet, detectives found a curled strand of telephone wire. Draped over her right hand was a different kind of wire: thin and brown. The same brown wire was wrapped around each armrest of a wooden chair next to her.
    The following day, July 24, a pathologist in the Cook County medical examiner’s office noticed something else that had been obscured by rotting skin: a thin gag tied around the corpse’s mouth.
Homicide right? All the sign pointed to it. All the detectives said so. They even told her mother that.

And then a magical occurrence - a miracle of sorts! Courtesy of a familiar face:
  • Given the finding of homicide—and the corroborating evidence at the crime scene—the Chicago Police Department should have counted Groves’s death as a murder. And it did. Until December 18. On that day, the police report indicates, a lieutenant overseeing the Groves case reclassified the homicide investigation as a noncriminal death investigation. In his writeup, he cited the medical examiner’s “inability to determine a cause of death.”

    That lieutenant was Denis Walsh—the same cop who had played a crucial role in the alleged cover-up in the 2004 killing of David Koschman, the 21-year-old who died after being punched by a nephew of former mayor Richard M. Daley. Walsh allegedly took the Koschman file home. For years, police officials said that it was lost. After the Sun-Times reported it missing, the file mysteriously reappeared.
Uh oh. McCarthy's house of cards has sprung a leak. (<--UPDATE-yes, it's a joke). Chicago Magazine has uncovered at least 10 more cases that have been reclassified. And it's noot only homicides, but robberies, burglaries, assaults and who knows what else. And it's a two part report - continued next month. This one has legs ladies and gents, and it could bring down the Detective Division, a superintendent and maybe a mayor.


Detectives Schooled - And We Learn, Too

A Sun Times article about new training that all detectives must go through. If you're interested, here's the link to the article.

But buried in the article are a few tidbits that caught our attention:
  • Under a law that went into effect in 2012, police agencies in Illinois must put their lead homicide investigators through 32 hours of such training.

    But Chicago Police Department officials went further. They expanded their program to include every detective, whether they primarily handle burglaries, sex crimes or murders. The program started in October at the police academy on the West Side. Nearly 1,000 detectives will eventually complete the training.
1,000 detectives? Or nearly? Is there a class going through soon? Or are they counting supervisors as detectives this time? Also, this interesting item:
  • When the detectives are state-certified as lead homicide investigators at the end of the course, they will be able to handle tasks now assigned only to evidence technicians.

    That includes collecting DNA evidence by swabbing a consenting suspect’s mouth; conducting gunshot-residue tests, and shooting evidentiary photos of people placed in line-ups.

    Evidence technicians will still do most of that work. But the detectives won’t have to wait for techs when they’re unavailable, saving time.
Some comments the other day stated that the D3, D2A and D2 demotion order was mainly to counter a lawsuit by Shortshanks bodyguards who weren't held over in the new 9.5 regime. But the fact that the Department is allowing/training detectives in ET jobs makes us wonder what exactly the Department is phasing out and how they are going to go about it.


JJJr Shanks a Guard

  • Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been moved from a federal prison in North Carolina to a minimum-security prison camp in Montgomery, Ala., after clashing with prison officials and being placed in solitary confinement, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times.

    The 49-year-old former Chicago congressman had been advising other inmates in North Carolina about their rights in prison, according to the source, who said a guard took exception to that.

    As a result, the longtime South Side politician was placed in solitary confinement for four or five days more than a month ago, the source said.
That's the official story. The way we heard it, Junior led a riot after stabbing a guard with a homemade shank that was delivered in a cake, allegedly from his daddy, and hidden in his ass for the past five months. Screams of "Attica! Attica!" were heard from the "hole" after the guards tossed him in solitary.


Shootings Down!

From 14 wounded on Saturday to a mere 8 on Sunday. Homicides remained unchanged at 1 per day:
  • Two people were killed and at least 22 were hurt in shootings across the city since Friday night.

    The most recent fatal shooting occurred Saturday night in the South Side Burnside neighborhood.
Thank goodness we can gauge progress on a day-to-day basis! It sounds so much better this way.


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