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The [Wednesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on July 23, 2014

"The Newark police department will be put under a monitor, the Justice Department announced Tuesday as it issued a report alleging that as many as 75 percent of police stops in New Jersey's largest city over the last several years were not legally justified," NBC 4 New York reports.

"The investigation began in 2011 and the Justice Department reviewed thousands of police documents and interviewed officers and commanders as well as residents in drafting the report."

In other words, the investigation began just as Newark Police Chief Garry McCarthy was packing his bags for Chicago.

*

"The investigation began in 2011, a year after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a scathing 96-page petition with the Department of Justice, accusing Newark's police of rampant misconduct," the Newark Star-Ledger reported in February.

"The ACLU investigation found citizens filed 261 complaints with the department accusing officers of using excessive force, biased actions, improper searches or false arrests in 2008 and 2009. Only one complaint was sustained by the department.

"One officer faced 62 internal affairs investigations during a 14-year career, according to the petition, while Newark shelled out nearly $5 million in response to civil lawsuits from 2007 to 2009."

McCarthy began in Newark in 2006, so squarely within his tenure there.

*

Back to NBC 4 New York:

"In addition to the unconstitutional stops, investigators found use of force by Newark police officers was unreasonable in about 20 percent of all arrests where force was used. Only one excessive force complaint has been filed against Newark officers in the last six years.

"The report concluded that 'the black community bears the brunt of NPD's unconstitutional stop practices.'"

Club Med District
"Nine months ago, Jack Higgins - a longtime friend of former Mayor Richard M. Daley - had to walk away from his winning bid to develop nine-acres of government land on the West Side because he didn't disclose his federal tax liens totaling nearly $2.8 million," the Sun-Times reports.

"On Tuesday, the Illinois Medical District Commission selected a new development team for the $300 million project - and Higgins is part of the team."

Let me guess: The Chicago Way?

*

"[T]he commission no longer has concerns over personal income taxes that Higgins and his wife Martha have owed the IRS dating back to 2005.

"He has a payment plan in place with the IRS," [commission spokesperson Heather] Tarczan said. "Our legal team has seen the payment plan."

Oh, Heather.

Sure he has a plan in place. After nine years of delinquency. I have a plan in place for my own debts. But I wouldn't place any bets with me!

It gets worse. Hilariously so.

"Ninety percent of the funding will come from Harrison Street Capital, headed by Christopher and Michael Galvin, whose family created Motorola. The remaining 10 percent will come from Higgins and his three development partners:

  • Thomas Samuels Enterprises, a Chicago company that was involuntary dissolved last month by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White for failing to file corporate papers or pay its filing fee. "That's not true," Samuels told the Sun-Times before hanging up.

Strike one!

  • East Lake Management & Development Corp., headed by Elzie Higginbottom, a prominent African-American businessman who was one of Daley's top financial supporters.

Strike two!

  • Isiah Real Estate LLC., owned by Isiah Thomas, the retired basketball star who played for the Detroit Pistons.

Strike three!

*

Note: "Prior to founding TSE, Mr. Samuels was Executive Vice President of Higgins Development Partners," Samuels' LinkedIn page says.

*

Postscript: "Higgins' daughter, Bridget, and her husband, Kevin McCarthy, were with Daley nephew Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko, the night Vanecko punched David Koschman in the face during a drunken argument outside the late night bars of Division Street a decade ago."

And then they lied to police about it while Nanci Koschman's boy was dying.

Slick Willie Burns
"Despite promises made by the Chicago Public Schools chief not to put schools into buildings shuttered for being underused, CPS plans to move Kenwood Academy's special academic program into the vacant Canter Middle school building," the Sun-Times reports.

"[Ald. Will] Burns hosted a community meeting in June to discuss the plan but CPS never publicized the meeting on its website as part of its process to decide how the closed schools buildings would be reused."

CPS: Chicago Public Secrets.

Pet Sounds
"Chicago aldermen on Tuesday charged head-first into the post-Shakman era - by following a federal hiring monitor's recommendation to abide by a 'do not hire' list of public employees fired for misconduct," the Sun-Times reports.

"Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th), Mayor Rahm Emanuel's City Council floor leader, denied that aldermen were embracing the reform simply because the aldermanic election is seven months away."

I believe him. The aldermanic election has nothing to do with it. The mayoral election is another matter; Rahm told Pat to make it so for his own political considerations. First, city council buffoonery reflects poorly upon him, and second, he gets another bullet point for his claim to have changed the way the city does business.

*

O'Connor also denies the repeated urgings of a now-departed federal monitor had anything to do with the council's change of heart.

"The federal monitor, in the closing report in a throw-away line, indicated that we, as a body, had resisted this change," O'Connor told the Sun-Times. "I've never heard from the federal monitor. If the effort were to try and get the city council involved, we all have mailboxes here. We all have fax machines and e-mails. A more honest attempt to try and get us in compliance would have been made."

Might want to double-check your fax machine, Pat, because the entire city got the message - over and over and over.

*

"Although aldermen suggested they were unaware that was a concern of the federal monitor, federal court records show Brennan in December 2010 wrote to former Ald. Helen Shiller, 46th, who was chairman of the Human Relations Committee, and Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th.

"Tunney said today that the letter should have gone to the Rules Committee, not the Human Relations Committee that deals with issues of discrimination, not employment. Shiller forwarded the letter to the Rules Committee, then controlled by former Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd, Tunney said."

Right. The federal monitor didn't send her letter to the right committee - the Committee To Shut The Fuck Up.

*

"Today, aldermen took another positive step toward reforming City Council's hiring practices, and soon they will be held to the same standards as the rest of the City, ensuring that hiring is based on what you know, not who you know," the mayor said.

Like how Rahm got his investment banking job.

*

Note: Just because Rahm sends over a statement doesn't mean you have to use it.

Red Light Rahm
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel won't say whether thousands of drivers who received red light camera citations during a series of suspicious ticket spikes should receive refunds for the $100 fines they have paid to the city," the Tribune reports.

"The Emanuel administration has been unable to explain the sudden increases in red light tickets revealed in a Tribune investigation published Friday. Asked Tuesday whether drivers should get their money back, given the problem, Emanuel was non-committal.

"I'm not going to pre-judge stuff. That would be wrong for me to do. I'm not going to do that today," the mayor said. "That's not for me to decide."

Far be it for Rahm to pre-judge stuff. But this tells me the city has a huge freakin' problem on its hands, because Rahm knows full well the most advantageous thing for him to say during a re-election campaign is something like "We will not stand for this! We will fix this! Redflex screwed Chicagoans and screwed the city and we're gonna make it right!"

The city must be in deep trouble on this.

*

"The comments were Emanuel's first on the red light ticket anomalies since the Tribune investigation broke. For four days, the mayor had refused to take questions on the issue, instead sticking to tightly-controlled photo opportunities on city violence and school construction. His aides also declined to answer questions or return phone calls."

They're scrambling.

*

Not that Rahm isn't still being Rahm.

"About a year ago, I fired 'em for a host of reasons, even when there were certain questions brought up about other aspects of the way they operated," he told the Trib. "We're going to work with any commuter who feels there is any way they were wrongly ticketed, so we can get that resolved, because I want all questions to be dealt with. That's why I fired them."

As the Trib points out, however, "Redflex was no longer eligible for city work . . . because of its violations of the city's ethics laws. There was no mention of any camera system malfunctions."

*

This might be the most important nugget of all:

"Emanuel transportation officials have said they had no knowledge of the severe spikes in red light tickets until they were told by the Tribune - despite the fact that City Hall legally required the red light camera vendor to watch for the slightest anomaly in ticketing patterns every day."

I suspect the City will see Redflex in court - unless it was the City doing the spiking.

-

*

-

The FBI's Fantastical Terror Plots
* Entrapping Troubled Muslim Kids Including A Suburban Chicago Teen.

* Fantasy Fix: Studs, Duds & A Cub
Godspeed, Darwin.

-

BeachBook
* Duran Duran Sues Glenview-Based Fan Club.

* Myths Of MH17: Did A Dutch Cyclist Really Almost Take Two Doomed Flights?

* Dude Who Lives On Printers Row Is 15 Minutes Away From Anywhere He'd Want To Go In Chicago.

* The Other Side Of The 'Mouth Of The Midwest's' Story Is In Chicago.

* 42 In Chicago.

And we don't mean Bill Clinton.

-

CPS Alumni Club

*

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Seeing red.

Permalink


MUSIC - The Weekend In Pitchfork.
TV - Tribune To Arsenio, Cubs: Drop Dead.
POLITICS - The FBI's Fake Terror Plots.
SPORTS - Fantasy Fix: Studs, Duds & A Cub.

BOOKS - CPS Chief Caught In Librarian Lie.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Little Wing.


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