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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

Mayor Richard M. Daley is just livid that city workers in his employ are less likely to report wrongdoing than workers in other cities, according to a survey by his own Office of Compliance.

"This is unacceptable anyplace in my administration," he said.

And then he called on his imprisoned former patronage chief Robert Sorich to finally come clean and spill.

Oh, that didn't happen?

Maybe I mis-heard. Maybe he demanded somebody, anybody, finally tell him who hired Angelo Torres.


But Fran Spielman "reports" today that "Mayor Daley put his foot down when he heard the [survey] results."

Maybe she meant he put his foot down on the head of compliance office director Anthony Boswell.


"The snapshot of City Hall work culture found that Chicago employees report only one out of every two instances of misconduct that they witness," the Tribune reports. "Workers for other local governments, however, were more likely to disclose on-the-job wrongdoing, reporting two out of every three instances of misconduct.

"Anthony Boswell, the executive director of the mayor's Office of Compliance, said he is going to create new initiatives, including training programs, to address Chicago workers' concerns about retaliation."

Ouch! Daley just put his other foot down.


"If people think nothing will happen when they report misconduct or if people believe they will be retaliated against, then they are likely to say nothing," Boswell said.

In which case the mayor will bless their legal fundraisers.

County Bounty
How and when did I know that Danny Davis didn't endorse Toni Preckwinkle? At 9:57 a.m. on Thursday, when a campaign e-mail landed in my in-box announcing that Luis Gutierrez had.

I would be utterly shocked if the Preckwinkle campaign wasn't holding that endorsement back for just the right moment. Thursday was that moment, blunting Davis's endorsement and creating the framework for news reports twinning both announcements. And how did the Stroger campaign react to getting shut out?

Disingenuously, as usual.

"Congressman Davis has made a point of expressing his desire to not create or involve himself in any issue that would divide the African American community," campaign manager Vince Williams said in a statement. "However, this endorsement has the potential to do just that, divide the community."

You can't divide the community when your candidate is barely polling in the double digits.

But worse:

"However, as recent as yesterday, WVON radio station conducted a poll on the four candidates for Cook County Board President. More than 63 percent of the respondents indicated they will cast their vote for President Stroger."

And I'm sure Williams had his staff dialing in furiously!

(Marcus Gilmer at Chicagoist notes the absence of any polling data on WVON's website. On the other hand, what data? How many people named Vince called in supporting Stroger?)

But that's not all.

"Many of the individuals reflected in this poll are residents of the west side and 7th Congressional district."

That would be Davis's district. I'm sure Davis is terrified.

Health Gap
"A widening gulf in the health status of blacks and whites in Chicago comes even as disparities between the two races nationally have remained relatively constant, a new study has found," the Tribune reports.


Memo to all those (comfortable) commentators looking for the next big project to "replace" the Olympics: How 'bout we stop neglecting the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens? Is that big enough for you?

Tumblin' Dice
"Jesse White cites need for stability in backing Pat Quinn for governor," the Tribune reports.

Stability? We're all dizzy from Quinn's array of flip-flops and generally unsteady hand. I'm sure there's a joke reference White's tumbling team here somewhere, but I'm in no mood to find it.

Red Light Ruckus
"If improved safety is the goal of red-light cameras, then it is a mission largely unaccomplished for the first crop of area suburbs that raced to install the devices after they became legal in 2006, according to state data," the Tribune reports.

"Accidents rose - in some cases, significantly - at half the 14 suburban intersections outfitted with traffic cameras by the end of 2007, the data show. The number of crashes fell at just five of those intersections after cameras went in, while two showed little change."

The Tribune reported in November that "Cameras are said to reduce accidents, but collision records compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation indicate that accidents increased at many city intersections the year after red-light cameras were installed. In fact slightly more intersections saw an increase than a decrease, the data show."

Health Bill of Particulars
"The biggest enemy to health care reform right now isn't Republicans; it's the Obama administration's desire to say they've passed it rather than actually doing it."

- Me, in July

Tiger Tale
"I would just like to ask Tiger, 'What do you think your father would think about this?'" Janet Carroll of Blue Island asks in a letter to the Tribune today.

Sorry to break it to you Janet, but here's a clue.

Reality Check
Our very own Scott Buckner on celebrity dating advice.

Best Bowl Preview Ever
Since last year's Beachwood Bowl guide. Truly.

Jukebox Heroes
According to Bloodshot artists.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Cha-cha.


Posted on December 18, 2009

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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