Chicago - Oct. 15, 2021
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
Must-See TV
Army Of Darkness
5 p.m.
A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (
Weather Derby
Tribune: 51/37
Sun-Times: Ferro/McKinney
Weather Channel: 44/41
Ntl Weather Service: 54/43
BWM*: 82/12
Beachwood Bookmarks
K-Tel Classics
WKRP in Cincinnati
So You've Decided To Be Evil
St. Paul Saints
Nye's Polonaise Room
The Arcata Eye
Roadside USA
This Day In . . .
Onion History
Weird Al History
Baseball History
Beachwood History
History History
Spy Magazine History
#OnThisDate History
Under Suspicion
Find Your Towed Car
Cable TV Complaints
Freedom of Information
The Expired Meter
The Mob & Friends
Stolen Bike Registry
O'Hare Music Tracker
Report Corruption (city)
Report Corruption (state)
Scoundrels, State
Scoundrels, Federal
The Odds
Random Flight Tracker
Casting Calls
Cosmic Log
Buy Stamps
Beachwood Blogroll
A Handy List
Beachwood Ethics Statement
How We Roll
Today's Horoscope
Liberties will be taken.
Do We Sudoku?
No, but we do do moose stuff, and that can be anything you want it to be. Except Sudoku.
Losing Lottery Numbers
8, 25, 39
Daily Affirmation
I am open and receptive to new avenues of income. (
Knowing that a person may be unwittingly in danger of an assault imposes a moral duty to warn them.
Now Playing
Psychodrama/Marshall Law
Letters to the Editors
Tip Line
"The Papers" archive
Beachwood Link Buttons
Media Kit/Advertising

The [Friday] Papers

"The chairman of the Australian company behind Chicago's red-light program resigned this week and trading in the company's stock was suspended amid an intensifying investigation into allegations of corruption in its Chicago contract," the Tribune reports.

"Redflex Holdings Ltd. announced the extraordinary actions just days after board members were briefed by an outside legal team hired to examine ties between the company's U.S. subsidiary and the city official who oversaw its contract, a relationship first disclosed in October by the Tribune.

"In a brief statement Thursday to the newspaper, the company also revealed for the first time that it is sharing information with law enforcement authorities.

"The internal probe found that company executives systematically courted former city transportation official John Bills with thousands of dollars in free trips to the Super Bowl and other sporting events, sources familiar with the investigation told the Tribune. The company also hid the extent of the improper relationship from City Hall after the newspaper's reporting last year forced Redflex to partially reveal its ties to Bills, sources said.

"The internal probe and a parallel investigation by city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson are also raising more questions about the company's hiring of a longtime Bills friend who received more than $570,000 in company commissions as a customer service representative in Chicago, the sources said."

Wow, that's far worse than this story looked when it was first reported. Reminds me of words an old editor of mine in Florida thought every reporter should live by: It's always 10 times worse than you think it is.


"Bills did not return calls, but has adamantly denied any wrongdoing. 'I would never have intentionally accepted a dime from Redflex, I wouldn't do that,' he told the Tribune in October.

But if a dime unintentionally found its way into my pocket, well, what're ya' gonna do about it?


"The latest developments run counter to the company's previous contentions that a whistle-blower concocted widespread accusations of internal wrongdoing and that a single company executive had mistakenly violated procedures by paying a one-time hotel tab for Bills."

Another good guideline: Always be suspicious when blame is placed on a whistleblower.


"Redflex lawyers told the Tribune in October that a previous company-sponsored investigation by an outside law firm in 2010 found no wrongdoing but for a single hotel stay one top executive paid for Bills. Redflex Traffic Systems sent the executive vice president in question to 'anti-bribery' training and revamped its expense accounting system, according to General Counsel Andrejs Bunkse."

And beware the company-sponsored investigation, as well as the training remedy. It's like sending Ozzie Guillen to sensitivity classes.


"Bunkse also said that neither Bills nor his friend the customer service representative were interviewed as part of the company's 'exhaustive' three-week probe."


"But in the wake of the newspaper's disclosure, the company announced it would pay for another outside review, this time by David Hoffman, a former city inspector general and federal prosecutor who is now a partner at the Chicago-based law firm Sidley Austin LLP.

"Hoffman last week presented the audit committee of Redflex's board with a starkly different version of events, reporting that Bills received thousands of dollars in pricey hotel stays, including tickets to at least one Super Bowl and White Sox spring training trips over the course of many years, according to sources. Hoffman's report implicated company executives in the wrongdoing and recommended that some be fired, the sources said."


And here's the pièce de résistance: "Bills [is] a longtime precinct captain in the political organization of House Speaker Michael Madigan."

Replacing Junior
IL-2 Notebook: Facebook, Dart & The Governors State Debate.

Stop And Frisk
Emanuel Says He Won't 'Negotiate In Public' On Police Contract.

Why not? Wouldn't that be transparency? Broadcast the negotiations on CAN TV. What's the big secret?


Seriously. Why do we simply accept that such negotiations must occur in private?

Council Follies
The city council defied Emanuel on Thursday for the first time since he's been mayor. Yay! And what did they flex their muscle on? City council ethics reform. And so it goes . . .

Sense Of Normalcy
Landmarks Commission Unanimously Votes Itself Completely Useless.

Contract Follies
"One of the more notorious no-bid contracts to come up before the Cook County Board in recent years almost got extended for three years at Tuesday's board meeting. Until it didn't. Here's what happened."

Rahm's Shock Doctrine
Don't waste a crisis. And if you need a crisis not to waste, create one.

Shock Troops
"Police barricaded the doors at a Wednesday night Chicago Public Schools meeting as upset parents, teachers and students clamored to get in to discuss potential school closings in Pilsen and Little Village."

Shock Jocks
"Within Chicago Public Schools, high school course offerings vary drastically - from paltry, as at Bowen, to robust, as at Walter Payton on the Near North Side," Sarah Karp reports for Catalyst.

"The type and size of the school and the skill level of incoming students are factors that drive the disparity. Bowen is a neighborhood high school with just 522 students, most of them with lower-level skills.

"The most drastic dissimilarities are between high schools in impoverished neighborhoods with dwindling populations and selective enrollment high schools in more middle-class communities.

"Payton, a selective enrollment school, has a 27-page, full-color catalog of course offerings. In it, students can read descriptions of courses ranging from 20th Century Global Conflicts to Advanced Jazz Band to a physics class focused on electricity and magnetism.

"Payton also offers an all-honors curriculum for freshmen and sophomores; in junior and senior year, students can move into Advanced Placement classes.

"'The complexity of the texts is pretty significant,' says Principal Ted Devine. 'They are college-level.'

"Meanwhile, at Bowen, the course offerings are summed up on one page. Other than the special Wednesday classes, the electives are sparse, mostly reserved for seniors and straightforward, like creative writing."

QT: Tender Moments
Al Gore, Ayn Rand and Ray LaHood.

Hockey City Classic At Soldier Field
Pretty great.

Chicago's Art Conservator Extraordinaire
Meet Barry Bauman.

The Totally Paltry Week In Chicago Rock
Still, a worthy two-fer.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Double or nothing.


Posted on February 8, 2013

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter

Beachwood Radio!