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The [Friday] Papers

"The FBI has seized the cellphone of Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown as part of an ongoing investigation into a 2011 land deal involving a longtime campaign contributor that netted Brown and her husband tens of thousands of dollars," the Tribune reports.

Sources told the Tribune that federal authorities have joined an investigation initially launched by the Cook County state's attorney's office into the sale of a North Lawndale building owned by Narendra Patel, a longtime campaign donor to Brown and a west suburban businessman.

Patel, who is now deceased, gave the 2,275-square-foot, triangle-shaped property on South Pulaski Road to Brown's husband, Benton Cook III, at no cost in June 2011, records show. Within months, Cook put the property in the couple's name. Later, they transferred it to the Sankofa Group, a for-profit company Brown had set up years earlier.

The couple then sold the run-down building for $100,000 to developer Musa Tadros, county documents show.

The Sun-Times though, in conjunction with the Better Government Association and Fox Chicago News, reports that the focus of the investigation is "whether Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown accepted loans from employees in exchange for jobs or promotions as part of a wide-ranging probe into possible corruption, according to sources."

My guess is that they're both right - we're likely to see a wide-ranging indictment filled with whatever the feds can throw at the wall, even if they can't make all of it stick. Between Brown and Cook, there's a rich vein there for investigators. Now the federales are heating up the wonder couple in the press to induce some cooperative behavior. If you're anywhere close to these two, you better lawyer up.

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Also from the Sun-Times:

More than a year ago, the clerk's office was subpoenaed by the U.S. attorney's office for Brown's "office e-mails on the office e-mail system," according to a knowledgeable source.

After some back and forth between prosecutors and Brown's office, the subpoena was never fulfilled, with federal authorities apparently backing off, the source said.

That strikes me as odd. Why would federal authorities "back off?"

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Maybe the e-mail system in Brown's office, like the court records she presides over, is so outdated and cumbersome the feds wanted nothing to do with it. Like, maybe copies of e-mails are kept on carbon paper?

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Speaking of antiquated systems, Rahm still doesn't understand how things (don't) work around here.

Boot Hoot
"The cost of getting a boot off a car in Chicago is set to rise 66 percent to $100 under a change proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his 2016 budget," the Tribune reports.

"The fine will go up from the current $60 in a change Emanuel introduced to aldermen in budget documents this week, as he continues hiking fines and fees to try to close the city's budget hole."

If only the city's boot technology had become outdated and unworkable.

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"The city boots about 55,000 cars each year, mainly because they have other unpaid parking tickets or moving violations, according to budget department spokeswoman Molly Poppe.

"Poppe said the increase is simply an attempt to bring the fine in line with the city's costs."

Molly Poppe, you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

Hastert Highway
"J. Dennis Hastert, the small-town wrestling coach who rose to political power as the longest-serving Republican speaker of the House, intends to plead guilty in a case in which he is accused of skirting banking laws and lying to the federal investigators, a prosecutor said Thursday," the New York Times reports.

From the Beachwood vault, 2006:

"This state's congressional delegation is a powerhouse. You might not know this, but the frickin' Speaker of the House, you know, the guy who used to be Newt Gingrich, and before that Tip O'Neill, is from Illinois. His name is Dennis Hastert. He is from Yorkville. He is two heartbeats from the presidency - meaning if Dick Cheney shot George W. Bush while hunting and then had a heart attack, Dennis Hastert would be president.

"So yeah, he's kind of undercovered in the local press. Others have taken notice though."

You might want to click through on that link to find out why Jack Shafer wrote then that Hastert was "an absolute nut job."

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Also from 2006:

"If I ran one of the newspapers here - and how many times have I had that thought - I would have assigned a reporter to cover Dennis Hastert full-time from the day he became Speaker of the House. Then maybe we wouldn't have had to rely on the Sunlight Foundation to expose the controversial land deal that in part landed Hastert at the top of Rolling Stone's list of worst legislators in what it calls the worst Congress ever. Hastert is 'a guy who saw his chance to profit from his official acts and took it,' a Sunshine Foundation official says in 'The Highway Robber.'"

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Also from 2006:

"You wouldn't know it by the local coverage, but Denny Hastert is anything but a kindly, cuddly wrestling coach. He's a venal pol who tried to cover-up Foleygate."

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From 2007:

"Neil Steinberg, the smartest boy in the world, had this to say about Dennis Hastert: 'Rep. J. Dennis Hastert is a class act who did a lot for his district and for Illinois. It is in his character that, upon announcing his departure from Congress after 21 years, he would deliver a parting gift - a reiteration of his plea, first given when he assumed the speakership in 1999, that we not lose ourselves in a pool of bitterness.'"

See also: CNN, Chicago Tribune Uncritically Reported Hastert's Claim That He "Tried [His] Best" To Restore "Civility."

*

From 2010:

"Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has plowed through about $1 million in taxpayer dollars in the last two years for an office and staff in west suburban Yorkville, thanks to a little-known perk given to ex-speakers," the Tribune reports.

"Hastert, 68, a lobbyist and business consultant who retired from Congress in 2007, has hired three of his former staffers at salaries of more than $100,000 apiece to run the publicly financed office.

"Taxpayers also are paying monthly rent of $6,300 to a company partly owned by three sons of a Hastert mentor and business partner. Other public funds go for an $860-a-month 2008 GMC Yukon leased from a dealership owned by a Hastert friend and campaign donor."

Welfare queens.

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"As a House member, Hastert declared himself a foe of government waste. In 2005, he boasted of winning a 'Golden Bulldog' award from the 'Watchdogs of the Treasury' each year he was in Congress."

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See also:
* The item Hastert Hijinks.

* The item Feds Kill Hastert Highway.

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Mets Mania In Full Swing
Local TV news is bad everywhere.

Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night
Timeless, like Havana in some sort of way.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Nobunny, Pookie, Slushy, Hellfire Deathcult, The Word, Green River Ordinance, Stars, MS MR, Bring Me The Horizon, Soilwork, Soulfly, and Aaron Neville.

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BeachBook

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Sports adulting is hard.



Permalink

Posted on October 16, 2015


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump FCC Opens Corporate Media Merger Floodgates.
POLITICS - Offshore Leaks Database.
SPORTS - Beachwood Radio: Broken Bears; Cubs' 7-Year Itch.

BOOKS - Inside The Book Of The Dead.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Lakes, Cheese & You.


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