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The [Friday] Papers

Barring the exceedingly unlikely prospect that the city council doesn't confirm him, Chicago has a new police chief.

And we learned next to nothing in today's coverage about his plans to fix a hobbled department fighting controversy and scandal on several fronts.

If you don't count the exciting fact that he and his wife are both fitness buffs and like to ride bikes.

Here are some questions for Jody Weis, our new top cop.

1. Do you believe a string of controversial and scandalous incidents involving Chicago police officers are the result of a few bad apples or illustrative of an institutional problem?

2. What leads you to believe that?

3. What do you intend to do about that?

4. Do you believe the names of officers with the most abuse complaints filed against them should be available to the public?

5. How do you intend to strengthen the department's internal system of ferreting out and disciplining wrongdoing?

6. Do you believe whistleblowers are rats or heroes?

7. Will you be taking orders from the mayor?

8. Do you believe in community policing?

9. If so, what is your vision for just what community policing is and how it should work?

10. Will you be looking at redrawing beats to reflect changes in population and the geography of crime?

11. What did you and the mayor discuss in the interview process?

12. What did the mayor tell you he wanted you to do?

13. What are your top three priorities?

14. Do you believe that people of color have some justification to be wary of the police?

15. What steps will you propose taking to build stronger relationships with minority communities?

And for the mayor.

1. What skills does Jody Weis possess that the other candidates didn't?

2. What kind of vision for the department did Weis lay out for you?

3. Will Weis have the independence to make changes at the department that you don't agree with?

4. When you established an executive emergency response position a few years ago, you said it was important to have a single, focused person in charge of such affairs. Now Weis will hold both jobs. What changed?

5. What changes have you and Weis already agreed to?

6. What are your top three priorities for the police department?

7. If you are going to conduct superintendent searches outside of the proscribed police board process, why not just eliminate the police board?

8. Andrew Wilson, the cop killer whose case broke open the Jon Burge torture scandals, just died. Have you scheduled your promised deposition in one of the cases arising from those scandals yet?

Pervez Daley
"Daley acknowledged Thursday that as the board did its work this time, he conducted a search of his own," the Tribune reported near the bottom of its account about Weis's selection.

"With what amounted to Daley's pre-endorsement, Weis was among the three finalists whose names were submitted to him by the board, the mayor said."

Isn't the mayor operating outside the process kind of a big deal? Why no front-page headlines like "Mayor Rigged Police Chief Selection"?

Secret Police
"Departing from past practice, Daley said he kept the names [of 'finalists'] secret to prevent embarrassment and problems with their current employers."

"All of a sudden, someone says, 'Are you unhappy with this position? Is there something wrong with you?'" Daley says.

A) Or they say, 'Wow, you're a finalist for Chicago police chief? What can we offer to keep you?"
B) Let's keep mayoral finalists secret too.

Torture Test
"Wilson claimed that he told assistant state's attorney Larry Hyman, chief of the felony review section, that he'd just been tortured; later in the day, when he took Wilson's confession with a court reporter present, Hyman failed to ask a prescribed question about whether the statement was being given voluntarily," John Conroy writes in the Reader.

"That extraordinary omission might have aroused the curiosity of state's attorney Richard Daley and his first assistant, Dick Devine, but apparently it didn't. And there was no indication that they cared to get to the bottom of Wilson's treatment when the Illinois Supreme Court threw out his conviction (and death sentence) in 1987."

Hyde Tide
In "The Principled Henry Hyde," the Tribune editorial page this morning excuses the longtime Illinois congressman who died Thursday for leading the impeachment of Bill Clinton in the U.S. House.

Here's what the Sun-Times reports, though:

"As House Judiciary Committee chair, Hyde had to run the show, though some colleagues said his heart was not in it. [Abner] Mikva was special counsel to Clinton at the time.

"'We had tried to work out a plan where Congress would reprimand Clinton without impeaching him. And Henry was on board with that,' Mikva said. 'But then somebody at the White House outed Henry's affair with this woman, a "youthful indiscretion," and at that point, Henry said he was just not inclined to cooperate anymore.'"

Well, I suppose you could say revenge and spite are principles.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Youthfully discreet.



Permalink

Posted on November 30, 2007


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