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The [Monday] Papers

What was most remarkable about Cook County judge Michael Toomin's ruling late Friday appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the David Koschman case wasn't Toomin's decision itself, as surprising as that was for denizens of Chicago politics, but the forcefulness of Toomin's statements.

"In his ruling Judge Michael Toomin said statements from police and prosecutors that Vanecko acted in self-defense weren't reliable because authorities never interviewed him," the Tribune reported.

"The conclusion that must be drawn (is that) this was a defense conjured up by police and prosecutors, made of whole cloth," Toomin said.

That, my friends, is strong stuff.

And yet, Anita Alvarez not only fought tooth-and-nail against the appointment of a special prosecutor but continues to blame the whole mess on the Sun-Times.

"I think the citizens of Cook County would agree that it would have been inappropriate for me to run away from my responsibilities because I found myself under attack - an unjust attack - by reporters who have tried to advocate and influence the decision without regards to the law," Alvarez said after Toomin's ruling.

You see, the questions surrounding the Koschman case now involve not just the original investigation but the second look local law enforcement supposedly took over the past year - and the stubbornness of Alvarez in at least acknowledging that the Koschman family deserves some peace even if no wrongdoing is found given the city's political culture. Where does she think we live?

Now a judge who contributed $1,450 to Alvarez's re-election campaign has found her position to be horribly untenable.

"Toomin also questioned the initial investigation's pace and conclusions," the Trib reported.

"'Quite simply, we had a dead body,' he said. 'This is not a whodunit. We know who did it. We have a known offender and yet no charges.'

"He also said the investigation was plagued by what he called 'missing-files syndrome, an affliction common to both the police department as well as the state's attorney's office.'"

In her response, Alvarez "pledged her 'complete cooperation.'" It's about time.

Punky Bank
"The federal government is looking to throw former Chicago Bears Super Bowl quarterback Jim McMahon for a loss," the Sun-Times reports.

"Long after his football career ended, McMahon quietly spent six years as a board member for Broadway Bank, owned by the family of Alexi Giannoulias, the former Illinois state treasurer who made an unsuccessful run for President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat two years ago."

Jim McMahon, bank director?

*

"McMahon resigned from the bank board on Dec. 22, 2008, months after federal bank regulators had begun questioning Broadway's lending practices.

"Court records show the former Bear voted to approve just one of the 17 bad loans - a two-year, interest-only $28 million loan for a condo project in Miami Beach. The bank lost $19.5 million on that one, according to the FDIC, which says McMahon wasn't the most diligent board member."

So just like his Bears career.

*

"'Despite his board responsibilities, McMahon repeatedly missed critical board meetings,' the federal agency's lawsuit says.

"According to the FDIC, the entire bank board was 'grossly inattentive to the affairs of the bank - deferring excessively to the whims of the Giannoulias family. As a consequence, reports were not closely read, little or no due diligence into the bank's condition was done, regulatory criticisms were discounted, and, for defendant McMahon, important board meetings frequently were missed or ignored.'"

I now call your attention to Walter Jacobson's complaint that persistent questions about Alexi Giannoulias and his family's bank during the 2010 U.S. Senate race - questions that persisted because Alexi never really answered them - was somehow a product of a newspaper circulation war (as if those are the kind of stories that sell newspapers). Gaze in wide wonder:

-

See also: About Alexi.

McHog With Fries
"Facing federal tax-evasion charges, Cook County Commissioner William Beavers has been scrambling to raise money for his legal defense. On Monday, the politician known as much for his finely tailored suits as his unyielding belief in old-school politics is holding a fund-raiser to help cover his legal bills - at a McDonald's," the Sun-Times reports.

Well, it is the McDonald's at Navy Pier - with open bar and buffet for $125 a ticket. Of course, there is a Chicago underbottom.

"City records show the owner of the Navy Pier McDonald's on Navy Pier is Blanton Canady, whose company has given money to the political campaign funds of Beavers and his daughter, who briefly was Chicago's 7th Ward alderman. A secretary at Canady's office said he had no comment on the Beavers fund-raiser.

"Timothy Rand, a businessman and longtime Beavers campaign contributor, said Friday that Canady's Navy Pier restaurant has hosted past fund-raisers for Beavers. Rand said he asked some people to attend Monday's event, at Beavers' request."

UPDATE 5:04 P.M.: "Hours before a fundraiser to help him pay his legal bills, Cook County Commissioner William Beavers switched the site for the event Monday from the McDonald's at Navy Pier to a more upscale banquet facility on the pier," the Sun-Times reports.

"Beavers, who's facing federal tax-evasion charges, said Monday afternoon that the fund-raiser was moved to The Crystal Gardens ballroom to accommodate the large crowd expected at the $125-a-ticket event.

"The Crystal Gardens is operated by Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants. Stefani and his companies have contributed $4,750 to political committees controlled by Beavers, campaign-finance records show."

Kickstart This!
Chicago Writers Conference.

Local Skatepark Hero Makes Good
Very good.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
You shoulda been there.

Beachwood Baseball Is Back!
* The Cub Factor: Now Losing With More Data!

* The White Sox Report: Fresh, Eager And Outclassed.

* SportsMonday: No Contact Order.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Punky.



Permalink

Posted on April 9, 2012


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Can Anyone Stop Sinclair?
POLITICS - Grade Inflation For The Rich.
SPORTS - Chicago's Table Tennis Festival.

BOOKS - How Subversive Artists Made Thrifting Cool.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - How To Raise A Pizza.


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