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The [Monday] Papers

"A Chicago police officer cracked Greg Larkins' head open with a baton back in 2006, requiring him to be stitched up at a hospital," the Tribune reported over the weekend.

"Within a few days, several relatives of Larkins who said they witnessed the allegedly unprovoked attack gave statements to an investigator for the city. His mother also handed over photos of his injuries.

"Yet more than five years passed before the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates allegations of wrongdoing against police, filed charges of excessive force against Officer Bruce Askew and called for his firing."

And guess what?

"[T]he long delay proved costly. Late last month, the Chicago Police Board, which decides the most serious disciplinary cases, dismissed the charge not based on the evidence, but because by state law, the disciplinary action had to be filed before a five-year statute of limitations ran out."

And those delays don't do the cops any favors either.

"IPRA is under fire for investigations that have lingered for years, jeopardizing in at least a few cases the firings of police officers that the superintendent had deemed unfit to serve. But the officers' lawyers say the delays are just as damaging to officers trying to defend themselves against charges they deny."



"The city of Chicago must pay one of its police officers $30,000 after a jury found the Chicago Police Department tolerated discrimination by a police sergeant," Business Management Daily reports.

"Officer Detlef Sommerfield came to the U.S. from Germany as a child in 1982. As someone whose relatives had been persecuted in the Holocaust - including an aunt who had died in a Nazi concentration camp - Sommerfield was upset when his superior, Sgt. Lawrence Knasiak, called him 'Nazi' and 'Jew boy.'

Sommerfield first filed an Internal Affairs complaint against Knasiak in 2004. Nothing happened for three years. Finally, in 2007, Internal Affairs substantiated Sommerfield's claims.

"It ordered a 10-day suspension for Knasiak, but he elected to retire instead.

"Sommerfield continued to pursue the matter, and eventually sued the city in state court. The jury's award doesn't end the litigation. Federal discrimination charges against the Chicago P.D. are still pending."

Rodney King
I was working as a police reporter at the dreadful Courier of Waterloo, Iowa, when the Rodney King incident happened, and I'll never forget the reporter there who refused to believe the Los Angeles police had done anything wrong. "I know video can lie," she told me. She could never explain, though, how the video that the nation saw over and over was lying. She just had too much faith in authority to see it any other way.

She is far more emblematic of our press corps than I am.


King was in the cast of Celebrity Rehab a few seasons ago and it was striking - and tremendously sad - to see that he hadn't really processed what happened to him that night at all. Then, in a one-on-one session, he opened up to Dr. Drew. That's the interview on videotape interspersed with this April call-in show on CNN.

Managing Media Messages
"David Axelrod - the top campaign adviser to President Barack Obama - sold his ownership stake in ASGK Public Strategies in 2009, when he became a senior White House adviser," the Sun-Times reports.

"But Axelrod didn't cut his ties to the Chicago public relations firm completely. He still has an office there. His name is on the door. His old partners are still paying him the five annual $200,000 payments they agreed to when they bought him out.

"Now, two of the firm's clients - Citibank and the Chicago Cubs - have a lot riding on decisions to be made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Axelrod friend and former White House colleague who ran on a pledge to reform a City Hall he described as riddled with influence-peddling."

The City Hall run by Richard M. Daley - a longtime ally of Rahm Emanuel - who paid hefty sums to David Axelrod to craft an image conveying just the opposite?


"ASGK quietly has played a role in a number of major issues at City Hall, among them helping win City Council approval in 2008 for the Chicago Children's Museum's now-abandoned plan to move from Navy Pier to Grant Park.

"The firm's executives don't register as lobbyists because they say they don't ever directly lobby - contacting public officials on behalf of their clients. Rather, they say they help clients get their stories out in other ways - with 'media relations, message development, advertising, social media and constituency relations.'"

In other words, propaganda.


"Another Axelrod-founded firm - AKPD Media and Messaging - recently produced ads critical of the Chicago Teachers Union, which is embroiled in a contract dispute with Emanuel. AKPD oversaw Emanuel's ad blitz during his mayoral campaign, and the firm is a paid consultant to his political committee, state records show."

Who needs Republicans when Democrats can put a human face on hating teachers and unions.


"Both AKPD and ASKG are housed at the same River North address that's also home to Axelrod Strategies, the firm he founded upon leaving the White House last year. 'I rent space in my old offices, but I work full-time out of Obama headquarters these days,' Axelrod says.

"ASGK's managing partner, Eric Sedler, won't talk about the work the firm is doing for the Cubs and Citibank.

Dennis Culloton, spokesman for the Cubs' owners, won't say what ASGK is doing for the team but says it was hired in the past year and answers to Michael Lufrano, the team's general counsel and executive vice president of community affairs."

For a media messaging firm, a lot of people sure refuse to speak to the media.


"Citibank and a fund called Citi Infrastructure Partners - which won't talk about ASGK's work - were two of the five financial institutions that Emanuel singled out at a March 1 news conference with former President Bill Clinton at which he announced the formation of the Chicago Infrastructure Trust. Citibank and Citi Infrastructure Partners told city officials they're considering investing as much as $200 million apiece in the initiative, which is designed to use private dollars to pay for public works projects."


"Ald. Will Burns (4th) - who voted for the trust - works for ASGK. Its website lists him as a managing partner. Burns says he doesn't work on the Citibank account and had been unaware that Citibank is an ASGK client, though Citibank is listed as a client on the firm's website. 'I don't do a lot of work for ASGK, to be very frank,' Burns says."

So that managing partnership is just honorary? Or are you drawing a (ghostly) paycheck?


"[Burns added] that city ethics officials assured him that his vote for the Infrastructure Trust wasn't a conflict of interest because 'any number of financial institutions can participate in the trust.'"

But any number aren't participating. His is.

Paycheck earned.

See also: The Secret Side of David Axelrod.

My Son The Scorekeeper
In SportsMonday.

Bargain Broken
Apparently Dale Sveum didn't get the memo. In The Cub Factor.

Sooey And Beach Balls
In The White Sox Report.

The Weekend in Chicago Rock
They played at a venue near you. We have the video.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Memoriffic.


Posted on June 18, 2012

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.


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