The [Monday] Papers
"When Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was thinking about running for Chicago mayor, he got one of his biggest campaign contributions from The Burnham Committee, one of Ald. Edward M. Burke's political funds," the Sun-Times reports.
"The $10,000 campaign gift in September 2010 came a little more than a year after Dart hired the 14th Ward alderman's son, Edward M. Burke Jr., as an assistant chief deputy sheriff - a job that paid $65,616 a year, county records show."
Chicago: The Most Coincidental City On Earth!
"Last year, Dart promoted the younger Burke - and gave him a 25 percent pay raise, records show.
"Burke Jr. holds one of 210 jobs in the sheriff's office that are exempt from the Shakman decree, the federal court order that bans patronage hiring for most government jobs in Cook County. Another 6,430 jobs in Dart 's office are covered by the order, which means hires for those jobs are to be made based on qualifications, not clout.
"Other Shakman-exempt employees on Dart 's payroll include two nieces of his predecessor as sheriff, Michael Sheahan; the wife of Sheahan's former patronage director; and a brother of a judge who had worked for Sheahan."
Yes, but here's what really caught my eye:
Dart didn't respond to interview requests about his political hires.
Dart is usually quite accessible. Doesn't look good.
"Burke's wife, Jackie, works for the United Neighborhood Organization, a not-for-profit organization that promotes opportunities for the Hispanic community and operates government-financed charter schools in Chicago."
"Burke's mother, the alderman's wife, is Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke."
See also the items:
* No. 4.
* On A Boender.
(And from a later piece: "[Boender] held a 2007 fundraiser in his home for Burke's wife, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke."
Back to the Sun-Times:
"Nora Sheahan, 32, started work as an administrative assistant in the sheriff's communications and community affairs department in November 2010. She helps Frank Bilecki, Dart's spokesman, respond to news inquiries and produce an employee newsletter. Her pay: $69,957.
"The Sheahans 'work their asses off and should not be judged based on their last names,' says Bilecki."
And of all the places for them to get jobs, they chose to bless us with public service at the Cook County Sheriff's Office!
Likewise, it would be nice if someone not named Sheahan (or Burke) got a chance to work their ass off. Even if true, it's mostly beside the point.
Chicago: Home Of The World's Most Coincidental Families!
I have no idea how the Sun-Times came to this story - though it's of a piece with the excellent work done by the Watchdog crew over there and it was probably just their own awesome grinding - but in conjunction with this story rumored to have been planted by City Hall, as well as his fundraising, could one reasonably surmise that Rahm is clearing the decks of potential re-election opponents?
If I didn't live in Chicago, I might not ask.
Ald. Willie Cochran retweeted the story this morning - without comment. Now, as most of us know by now, retweets aren't necessarily endorsements. But in this case, Cochran definitely wanted his followers to read about his council colleague's extended family network. Unless it's Dart he has it in for.
QT: Exhibition Accomplished
The Weekend In Chicago Rock
The Chicago School Of Shoemaking
The Beachwood Tip Line: Like an extended family network.
Posted on February 11, 2013
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