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The [Monday] Papers

"The inspector general for the Chicago Board of Education says his work has been obstructed and duplicated by a better-funded arm of CPS chief Forrest Claypool's office, according to a report that lays out a political scuffle between the legally mandated watchdog and the mayoral-appointed administration," the Tribune reports.

"In his report, [IG] Nicholas Schuler accuses auditors for Chicago Public Schools of 'significant interference' with his investigation into the alleged theft of tens of thousands of dollars worth of CTA fare cards by a district employee.

"A 'parallel investigation' of that case by CPS' Office of Internal Audit and Compliance last year 'compromised a criminal investigation by prematurely alerting a main subject, and sowing fear and confusion in the minds of key witnesses,' Schuler said in his report, which was sent to Claypool and the school board."

Let me pause here to say that this reiterates something I wrote repeatedly about the Independent Police Review Authority back when a lot of folks were angry at having discovered that IPRA froze its investigations if and when they were referred to the feds, for a variety of reasons including not stepping on their toes. It's not a perfect analogy given that CPS might have intended to interfere, but it's an analogy nonetheless.

Now back to the story:

"Auditors also contacted Cook County prosecutors in an effort to inject their department into the inspector general's fare card investigation, Schuler's office said. He said 'very troubling issues remain' with other investigations being undertaken by the auditor's office."

There ya go.

*

"The district's internal audit team is led by Andrell Holloway, who previously worked with Claypool in a similar role at the CTA."

CPS is paying Holloway $191,000, according to this Tribune article they didn't link to. (Schuler makes about $50,000 less, near as I can tell.)

"The unit has received significant funding increases since Claypool took office.CPS budgeted a little more than $958,000 for the audit department in 2015. This year, the budget for Holloway's office is roughly $4.4 million, not including up to $14 million worth of consulting contracts that he manages.

"This year's budget for Schuler's office is about $2 million, relatively unchanged from recent years. The office perennially asks the school board for more money and staff."

Get the picture?

"I think there's a fundamental disagreement, at some level, about the importance of the IG's office," Schuler told the paper. "I've been told that at the end of the day, nobody's going to stand in our way. We're free to do what we can. But I see that as something different than a wholehearted embrace of the inspector general's function and the idea that there's going to be independent and transparent investigations."

This argument is also reminiscent of CPD in that reform advocates and the city council's Progressive Caucus are fighting with the Emanuel administration over properly funding the agency that will replace IPRA. It was also an ongoing issue for the legislative inspector general tasked with oversight of the council, which grudgingly approved creation of the office and then starved it of resources.

(To that point, the Sun-Times said last year that Schuler's successes were "precisely why Chicago's corruption-prone City Council needs a more powerful inspector general of its own.")

But I digress, again.

"CPS declined requests to interview Claypool and Holloway."

Maybe they were busy working on the district's new transparency reform.

*

"Frank Clark, the school board's president and a mediator in the dispute, said Holloway's unit needed more firepower after 'not meeting even the minimal obligations of an internal audit department.'

"Of course he would like more people," Clark said of Schuler's office. "That could be said for almost every office in central office. But it's unrealistic."

But why is it unrealistic to properly fund the inspector general's office - especially when you've overfunded Claypool's audit unit?

*

"Clark downplayed the severity of the disagreement, which he said stems from a lack of communication."

I'm not sure Schuler would agree with that.

"The CPS employee was fired in November, according to Schuler's report, which said Holloway's audit department conducted an 'improper separate and parallel investigation' into the theft.

"Schuler's office said the audit team 'disregarded repeated requests . . . to refrain from simultaneously and separately investigating the matter."'

Emphasis mine, to show that communication is said to have occurred repeatedly - as did disregard of said communication.

*

"There is no battle that is going on," Clark told the Trib.

Tell that to Schuler! Of course there's a battle going on. That's established, but anyone familiar with Clark's performances at school board meetings will recognize his (deceitful) PR mien.

"There is a very real overlap in what two very good leaders think they ought to be doing. And I need to correct that. I need to make sure I work with Forrest to correct that."

Did Clark just admit Claypool is in the wrong?

*

At any rate, will Clark face up the real issue?

"From somebody in the inspector general business, it doesn't make sense why you would have, especially in the wake of a scandal at the highest level of the CEO's office, (someone) come in and then start conducting their own investigations," Schuler told the Trib.

"If you've got a statutorily appointed independent, investigatory body - it makes little or no sense to, especially if you have faith in that body, (to) develop a secondary capacity that kind of duplicates what's going on."

*

More about Schuler:

"Becoming a police officer was almost a certainty for Schuler," Chicago Lawyer reported in 2009.

His father was a homicide detective, his two brothers are still police officers and his sister is a former police officer.

Schuler enjoyed his police work and eventually was a member of the department's gang team for four years, patrolling the streets of the city's Rogers Park neighborhood. His hard work paid off, and he was promoted to sergeant.

In this role, he began working more closely with the department's internal affairs lawyers. It was during this period that Schuler discovered how much he enjoyed the legal end of the crime-fighting business.

"It was certainly a different way of working," he said. "I was used as a police officer to cases beginning and ending on the same day. The lawyers, though, had to have more patience. They worked at a slower pace. They worked on long-term cases. I liked that pace. I liked that in-depth work. Working with the lawyers convinced me that it was what I wanted to do."

*

And:

"He also holds bachelor's and master's degrees in philosophy from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC."

*
And now, Carmin:

*

Thank you. You did a better job on this than I did.

-

The Wrigley Riddle
Who would want to sabotage a stadium?

The BBC's Bake-Off Bollocks
A small story tells a large one.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

*

Programming Note: Last week's Weekend In Chicago Rock didn't get posted until the weekend. So here it is, featuring Ashen Furies, Butch Walker, Johann Moon, Brett Naucke, Minus Montgomery, The All-American Rejects, Night Ranger, Lever, and My Double Life.

-

From the Beachwood sports desk . . .

The Cub Factor: The Time/Life Of Your Life
The DVD is already full.

The White Sox Report: Reload
The only "rebuild" this team needs is in the manager's office and the bullpen.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #119: Cubs Crapshoot
Pedal to the metal.

Plus: Exclusive! The Bears Have Only Played One Game; Chicago Sky Again Picks Up Slack Without Delle Donne; Consider The Chicago Fire Source!; White Sox Mandated To Continue Playing Games.

SportsMonday
Will appear on Tuesday, and almost certainly involve the Bears.

-

BeachBook

The Washington Post Makes History: First Paper To Call For Prosecution Of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer).

*

A thousand times yes.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

Isn't the very existence of the lottery an example of a broken system?

*

I've worked in the private sector my whole life and in no workplace I've been in were employees rewarded for producing better results.

*

One-Man Party.

*

*

"Ari Fleischer is a convicted rapist."

"No he's not."

"Let the viewers decide."

*

*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: 100% natural.



Permalink

Posted on September 19, 2016


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Trailer: Swing District.
SPORTS - Ryan Pace's Narratives Are Killing Us.

BOOKS - Chicago For Dummies.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Sears Motor Buggy.


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