Chicago - Dec. 8, 2017
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The [Monday] Papers

Boldfacing mine.

"A federal judge has ordered the city of Chicago to pay $62,500 for withholding records in a wrongful death lawsuit, marking the eighth time Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has been sanctioned for failing to turn over potential evidence in a police misconduct case," the Tribune reports.

"The city agreed to the amount this month after U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall upheld an earlier ruling that the city acted in 'bad faith' when it ignored a court order and made little effort to provide documents to the lawyer for the family of Divonte Young, 20, who was shot and killed by an officer five years ago."

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"In the Young case, the judge repeatedly has criticized the city for its approach to discovery, the legal process that allows the two sides in a lawsuit to uncover relevant facts through the exchange of documents, the taking of depositions and other disclosures. When the process breaks down, plaintiffs can find themselves at a disadvantage, their lawyers uncertain they are working with all of the evidence."

Given that, it seems a $62,500 fine is hardly sufficient. Then again, it's taxpayer money. Maybe that's part of the problem, too; let's make city attorneys pay fines out of their own pockets.

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"The city believes that its attorneys acted in good faith; however, we accept the judge's ruling that the city should pay some measure of attorney's fees and costs associated with resolving this discovery dispute," Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey said in a statement. "In order to avoid further litigation, we reached an agreement with the plaintiff's counsel regarding the amount."

The city believes its attorneys did nothing wrong - for the eighth time.

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Rahm Emanuel is obviously the Worst Person In Chicago on any given day, but once again I'm awarding Today's Worst Person In Chicago to our old friend and repeat winner Bill "Ivanka" McCaffrey for being so goddamn complicit.

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To the Beachwood vault:

April 10, 2017: Bill McCaffrey is Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

McCaffrey, July 20, 2016: "The City is committed to complying with the Freedom of Information Act."

June 11, 2015: "McCaffrey acknowledged that [CPS] has a problem [with juked graduation stats], but said officials don't plan to go back and adjust the rates because of the 'billion dollar deficit.'"

May 26, 2015: "Despite being asked repeatedly, [spokesman Bill] McCaffrey refused to say how entire buildings got overlooked [by CPS]. Nor would he say who was at fault or how the district miscounted its space so badly."

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Back to the current-day Trib:

"The ruling marks the eighth punishment against the city since Emanuel took office in 2011 and is the largest pretrial sanction it has paid in a police misconduct case, according to court records. All totaled, discovery-related penalties - which include two large post-trial sanctions - have cost the city more than $1 million over the past six years."

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"The ruling also renews questions about how the Law Department handles potential evidence in police misconduct cases, which are often high-profile, controversial and potentially costly for taxpayers.

"A Tribune investigation last year that analyzed nearly 450 cases alleging police misconduct since Emanuel took office found that a federal judge had to order the city to turn over potential evidence in nearly 1 of every 5 cases.

"In January 2016, Emanuel asked former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb to lead a review of the Law Department's handling of police misconduct cases. Webb found no pattern of intentional misconduct among city attorneys, but he also recommended more than 50 reforms."

How often does something have to happen before it's a pattern? See the item Law and Disorder for more on that.

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"The Law Department has worked with COPA (the successor agency to IPRA) to develop a protocol for obtaining documents that are in COPA's possession and are responsive to discovery requests," McCaffrey said. "However, if opposing counsel makes what the Law Department believes is an overbroad, burdensome or otherwise inappropriate discovery request, the Law Department will continue to make appropriate objections."

In other words: "We aren't changing. The system as presently constituted works for us and the interests of the mayor."

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Assignment Desk: How does this record of sanctions compare to those of private law firms? In other words, how unusual is it to be sanctioned eight times in the given time period? And how does it compare with past administrations? Other cities?

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P.S.: What does Dan Webb say now?

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

SportsMonday: Bears, Bowling, Bulls, Bell
As far as sheer embarrassment goes, this might have been the worst weekend in Chicago sports history.

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Goodbye, WYCC
The city's best public television station signs off.

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Before Breitbart
White journalists helped revive the GOP by amplifying prominent voices of the conservative movement that have long harnessed racial resentment.

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Chicagoetry: The Ballad Of Johnny Sunshine
A premeditated collage of desire.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

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The Bears Are A Joke
A pundit and social media review is in production.

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ChicagoTube

The Chicago Rhythm Kings.

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ChicagoGram

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Ku Klux Klambakes.

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U.S. Wars Since 9/11 Will Cost Up To $11 Trillion In Interest Payments Alone.

Ho-hum.

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Sugar Industry Long Downplayed Potential Harms.

Culture of deceit; how our economy works and who it rewards at the expense of others' lives.

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24 Things Everyone Knows About Food And Cooking (That Are Myths).

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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How is this not huge news? Because it's become so normal.

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Thread.

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For example, could I post a sign right next to the nativity scene with an arrow pointing at it that says "Fake News?"

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Keep troncin'.



Permalink

Posted on November 27, 2017


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Time For Royal Scroungers To Earn Their Keep.
POLITICS - More College Aid Going To The Rich.
SPORTS - Bears At Peak McCaskey.

BOOKS - Before Breitbart.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: New Fucking Frying Pan.


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