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The [Thursday] Papers

John Kass sheds more light today on the curious case of Chicago cop John Ardelean.

"At 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving 2007, Ardelean's car collided with another vehicle at Damen and Oakdale avenues, in Ardelean's Belmont Police District. Killed were Michael Flores and his friend Erick Lagunas, 21," Kass writes.

"Before the crash, Ardelean had spent hours in a River North bar, the Martini Ranch. According to the bartender at the preliminary hearing, Ardelean drank two beers, a rum and coke and a shot of tequila. There were several other shots, but the bartender said they were plain shots of water."

It must have been Plain Shots of Water Night. Dare to drink one, get a second for free.

"The civil attorney for the family, Dan O'Connor, said Wednesday that a subpoena of phone records shows that Ardelean never called 911 after the crash.

"Instead, Ardelean's first calls were made to the cell phone of a police officer in his district, then to the bar with the water shots, O'Connor said."

Maybe Ardelean - in his grief - accidentally pressed 9 and 11 on his speed dial. And maybe 9 and 11 are "police officer in his district in case I'm ever in trouble" and "Martini Ranch."

"The bar's owner testified in the deposition that one of the first calls Ardelean made after the crash was to the Martini Ranch. The bar's bouncer called the owner, who then called Ardelean on his cell.

"'I just asked him if he was OK,' recalled James Ehrig in the March 25 deposition. 'He said he was OK. He sounded, you know, upset. I asked him if he needed anything. He said no.'"

Not even 911?

"If the driver weren't a cop, my guess is he would have been taken to the hospital and compelled to give a blood sample. The blood-alcohol content would have been measured, to determine just how strong those water shots were."

Ya think?

If officers at the scene truly didn't see any reason to suspect Ardelean had been drinking - It's 3 a.m., where you coming from, sir? The Martini Ranch? But you only did shots of water? - then they ought to be fired for incompetence.

After all, it was seven hours later when a watch commander noticed Ardelean's bloodshot eyes and smelled alcohol on his breath.

But then, the city's taxpayer-funded $500,000 "Silence Kills" campaign is meant for others, not themselves.

Even as two men lay dying . . .

Think folks are gonna cooperate now?

If Ardelean was a man of honor, he'd just tell the truth and accept the consequences. Instead, he's the one destined to live his life as a rat.


See those shots of water here, as well as news about a settlement with Ardelean's insurance company.


Who Is Judge Thomas Gainer Jr.?
Gainer one year ago.


From that case:

"Some legal experts are questioning a judge's invocation of the 'fighting words' doctrine to acquit three police officers charged with beating businessmen in a bar," Abdon Pallasch wrote in the Sun-Times.

"'Their use of 'fighting words' does not allow police officers or anyone else to beat them up. Police officers confronted by fighting words have a duty to control themselves,' said Indiana University Law Professor Patrick Baude, who argued a 'fighting words' case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Criminal Court Judge Thomas Gainer noted in his opinion Tuesday that the police officers claimed one of the businessmen called one of the officers a 'p - - - -' and another of the businessmen said the officer 'needs to have his ass kicked.'"

"The businessmen denied making those statements at the Jefferson Tap in 2006."


From a 2001 Memorandum In Support Of Petition To Reassign Petitioners' Cases To Judges Outside The Circuit Court Of Cook County brought by lawyers representing Jon Burge torture victims:

"Judge Thomas Gainer, who was a supervisor in the SAO's Appeals Division when a number of the torture cases were appealed, was subsequently a supervisor in the Post Conviction Unit when many of the death row defendants presented new evidence of torture, and was later involved in plea negotiations in several of the torture cases."


"[Judge John] Morrissey had been an ASA during the early 1980's when many of the torture cases occurred and were tried. He was in the Felony Review Unit in June of 1983, only months before Felony Review attorney, and now Judge, Henry Simmons took Darrell Cannon's statement.

"Morrissey was also the trial judge in the Patterson and Caine case, which was tried just after the Wilson civil trials in 1989. Judge Morrissey refused Patterson's attempts to obtain discovery concerning the emerging proof of a pattern of torture at Area 2, to re-open his motion to suppress on those grounds, or to permit his lawyer to explore that area at trial.

"Similarly, at the Cannon re-trial in 1994, Morrissey barred Cannon from discovering OPS files which would have revealed that his and other similar allegations had been sustained, from re-opening his motion to suppress, and from presenting at trial any evidence beyond his own allegations of torture. Morrissey later denied, without hearing, Patterson's post-conviction petition which sought a new motion to suppress and trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence of police torture. He was reversed in both Patterson and Cannon, and later recused himself from both cases after it was revealed that he had called Patterson and Cannon's lawyers 'idiots' in an on-the-record colloquy in an unrelated case with then ASA and now Judge Thomas Gainer."


From the Tribune in February 1999:

"The formal vindication of former Death Row inmate Anthony Porter was delayed Friday after prosecutors divulged that an actor was used to try to pressure another man into confessing to the double murder for which Porter had been convicted.

"Assistant Cook County State's Atty. Thomas Gainer said a videotape of a fake eyewitness to the crime that was used by a private investigator demanded 'some investigation,' although Gainer said it did not reflect on Porter's innocence.

"Gainer declined to say whether the use of false statements - which do have some legal precedents - would make the admission of the alleged killer, Alstory Simon, inadmissible in court."


From the Tribune in October 1986:

"A federal judge has thrown out a rape conviction because a Cook County prosecutor, now a top aide to State's Atty. Richie Daley, 'perverted the jury's deliberations' through alleged trial misconduct.

"A previously unreported ruling should chagrin Daley, who last summer promoted Thomas Gainer to supervisor of the criminal appeals division. A legal newspaper ran a picture of the two men, providing a vivid symbol of how Gainer had worked his way up the ladder to a position of authority and responsibility."


As of this morning, 139 comments on Second City Cop that don't exactly inspire confidence in our police force.


"How the hell can Elizabeth Brackett do an entire Q&A segment this evening on Chicago Tonight about the pros and cons of surveillance cameras, without once mentioning yet another controversial ruling made by Judge Thomas Gainer concerning cops caught on video?" Beachwood reader David Wisniewski asks.

Beachwood Editorial Cartoonist!
Welcoming Sunil Adam to these pages.

Jakob Dylan + Neko Case
Equals much goodness.

The Clown Prince of Chicago Kiddie TV
Our three-part interview with Bill Jackson concludes with questions about his sideburns, his groupies, and his famous Chocolate Muzzi.

I Am A Security Guard
And I've made mistakes.

How To Further Desecrate Wrigley Field
Including the Harry Caray Detox Clubhouse. By our very own Drew Adamek.

Take That, Buehrle
A new play of the year.

Oh, Have You Heard?
Byrd is the word.


The Beachwood Tip Line: All about the bird.


Posted on April 29, 2010

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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