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The [Thursday] Papers





North Side Sinkhole.


Parochial School
This is what I mean. You messed with the wrong city! Should've bombed Portland!

Accountability Sector I
When Stanley Moore was chosen by local Democrats to replace the prison-bound Bill Beavers on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, he and aldermanic patron Howard Brookins pooh-poohed the stain on Moore's record: As a state employee he was fined for campaigning for a General Assembly seat when he should have been working for taxpayers.

The low-grade infraction also quickly came and went by an apparently bored media; the Tribune placed this quote from Moore at the very bottom of its story announcing he had won the county board position:

"When the situation arose, we just weren't in a position financially to be able to defend ourselves," Moore said. "I did not do it. I said I respectfully disagree with the committee's findings."

A look at the state Executive Ethics Commission's actual decision, though, reveals behavior on Moore's part more troubling and sinister than merely mixing up dates, events and timecards.

From the commission's "Conclusion of Law:"

Stanley Moore intentionally obstructed and interfered with an investigation . . . when he made false statements to an Executive Inspector General concerning his attendance at work-related meetings . . .

And from the commission's "Analysis:"

On three occasions, respondent Stanley Moore engaged in political activity during compensated State time when he left his workplace to solicit contributions for his political campaign. Respondent is free to engage in political activity outside compensated time, and so long as he does not misappropriate State property and resources to do so. Respondent, however, chose to engage in this activity during compensated time. This activity was substantial in nature, and could in no way be described as inadvertent.

Respondent continued to make poor choices when he chose to be untruthful during his interviews with an OEIG investigator. Furthermore, as a high-ranking State employee, respondent was responsible for setting a positive example for the other employees in his office.

If Moore's infraction really was inadvertent - or non-existent - he wouldn't have lied (repeatedly) to investigators.

And lying to investigators contradicts the notion that he simply decided not to contest the allegations and, even more incredulous, couldn't afford a lawyer to defend himself. Telling the truth doesn't cost a dime.

Moore also decided he could afford to be "let go" from his $86,388-a-year job a month before the ethics investigation even began - and to later pay a $3,000 fine.


From a previous Tribune report:

"The probe of Moore by the state executive inspector general's office led to an October 2010 finding that Moore clocked into work on three days when he was elsewhere soliciting campaign donations during his failed 2008 Democratic primary run against Rep. Monique Davis, D-Chicago.

"Moore told investigators that on two of those days he went to IDOT work meetings, but the sign-in sheets did not show he attended, according to the finding by the state Executive Ethics Commission."

Given the standards for acceptable forms of graft around here, Moore could have easily admitted a mistake and moved on with little penalty. Turns out that's what he was able to do anyway, though. Without ever apologizing to taxpayers (who also had to pay for the probe) or investigators.


"Moore later went to work for the county as a capital planning manager and now owns and runs Judy's Grill, a restaurant in the Wal-Mart in Ald. Howard Brookins' 21st Ward. Brookins has the most weighted votes and heads the committee that will pick Beavers' replacement."

It all worked out for Stanley Moore.


And for that reason, we've added Moore to our updated Political Odds as the Cook County official most likely to be indicted besides Joe Berrios.

Accountability Sector II
"The Chicago Police Department declined to discipline an officer who improperly used the job to generate business for a friend's firm, according to a quarterly report released Wednesday by the city's inspector general," the Tribune reports.

"Inspector General Joseph Ferguson said his investigators determined that while serving court summonses for building violations, the officer sought to drum up business for a friend whose company offered to resolve such violations.

"The officer visited homes with 'an official city summons in one hand' and a 'friend's business card in the other,' according to the report. The report did not identify the officer."

And once again, here's the most maddening part:

"Ferguson's office, which also accused the officer of lying to investigators, recommended that the officer be fired."

Just admit you did it! You didn't think it was a big deal! You made a mistake. Lying - to investigators, no less, of which you are also one - reveals something deeper about a person's character and fitness for a job of immense power involving truth-seeking.


And then there's two-tiered justice shrouded in bureaucracy:

"The Police Department said its contract with the Fraternal Order of Police prevented it from disciplining the officer in a noncriminal case because any complaint - even one from the inspector general - must be filed by a 'firsthand witness,' according to the report. The city's Law Department agreed . . .

"Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew said the city recommended no action against the officer because Ferguson did not conduct his investigation properly and any discipline could have led to a union grievance or unfair labor practice complaint.

"Drew said Ferguson's office should have presented the accusations to the officer in writing before investigators conducted a formal interview."

Finally, there's Rahm:

"The case is the latest example of the inspector general's reach being thwarted.

"The Illinois Supreme Court ruled unanimously last month that Ferguson cannot independently go to court to enforce a subpoena for documents from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration. Ferguson said he has asked the mayor to turn over documents despite the ruling but that Emanuel has not responded.

"'The IG has the same power and capability that the state IG and federal IGs have,' Emanuel said Wednesday. 'I don't think they're not capable of doing their job, and I think he's a good IG. Therefore, I think he can do his job.'"

And I have no interest in seeing that he can do a better job!


If Rahm submitted that answer to a logic assignment at his kids' school, officials there would demote him to CPS so he didn't drag their test scores down.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Washed and dry.


Posted on April 18, 2013

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