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The [Thursday] Papers

"A onetime top aide to former state public health director Dr. Eric Whitaker was indicted Wednesday in what federal authorities said was a $433,000 grant kickback scam she then tried to cover up," the Tribune reports.

"Quinshaunta R. Golden allegedly used her position as Whitaker's chief of staff to issue millions of dollars in state grants. There was no indication in the indictment that Whitaker, a close friend of President Barack Obama, knew about the alleged wrongdoing."

I guess it's important to note right at the top that there is no indication that one of Obama's best friends knew about the alleged wrongdoing, just to clear both of them from their associations right off the bat.

That courtesy, of course, isn't afforded to everyone - nor should it be afforded anyone. Just tell us what we know for now because we'll always find out more later.

Plus, this: "Whitaker, who left the U. of C. this year, could not be reached for comment."

If Whitaker won't talk - and it's incredibly convenient to be unreachable these days unless you're performing surgery, and I don't think he's that kind of doctor - fuck 'im.

*

The questions for Whitaker don't end with the specific charges, but about Golden herself. For example, just how did she get her job?

"Golden [is] the niece of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis."

Oh.

*

Also, while Whitaker may not be culpable legally, he surely is culpable administratively and politically. After all, Golden was the chief of staff; Whitaker was the damn director - upon the recommendation of . . . Obama. To Tony Rezko.

*

A reminder from the Washington Post:

"[T]he department under Whitaker was also touched by scandal. Whitaker oversaw the budget of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. Tony Rezko and his associates controlled that board, which they used to solicit kickbacks and payoffs."

Heckuva job, Whitty!

*

"Golden, who could not be reached for comment, also served on the board of the Cook County health system until she resigned in February."

Oh, Illinois.

*

"Whitaker, who golfed with Obama during the president's 52nd birthday celebration last weekend, left the state public health department in late 2007 to work with Michelle Obama at the University of Chicago Medicine. Golden left her state job in early 2008 and joined Whitaker at U. of C."

So she was highly trusted - and rewarded - by Whitaker.

*

"Golden is married to Victor Golden, a $109,248-a-year administrator with the Illinois Lottery," the Sun-Times reports.

Lovely.

*

"Golden has been a White House visitor, attending a 'leadership meeting' there in 2011, according to White House logs."

Of course she has. Perfect.

-

Previously in Eric Whitaker:

Beachwood, February 13, 2009:

"The U. of C. Medical Center ranks near the bottom among Cook County non-profit hospitals in the rate of free care it provides to indigent patients even as it reaps tens of millions in tax benefits based in part on its promise to treat the uninsured, the Tribune found. [link dead]

"Records obtained by the Tribune also show that regulators have cited the hospital for transferring patients to other hospitals without records to show that doing so was in the patients' best interests.

"And, in 2006, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services fined the medical center for a 2002 case in which the hospital is alleged to have refused to accept a 61-year-old man suffering from stomach pains after it learned he had no insurance. He later died at another facility. At least since 2000, no other Chicago hospital has been fined under federal patient dumping laws, records show."

This is the program spearheaded by a very well-rewarded Michelle Obama, with assistance from David Axelrod and Obama pal Eric Whitaker.

Good job, everybody!

-

Obama Really, Really, Wanted To Hear From Me . . .
. . . On His Birthday.

-

Unsafe Passages
"Less than three weeks before classes start, key elements of Chicago Public Schools' Safe Passage program to provide security for children going to new schools remain incomplete," Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah reports for the Tribune.

"District officials say plans are on track to smoothly shift students from 47 schools being closed this year to nearby schools and that the routes students will take beginning Aug. 26 have been drawn up and vetted by police.

"But Safe Passage routes have not been released to parents. Several vendors hired to carry out the Safe Passage program said they have not received maps of the streets they will be patrolling. Also, a full complement of workers is not yet in place, with many in line for jobs awaiting background checks."

It's CPS; you might as well have put the Cubs in charge.

*

"[G]ang expert John Hagedorn said he doesn't think the program is enough to protect children from gang violence. A criminology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Hagedorn said school closings will aggravate tensions in many communities.

"This is appearance management," said Hagedorn, who recently testified in a federal hearing on a Chicago Teachers Union-backed lawsuit fighting the closings.

"They are managing the appearance of safety, but the reality of safety isn't there," he said. "You're saying you're doing something, but none of the things they've proposed are going to deal with rival gang members angered over people coming on their turf."

Isn't the entire Emanuel administration appearance management?

*

But the TV people told us Safe Passage was awesome!

*

The TV people get paid a lot of money to tell us things like that.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: For everybody nobody sent.



Permalink

Posted on August 8, 2013


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Wrong Foot Louie vs. The Fireball Kid!

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Meet Limo Bob.


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