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The [Tuesday] Papers

"A Northwest Side alderman long at odds with Mayor Rahm Emanuel put a temporary halt Monday to a street closure as the city prepares to install a digital billboard that would tower over the Kennedy Expressway," the Tribune reports.

"Giving aldermen advance notice of major work in their wards is routine at City Hall, but Ald. John Arena, 45th, said that courtesy was not afforded in this case."

Where'd Rahm's sweater go?

*

"By the time Arena showed up at the site early Monday morning - several days after the project started - workers already had torn up part of Wilson Avenue, where it parallels the Kennedy before curving onto Lamon Avenue. That's where the electronic billboard is set to go up. It's about a block southeast of where the Emanuel administration was authorized to put the sign on the lawn near the Mayfair Water Pumping Station.

"The city did not give me one bit of information before they started the work," said Arena, before comparing what happened to a certain high-profile move by former Mayor Richard M. Daley. "There is no reason to do a Meigs Field on a project like this. You consult the community."

Like a crappy boyfriend who used a lot of fast talk to win you back, it turns out Rahm hasn't changed. They never do.

*

Hint to opponents: Start building your 2019 campaign now.

*

"The digital billboard was approval by the City Council in late 2012 as part of a public-private contract the city signed with a giant French advertising firm to generate revenue for the city's cash-strapped coffers.

"Arena voted against the deal but said his concerns now have to do with the changed location."

I was in city council chambers when that deal went down; it was clear then that Rahm wasn't about to let any stinkin' alderman have a role in deciding where in their wards these bright behemoths would go.

*

"Closing the road will limit the exit of trucks, including 44 city garbage trucks that use a parking lot on Lamon, to a northern route that will worsen congestion on Lawrence Avenue, Arena said.

"The exit from the area onto Wilson was 'a relief valve for a very congested area that's now closed off,' he said.

"City transportation officials, however, said they believe Lawrence can handle the traffic. They say they're closing off the street for safety reasons because the road running alongside the Kennedy had a 'history of excessive speeding' that led to crashes from cars losing control at a curve. They also said trucks leaving the area had hit a low-clearance viaduct. The city, however, did not provide accident data to back up either assertion."

Enough said.

No-Snitch Code
"A Chicago investigator who determined that several civilian shootings by police officers were unjustified was fired after resisting orders to reverse those findings, according to internal records of his agency obtained by WBEZ," the station reports.

"Scott M. Ando, chief administrator of the city's Independent Police Review Authority, informed its staff in a July 9 e-mail that the agency no longer employed supervising investigator Lorenzo Davis, 65, a former Chicago police commander. IPRA investigates police-brutality complaints and recommends any punishment."

Well, maybe he was tardy a lot, or drank on the job. Let's not jump to conclusions.

"Davis's termination came less than two weeks after top IPRA officials, evaluating Davis's job performance, accused him of 'a clear bias against the police' and called him 'the only supervisor at IPRA who resists making requested changes as directed by management in order to reflect the correct finding with respect to OIS,' as officer-involved shootings are known in the agency."

Oh.

*

"Since its 2007 creation, IPRA has investigated nearly 400 civilian shootings by police and found one to be unjustified."

Is it possible to believe Chicago police are just that good?

Sure. But it's also possible to believe Donald Trump would make a great president.

*

"WBEZ asked to interview Ando, promoted last year by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to head the agency."

Ding, ding, ding!

*

"The station also sent Ando's spokesman questions about sticking points between IPRA investigators and managers, about the agency's process for overturning investigative findings, and about the reasons the agency had reversed many of Davis's findings.

"The spokesman said there would be no interview and sent this statement: 'This is a personnel matter that would be inappropriate to address through the media, though the allegations are baseless and without merit. IPRA is committed to conducting fair, unbiased, objective, thorough and timely investigations of allegations of police misconduct and officer-involved shootings.'"

1. It's inappropriate not to address this matter through the media - even if it turns out Davis was relieved of his duties because he drank on the job. (That's just an example; I have no reason to believe this is the case.) Particularly at this moment in time, it is of supreme public interest to know exactly why Davis was fired.

2. What allegations are baseless - that he was criticized for not being a team player in a recent review; that he was fired for that very reason; or that IPRA is fixing its cases?

3. IPRA's investigations are provably untimely, and arguably unthorough.

*

"Davis says he helped investigate more than a dozen shootings by police at the agency. He says his superiors had no objections when his team recommended exonerating officers. The objections came, he says, after each finding that a shooting was unjustified. He says there were six of those cases.

"They have shot people dead when they did not have to shoot," Davis said about those officers. "They were not in reasonable fear for their lives. The evidence shows that the officer knew, or should have known, that the person who they shot was not armed or did not pose a threat to them or could have been apprehended by means short of deadly force."

"Davis says he can't go into detail about the cases because some are still pending and because the city considers them confidential."

Keep this in mind:

"Davis served in the police department for 23 years. As a commander, he headed detective units, the department's Austin district and, finally, its public-housing unit. He retired from the department in 2004 . . .

"IPRA hired Davis as an investigator in 2008. Two years later, around the time he completed a master's degree in criminal justice, IPRA promoted him to lead a team of five investigators.

"Through most of his IPRA tenure, Davis's performance evaluations showered him with praise. They called him an 'effective leader' and 'excellent team player.'"

That was until Rahm promoted Ando to head the unit. The mayor's office, of course, refused to comment.

*

So who is Ando?

Well, he came to IPRA from the DEA.

You know what that means, right?

*

In 2014, Ando "vehemently denied" participating in a "code of silence" alleged in federal court.

-

Chicagoetry: Dancing With Men
Remembering Neo.

Badass BMX In Chicago
Sick shit, y'all.

Pitchfork P.S.
Featuring: Bully, Run The Jewels, Viet Cong, Waxahatchee, Natalie Prass, The Julie Ruin, Vince Staple, Perfume Genius, Single Mothers, Bitchin Bajas, Todd Terje, and Jamie xx.

-

BeachBook
* Frenemies Hershey, Mondelez, Kraft Heinz Come Together To Push S'mores.

* The Best And Most Accurate Headline Ever.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

Way to negotiate, Rahm! Did you enter into a credit swaps deal with them too?

*

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Where credit is due.



Permalink

Posted on July 21, 2015


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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