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The [Wednesday] Papers

"The city of Chicago's Law Department will pay $1.6 million to a team led by former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb for its review of the department's federal civil rights division, which handles lawsuits involving alleged police misconduct," the Sun-Times reports.

"Webb, nine other attorneys and a paralegal spent a total of more than 5,463 hours on their review and subsequent report, according to an invoice submitted to the Law Department on Monday from Webb's firm, Winston & Strawn. The work would have cost more than $3.5 million at the firm's normal billing rate, but Webb and Law Department officials had agreed to a discount."

Somehow I'm not grateful. "We're only billing you $640 an hour, so this one-minute phone call is only costing taxpayers 10 bucks!"

"The review and report were commissioned by the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in January. The move followed the resignation of city attorney Jordan Marsh, who had been sanctioned by a federal court for concealing evidence in a lawsuit over a fatal shooting by police.

"The Webb team reviewed 74 cases and interviewed nearly 100 officials and attorneys, including about 50 who represent plaintiffs suing the city. The report, released in July, recommended dozens of changes in training, supervision, oversight, witnesses interviews and other policies at the Law Department's Federal Civil Rights Litigation division. All the proposed reforms have been adopted by the department, said spokesman Bill McCaffrey."

Links by the Sun-Times! Baby-stepping into 2017. But I added target="_blank" to each of them. Look it up!

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"Webb's team determined that the case that resulted in sanctions against Marsh was one of six cases since 2012 in which courts sanctioned city attorneys for not sharing records or not producing them quickly enough during litigation.

"However, Webb's report said he and his team 'did not find evidence establishing a culture, practice, or approach in the Division of intentionally concealing evidence or engaging in intentional misconduct' in the litigation process."

OK.

"Still, in October, the city was sanctioned again. A federal judge fined the city for not producing records in a lawsuit brought by a woman who said she miscarried after being shot with a Taser by a police officer."

Oh.

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Of course, if you include the city not producing records adequately in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, as well as the well-documented culture of the Chicago Police Department, the evidence clearly shows an established "culture, practice, or approach" in concealment and engaging in misconduct. And the city's law department clearly seems to be one leg of that culture. I'll do that review for five bucks a minute.

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Please see the item "Law And Disorder" for everything you need to know about Webb's pricey report.

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Chattanooga Crash
"The private company that owned the bus involved in Monday's fatal wreck in Chattanooga that killed five elementary school students has had 142 crashes with injuries and three fatalities in the last 24 months, according to federal records," USA Today reports.

"Durham School Services, based in Warrenville, Ill., has more than 13,000 vehicles and 13,000 drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They're a large company, and they have an overall satisfactory safety rating from the administration, but they still have more problems when it comes to driver fitness than their peers, the records show.

"The administration's records on Durham state '93% of motor carriers in the same safety event group have better on-road performance than this motor carrier.'"

The FMCSA cautions on their site: "Readers should not draw conclusions about a carrier's overall safety condition simply based on the data displayed in this system. Unless a motor carrier has received an UNSATISFACTORY safety rating under part 385 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, or has otherwise been ordered to discontinue operations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it is authorized to operate on the Nation's roadways."

However, USA Today reports:

The driver in the Chattanooga case, 24-year-old Johnthony Walker, has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide. In 2014, he had his license suspended following a crash, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety.

There have been eight driver violations against Durham since December 2014, according to the administration. Although none of those drivers were in Tennessee, seven of the incidents involved drivers who didn't have the appropriate license needed to operate the vehicles they were driving.

And:

A 2014 investigation by WMC Action News 5 in Memphis found that Durham drivers had wrecked 11 buses in less than two months. In three of those cases, the drivers were at fault, and one driver didn't have a license or school bus credential.

The investigation also found that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hadn't conducted a "full comprehensive review" of the company since 2007. At the time, the company had operated in Shelby County for three years. The investigation states during that time Durham buses were involved in 251 accidents in Shelby County alone.

Also:

In 2014, Baltimore-area bus drivers won a $1.25 million wage theft lawsuit against Durham.

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How A Country Slides Into Despotism
From Encyclopedia Brittanica (1946), via Boing Boing.

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Today In The Resistance
* Designers Refusing To Work WIth Melania.

* Trump Is President, So Start A Punk Band.

* Green Day: AMA Performance 'Good Start' to Challenge Donald Trump.

* U.S. College Stops Flying American Flag Following Election Of Donald Trump.

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How The Alt-Right Got Here
"The candidacy of Donald Trump enabled a disparate collection of groups - which included white nationalists - to coalesce around one candidate."

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Giants Mic'd Up Vs. Bears
Ouch.

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BeachBook

DOJ Declines To Intervene In Class Action Over Trump Campaign Texts Brought By Two Illinois Residents And Chicago Law Firm.

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Muslim Group Gives Out 5,000 Turkeys In Chicago.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Ahem.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Piece de Resistance.



Permalink

Posted on November 23, 2016


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Trailer: Swing District.
SPORTS - Ryan Pace's Narratives Are Killing Us.

BOOKS - Chicago For Dummies.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Sears Motor Buggy.


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