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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Outfit hit man Nicholas Calabrese on Tuesday implicated a close friend of Mayor Daley's, Fred Barbara, as taking part in the bombing of a suburban restaurant in the early 1980s," the Sun-Times reports.

"Its not the first time Barbara has been accused of having ties to the Chicago mob," the paper notes.

"Barbara was arrested in 1982 with three reputed mobsters, including his cousin, Frank 'Tootsie Babe' Caruso, in an extortion sting set up by the FBI. A federal jury acquitted Barbara and the others.

"In a court filing in that case, prosecutors said Barbara was 'believed to be a major participant' in the illegal gambling operation run by [Angelo 'The Hook'] LaPietra. Barbara is a nephew of the late Ald. Fred Roti, who has been identified as a made member of the Chicago mob.

"Barbara has made millions of dollars through the years in trucking and real-estate deals with the city of Chicago."

And blue bags.

Also: The John Daley connection.

And: "In the early 1980s, Mayor Daley's friend Fred Bruno Barbara had a "deep involvement" in illegal gambling, according to federal court records. By the mid-1990s, Barbara was an investor in a Louisiana casino company that tried to expand to Illinois, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Mob Math
"Show me my connection to organized crime," Barbara challenged the Sun-Times in 2004. "Did I turn the corner? You show me anything in the last 24 years that reflects to that nature."

Is Barbara's comment about turning the corner an admission that he was in the mob until 1980?

John Kass says, "Who best to resolve this issue than Daley?"

Cop Stop
"Two days before a key City Council vote on the way claims of Chicago Police misconduct are investigated, the Daley administration quietly provided aldermen Tuesday with a controversial list of 662 officers with 10 or more complaints against them over the past five years," the Sun-Times reports.

"But there was a catch: the names on the list - which the administration has been fighting in federal court to keep secret - were blacked out."

Daley said he the city's contract with the Fraternal Order of Police prevented him from releasing the officers' names. The Tribune reported that "Legal experts said the violation of contract claim was dubious."

In fact, there is no indication in U.S. District Court judge Joan Lefkow's ruling ordering the release of the information that the city raised the union contract, and Lefkow was unpersuaded by the city's argument that the officers' privacy would be violated if their names were made public.

Lefkow ruled that the officers' disciplinary histories are personal but have "a distinct public character . . . Without such information, the public would be unable to supervise the individuals and institutions it has entrusted with the extraordinary authority to arrest and detain persons against their will. With so much at stake, defendants simply cannot be permitted to operate in secrecy."

Beyond that, Lefkow, whose decision has been stayed by the 7th circuit pending appeal, chastised the city for presenting defenses to arguments not made in the case as well as its claims for secrecy.

"The fact that the allegations of police misconduct contained in the requested materials would bring unwanted, negative attention on defendants is not a basis for shielding the materials from public disclosure," Lefkow wrote. "The public has a significant interest in monitoring the conduct of its police officers and a right to know how allegations of misconduct are being investigated and handled.

"The court acknowledges that some and perhaps even all of the allegations contained in the disputed documents may not be true, but it trusts that '[t]he general public is sophisticated enough to understand that a mere allegation of police [abuse], just like a lawsuit, does not constitute actual proof of misconduct.'

"Moreover, to the extent that the allegations are indeed unfounded, the court is unpersuaded by the defendants' bare assertion that they will be unable to demonstrate that to the public. The City has its own public relations department and there are no doubt countless media outlets that would invite City officials to participate in an open and frank discussion regarding these and other allegations of police misconduct."

Daley Plays Dumb
"I can't, on my own, release it because of collective bargaining," Daley said, according to the Trib. "But he had no answer when asked why the city would appeal Lefkow's ruling. 'I'll find out from the [city] corporation counsel.'"

He just doesn't know. Why in the world would his lawyers appeal? He'll get to the bottom of it!

Thug Life
The Tribune analysis of the list as it is "shows that the scandal-plagued Special Operations Section has a disproportionately high number of complaints over the last five years . . . The top four police officers on the list, who all had 50 or more misconduct complaints in five years, were members of the section, which is currently the focus of a criminal probe."

You'd think the city would want to get out the news that the vast majority of misconduct complaints accrue to a handful of cops. In other words, the vast majority of cops are complaint-free - or close to it.

On the other hand, the Special Operations Section is the creation of Daley and outgoing police chief Phil Cline - and when their extracurricular activities come to light, it won't be pretty.

Double Talk
"Under the mayor's plan, OPS, which now reports to the superintendent of Chicago Police would answer to Daley," Carol Marin writes.

"That would be the same Mayor Daley who has done everything but stand on his head to avoid a thorough, thoughtful or completely candid public discussion of past police abuse that date all the way back to his days as the Cook County state's attorney."

Double Double Talk
"To fully make sense of an agenda that is at the heart of the actions of an institution you first must consider all the actions of the institution that are simultaneously taking place," Tracy Jake Siska writes at his Chicago Justice Project blog. "In the case of the City of Chicago I am talking about how they are beating a consistent drum of openness when addressing how the new Office of Professional Standards (OPS) will be created and run; while at the same time the City has been fighting to keep records involving citizen complaints against officers sealed in Federal Court. The Chicago City Counsel is expected to vote on an ordinance reorganizing OPS on Thursday July 19th.

"It is extremely important for people to know that while the City is talking about a new day in openness in the police accountability mechanisms they are fighting to keep the business as usual practices alive."

Disclosure: Siska is a friend.

Wacky Warner
"It's the coolest way to tour the town: Saunders' Segway: A Special Report with Warner Saunders."

Tonight on NBC5 News.

"Scientist Who Saved Up to 1 Billion Gets Medal."

Geez, tough crowd.

Obama's New Politics, Part 83749
Uncynical polling.

Obama's New Politics, Part 83750
Uncynical math. And Sun-Times sophistry. (See items under "The Democratic Bubble.")

- via Grand Old Partisan on Illinoize

Bomb Squad
"SUV Explodes Outside Nightclub."

A) Al Gore considered person of interest.
B) "Car bomb" shots on special.
C) Half off cover charge for all fire department personnel.
D) SUV to sign major record deal.

- Marty Gangler

The Beachwood Tip Line: Blown up, sir.


Posted on July 18, 2007

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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