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."
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.
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?"
"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
He just doesn't know. Why in the world would his lawyers appeal? He'll get to the bottom of it!
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.
"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
"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.
Tonight on NBC5 News.
Geez, tough crowd.
Obama's New Politics, Part 83749
Obama's New Politics, Part 83750
- via Grand Old Partisan on Illinoize
A) Al Gore considered person of interest.
- Marty Gangler
The Beachwood Tip Line: Blown up, sir.
Posted on July 18, 2007
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