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The [Friday] Papers

Far from putting us on the glidepath to closure, the long-awaited Burge report released this week has left in its wake an empty, even queasy feeling. Is that all there is?

Apparently not. In "Daley In Legal Cross Hairs," the Tribune reports this morning that "attorneys for four men who say their confessions were coerced served federal subpoeanas on the special prosecutors Thursday, seeking records of Mayor Richard Daley's testimony."

The paper notes that "Daley was Cook County state's attorney during much of the period in which police torture took place, special prosecutor Edward Egan found. Egan's team interviewed Daley and the report devoted three of its 290 pages to what Daley did and did not know about the allegations."

In an example illustrative of the reaction to Egan's report, Channel 2's Mike Parker described the special prosecutors' treatment of Daley as "gentle."

Mostly at issue is Daley's response - or lack thereof - to a letter sent to him by then-police chief Richard Brzeczek about torture allegations involving Andrew Wilson, who was later convicted of killing two police officers. Not just run-of-the-mill complaints, mind you, but claims (that the special prosecutors found to be true) that Wilson was burned and electroshocked.

"The report is oblique, however, in its treatment of what Daley knew of Brzeczek's letter regarding Wilson," the Tribune says.

"The report states that Daley 'assumes that he was advised of the letter.' Daley also said the letter 'was probably discussed with him and [then first assistant, now Cook County State's Attorney Richard] Devine,' the report states.

"But it asserts that Daley 'has no current memory of how the letter was processed.'"

Beyond that, the Sun-Times reports that the special prosecutors asked Daley only about the Wilson case, though 55 other torture claims were made while Daley was in the state's attorney office, according to lawyer Flint Taylor.

Taylor says he will add Daley's name as a defendant in civil lawsuits filed by several men who say they were victims of torture at the hands of former police commander Jon Burge and others in his unit.

"If the special prosecutor won't put the responsibility where it truly lies, we intend to fully do that," Taylor told the Sun-Times. (second story)

The Sun-Times editorial page is also unsatisfied. "The list of men who, according to the report, didn't follow up is long. It includes Mayor Richard M. Daley, who was then the Cook County state's attorney; Richard Devine, who is now state's attorney but was then Daley's top aide; William Kunkle, who prosecuted the Wilson case and is now a judge; Lawrence Hyman, who was Daley's chief of felony review and who took Wilson's confession; and Frank DeBoni, who was a prosecutor and is now a judge."

The paper proposes an imaginative though unlikely action.

"[L]awyers who looked the other way can and should be investigated for their inaction . . . Anyone holding a law license can be disciplined by the state Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission."

That includes the mayor (Class of '68, DePaul University College of Law).

World Class
* LONDON - "Chicago Police 'Tortured Black Suspects.'"

* BEIJING - "Chicago Police Torture Black Criminal Suspects."

* QATAR - "Police Agents Tortured Suspects: Report."

John Doe
Is Larry Hyman.

Daley Dose
Where is the mayor, anyway?

He's in San Francisco.

Brown On Brown
"CTA Chairwoman Carole Brown said the Chicago Transit Authority has a 'huge credibility problem' convincing the public the $530 million Brown Line renovation project will be completed on-time and on-budget," the Sun-Times reports.

No shit.

Among other problems, the CTA sort of didn't get all the construction permits it needed.

"The CTA's executive vice president of construction, Susan Plassmeyer, said the lapse occurred because the contractor told the CTA a permit wasn't necessary for the work.

"But Brown and other members of the board said staff's inability to get something as basic as a building permit speaks to bigger problems with the management of the project."

No shit.

The rehab project is also running 11 percent over its $259 million budget.

Brown says she will hold CTA President Frank Kruesi personally responsible and "blame him" if the project doesn't come in on-time and on-budget.

Note From Beachwood HQ
That's all for today, I'm off to conduct some business. But watch for Natasha Julius's wonderfully incisive Weekend Desk Report, as well as fresh offerings which we will post through the weekend. And thanks for your continued support.

xxBeachwoodxxSecretxxMessage: Much more a friend than a sometimes enemy, I'm sure. Highly appreciated.

The Beachwood Tip Line: We cut hedz.


Posted on July 21, 2006

MUSIC - Riding Illinois' Storm Out.
TV - How White Republicans See BLM.
POLITICS - Car Wash Workers Finally Win.
SPORTS - Cubs Screwing FO - And Themselves.

BOOKS - How Comics Make Sounds.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Illinois Caverns Reopening After 10 Years.

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