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The [Monday] Papers

"Key documents from a manslaughter case involving a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley that vanished from the Chicago Police Department and then mysteriously reappeared weren't lost or misplaced - they were 'removed' without authorization, apparently by someone in the department," the Sun-Times reports.

And just who that might be? Perhaps the same person who hired Angelo Torres: The Ghost of Daley's Chicago. He knows when you are slacking, he knows when you're on the take. He knows when you've been rat or good in a city on the make.


"Police Lt. Denis P. Walsh said he found the missing documents 'lying on the top shelf of a filing cabinet located in the sergeants office of Area 3 Violent Crimes' at Belmont and Western, according to a police internal affairs report obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

"Walsh told internal affairs investigators he had repeatedly searched that area over a span of six months, beginning in January 2011. That was when the Sun-Times first asked for copies of all records from the case.

"But Walsh said the documents weren't there until he found them on June 29, 2011."

That's always been the problem with Detective Schrodinger's files. Sometimes they exist, sometimes they don't.


The Amazing Grace of Chicago: What once was lost now is found.


"'The file which was believed to have been lost was obviously not lost but had been removed and returned in violation of department rules and regulations,' Walsh wrote in the July 20, 2011, memo to Area 3 Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya.

"According to the internal affairs findings, investigators don't know when the records were removed from the case file, who took them or who returned them."

The no-snitch code strikes again.


Nobody knows nothing about files nobody sent.


"The day after Walsh wrote the memo to his boss about the no-longer-missing files, Sgt. Richard Downs of the department's Internal Affairs Division opened an investigation that ended 35 days later with Downs saying he was unable to identify who took the records or returned them. No one was disciplined.

Walsh "stated that this particular file along with other homicide files are not locked up and are kept in a filing cabinet in the Violent Crimes office and can be accessed by any Violent Crimes detectives who are working on murder cases," Downs wrote in his report. Walsh "stated that he does not know who may have removed this particular file from the file cabinet and does not know who returned the file."

"Walsh - who oversees detectives at Area 3, including Rita O'Leary, one of the original detectives on the Koschman case in 2004 - appears to be the only officer Downs interviewed."

To be fair, he was just following Quarles & Brady protocol.


Speaking of Redflex . . .

"Top officials in Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration were warned six years ago about preferential treatment in Chicago's red-light camera contract, a deal now embroiled in a federal corruption investigation of an alleged $2 million bribery scheme at City Hall," the Tribune reports.

"Executives of a competing camera company and a powerful alderman whose help they enlisted complained the city was unfairly favoring Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., according to internal city records obtained by the Tribune and publicly disclosed for the first time."

Coincidentally, that same powerful alderman is said by some insiders to know exactly who hired Angelo Torres . . .


"Those 2007 records reveal there were concerns about the role of former city transportation official John Bills in overseeing the contract long before he emerged as the central figure in a scandal touched off by the newspaper's reporting last year."

Don't worry, those records will disappear soon too.


"The rare glimpse into power politics at City Hall raises new questions about where the evolving scandal might lead and whether one bureaucrat - a lifelong political foot soldier - had the juice to single-handedly steer a $100 million contract.

"I wouldn't think so," said Doug Yerkes, a top Daley purchasing official at the time. "Because a contract of that size has to clear so many different levels, and John was kind of a midlevel manager."

So who hired John Bills?


"At the time, the Daley administration was moving to convert what had begun in 2003 as a $1.9 million pilot project into a full-blown, permanent red-light camera program. American Traffic Solutions - along with its assembled team of Chicago subcontractors - was hoping to get a piece of that business.

"So the company executives sought help from 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke, according to the records."


"The dean of the City Council and chairman of its powerful Finance Committee, Burke is a decadeslong friend and political ally of one of American Traffic Solutions' subcontractors at that time, Tom Donovan. Donovan - chairman of the advisory board for Quantum Crossings LLC - was long ago a top aide and patronage chief for former mayors Richard J. Daley and Michael Bilandic. After that, he was a longtime chairman of the Chicago Board of Trade."


"Bills, who retired from the city in 2011 and went to work as a Redflex-funded consultant, rose through the Daley administration to become the managing deputy commissioner of transportation after a 30-year career in city government. During that time, he was also a top precinct captain in the political organization of House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago."

Wow, the trifecta: Burke, Daley and Madigan. Well-played, Mr. Bills.

Now, about that no-snitch code . . .

The White Sox Report
Late breaking developments.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
You shoulda been there.

Jim "Coach" Coffman is traveling; his column returns next week.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Red, flexed.


Posted on March 25, 2013

MUSIC - Riding Illinois' Storm Out.
TV - Media Pundits Police The World.
POLITICS - When Rich Families Fundraise.
SPORTS - The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Are Here.

BOOKS - How Comics Make Sounds.

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

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