We all knew Isaac “Ike” Carothers is no different than any other Chicago Alderman when it comes to corruption, shakedowns, and hustling money. When you have a Mayor like Richard Daley, you expect corruption. Alderman Carothers has a ward that is filthy and dirty. We have Alderman that only worry about the next meal, paid for contractors and those wishing favors as the poor suffer. Chicago is a true disgrace nationally and locally. Chicago Alderman know Daley encourages this, is part of this, and President Barack Obama has profited by this system. George Bush and now Barack Obama allow the poor to be exploited by criminal public officials. The United States of America is owned by China because we allowed our politicians to steal from us. Call your Illinois State Representatives and tell them you want reform. While the country crumbles, those in power continue to rob from the neediest. Ike could have spent his energy cleaning up his (29th) ward. The Laborer’s Union was involved with property on the site that would benefit training and safety for workers. More on the story later. It is amazing how the blacks get the ointment and the white skate away. Photo edited by Patrick McDonough
13 Replies to “Isaac "Ike" Carothers Indicted, Mayor Daley skates away!”
by Aaron M. Renn 05/22/2009
The Midwest has a deserved reputation as a place that has largely failed to adapt to the globalized world. For example, no Midwestern city would qualify as a boomtown but still there remain a diversity of outcomes in how the region’s cities have dealt with their shared heritage and challenges. Some places are faring surprisingly well, outpacing even the national average in many measures, while others bring up the bottom of the league tables in multiple civics measures.
Let us examine the health of various cities, using population growth as a heuristic proxy for overall civic health. Looking at population change from 2000 to 2008, we will classify a city as “successful” if its metro area population growth exceeded the national average growth rate of 8% during that period, as “stable” if it had a population growth rate between 3% and 8%, and as “struggling” if its growth was less than 3%. Let us also put Chicago into its own category of “global city”. It is simply one of a kind in the Midwest, a colossus of nearly 10 million people, and not easily measured against the other cities. Indeed, it is really three cities in one, a prosperous urban core, an archipelago of successful upscale suburbs and edge based growth to the west and north, with a sea of deteriorating city neighborhoods and stagnant to declining suburbs surrounding them. On our scale, Chicago would be “stable” – its inner core has grown but the city overall has lost population, while the outer ring has grown strongly. As a region, it has grown somewhat below the national average.
Here are the results of our tiering, including all cities in the Midwest* with metro areas exceeding 500,000 in population:
Des Moines (15.6%)
Kansas City (9.0%)
Minneapolis-St. Paul (8.8%)
Grand Rapids (4.9%)
St. Louis (4.4%)
These tiers, based only on a single criterion and arbitrary boundaries, nevertheless basically conform to how these cities are performing both economically and in terms of perceptions.
A few interesting things emerge:
There are a surprisingly large number of Midwestern cities that are growing faster than the US average population. This indicates pockets of strength, in its larger metros at least, seldom associated with the Midwest.
The clear dominance of the successful list by state capitals. This is so pronounced that I have put forth what I call the “Urbanophile Conjecture”, which is that if you want to be a successful Midwestern city, it helps to be a state capital with a metro area population of over 500,000. The only successful city on the list that is not a state capital is Kansas City.
The 500,000 barrier seems to be important as well. The state capitals below that threshold – Lansing, Springfield, and Jefferson City – would not qualify as successful on this list. Note too that the presence or absence of the major state university does not appear to be a decisive factor. Des Moines and Indianapolis are not home to their states’ flagship universities. The home of the academic powerhouse that is the University of Michigan is the Ann Arbor metro area, which was not included in this list because its population is only about 350,000. Notwithstanding, its growth rate would have put it into the stable category.
In a region in which there is such divergence between the performance of cities, a diversity of city specific policies are required. There is no one size fits all for the Midwest. There may indeed be a base of pan-Midwest policies worth pursuing – improvements in education, attractiveness to migrants, better conditions for innovative entrepreneurship, etc – but successful approaches will be those most tailored to uniquely local conditions. For example, a state capital or University town may have different needs than a place that has neither.
Some suggested areas to investigate by city tier are:
Chicago. How can it ease the gap between the thriving global city of Chicago – largely located around the Loop as well as the northern and western suburbs – and the parts of the region that are falling behind, largely the western city neighborhoods and southern edge of metropolis? How do you do this without sacrificing its overall competitiveness? Can the policies appropriate to each be reconciled?
Successful Cities. Their policy focus should be on maintaining favorable demographic and economic conditions, and dealing with decaying areas of their urban cores and the potential for decay in some inner ring suburbs. Should the civic aspiration be desirous of it, tuning the engine to attempt to shift the growth rate into high gear to target a profile closer to the Sunbelt boomtowns would be a further focus area. Each city would need to examine which specific policy levers it could pull to attempt to do this. Clearly modernizing and expanding infrastructure to keep up with growth in these places and maintain their high quality of life is a clear imperative.
Stable Cities. Their challenge is to bring growth rates up to average or above average levels. It would be worthwhile for them to study the successful areas, and ask what policies and approaches might be adopted. Kansas City offers the best encouragement here. It has managed to maintain a strong growth rate despite not being a state capital and being part of a bi-state metro region. Kansas City features lows costs, high quality of life, a relatively stable housing marketing, and a pro-business culture. It is clearly a standout and worthy of further study for that reason. It may hold the key for moving the stable cities up into the successful tier. Geographically, it is notable that Kansas City is a border state on the far edge of the Midwest, and could arguably be called a Great Plains city. Is that a factor? Some type of peer city comparison with the successful cities, and especially Kansas City, might be warranted here.
Struggling Cities. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic bullet to solve the long festering problems in these places. All of them were heavily industrialized and have borne the brunt of globalization, particularly in manufacturing. This is especially the case in cities linked to the domestic automobile industry, which is clearly in a state of crisis. Until the automobile industry completes its restructuring, and out migration right sizes some of these areas, there does not seem to be a clear path to restart growth. Youngstown, which brings up the bottom of our league table, perhaps offers the best road forward. It is trying to right-size itself to a permanently smaller, but more sustainable, future population based on an aggressive controlled shrinkage plan that has received extensive national notice. This type of plan is likely something all of these cities need to be actively considering as the large fixed costs support a population base that no longer exists will become increasingly unaffordable as the population further shrinks. These cities likely also will need special state and federal help to back this shrinkage plan.
* The Midwest is defined as Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Yesterday, Judge Agran denied our motion in the Administrative Review lawsuit. We respectfully disagree with the judge’s opinion and still believe the approval process for the Museum denied citizens their due process.
Earlier this month, Judge Hall denied our motion in the DeNovo Review suit.
It is important to note that both of these lawsuits were procedural and focused only on the process of the Museum’s application and approval.
Neither one addressed the merits of our case and did not speak to the larger question: is it lawful to build structures in Grant Park?
These “pre-game” lawsuits were not central to the defense of Grant Park but did cost the Museum precious time and resources.
We are ready to go with the REAL lawsuit that is based on the four IL Supreme Court decisions that have clearly stated it it illegal to construct private, above ground structures in Grant Park.
These four decisions, the Montgomery Ward decisions, have protected Grant Park from development for over 100 years. Montgomery Ward dedicated 20+ years to fighting in the courts for Grant Park to remain forever open, clear and free. We, too, will continue to fight for as long as it takes.
Please help support this battle to Save Grant Park by donating to our legal fund.
Please visit our website at http://www.savegrantpark.org to make a donation online through Paypal or you can write a check to “Save Grant Park” and mail it to”
400 E. South Water St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Attn: SAVE GRANT PARK
Thank you to all who have already made a donation. We have received donations from all over the city/suburbs and even out of state! Every dollar helps!
Save Grant Park
Holy crap Pat, Wayne Strnad is jumping up and down !! I could just see Mr. Strnad face !!! Wayne has been saying this for over 5 years that Ike Coruthers is a crook, and that he should be in Jail. But if they got “ike” maybe just maybe I think what about Mr. Tommy J*^$#@n? is he very far from the mix? is Tommy (Toomy I think )J@#$^*n involved with certain things? wasn’t T##my involved with some sexual Harrasment that was swept under the carpet about 8 years ago or so? Didn’t Toomy J@#*&%n become the superindent of District 3? after he was the superindentant of the 29th Ward? If I was Peter Fitzgerald I would be looking at Tommy J@#*&^n but that is my opinion. I give one ATTA BOY to my favorite Crime Stopper !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go FITZ.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is there more to follow? I really hope so !!!!!!!!!!! especially at the WATERMANAGEMENT!!!! come on Peter Fitzgerald!!! do not stop there, you want info!!! I got stuff that will curl your toes! Yes I am Excited !!! youhooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tell your state rep. you
cannot be serious
(Response) Call the Chicago Department of Water Management, they are there sometimes.
To All Concerned Citizens
As many of you know, I have not been visible at various city facilities passing out a newsletter, exposing corruption and so forth.
The reasons are many in number but suffice it to say, I have not stopped working on cleaning up some of the trash that is pervasive throughout our local and state government.
As was posted, Carothers was indicted. Yes, I was glad to hear it and when mom came down to inform me of it I rose from my chair and ran over to give her a hug. I then told her, “See, you can fight city hall and all its corruption and win!” It is a win for all the people and all of us should celebrate.
To clarify, I’ve been after Carothers ever since he stole his first election through the use of the absentee vote; that’s more than 10 years back (visit http://www.waynestrnad.info/vf for details). As a side note to this, the Chicago Board of Elections has since refused to hand over any information (via the Freedom of Information Act) about any absentee votes in any election, for any candidates – even my own candidacy. This, of course, puts the CBOE under the microscope and there very well might be some revelations down the road in these regards. Fact: Although every candidate’s petition is subject to review and is public, nobody can view an absentee application before or after an election. In other word, nobody has the chance to challenge anything on the application. There seems to be some violation of law in this because elections are supposed to be open, honest and subject to public scrutiny.
In the last election in 2007 the Board of Elections even wanted to deny me access to the computer data when I was going through the 30th Ward Republican Committeeman petition. The first name I saw on the petition was Carlos Guivera, who at the time was Reboyras’ chief of staff – a known Democrat for all his life – signing a Republican Party petition. Hum. Same applied to another candidate for the Republican Party who was running in the 31st Ward.
To make a long story short, both these candidates’ petitions were in violation of State of Illinois Election Code. However, the Board did not see it that way. Important – and if you are thinking of running for public office in Chicago – every hearing officer that is paid to oversee a challenge is NOT an expert in Election Law. All of them are lawyers and “experts” in their field of law but again, it’s not election law. In other words, the Board is running a scam on the candidates by suggesting a hearing officer is a professional who is well versed in Election Law.
If you are a Republican or a concerned citizen who wants to get involved then you might want to look at the campaign disclosure for Foss, 30th Ward Republican Ward Committeeman. His lawyer that defended him apparently did it pro bono. Do you think Jaconetti works for nothing? (Name might be misspelled.) Maybe someone should file a D-4.
As one last highlight, the Chicago Board of Elections allows the candidacy of anyone who puts the incorrect date of the election they are running in. The case was Strnad vs. Reboyras. Go figure!
So, although you don’t see me it doesn’t mean I’m not working!
If you are interested in reading the entire indictment against Carothers then please visit my website at http://www.waynestrnad.info.
Thanks for your time and I hope you have a marvelous day.
(Response) Welcome back, where is your current number? Patrick McDonough
Vi Daley should be reviewed and asked to resign so she can serve time in a federal Pen
Clout goes to college
Rezko relative is among those admitted to U. of I. in shadow system influenced by trustees and other insiders
By Jodi S. Cohen, Stacy St. Clair and Tara Malone
May 29, 2009
At a time when it’s more competitive than ever to get into the University of Illinois, some students with subpar academic records are being admitted after interference from state lawmakers and university trustees, a Tribune investigation has revealed.
Hundreds of applicants received special consideration in the last five years, according to documents obtained by the Tribune under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The records chronicle a shadow admissions system in which some students won spots at the state’s most prestigious public university over the protests of admissions officers, while others had their rejections reversed during an unadvertised appeal process.
In one case, a relative of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the now-convicted influence peddler for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, got admitted after U. of I. President B. Joseph White wrote an e-mail stating that the governor “has expressed his support, and would like to see admitted” Rezko’s relative and another applicant.
White’s message to the university chancellor was passed on to admissions officials on the same day they entered a rejection decision for the Rezko relative. “He’s actually pretty low,” replied an admissions officer, referring to the applicant’s ACT score and other credentials. “Let me know when the denial letter can go out.”
Instead, the relative was admitted.
Since 2005, about 800 undergraduate students have landed on the clout list for the Urbana-Champaign campus. It’s unknown how many would qualify for entry on their own, but their acceptance rate is higher than average. For the 2008-09 school year, for example, about 77 percent were accepted, compared with 69 percent of all applicants.
That’s in spite of the fact that patronage candidates, as a group, had lower average ACT scores and class ranks than all admitted students, records show.
In 2008, for example, freshmen on average ranked in the 88th percentile in their high school class, while clouted students ranked in the 76th percentile.
High school counselors and admissions experts said letting clout affect admissions compromises the integrity of the university.
“Whether it’s [a Rezko relative] or any other kid who takes a spot, he typically takes a spot of someone who is more qualified. That’s the part that gets my blood boiling,” said Jim Conroy, a New Trier Township High School college counselor. “This is not a private institution. This is yours and mine. Our flagship state university should not be part of any political shenanigans.”
President White said it’s not unusual for selective universities to receive input on applicants from interested parties, and it’s important to have a system to track the requests. The additional information can help the admissions office make a more informed decision, he said — though the university discourages applicants from sending letters of recommendations, saying on its Web site that “sending unsolicited materials can be distracting.”
He declined to discuss specific cases, including the Rezko relative, but said: “I would never support admission of a student over better-qualified students simply because of connections and pressure.”
But the Tribune review of about 1,800 pages of documents shows politically appointed trustees and lawmakers routinely behave as armchair admissions officers advocating on behalf of relatives and neighbors — even housekeepers’ kids and families with whom they share Hawaiian vacations. They declare their candidates “no brainers” for admission and suggest that if they are not accepted, the admissions system may need revamping.
The investigation found:
–University officials recognized that certain students were underqualified — but admitted them anyway.
–Admissions officers complained in vain as their recommendations were overruled.
–Trustees pushed for preferred students, some of whom were friends, neighbors and relatives.
–Lawmakers delivered admission requests to U. of I. lobbyists, whose jobs depend on pleasing the lawmakers.
–University officials delayed admissions notifications to weak candidates until the end of the school year to minimize the fallout at top feeder high schools.
For example, this spring an applicant described as having “terrible credentials” by the undergraduate admissions office was denied admittance. She sought help from Trustee Frances Carroll, who encouraged her to appeal the denial — an option not mentioned in rejection letters or any university literature. Carroll forwarded the appeal to University Chancellor Richard Herman and sought his help. The applicant was admitted.
Then, to avoid drawing attention at the applicant’s high school, where her acceptance could raise eyebrows, documents show the university planned to wait until the end of the school year to notify the applicant.
Carroll said the Lincoln Park High School senior, whom she didn’t know, had a 3.2 grade-point average, participated in many extra-curricular activities and deserved a spot at U. of I. Carroll said she likes to help disadvantaged students who may not understand the system.
Patronage has become such an entrenched part of the admissions process that there’s even a name for the applicants with heavy-hitting sponsors: “Category I.”
While some trustees and lawmakers said they didn’t realize there was a separate category for their requests, the records showed they needed only to forward a name and a few vital statistics to have the student placed in it.
And many did so without reservation.
Trustee Kenneth Schmidt referred to his repeated forwarding of applicant names as an “epidemic” in one 2006 e-mail and asked the chancellor when he could “check up on my crop en masse.” Schmidt did not return a call from the Tribune.
Abel Montoya, who oversaw Category I applicants for about five years until he left the university in October, said he watched as denial decisions were overturned.
In a 2008 internal memo, Montoya refers to some Category I applicants as “students who can’t get in on their own credentials.”
Montoya told the Tribune: “I don’t really know the reason or rationale why some decisions were changed. I just knew that it came from someone above, and I wasn’t in the position to ask questions.”
The university denies that Category I candidates receive extraordinary treatment.
But the man who oversees the undergraduate admissions process acknowledges the system’s flaws.
“I do try to work very hard to maintain the integrity of the admissions process,” said Keith Marshall, associate provost for enrollment management. “The whole Category I process is a bit of a challenge to me, but I don’t believe it is unique to this university.”
The system has affected the quality of the student body, records show. In 2006, the Law School’s admissions dean argued that admitting a Category I applicant would require the admission of two additional students to offset the impact it would have on the school’s ranking.
“There is no track record of success and when [the applicant] is faced with the rigor of our program there is absolutely no reason to expect anything other than failure,” wrote Paul Pless, the law admissions dean.
The Tribune is unsure whether the student was admitted because the university did not respond to a request for that information. The university blacked out all references to grades, test scores and class rank, a move the newspaper is appealing under open records laws. It also hid applicant names.
Of the record-setting 26,000 applicants to the University of Illinois this year, 160 were classified as Category I.
In one case, Marshall instructed an admissions counselor to place a student on the waiting list even though she seemed an obvious rejection.
“I know she’s fairly weak at Fenwick, but I don’t have any wiggle room on this one,” he wrote. “Done, but this will look off with the high school,” replied admissions officer Jennifer Piercy.
“Understood,” Marshall wrote.
Herman said Category I applicants may have a higher rate of admission “simply because we have more information” about them.
“We are a public institution and I think we have to answer to the state and that means those who support us perhaps through their elected representative, the board who is our governing body, and all the parents who call me up. I feel I have to be able to respond,” he said.
About half of this year’s Category I applicants have ties to state lawmakers, who routinely insert themselves into the admissions process. A 2009 log managed by the university’s government affairs office tracked nearly 80 applicants pushed by politicians.
Among those was a New Trier senior whom Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D- Chicago) wanted admitted. In a February e-mail to Herman, university lobbyist Terry McLennand wrote: “The President thought this students [sic] score seemed a little high for wait list and asked if we could intervene and admit the student at this time rather then [sic] waiting for the April decision date.”
Cullerton declined to comment. His district does not extend into New Trier’s boundaries. Cullerton’s patronage reflects a General Assembly practice that dates back decades, according to lawmakers who engage in it.
Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R- River Grove) says he learned about the system from veteran legislators shortly after winning election in 1993.
“It has probably been going on for 100 years,” he said. “To be honest, I think it helps to let them know that we’re watching.”
Saviano, who advertises assistance with college applications in his constituent newsletter, ranks among the most prolific Category I patrons. Records show he pushed for at least 20 candidates since 2005, with only four receiving denials.
Trustees, who account for another portion of Category I students, also said they are working on behalf of constituents.
In March 2008, Board of Trustees Chairman Niranjan Shah pushed for a student to be admitted to the rigorous MBA program, even though Chancellor Herman warned that school officials “had serious concerns about his ability to handle the academics” and the student’s GPA was “below what is admissible.”
“May be [sic] he can be on probation during first year,” Shah suggested.
E-mails show that when Shah pressed for a decision before he visited the student’s family in India, the business school relented and offered the applicant a spot.
Shah said late Thursday that he did not know the student or his family. He said the family reached out to him because they wanted to be sure the admissions office was aware of the complex grading systems used at some Indian universities, including the one the student attended.
Trustee Lawrence Eppley said he forwards requests regardless of whether he knows the applicants and said he tries to “demystify” the application process for students. He said family friends have been denied admission — which he says is proof that he doesn’t have influence in decisions.
“If you talk to my friends, they would say: ‘He’s not very good at this,’ ” Eppley said.
Still, the majority of applicants who are denied through regular channels do not have the support of those in power — and never considered trying an end-run around the process.
Andy Wethekam, a York Community High School student who thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps and attend U. of I., was denied admission to its business school this year despite earning a 31 on the ACT and a 4.1 grade-point average.
“It was pretty much a foregone conclusion I would go to Illinois,” Wethekam said.
He did not appeal the denial. He didn’t know he could.
“They never advertise that,” said Wethekam, who is heading to Indiana University this fall.
His father, Tom Wethekam, chalked up the maneuverings to business as usual in Illinois.
“If you know somebody, good things happen to you in the state of Illinois on a lot of different fronts,” the father said. “I look at this as an extension of all that.”
UCKIN AAAAAAAAAA! Remember, an indictment against Daley’s nephew and son will be viewed as an indictment against the father!;;;;
Feds probe city pension deals with Daley’s nephew
May 29, 2009
BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporter
City pension officials have been hit with subpoenas from a federal grand jury trying to determine how they decided to invest $68 million with a start-up company co-owned by Mayor Daley’s nephew.
The grand jury issued the subpoenas Wednesday, nearly two months after city pension officials refused to comply with similar subpoenas issued by the city of Chicago’s inspector general, David Hoffman.
Hoffman said Friday that he and federal investigators are now jointly investigating the pension fund investments with DV Urban Realty Partners, co-owned by Daley’s nephew Robert Vanecko and one of the mayor’s top African-American allies, Allison S. Davis.
This is the second joint investigation that Hoffman and federal authorities are conducting into Vanecko’s businesses.
The other investigation involves the hidden ownership stake Vanecko and the mayor’s son, Patrick Daley, held in a sewer-cleaning company that won millions of dollars in no-bid contract extensions from City Hall. Vanecko and Patrick Daley have said they sold their investment in the company in late 2004 when Patrick Daley enlisted in the Army and Vanecko went into business with Davis.
Hoffman began investigating Vanecko and Patrick Daley in the wake of Chicago Sun-Times investigations into the mayor’s son and nephew during the past two years.
Davis, 69, and Vanecko, 43, set up their company, hoping to get money from public and private pension plans for real estate investments. But they were rejected by several private and government pension plans until 2006, when the five city pension funds agreed to invest $68 million with Davis and Vanecko.
Davis and Vanecko are guaranteed $8 million in management fees — they’ve been paid $2.7 million so far — under the eight-year deal that expires on Dec. 31, 2014. They can also share in any profits from their real estate investments.
They’ve invested the pension funds in eight Chicago properties, but all of their real estate deals have declined in value, partly because of the economic recession.
Davis and Vanecko are also trying to prevent the loss of $7.9 million in pension funds they invested in a stalled project to build a Dominick’s grocery store and condos at 3030 N. Broadway. They have been feuding with the developers, Michael O’Connor and Jon Zitzman, and are now trying to find people to buy out O’Connor and Zitzman at an auction set for June 5 in the law offices of Patrick Daley Thompson, another mayoral nephew.
City pension officials refused to comply with Hoffman’s subpoenas, arguing he had no authority to demand records from them. The federal grand jury stepped in, demanding records from the pension plans for Chicago municipal employees, laborers, police officers and firefighters even though the firefighters pension fund refused to invest any money with Davis and Vanecko.
The other two pension funds that in invested with Vanecko and Davis — Chicago teachers and the CTA — haven’t received any subpoenas from Hoffman or the grand jury.
Now Lisa Madigan is investigating the city’s parking meter deal. I was excited to read this today until her spokesman said that the city and the politicians are not the subject of the probe. I hope she is hiding the fact right now that she is going after the city, Daley and his crew. but I doubt it cause when it comes down to it, she is guilty of this whole corruption cover up too! She sucks!@!!!!!!!!
May 9, 2009
BY MARY WISNIEWSKI Staff Reporter
Mayor Daley said Saturday the city is “not hiding anything” from the unions representing city workers who have been threatened with layoffs vs. furlough days and other accomodations.
“We’ve been sitting with them and really telling them very honestly and openly about the financial problems of the city,” Daley said, speaking after a White Sox volunteer event on the South Side.
» Click to enlarge image Mayor Daley and Police Superintendent Jody Weis talk during the White Sox Day of Service with Volunteer Corps event at U.S. Cellular Field.
(John J. Kim/Tom Cruze/Sun-Times)
White Sox Day of Service
“We’re not hiding anything…. We have a good workforce. We want to keep them working,” Daley said.
More than 1,100 city employees — none sworn police officers or firefighters — will receive layoff notices in the next two weeks unless their unions agree to take 14 days off without pay and comp time instead of cash overtime.
Daley said Saturday that he does believe the unions are “working hard,” and are sincere in their efforts, but that everyone needs to realize how bad the economy is.
“The economy is much more difficult than anyone understands,” Daley said. “You have glimmers of hope, but you need more than glimmers of hope. You need people to go back to a job and not get laid off and not lose their home.”
Daley was at Cellular Field to launch White Sox Service Day, in which fans and team members, including catcher A. J. Pierzynski, manager Ozzie Guillen and designated hitter Jim Thome assist in restoration work at two Boys & Girls Clubs locations on the South Side.
Gov. Pat Quinn, who like Daley is a lifelong Sox fan and wore a black Sox cap, also appeared at the event, along with Police Supt. Jody Weis.
On Saturday, Weis said police were “cautiously optimistic,” because preliminary figures showed an almost 20 percent drop in homicides in the first four months of 2009, compared with the same period last year. Overall, violent crime dropped nearly 3 percent.
The superintendent said police have also taken 400 more guns off the street than they did in the same period last year.
“What concerns me though is we’re taking more than one assault rifle a day off the street,” he said. “It’s a clear message as to what our men and women are facing every day.”
Weis said the police have been working with Chicago Public Schools Superintendent Ron Huberman on a better exchange of information between the schools and the police, to address the violence that has claimed the lives of 36 CPS students thus far this year.
June 1, 2009
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Thirteen years ago, Ald. Allan Streeter (17th) became the first Chicago alderman in a long line of thieves to wear a hidden microphone to try and snare his colleagues and save his own skin.
To Streeter’s colleagues, it was a crime worse than bribe-taking. They denounced him as a “rat,” a “pimp,” a “low-life” and a “Judas.” The anger was so great, Streeter would have been better off entering the witness protection program.
How times — and the public stomach for political corruption — have changed after the conviction of one governor, the indictment of another and dozens of convictions tied to the Hired Truck, city hiring and minority contracting scandals.
On Monday, indicted Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) returned to City Hall for the first time since the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed that he, too, had worn a wire. Only this time, there was no aldermanic outrage.
“He’s a friend. He’s a colleague. He’ll be in my prayers,” said Ald. Jim Balcer (11th).
“I don’t have any negative feelings toward someone who assists the government in ferreting out corruption,” said Ald. Tom Allen (38th).
Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), who slapped the “pimp” label on Streeter, said he doesn’t “feel the same” about Carothers.
“Streeter went out looking for people to hang. I don’t think Ike did that,” Stone said.
Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) called word of Carothers’ undercover role “merely speculation in the press.” Burke noted that court documents refer to an “Official A” who recorded conversations with elected officials and developers.
“It doesn’t have a name, does it?” Burke said.
The only negative reaction came from Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), who referred to Carothers’ actions as “under-handed,” and Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) who said he wouldn’t “stoop to that level.”
During a Finance Committee meeting, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said he told Carothers to his face that he would vote against “all minor items” before the Police and Fire Committee until Carothers temporarily steps aside as chairman.
“He is innocent until proven guilty, and I agree with that presumption. But, he’s got a lot on his plate and he has to deal with it,” Fioretti said.
Pressed to describe Carothers’ reaction, Fioretti said, “He would like me to reconsider it. He said I’ll be hurting colleagues.”
Carothers brushed past reporters. He sat through a Transportation Committee meeting after shaking hands with his colleagues, then returned for a Finance Committee meeting, where he sat quietly at the end of an aisle, talked on his cell phone and had private conversations with a handful of aldermen.
Mayor Daley’s most outspoken African-American supporter, Carothers was indicted last week for accepting $40,000 in home improvements, meals and sports tickets from a West Side developer in exchange for zoning changes that netted the developer millions.
In 1996, Daley’s then-City Council floor leader Patrick Huels (11th) said Streeter would “go down in the history books as a Judas — the first to break the code” among aldermen.
“We are sort of a family. There’s a camaraderie among us. He stepped out of the family bond and brought this into our house. If he was corrupt, that’s his business. But, to bring these people around as the devil and offer this temptation to others is unacceptable,” Huels said then.
One year later, Huels resigned after the Sun-Times reported his private security company had received a $1.25 million bailout loan from perennial city trucking contractor Michael Tadin. Tadin had received a $ 1.1 million city subsidy with Huels’ help.
June 2, 2009
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Indicted Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) should not be asked to step aside as powerful chairman of the City Council’s Police and Fire Committee because, “in America, you’re innocent until proven guilty,” Mayor Daley said today.
Earlier this week, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said he told Carothers to his face that he would vote against “all minor items” before the Police and Fire Committee until Carothers temporarily steps aside as chairman.
RELATED STORIESAld. Isaac Carothers wore wire for a year
“He is innocent until proven guilty, and I agree with that presumption. But he’s got a lot on his plate, and he has to deal with it,” Fioretti said.
On Tuesday, Daley sided with Carothers, his longtime ally.
“People are concerned about these allegations. But in America, you’re innocent until proven guilty,” the mayor told reporters after Carothers was a no-show at the unveiling of Chicago’s annual crackdown on summer crime.
The mayor characterized the allegations against Carothers as “serious.” But he said, “He has a right to defend himself.”
Asked how he felt about Carothers wearing a wire to record conversations with developers and elected officials, Daley said, “I don’t know anything about that.”
Pressed further, he said, “That would be up to him.”
Carothers was indicted last week on charges that he accepted $40,000 in home improvements, meals and sports tickets from a West Side developer in exchange for zoning changes that netted the developer millions.
It’s not surprising that Daley would steer clear of attacking Carothers.
For the last decade, he’s been the mayor’s most outspoken African-American supporter in the City Council.
Carothers coined the phrase “heavy lifters” to describe aldermen with the guts to support Daley tax increases and used the phrase repeatedly to berate colleagues he viewed as political cowards.
The cheerleading speeches — and Carothers’ role in running a West Side army of city workers who delivered the vote for the mayor’s handpicked candidates — endeared Carothers to Daley.
The mayor chose Carothers over more senior colleagues to chair the Police and Fire Committee and left him there to preside over sensitive hearings on the new police superintendent and reform of the Office of Professional Standards.
Naperville businessman charged with bribing ‘city agent’
November 5, 2009
BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter AND FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
It was June, 2008, when a Naperville businessman met with an influential city alderman to talk about winning lucrative airport concessions contracts.
Their discussion was part in code and part out loud.
» Click to enlarge image A criminal complaint filed in federal court reveals the FBI has used an unnamed cooperator in its investigation for at least a year. The Chicago Sun-Times has learned that the cooperator is Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers — who was charged earlier this year with corruption
(John H. White/Sun-Times)
But it was all captured on FBI recordings, according to charges.
With both video and audio rolling, the businessman, Wafeek “Wally” Aiyash, allegedly offered Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers a $100,000 cash bribe — $10,000 of it up front — if Carothers would secure concessions contracts for him, a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday says.
At another meeting between the two, Carothers picked up an envelope stuffed with $5,000 in cash, held it in front of a video camera for several seconds and then put it in his jacket, according to charges. With the cash came a map from Aiyash with “requested locations” for seven different restaurants he and his partners wanted to open at O’Hare and Midway airports, the charges say.
Aiyash, 50, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with bribing Carothers, who himself was charged with bribe-taking last spring. The Sun-Times reported in the spring that Carothers was secretly cooperating
with authorities for a year, including wearing a wire. He’s pleaded not guilty to federal charges. Aiyash’s complaint is the first detailing of Carothers’ cooperation with the FBI.
It involved a number of meetings and phone calls with Aiyash, the owner of a restaurant, sports bar and housing businesses, according to public records.
At one point after he allegedly passed Carothers a $5,000 bribe, the businessman left Carothers numerous messages to call him back, including one where Aiyash said he was with another alderman, referred to only as Alderman A, in the complaint.
Before the June, 2008, meeting, an FBI agent handed Carothers a marked business card. On it, Carothers wrote: “100 & Partner,” referring to past discussions with Aiyash about teaming up at the airports.
At the meeting with Aiyash, Carothers wrote on the card: “10 to start” to ask for a $10,000 advance. He then asked Aiyash on tape: “Can we do something like that? To get started?”
Aiyash allegedly responded: “I think so yeah,” and, in a response to whether it would be in cash, he’s accused of saying: “That’s the only way I’ll do it.”
After the meeting, Carothers handed the same card back to the FBI, according to charges.
Aiyash’s lawyer had no comment on the charges.
The complaint does not name the cooperator, but sources told the Chicago Sun-Times it is Carothers.
Carothers (29th) is one of 14 members of the City Council’s Aviation Committee. On Thursday, Rosemarie Andolino, who heads the Department of Aviation and O’Hare Airport expansion, was stunned by the allegations. She said procedures are in place that would keep from giving one person too much power.
“Decisions are made with my team of people. There’s never any aldermanic decision in any of that,” Andolino said.
She said the city hasn’t added any concession contracts recently. “We have a couple of things that are up that were reviewed a long, long time ago that are now coming to fruition. [But], we have not put anything to bid recently at all.”
Contributing: Tim Novak
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