5 Replies to “Chicago Clout "Confessions at the Chicago Park District" Video with Joe Yost”

  1. Clout Corner: He’s out, she’s still in
    Different endings for couple tied to Laski bribery scheme

    July 20, 2009

    Mick Jones — the City of Chicago worker who went to prison for bribing City Clerk Jim Laski to get into the Hired Truck Program — has just been hit with a lifetime ban by City Hall, which declared that no Jones company will ever again get city business.

    It’s a different story for Jones’ wife. Traci Jones, 50, was in on the scheme with her husband, according to federal court records. But she agreed to wear a wire to secretly record conversations with Laski and was granted immunity from prosecution.

    Have you heard about the forest preserves?
    She still has her city job. She’s a license supervisor in the city clerk’s office — a job she got from Laski during the period he was taking bribes to ensure that the city would keep giving Hired Truck work to Get Plowed, the Joneses’ trucking company.

    Laski isn’t happy about that. And he says it’s not just that his once-promising political career came crashing down when the Joneses, his longtime friends, cooperated with federal prosecutors on the case that ended up sending Laski to prison for nearly two years.

    “Should Traci Jones be working in the clerk’s office?” says Laski. “Absolutely not. She was involved in the whole thing. She wrote out checks to me. She helped run Get Plowed.

    “Her involvement should have disqualified her from working for the City of Chicago. But she’s still working there. The question is: Why?”

    Current city Clerk Miguel del Valle’s top deputy, Ed Kantor — who held that same job under Laski — says the office can’t take any action against Traci Jones because she is now involved in an ongoing investigation by the city’s inspector general’s office into allegations of theft at the clerk’s office on Archer Avenue.

    “We would not proceed until their investigation is done,” Kantor said. “I haven’t received any notice from them terminating the investigation.”

    The inspector general’s office declined to comment.

    According to court records, Mick Jones, 52, was a City Hall housing official when he began bribing Laski in September 1997 to get work from the city’s Hired Truck Program, which Mayor Daley ultimately dissolved after a Chicago Sun-Times investigation documented that it was rife with waste and corruption.

    Over the years, the city paid Get Plowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide trucks and drivers for city jobs. Laski, meanwhile, took $48,000 in bribes to make that happen, according to court records.

    In June 2002, Laski put Traci Jones on the city payroll, hiring her as a data-entry clerk at $10.34 an hour. Two years later, she was promoted to license supervisor in Laski’s Southwest Side office. That doubled her pay, to $41,000 a year.

    That’s the job she had when her husband and Laski were indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 26, 2006.

    And it’s the job she still has today, though the pay is better now. After getting five raises since her husband pleaded guilty in March 2006 and was sent to prison for about a year, Traci Jones makes $54,492 a year.

    Mick Jones, meanwhile, got off probation June 23. Two days later, City Hall banned him forever from getting any city work.

  2. Joe has helped my kid with special needs. He is a great teacher. I hope you ask some of the kids wirh special needs to appear on the show. Joe is a doll! Love ya!

  3. Should have provided more detail as to:

    1) what the criminal act was that occurred at the park by this stranger, a menacing paralegal, on a child. And that you, the park official in charge, broke it up and had this trust-fund-baby paralegal arrested, and later testified against him that led to his first conviction. Is it true he did the same act at another park, only to harass that park employee to the point of not testifying?

    2) you, family & friends continually harassed and sued by this paralegal for ten years, who only just recently became a convicted felon, along with many misdemeanor convictions. A quasi-officer of the court, who gamed the system for ten years and cowed the federal, state, county & city judicial system/law enforcement. I would think most people who make vague ongoing death threats to cops, judges, lawyers would not have gotten away with it this long. You got a book there that reminds of the movie Pacific Heights. Only now do you have some relief from this menace who will be significantly deterred from frivolous lawsuits and criminal acts behind bars.

    3) being abandoned by park management for doing the legal and ethical thing; only to have your supervisor arrested for embezzling park funds (you know the one that said you should give up and quit, get another job); have your personnel records completely disappear; and then have the legal & risk people deny they have had meetings with you. Sounds like a bunch of first rate cowards, that are rotting the country. Don’t forget those fellow employees who told you it was your fault, that you should have never gotten involved; yea I want them watching kids.

    4) and then abandoned by the “watch dog” spineless union that you pay dues to. You know the phonies who cower to park management because they are only just lap dogs, less than a shadow of the courageous people who created the union on principles. At least the police union backed up the cops with lawyers when the paralegal went after them for doing their job. I guess being a front line unarmed government employee at the park district who risks everything dealing with the bad actors of the public does not rise to the occasion for either the park or union.

    5) Last but not least, the luck to have a lawyer who took your case when no one else would, out of principle and decency; who was tenacious in fighting this paralegal’s life long machination to screw with people (kids, old men, old women, cops, judges, librarians, pregnant women, plus the Archbishop of Chicago) and try to drive them bankrupt; only to have this all change direction when this paralegal makes a direct and premeditated threat to kill your attorney’s 9 year old daughter, in the hall way of a courthouse; just after this same brilliant paralegal mind had gotten out of jail for breaking into the judge’s chambers who is handling your case, going through her desk, in a court house building, that he is specifically prohibited to enter.

    So what else happens in Chicago these days?

  4. Jim Kendrick was the plumbing inspector that you caught doing work over 4th of July weekend. You must remember you had no problem speaking with the Suntimes about it .

Comments are closed.