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Proviso Probe

Monday, November 07, 2005

ED, Bellwood school board meeting tonight [D88]

Press release:

Will Bellwood fire school superintendent for refusing to “play ball”?

Monday evening the District 88 (Bellwood elementary schools) board of education will consider a motion to terminate Superintendent Dr. Willie Mack. Mack speaks fluent Spanish. Bellwood schools have approximately 40% Latino students.

Critics, like James K. Graham, Sr., see the firing as the board majority consolidating political power. Graham formerly served as director or facilities and was recently fired by the same board.

The board majority is aligned with Cook County Recorder of Deeds and Proviso Democratic Committeeman Eugene Moore, District 209 (Proviso Township High Schools) board president Emanuel Christopher Welch—who is also D88’s attorney—Stone Park village president Beniamino Mazzulla and by extension many of the political power brokers in and around Proviso Township.

“Schools are big business,” said Carl Nyberg, the creator of Proviso Probe, a blog covering Proviso Township. (Nyberg has been sued by Welch for defamation after accusing him of nepotism and “looting” District 209.) “If we allow the schools to be used to enrich politicians, the corrupt politicians will gravitate to the schools, like ants to a picnic. And when the schools are being managed to make politicians and their cronies rich, they aren’t being managed to educate students.”

Graham alleges the District 88 board has neglected Life Safety issues, while prioritizing contracts to those that give kickbacks. “Welch’s law firm [James J. Roche & Associates] bills District 88 over $10,000 per month for attending two school board meetings. A number of politically connected vendors submit bills, I suspect are padded.”

Graham added, “Beyond the dubious billing, the board doesn’t take care of basic Life Safety issues. Bellwood schools have been eligible for state aid to remove asbestos for ten years. Yet the board has delayed applying. And the fire alarms in eight of ten schools need to be fixed. Again this hasn’t happened because of the board. Why not? Is it because there is no vendor that will give a kickback?”

One board member has a conflict-of-interest with attorney and political power broker Welch. Tommie Miller works as the head basketball coach at Proviso West to supplement his income as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools.

“I’ve seen Welch fire a superintendent before,” Nyberg said. In August, Welch fired then D209 Superintendent Dr. Greg Jackson. “He doesn’t even try to justify it. He didn’t even acknowledge questions from the board minority; he just talked over them. The entire meeting, with seven line items, took under eight minutes.”

Jackson was fired at the meeting after he indicated a willingness to cut ties to Anthony Bruno, a contractor who is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney. Bruno is a political supporter of Welch.

Local media outlets have reported Welch will challenge State Representative Karen Yarbrough in the Democratic Primary. Yarbrough won the state rep seat formerly held by Moore in 2000. Yarbrough almost unseated Moore as Democratic Committeeman in 2002. Stroger, a Moore ally, is reputed to be supporting Welch’s campaign against Yarbrough.

On November 2, 2005 the Pioneer Press reported Stone Park, where Mazzulla is mayor, is being sued for using a prostitution sting as a shakedown. Men who did not offer to pay for sex were arrested and had their cars ransomed back, while politically connected tow companies made hundreds of dollars on each car.

Where is the meeting?


See this entry for earlier discussion.


  • Welch's law firm has billed $200,000 since May, 2005. Even if Welch is billing $300/hour, he needs to be working over five hours per workday to justify this.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 2:13 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • I guess you didn't get the memo yet crazy carl but bruno is working with karen now

    You better scrub that before you offend her new masters

    By Anonymous gingerbread man, at 4:12 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • To the Gingerbread man,

    What does you comment have to do with the firing of District 88 Supt? Absolutely NOTHING! So what, Bruno has used Welch up and now doesn't support him for State Rep. Funny, this makes number 10,001 of local politicans, community leaders,residents, and others who don't support Welch.
    Nyberg you were right about the die hard Welch supporters. They are demented, dumb, and can't stick to the topic. Oh my, they are far worse than Bush supporters.

    Anyway, the firing of the Supt is tragic, but it shows that another one bites the dust in Proviso Township. You either have to steal, cheat, rob, lie, be illiterate, be a criminal, be a molester, be unqualified, be under investigation, be a relative, work down on 5th avenue during every election, be someone's godmother, father, sister, brother, or play cousin, or just be a "puppet" to work in in Districts 209, 88, and 89.

    They are firing an overqualified Supt. in 88. Maybe they will hire Welch as the Supt and the attorney.
    I wonder when will they fire Libka from 209. He is not qualified to hold the position, maybe never because he is at Welch's beck and call. I have seen how Libka sumbits to Welch. He does everything he says. I can't believe a real man acts likes this.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:52 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • Hey yanez we can see right through ya

    By Anonymous robin hood, at 5:14 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • Hey Guys, I am not writing anything on the blog! I do read it to keep informed, but I don't write silly things, and use a pseudnom! Please be more professional and stop blaming me!

    By Anonymous Frank Yanez, at 7:50 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • Chris Welch is the best elected official in Proviso for over 30 years! His commitment to excellance and his dedication to all the proviso people is exemplary and that is why he is the endorsed canidate by the Pioneer Press, Forest Park review and the Suburban life, as well as the Sun-Times and Tribune and the Chicago Defender and Indigo!All the Mayors in Proviso love this guy because he is always accesible and present and willing to help! In comparision to his opponent and her supporters , he talks the talk and walks the walk, and his opponent barely talks the talk!Chris might have some faults, but at least he has tried to improve Proviso, not like the Yarbrough hogs, who want everything and give nothing! Honestly, think about this , If you were laid off your job and had no money to pay your mortage, who would you want to go to help with Welch or Yarbrough?Welch might have some faults but one fault he does not have is that he is a true friend and will always look out for his friends! Chris I have your back, go out and bring the gold medal back to us, because your victory is a victory for all us hard working grunts in Proviso who are the silent majority!

    By Anonymous Cuba, at 8:45 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • Let's all make a deal on this blog, Stop name calling and making inuendos about others and talk about issues! Let's grow up and be educated adults and let the name calling go away and let's respect one another! As far as I am concerned Mr. Welch has never called anyone ant names like his detractors do to him! I believe all his opponents are just jealous of him and want to take him down because he is everything they wanted to be! He is breight, articulate, Northwestern schooled and successful! He does not have to be here in Proviso since he could be in Lake Forest living the good lofe. Instead Mr. Welch has decided to improve the lot of eveyone in Proviso especially in Maywood,Bellwood, and Hillside! So please everyone let's stop refraining from name calling and come to the realization that you are jealous of Welch! Talk issues, and for all you brothers and sistas out there talking smack, stop it, don't be like a buch of crabs in barrel trying to bring a brother down, god knows the white man tries it all the time, don't do their bidding!

    By Anonymous Got Your Back, at 9:55 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • If there was a Dating Game, and your daughter was going to go out a date and had to pick from 3 contestants, who would you want your daughter to choose from, Charlie Flowers,Ken Leggins, or Chris Welch?
    92% Welch
    8% undecided

    By Anonymous Gingerbread man, at 10:06 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • The Gingerbread Man are you crazy! Welch wouldn't date my daughter. He would date the Gingerbread Man or any man, that is not a fair question.
    And I am sure that Welch would not get 92% of the vote. Just ask Mr. Baxter, Mr. Tottie, Rev. Porter, and the other victims' fathers. These Welch supporters are funny and insane!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:41 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • Cuba and "Got your Back" or "Got your pocket" you are definitely educated Welch groupies. About time he has supporters that are not cursing and calling people racsit. He is good that he now has supportors that are not DUMB and on skid row. I applaud articulate comments. But I have a question, were you both on District #209's agenda this month or last month.

    As for "Got Your Back" I agree, the name calling is immature, but "your fake Nation of Islam" speech is not working when Welch had a Black man fired to hire a really really dumb white man (LIBKA). He put an unqualified white man (LIBKA) over an overly qualified Black woman. He just planned the firing of another Black man in District 88. It seems the only people Welch fires are Black and the ones he hires are White. I don't believe people are jealous of Welch, they are just tired of him stealing from his own people giving it to the MAN. Also, people act like Northwestern is Harvard or Yale. Northwestern is a great school, but it seems like we never had someone from the community go to a top tier college. Proviso has a lot of graduates from exceptional colleges. Welch is not on the endangered species list, some may think that he is a "Bald Eagle", no pun in the word BALD. But just because he went to Northwestern doesn't make him the MESIAH! I wish that Welch would go and live in Lake Forest and stop robbing Proviso Township. Proviso Township would give him a going away party if he moves. We don't want him here. Six years ago no one never heard of the prick, now he is continuing to ruin our community. I not saying everything is his fault, but he sure and the hell has helped out with it and continues it. So before you start with your "Black Power" tirade, check your facts on your "girl" Welch.

    As for CUBA, you are absolutely right he does look out for his friends; Bruno, Wallace, Moore, Mazullo, and etc. I can't argue with you there, he is the best friend to have right now. But his position on the board is to not look out for his friends, but to look out for the students in District 209. DUH, that is why everyone in Proviso hates him now is because he is looking out for only his friends and neglecting the students. (I am sure Welch will get you for writing that stupid comment.)
    You are right again when you stated Welch has faults, but his faults out number any crook that was ever in Proviso politics. Where did this young prick come from. He just developed overnight into a MONSTER.
    Hey, I do not support Yarbrough, for State Rep. and I definitely ain't voting for WELCH. There are many people that feel the same way. But we are caught between a rock and a hard place.

    To the Welch supporters, all five of you, I commend you on your die hard loyalty. Keep up the fight, you will need to!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • Robin Hood why do you believe I an Yanez. He is not a loyal ask Manzo and Welch. Please do not equate me to him. However, I am someone very close in Welch's camp. Look out for me.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:13 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • It is so funny to read comments from supposibly educated persons! This started because the new superintendent of district 88 will now be re-hired, but really, does anyone really know what he is like? Just ask the employees, whom he has never made an attempt to get to know, much less respect! This so called educated man believes that he is above anyone else, and believe me, I work under his management! When has he addressed the education of the students? When has he showed any real commitment to the district? This superintendent is nothing more than a puppet of a board member, whom should remain nameless, but whom has showed his true colors, and even those he helped to get elected now have turned their back to him.
    Now, I am not a big fan of Mr. Welch either; here we are, those of us who have given the district more than a decade of our service, yet we can't get a decent raise, and Mr. Welch and other new "administrators" not only get salaries above $90,000.00,--and yet they keep telling us that there is no money-- but yet have not proven that helping the district rise is their priority. Superintendent Mack really has no clue as to how to run a district, and some of us can't help but wonder, why did he came out of retirement, need more money for his pention? Now, Dr. Mack is fluent in Spanish? Than, when there was a town hall meeting at Grant Elem. why was he not able to communicate with the parents? One thing is being able to understand Spanish, another one is to be able to speak it fluently! And for those of you who don't know what bilingual means: Being able to speak, write and read two language fluently--not just a few sentences!
    To conclude, maybe before speaking for or against any person, political or not, some research needs to be done, after all, it was the board of education who re-hired Mr. Welch after he had been let go......so, who is to blame that the law firm for which he works has billed more than $200,000. since May? It seems to me that being in politics just don't pay, nor does kissing ass--right Mr. Brownlee? (Dr. Macks' left and right hand...makes some wonder...)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 PM, November 18, 2005  

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