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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

the Roos building appraisals

The Forest Park Review (Seth Stern) is on the case.

Developer Patrick Wangler wanted Forest Park to pay $3.75 million.

The appraisals came in much lower. It's worth $1.3 million as industrial property and $2.3 million as residential. I was an industrial property, but had temporary permission to be developed as residential. The permission to develop it as residential property expires September 27, 2005.

BZ to Seth Stern for getting this info. This should put pressure on the Village Board to negotiate aggressively.

when Forest Parkers go bad

I don't know if this is among the most important stories of the week. It's not like shooting a neighbor's pitbull, but...

Suburban Life (Gina Kenny):
A Forest Park man is being held on $150,000 bail after an armed robbery Aug. 27 at the food court of North Riverside Park Mall.

Warren C. Mathis, 35, placed an order at the Baskin Robbins in the food court of North Riverside Park Mall, 7501W. Cermak Road, at about 2:30 p.m. Aug. 27. Mathis paid for the order, and when the employee opened the cash register to make change, Mathis lifted his shirt to reveal a gun, North Riverside Police Chief Anthony Garvey said.

Poor Mr. Mathis. He didn't get any respect. The manager of the store and security guards all challenged him under the assumption he was unarmed.

Does this mean if you're gonna do armed robbery you've got to keep the gun visible?

(I pulled this story to show that I am checking more than just the Forest Park Review and Pioneer Press.)

false arrest suit

Memorial Park District seems to be within Bellwood, Illinois. Bellwood is less than half the population of Oak Park, Berwyn and Cicero. And while Berwyn has two park districts, as far as I know, none of these larger park districts have their own security forces.

So, it seems suspect for Memorial Park District to have police.

And, shock-of-shocks, the person arrested under allegedly improper circumstances was a local political candidate.

It sure makes campaigning easier when you can call out your private police force to arrest the opposition.

But you can make your own call. See the Melrose Park Herald (John Huston).

Man bites dog

"When a dog bites a man that is not news, but when a man bites a dog that is news."
-- Charles Anderson Dana, 'What is News?', The New York Sun 1882 (Thanks to DogHause.com.)

OK, this is a "man shoots dog" story. So I guess it would only be news in New York if the dog shot the man.

An unleashed pitbull attacked a a small white bichon frise dog. The owner of the property where the attack occured and relative of the bichon frise owner shot and killed the pitbull. See the West Proviso Herald.

It sorta seems like the pitbull owner should get a ticket too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

ethics complaint filed against Mark Sterk

It's long.

The gist of it is that he's doing political work for Welch, not representing the interests of Proviso Township High Schools.

District 209 is paying Mark Sterk of Odelson & Sterk for legal advice. Instead of providing sound legal advice that best serves the interests of D209, Sterk has joined with the Emanuel “Chris” Welch majority to represent their political and financial interests over the interests of D209. Sterk has repeatedly given dubious legal advice and in at least one instance joined a conspiracy to inappropriately bill D209 to put money in the pockets Eugene Moore, a political ally of Welch’s majority. Sterk’s questionable calls all have come down on the side of putting money in the pocket of Welch’s political allies.
On August 22, 2005, Sterk served as legal counsel at a meeting where the board majority gave a contract to EMM & Associates to be D209’s broker. The list of suspicious details includes:
1. EMM & Associates is not registered to do business in the State of Illinois or Cook County. If the business isn’t registered, it can’t have an insurance license.
2. The motion called for EMM to use Blue Cross Blue Shield. Why specify the insurance carrier if the broker is going to look for the best deal? And if D209 knew what carrier it wanted to use, why hire a broker?
3. Other brokers were not invited or allowed to bid against EMM for this work.
4. EMM contributed $5,000 to the campaign that elected Welch and two of the other three members of the board majority. Eugene Moore the owner of EMM assisted the campaign in other ways. This appears to be a conflict of interest.
5. Reatha Henry is Eugene Moore’s chief of staff. She makes $82,000 in a job that has no mandatory qualifications except Moore wants her in the position. Sterk told the Chicago Tribune there was no conflict of interest in Henry voting on the motion to give Moore over $100,000.
6. Welch and the entire board were asked about who owned EMM by a citizen that requested time on the agenda. Welch and all the others declined to answer the question. This shows Welch and his allies knew that using Eugene Moore’s company did create the appearance of impropriety.
7. Board president Emanuel Welch lied in the meeting and claimed one of the opposition board members (Kelly) had been the initial supporter of D209 using EMM. Kelly disputed Welch immediately.
Even with all these irregularities, Sterk stayed loyal to Welch, sacrificing the interests of D209.
On August 28, 2005 the Chicago Tribune reported, “Welch said board members conferred with attorney Mark Sterk of the Evergreen Park law firm of Odelson & Sterk prior to voting.” But we know three board members opposed the EMM deal and voted against it. When the citizen asked about EMM, one of the opposition (Flowers, Kelly or Marine) would have spoken, if they knew Moore owned EMM. But they didn’t. This suggests one of the following.
1. Welch lied to the Tribune.
2. Welch discussed the issue with Sterk, but the rest of the majority didn’t. (This is a subset of #1.)
3. Sterk met with the Welch-allied board members, but not the entire board. If he did this it is damning evidence that Sterk is working for the Welch’s majority and not the best interests of D209. Also, Sterk would know Adams, Henry, Madlock and Welch violated the Open Meetings Act. Lawyers are supposed to help people follow the law, not break it, right?
One of the opposition board members requested a ruling on conflict of interest in the August 22, 2005 meeting. One of the people on the agenda to be hired was Shavonne Henry, the daughter of board member Reatha Henry. Sterk declared there was no conflict of interest and no need for Henry to excuse herself from the vote. He did this quickly without asking a single follow-up question or providing any explanation. If Sterk were representing D209 it seems like he would ask if Henry and her daughter live in the same household and whether they share ownership of any investments.
Sterk did not see any conflict of interest when Emanuel Welch voted to hire his brother and client Billy Welch as a custodian (at over $46,000 per year). Did Sterk know Emanuel Welch represent Billy Welch in a case where he was charged with possession of 240 grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute? If Sterk knew and didn’t inform District 209 that’s bad. If Sterk didn’t ask Emanuel Welch details about Billy Welch that’s bad too. Sterk would seem to either be Welch’s co-conspirator in duping D209 or a negligent attorney that tells Welch what he wants to hear as long as Sterk can bill D209.
Like EMM, Odelson & Sterk contributed to the election of Welch’s New Students First Party ($3,000). In general, attorneys are supposed to minimize financial interests of attorney and client overlapping or mingling. It seems likely that by investing in the Welch’s majority, Odelson & Sterk now feel a need to recoup the firm’s investment. Maybe Sterk’s judgment was clouded before contributing money to Welch’s campaign. But maybe the contribution was part of the process of transforming Sterk from attorney to political partisan allied with an apparently corrupt majority.
I request the ARDC consider the possibility that Odelston & Sterk’s contributions to the New Students First Party were inappropriate.
Remember, C. August Taddeo, the former Proviso Township Supervisor, is serving time for arranging kickbacks from attorneys doing work for Proviso Township. Taddeo also arranged to pay EMM & Associates for non-existent services, like Proviso Township High Schools appears to be doing. While this proves nothing about Sterk’s situation, it does suggest a culture of people committing this sort of crime. And Eugene Moore, the Democratic Committeeman, has approximately the same relationship with Welch as he had with Taddeo.

I filed the complaint with the ARDC.

EMM history

Eugene Moore has used EMM as a front to obscure his feeding at the public trough since at least 1997.

On October 23, 1997 billed Proviso Township Senior Services and Provsiso Township $1,500 for consulting on senior services. Moore was a state representative at the time.

Moore wrote two line items on his bill.

1. Meeting with Township Supervisor regarding Day Care Center for residents of Proviso Township.
2. Meeting with Township Trustee's [sic] to discuss Senior Complex for Proviso Township.

Moore submitted two bills for $750, one for June and one for July.

Minutes from meetings indicate Moore attended Proviso Township board meetings in May, July, August and November of 1997.

The motion to hire EMM was in July.

Motion by Bryant seconded by Grace to retain the firm of E&M Consulting [sic] to explore grants and funding for existing and projected projects. Motion carried.

"Approved Claims - Board of Trustees" dated November 3, 1997 indicates EMM & Associates was paid $1,500 for "Services for July & August". It is signed by C. August Taddeo (Township Supervisor), Richard Billik (Clerk), Donald Sloan, Marianne Laskey and Arnie Bryant (trustees).

Joe Cimino, Senior Services Director, has since been convicted of ripping off the same program Moore was billing (Medill News Service (Scott Wentworth)). Read the U.S. Attorney press release upon indictment (pdf).

And here's some info on Constantine August Taddeo.
CONSTANTINE AUGUST TADDEO, Melrose Park: Taddeo, who was licensed in 1957, was disbarred on consent after he was convicted of extortion and of filing a false federal income tax return. He did not declare as income certain money that he had extorted from the village attorney of Melrose Park, when he served as that municipality's mayor. He was sentenced to a 27-month prison term, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay fines, costs and reimbursement to the government in the amount of $97,799.17.

I would like to make a suggestion to the applicable law enforcement authorities.

Approach Cimino and Taddeo with deals. Tell them you want to get Moore. You anticipate eventually nabbing him for EMM corruption and other things. If Taddeo and Moore don't testify against Moore, you will offer Moore the opportunity to shorten his sentence by testifying against Cimino and Taddeo.

Spending the rest of their lives serving consecutive short-sentences for nickel-dime corruption can't be appealing.

Jim Edgar has a Proviso connection

The Sun-Times (Dave McKinney and Scott Fornek) has an article about all the sources of income Jim Edgar would jeopardize if he runs for governor.
If Jim Edgar runs for governor next year and wins, his victory would not only be costly for Democrats.

It would take a serious bite out of the former Republican governor's own wallet -- to the tune of at least $460,000 a year, or more than $1.8 million over a four-year term as governor.

One of the businesses paying Edgar is based in Melrose Park.
Melrose Park-based Alberto Culver Co., which manufactures personal care and household products, paid Edgar at least $47,500, according to an SEC filing by the company last December.

Monday, August 29, 2005

BRAC, Forest Park

Chicago Tribune (Ryan Keith) quotes our governor.

"Taking the F-16s out of Springfield would compromise our ability to protect the people of Illinois and will impact the safety and security of the entire Midwest," Blagojevich said in a statement.

Do you feel at risk?

Instead of wasting time with the pro-forma objections to bases closing and getting realigned--they don't call it the "base realignment and closure" commission for nothing--could Mayor Calderone, Governor Blagojevich, Congressman LaHood and Congressman Kirk get together and make a deal to move the Forest Park Reserve Center 2 1/2 miles?

This would be a big win for Forest Park. It seems doable. Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, right?

Proviso West over Leo 20-0

Sun-Times (Carter Crane):

Proviso West quarterback Thurston Tolliver threw for two touchdowns, and the Panthers' defense stifled visiting Leo 20-0 Saturday in Hillside.

Trib covers EMM

Chicago Tribune (Mickey Ciokajlo and Grace Aduroja):

District 209 in west suburban Proviso Township, where Moore is the Democratic committeeman, on Monday [August 21, 2005] approved an insurance brokerage contract with Moore's EMM & Associates.

Under the terms, Moore could stand to earn $150,000 in the deal. He makes $105,000 as recorder of deeds.

The school board approved the one-year contract Monday by a 4-3 vote. One of the members who voted in favor of it was Reatha Henry, the board secretary who was elected in April.

Reatha "Sue" Henry is Eugene Moore's Chief of Staff. Without Henry's vote the motion would not have passed.

You may think Henry being an "at will" employee of Gene Moore would be a conflict of interest when voting on whether to give EMM a contract. But according the Mark Sterk, an attorney nominally representing the interests of Proviso Township High Schools, there's no conflict.

Welch said the board members conferred with board attorney Mark Sterk of the Evergreen Park law firm of Odelson & Sterk prior to voting. On Friday, Sterk said the vote did not represent a legal conflict for Henry.

Here's some follow-up questions for Ciokajlo and Aduroja to ask:

1. Why isn't EMM & Associates registered with the Secretary of State or the Cook County Clerk? Aren't businesses normally registered in some way? Why isn't EMM?
2. Is the contract with EMM legit by insurance industry norms? Does the insurance industry normally allow brokers to operate front operations to conceal the true ownership arrangements?
3. Chris Welch's claimed that he consulted with Sterk about the EMM conflict of interest issue before the meeting. If so, why did he refuse to answer the questions about EMM's ownership when asked by a citizen? Isn't this strong evidence that Welch knew the arrangement was either illegal or created the appearance of impropriety?

And, my final point is for Mark Sterk.

Mr. Sterk, you claim there was no conflict of interest on the EMM vote. I'm gonna request a second opinion.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Eugene Moore: standing out in Hawaii

The Chicago Tribune is drawing attention to Cook County officials going to Hawaii on the taxpayer's dime for the National Association of Counties conference.
The elected official who spent the most taxpayer money was Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore. Four staff members attended along with Moore. His office's bill totaled $12,980.

Part of me says this is a cheap shot.

It is a national organization. Hawaii should get to host some meetings.

But I'm curious who went with Moore and what did they get out of the conference.

If they just went to Hawaii on a boondoggle then Moore should pay the money back.

How many states have "recorder of deeds" as an elected position? In places where the recorder of deeds function is served by a bureaucrat, did these counties bother to send the bureaucrats that handle these functions?

If there few peers for Moore to network with, what did he accomplish?

BTW, the Sun-Times (Abdon M. Pallasch) is more informative:
Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore spent about $12,000 to fly himself and four staffers to the convention.

Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown attended for $2,800, and Cook County Clerk David Orr charged the county only $700 for his trip.

Memo to Gene Moore: don't gouge the county for ten times what other countywide elected officials cost.

Friday, August 26, 2005

please comment responsibly

I have changed the settings so anyone can leave comments.

I apologize if you wanted to comment up to now, but didn't have the opportunity. I didn't realize the default settings prevented the general public from leaving comments.

Jason Ervin as Maywood finance director

I have met and like Jason Ervin. He seemed sharp to me. (But I was also impressed by Chris Welch when I first met him.)

The Maywood Herald (David Pollard)
had an article including a slam on the decision to hire Jason Ervin as Maywood's finance director.
Former Trustee Sheryl Washington, who was chairman of the village's Finance Committee, is troubled by the placing of Jason Ervin, someone linked politically to Mayor Henderson Yarbrough.

"I have received many phone calls from residents regarding Jason Ervin assuming the position of finance director," Washington said. "Many of the residents are outraged that the new administration would place someone in the position who is not qualified to hold the position and his appointment violates the bond covenants.

"The residents are also asking how the mayor can justify paying Jason Ervin his current salary of $87,000 per year which is what was paid to the previous finance director, since he is not qualified and has no government or municipal experience. The residents see this as nothing more than a political favor, because he worked on Yarbrough's campaign. And why wasn't an independent audit conducted on the former finance director after the finance director left her position. Ervin currently has complete control of the accounting system, which is placing the village at great risk. The former finance director stated in a board meeting that 'we are at least $200,000 in the hole because the departments are overspending,' despite her efforts to stop them."

I don't like how Pollard handled this criticism of Ervin. Pollard portrays Yarbrough and Ervin as potentially having political motives, but doesn't hit that note with Washington.

If Pollard is going to include the accusation that Ervin isn't qualified it seems like it should be based on the written job description or guidelines provided by a professional association. It seems like the allegation should be sourced more specifically than a defeated political candidate. Henderson Yarbrough received 1,314 votes (31.7%) to Sheryl Washington's 805 (19.4%).

IIRC correctly Ervin worked at Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young for about a decade. Who you gonna trust? An accountant from Ernst & Young or somebody that's been punching his/her ticket in the greater Chicago political machine?

BRAC stands for "Base Realignment and Closure"

Every three years the BRAC commission creates a list of U.S. military facilities to close and consolidate to save money. The principle behind BRAC is to let the U.S. military save money by keeping politics out of the decision until the list becomes public. Click here for Google News search on BRAC.

Forest Park has a reserve center on Roosevelt east of the Forest Park Mall.

The Village of Forest Park would like to acquire the property for development. The municipal gov't collects property taxes if the property is developed, but not if it remains owned by the federal gov't.

Of the twenty reserve units that drill at the Forest Park reserve center, fifteen are Navy and five are Army Reserve.

The Navy has decided to only have one reserve center per state. The Illinois reserve center will be at NTC Great Lakes. The Navy wants to get out of Forest Park. This would be good if the Army Reserve units were leaving too, but they aren't.

There is an Illinois National Guard base at First Avenue and Cermak Road.

If there isn't a major class of cultures by co-locating Army Reserve units and National Guard units, it seems reasonable to negotiate the relocation of the five Army Reserve units.

This is an important local story.

open questions for Chris Welch

I just called James J. Roche and Associates and asked if the firm takes criminal drug defense cases. The woman said she was not aware of James J. Roche and Associates doing this kind of work.

Mr. Welch, was James J. Roche and Associates aware of you taking Billy W. Welch as a client? If not, was it improper for you to identify yourself as being from James J. Roche and Associates in the paperwork you filed on behalf of Billy W. Welch?

Oak Park and signs

As I was walking west on Washington at Harvey I noticed this obnoxiously large mini-billboard advertising condo units for sale.

I remembered the Village coming down on some businesses over signs that were too busy. And I thought this sign invited such treatment. It was too big and too busy.

But then I thought, "hey, aren't 'for sale' signs against the law in Oak Park?"

For 30 years Oak Parkers have not been able to place a "for sale" sign in front of a house, but condos have been doing it. Contractors and politicians too.

The underlying problem that justified making "for sale" signs illegal doesn't exist. So it seems Oak Park should either ban all signs or allow all signs, including "for sale" signs.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming on Proviso Township.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

my two cents on Billy W. Welch

The DEA agents were lying about why they stopped Marco Thomas' car. I assume they had a tip and didn't want to give up the identity of their informant.

DEA agents stopping a car for "erratic" driving? One that just happens to have half a pound of crack cocaine? Puh-leaze.

I have some Fourth Amendment sympathies with Billy Welch and Thomas. Although Thomas is somewhat more sympathetic a figure since he's the one the feds are still prosecuting.

But back to Billy Welch.

I'm not arguing the guy should be in prison, but I will argue that he should not be hired in a school district that has trouble with hoodlum behavior up to and including shootings.

If Billy Welch's only legal problems were when he was 24 years old and younger, I could see excusing them as "youthful indiscretions".

But it hasn't been a full twenty-four months since his crack cocaine bust when he was 29 years old.

Billy Welch's advocates will argue he wasn't convicted. They may even believe that he was in the car and ignorant of the drugs, gun and money. But the arrest tells us a couple things about Billy Welch.

1. His hoodlum days aren't behind him. Or at least they weren't as of September, 2003.
2. Even if his relationship with Marco Thomas was social and not business, we know that Billy Welch hangs with drug dealers.

Here's the choice. Who do you hire to be a custodian at Proviso?

a. the guy you know hangs with drug dealers
b. somebody that doesn't hang with drug dealers to the best of your knowledge

Chris Welch can argue that Billy Welch wasn't convicted. But the threshold for getting a job should be higher than "did you beat the rap last time you were arrested?"

As a number of people have observed, the $46,000+ starting salary suggests this position isn't going to be hard to fill with someone who isn't a hoodlum and doesn't hang with drug dealers.

Nyberg files ethics complaint against Welch

How do you file an ethics complaint against a lawyer in Illinois?

Contact the good folks at Attorney Registration & Discipline Commission.

Below is the text of my complaint. It's continued in the comments.
On August 22, 2005, Emanuel “Chris” Welch voted to employee his client and brother, Billy W. Welch as a custodian at Proviso Township High Schools. The motion passed 4-3. If Welch had abstained the motion would have failed.
On September 3, 2003, Billy W. Welch was arrested, charged and subsequently indicted for possession of 240 grams of crack cocaine with intent to deliver (case # 03CR2123202). Emanuel C. Welch of James J. Roche and Assoc. served as Billy Welch’s attorney.
For Chris Welch to vote on a motion on whether to hire his client seems a conflict of interest. As Billy Welch’s attorney Chris Welch has an obligation to advocate for Billy Welch. As president of the District 209 Board of education Chris Welch has an obligation to the Proviso High Schools and Proviso taxpayers. These disparate interests would seem likely to conflict in this case.
Chris Welch’s behavior would seem to violate at least two sections of Rules Governing the Legal Profession and Judiciary in Illinois: 1.7(a)(2) & 8.4(b)(1).

More in the comments.

MP pharma plant upgrades delayed

From an American Pharmaceutical Partners, Inc. press release:

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American
Pharmaceutical Partners, Inc. (Nasdaq: APPX) (APP) today said that its program
to upgrade the facility and equipment and re-validate production conditions at
its Melrose Park, IL manufacturing facility, which is being conducted as part
of the company's routine annual maintenance program, will require more time
than initially anticipated. The upgrading and validation program at APP's
Melrose Park plant is part of a company-wide strategic initiative....
Management currently expects that the Melrose Park facility will be
partially operational by early September and fully operational by late
September, pending successful completion of process simulation runs (media

transit disrupted

While at the Maybrook Court building an Army recruiter told me that police had stopped traffic at North Ave and Route 83. It's a little west of Proviso.

NBC 5 had the only story I saw on Google News.

federal transportation grants

Forest Park Review (Bill Dwyer) has a piece on Forest Park's share of recent federal tranportation grants.
At a press conference Friday in Bellwood attended by Forest Park Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz, the Village Presidents of River Forest and Oak Park, Congressman Danny K. Davis announced a total of $14 million in grants to eight west suburbs and areas on the west side of Chicago.

Forest Park will receive $750,000 for improvements to Circle Ave.

But I have some questions about capping the Eisenhower, see Wednesday Journal (Katharine Grayson).

If capping the Eisenhower is a good idea for Oak Park, why isn't it equally meritorious for Proviso Township? Is it a federal priority to create more open space and taxable real estate in Oak Park, but not Proviso? Why?

As a transportation issue, the priority should be widening the Ike to four lanes in Oak Park. Without widening the trench, is there a way to put the Blue Line above or below the interstate so it can be widened?

school security

West Proviso Herald (John Huston) has an article on school security.

I have two reactions.
"The school could not control what happened on the streets of Maywood," Welch said in September 2003, adding that both Proviso East and Proviso West in Hillside have top-notch security.
I am skeptical of school security everywhere.

Often security personnel are not trained to be much of a benefit. They seem like power-tripping nags that don't have a clear idea of how to improve order in the big picture.

Also, when schools invest heavily in a security staff, teachers tend to wash their hands of discipline issues. Teachers figure it's the responsibility of the security staff. Students respond better to teachers implementing discipline. So large security staffs have the perverse effect of making discipline worse. But this helps their job security, so security personnel have a financial interest in making teachers and parents feel anxious about security.

My other point has to do with Chris Welch.
"Kids shouldn't have to worry about walking through their community, period," Welch said at the time. "We're looking into the possibility and feasibility of something called a parent patrol.

"Basically, we're looking to see if there is any grant money available that would allow us to hire parents to patrol around our school areas, particularly at Proviso East."

No such program was ever announced by the district.

Welch did not respond to telephone calls seeking comment and when approached at Monday's District 209 School Board meeting he walked away, refusing to talk to the Herald.
Chris, is this how school board presidents are supposed to behave?

Maywood development: good news

Maywood Herald (David Pollard) reports United Concrete Corp. and Comcast were both bidding for the 3 1/2 acre site at Ninth Avenue and St. Charles Road. The village board decided to go with United Concrete's bid of $200,000.

Comcast is looking for another location in Maywood.

The article discusses some of the factors the board considered.

What do you think should have been the overriding consideration in the board's decision making?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

PTMAN--ministerial alliance

Maywood Herald (Sarah Beese):
Ministers who belong to the Proviso Township Ministerial Alliance Network are restructuring the organization. PTMAN is a nonprofit organization comprised of churches in Maywood, Bellwood and neighboring communities, including the West Side of Chicago.

Fire to train in Melrose Park

The Fire is Chicago's soccer team.

The Sun-Times (Len Ziehm) reports the Fire will start using a new training facility in Melrose Park starting November 1.

Billy Welch indicted for drug dealing

Arrest report for Billy Welch, brother of Chris Welch, president of board of education of Proviso Township High Schools.

[Billy Welch] was the passenger in a vehicle being driven by [Marco] THOMAS (2003 Cadi SUV). The vehicle had been stopped at 3801 W Harrison by Agent McQUILLAN & CIERNIAK (DEA Task Force) for traffic (vehicle had been driven in an erratic manner). For officer safety, subject was asked out of the vehicle, and subject complied along with driver THOMAS. A check of the area immediately accessible to both the driver and passenger revealed the follwing in the center console: Two(2) large plastic bags containing white rock substance (Suspect crack cocaine 240g), a loaded Smith & Wesson semi auto pistol, and $23,000.00USC. Subject placed under arrest, advised rights per Miranda, and was transported into the 011th District for processing.

Also Arrested: THOMAS, Marco M/1/30 16754 Carrington Dr South Holland, Il

Both Thomas and Welch were indicted on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Thomas' prosecution was transfered to the feds. The prosecution of Billy Welch was dropped.

Billy Welch was represented by James J. Roche and Associates attorney Chris Welch. Judge Stuart E. Palmer presided over the case.

Firefox plus local websites

I'm getting frustrated. Firefox has crashed twice this morning causing me to lose a bunch of work.

The first time I was working on a post about D209 and the Proviso Township High Schools website triggered Firefox crashing.

The second time I was working on the template for this website and opening ForestPark.com resulted in Firefox crashing.

Any suggestions?

What do you recommend including on the template?

* blogs
* taxing bodies
* elected officials
* media
* reference information

Forest Park commissioner's feuding

Forest Park has a commissioner form of government. The elected commissioners aren't just board members they are department heads too. Dan Haley, the publisher of the Forest Park Review, wrote the commissioner gov't is obsolete.

Whether you like it or not, it is the form of gov't.

So Pat Doolin and Terry Steinback felt jerked around when the Calderone-Hosty-Gillian block rejected hiring Paul Burris as the director of the Public Works Department.

"The one opportunity that commissioner Steinbach and I had was voted down by a 3-2 vote," Doolin said. "We are now, in effect, ceremonial commissioners. We can’t even choose the director we work closely with. This evening was political theater. Because of playground politics a public servant has been sent on his way. It’s a damn shame. Three beats two every time and that’s just the way it is. They have destroyed the public works department. Our employees will not have any respect for me. Our director will not have any respect for me. We went through a 15 month search process that was dismantled in 15 minutes of political rhetoric. No valid reason was given tonight not to appoint Paul Burris."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Billy Welch & Recorder of Deeds

Last night the District 209 (Proviso High School) board hired Billy Welch as a night custodian at $46,251.25 per year. Billy Welch is the brother of D209 board president Emanuel "Chris" Welch.

Billy Welch's most recent employment experience was listed as Cook County Recorder of Deeds, 2004-05. Eugene "Gene" Moore is the Proviso Township Democratic Committeeman and Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Moore was also at the meeting.

Does anybody know the circumstances surrounding Billy Welch leaving the Cook County Recorder of Deeds' office?

absurdity as policy

This morning I took a walk through the Forest Preserve near Proviso East.

I found a pencil that said:

Proviso East High School
Yes, I'll Do My Very Best on the PSAE Test

This struck me as absurd.

1. Propaganda isn't a substitute for substantive policy.
2. If students are scoring low on the test because they aren't trying to do their best, how will these pencils address the problem? "I'm gonna screw my teacher by tanking the test unless I get something out of the deal, like a pencil."

vision, mission, values

After attending last night's meeting of the District 209 (Proviso High Schools) board, I decided to start a blog covering Proviso Township.

Here's draft vision, mission and values statements.

Vision: Activist journalism that informs and advocates.

Mission: To cover Proviso Township public officials and the community.


Openness, corruption-busting, educating about complexities and other goo-goo ideals.

MEDIA, WJJG programs

The following local programs appear on WJJG, 1530 AM.


8-9 AM Thoughtful Investing Makes Dollars & $ense with Joseph E. Johnson
2-3 PM Viewpoints From the Other Side with Arnie Bryant

BLOG, House rules

This entry will be modified as I modify the rules.

1. You need to post under a name. It can be a pseudonym, but I will delete "anonymous" comments.
2. I will use codes in the titles of entries.
3. Don't attack people with stuff that's personal, like their sex life, unless it is in some way relevant to their public persona. Just because you disapprove of a sexual practice, like infidelity, doesn't make it relevant.
4. Don't make personal attacks based on rumors alone.
5. When quoting someone, link to the original. And use no more than 10% of the original document. You can quote gov't records in full.