.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Proviso Probe

Friday, September 30, 2005

Proviso East dumping on Forest Preserve land

I spoke with a Proviso East employee that confirmed dumping Proviso East waste in the Forest Preserve was standard operating procedure.

No excuses, Mr. Libka. You know about the problem. You know it’s wrong. It’s in your power to fix it. There’s no obvious reason either the majority or minority factions will oppose you correcting the problem.

back on the radio

I will appear on WJJG, 1530 AM, twice this weekend. On Saturday 2-3 PM I will appear on Arnie Bryant's show. On Sunday 6-6:30 I will appear on Charles Flowers’ show, immediately after Emanuel Christopher Welch.

WJJG broadcasts from Elmhurst. I don’t know the range of the signal.

Proviso Probe political cartoons

Anybody have the skill and wit to do political cartoons about Proviso Township?

How would you represent various figures? Try to be clever, not merely vulgar or insulting.

Cartoonists, please contact me, RadioNyberg circled "a" Yahoo spot com or 43O-3538 in the 773 area code.

What Welch Wants

Yesterday’s West Suburban Journal (Frank Life) has a quote from Emanuel Christopher Welch.

“My goal is to put Carl Nyberg out of business,” Welch said. “All I want Carl Nyberg to do is report the truth.”

Which is it, Emanuel Christopher Welch? Do you want me out of business? Or reporting your version of the truth and excluding other versions?

Emanuel Christopher Welch, here’s an offer. How often do you want to post your version of the truth on Proviso Probe? Once per month? Once per week? Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays? You can post on Proviso Probe as often as you want. I am offering you the first guest poster position.

Can your ego take the criticism that goes with blogging?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

anonymous comments have been turned off

Create a profile. You don't have to go public, but all the comments from "anonymous" were bugging me. I wanted to respond to one anonymous, but it seemed weird since there were so many anonymouses.

what should journalists ask candidate Welch?

Rumor has it that the official Welch campaign kick-off will be Monday at the car dealership next to the Proviso Math & Science Academy.

Help the local journalists by suggesting questions to ask Emanuel Christopher Welch.

Bellwood gets mentioned in Ryan trial

Does it seem like the news is all political corruption all the time?


Fawell also discussed the secretary of state police office's search for a new facility. He said that in 1992, he had a discussion with Warner and Ryan regarding property in Bellwood that was being considered by the defendants, but Fawell did not know if the office police were looking at that facility.

Day 22: I've been served

After spending a late night Drinking Liberally, a county sheriff awoke me at 6:40 AM and served me with two lawsuits.

I have responded with two complaints to the Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission. One complaint is against James J. Roche for filing a false lawsuit to harass me (Bill Welch v. Nyberg). The other complaint is against Roche and Emanuel Christopher Welch for a pattern of frivolous lawsuits designed to suppress political speech.

I called the ARDC and asked the status of my first complaint against Welch. The woman said to call back in two to three weeks. She did acknowledge receipt of my rebuttal to Welch's response.

What advice do people have on tactics?

I'm considering a letter writing campaign targeting Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Chairman of the Democratic Party Michael Madigan and Robert R. Thomas, Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. I want the ARDC to know that this case is being watched.

Other ideas?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bellwood: Ireland & Smith file suit against Pasquale, et al

Pioneer Press (John Huston) has the details.

The suit also blames Mayor Frank Pasquale and Murray, along with M.C. Robinson, a Bellwood trustee and Pasquale ally, Albert Reese and Gloria Holman for "working together to falsely accuse ... Ireland and Smith with criminal conduct and, as a result, have them arrested."...

Their suit claims First Amendment retaliation for speaking out against Pasquale's administration, unequal protection "than other similarly situated individuals," false arrest, unlawful detention, malicious prosecution and conspiracy.

Will Ireland & Smith prevail? What will be the effects of the lawsuit?

Proviso Township community liaison

Thanks go to the Pioneer Press (David Pollard) for covering this.

There are multiple issues.

1. Is the position needed?
2. Was it awarded based on merit?
3. Was it passed by the correct procedure?

Anything else?

Nyberg has two columns published

In the Wednesday Journal I wrote about the peace movement. (Yeah, WJ spelled my name wrong, but they get it right on my paycheck.)

In the Forest Park Review I wrote a two-part column.

I called for Forest Park to do what's necessary to completely close the reserve center on Roosevelt so the land can be developed.

And I drew attention to the problems facing whistleblowers, like Forest Park police officer Dan Harder, who successfully sued the police department for sexual harassment. Since writing the piece I talked to Mayor Calderone. He did point out that the other plaintiff who is still on the force is not having problems.

Emanuel Christopher Welch for state rep?

Rumor has it Emanuel Christopher Welch is circulating nominating petitions to run against Karen Yarbrough for state representative.

Use the comments to speculate on his motives, potential strategies and odds of winning.

How does this affect other races, like Democratic Committeeman?

problem with Forest Park ethics commission

The Forest Park Review (Seth Stern) has an article on Forest Park's new ethics commission.

I'm a big fan of Seth, but I think he's got the penalties explained incorrectly in the article. Here's a quote from the ordinance:

8. The commission may fine any person who intentionally violates any provision of section 1-7-3 of this chapter in an amount not less than one thousand one dollars ($1,001.00) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). The commission may fine any person who knowingly files a frivolous complaint alleging a violation of this chapter in an amount not less than one thousand one dollars ($1,001.00) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). (emphasis added)

I wrote about this earlier, but I would not file a complaint if the ethics commissioners can fine me up to $5,000.

It's not that I think Mayor Calderone or Paul Barbahen are bad people, but there's no check on the power to fine complainants.

I'll include the letter I wrote to Rep. Karen Yarbrough in the comments.

The power for the ethics commission to levy fines is unnecessary because it's redundant with the criminal penalties for false complaints.

indicting the big toe?

House Republican Leader Tom DeLay has been indicted. See Austin American-Statesman (Laylan Copelin). Will Eugene Moore be indicted in the next two years? For what?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

discretionary spending by board members

I was told the Village of Maywood provides funds to each board member for discretionary spending.

What other governing bodies provide these funds to the board members/trustees?

How much do they pay?

What limits are placed on how this money is spent?

allegations of sexual misconduct

Twice I have removed comments that allege sexual misconduct by an authority figure at Proviso Township High Schools.

I have contacted the Chicago Public Schools inspector general’s office. The CPS IG records only date to 1994, but there is no record of sexual misconduct by the individual in question in these records. (This does not explicitly refute the allegations since the misconduct was alleged to have occurred in the 90s.)

The CPS IG seemed to take the allegations seriously and was pumping me for information.

To the person that posted the allegations, please call Jim Sullivan of the CPS IG at (773) 534-8711. Sullivan seemed quite concerned and was doing what he could to investigate the allegations, but is hampered by a lack of information. Please call Sullivan and answer his questions so the matter can be resolved.

Monday, September 26, 2005

LT drubs West 38-6

The Sun-Times named Mike Collins of LT one of the Week Five Stars for his three Interceptions.

Bellwood drug dealing

Saturday afternoon I biked to Berkeley on St. Charles Road to appear on Arnie Bryant's radio show.

On the trip I was solicited at least three times for my attention by young Black men standing around. Either Bellwood has become a hotbed of anonymous gay sex or there is significant street drug dealing.

I worked in Maywood in 1998 and was often asked if I wanted to buy drugs. Maywood seems to have much less street drug dealing now.

Mayor Pasquale, you need to address the drug dealing in your community. If it's being done in the open during a Saturday afternoon your police are almost assuredly looking the other way.

Proviso Township community liaison

I've received two requests to cover the recent hiring of a community liaison person for Proviso Township.

My sources felt the position is unnecessary.

Two people also noted the procedure for hiring had irregularities around how the abstention vote was counted.

Complete the story in the comments.

Maywood car dealership

I have received a tip that a car dealership cut a deal with the Village of Maywood. The dealership received some subsidies with a complicated repayment scheme.

Does anyone have information about this situation?

book discussion

I know the publisher at Penknife Press. Penknife has a new book out, Essays from Church, Volume One by Daniel D. Hardman.

The book is in part a critique of the Black church.

Does anyone want to participate in an online book discussion group?

People for Education

Someone has been posting under the nomme de cyber "People for Education".

P4E wrote a letter to D209 board member Theresa Kelly. It contains some pretty specific allegations.

I have removed the letter twice because I want to verify the allegations before damaging anyone's reputation.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Eugene Moore's non-profit corporation

Does anybody know anything about this corporation?

Eugene Moore Foundation aka Eugene Moore's Booster Club?

Reatha Sue Henry is the agent. The file # is 60570604. It incorporated July 6, 1999.

State Senator Kimberly Lightford

Is anyone considering running against her in the March, 2006 primary?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Day 15

It’s been fifteen days since Chris Welch filed his lawsuit against me and he still hasn’t caused it to be served. According the Forest Park Review (Seth Stern), he intends to proceed.
Welch declined to comment on the past suit, but said he intends to fully press forward with the suit against Nyberg, and will bring further suits if necessary.

At this point if Welch says something self-serving, I automatically assume it’s untrue until confirmed by a reliable source.

(Advice to James J. Roche: Wait until the ARDC makes a ruling on my complaint against Welch. I doubt you want your other attorneys to put useful hours into Welch’s whine, err, lawsuit.)

Use this thread to suggest stories to be investigated.

Anti Violent Crime Rally Thursday evening

Maywood Cease Fire is sponsoring a rally in response to the killing of Shaun Henry, 19. The rally will be held at 8 PM, Thursday, at 27 S. 20th in Maywood. Henry was the grandson of D209 board member, Reatha “Sue” Henry. Sue Henry is the cousin of Eugene Moore, the Democratic Committeeman, and serves as his chief of staff at the Recorder of Deeds office.

Maywood Cease Fire is funded by a grant from the University of Illinois School of Public Health.

According to Jan Bolinng of Maywood Cease Fire a warrant has been issued for a suspect in the killing.

Who does Welch thank and why?

Here's a nugget from the Forest Park Review (Seth Stern).
Welch repeatedly thanked the district’s attorneys, Otelson and Sterk, for their assistance throughout the project, and also thanked his own boss, James J. Roche of the law firm James J. Roche and Associates.

Why would the president of the school board bubble over with praise for his employer and the D209 lawyer?

to home rule or not to home rule

Recently the Forest Park Review has run two columns on home rule: David Goetz and Bill Dwyer.

Anybody want to argue for or against?

Proviso East loses to DG South 21-12

Pioneer Press (Tim Stablein) has the story.

Want to hear Don Stephens?

Chicago Sun-Times (Stella Foster) has the 411:
Donald E. Stephens, the embattled mayor of the Village of Rosemont who recently denied under oath that he met with the mob in 1999 to talk about a casino for his town, is the guest luncheon speaker for the City Club of Chicago Sept. 29 at Maggiano's on Grand.

How is Stephens "embattled"? Seriously.

Jazz Fest on Sunday in Maywood

Gary Woll provided the following press release:

Sponsored by the Maywood Rotary Club this coming Sunday afternoon/evening right in Maywood Veterans Memorial Park along Oak Street @ 5TH, behind the Police Station. That's right, FREE, top quality jazz performances this Sunday, September 25th, from 3:00 till 8:00!! Hear the smooth and mellow music of John Wright, Swing Gitan, D-Erania, and more...........!!!! This event by Maywood Rotary is our salute to Rotary's 100th Birthday and the Maywood Club celebrates over 80 years of serving the people of Maywood and the entire WORLD!! Seating is limited so you might want bring lawn chairs, blankets, etc. Rotary will be selling beer, wine and pop.
PLEASE HELP MAKE THIS A SUCCESS WITH THE HONOR OF YOUR ATTENDING WHAT WE HOPE WILL BECOME AN ANNUAL "POSITIVE" UPSCALE EVENT befitting a community on the rise!! Drop in for an hour or two if you cannot join us for the entire time!! See you there!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

challenging Moore for Dem Committeeman

I'm building a list of people interested in combining forces to dislodged Eugene Moore as Democratic Committeeman.

If you are interested, please contact me.

RadioNyberg circled "a" the big Y

Or 43O-3538 in the 773.

world's smallest baby

Believe it or not I had to go to India to get news about Maywood.

The world's smallest surviving baby celebrated her first birthday Monday at the neonatal unit of Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill.

Rumaisa Rahman weighed 8.6 ounces at birth and was about the size of a cell phone. Today she weighs 13 pounds and is 24 inches tall. Her fraternal twin sister, Hiba, weighs 17 pounds and is 26 inches tall.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Don Stephens

Let's assume that he's not done anything criminal in his life.

He's still a major influence peddler in Leyden Township. Melrose Park straddles Leyden and Proviso Townships. And Melrose Park figures have traditionally wielded influence throughout Proviso Township.

What do you think the relationship is between Stephens and the Melrose Park political elite? Are they ships passing in the night? Or are they in a mutually beneficial relationship?

What is the line between organized crime and political profiteering? Does spending money on non-existent services, like EMM, constitute organized crime?

Sun-Times (Carol Marin) has a column about why Rosemont ain't gonna get a casino. I'm not gonna bet against Stephens yet.

Proviso W. loses to DG North 48-6

Sun-Times (Matt Le Cren) has the story.

Elected official sues blogger for defamation

Press release:

Who? Emanuel “Chris” Welch, president of the District 209 (Proviso Township High Schools) school board, and his brother Billy “Bill” Welch, are suing Forest Park blogger, Carl Nyberg. The Welch brothers are both represented by James J. Roche & Associates, the firm that employs attorney E. Welch.

What? E. & B. Welch are suing Nyberg for defamation based on posts to his blog, Proviso Probe, and a letter sent to James J. Roche. The case numbers are 2005L009751 & 2005L009752.

When? Nyberg received word of the suit Saturday, September 17, 2005. The suits were included as enclosures to E. Welch’s response to Nyberg’s complaint about him to the Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission.

Where? The suits were filed at the Daley Center. The URL of Proviso Probe is http://provisoprobe.blogspot.com.

To contact James J. Roche & Associates, call (312) 335-0044.

To contact Carl Nyberg, call (773) 430-3538.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

football: Sergio Brown visits Notre Dame

South Bend Tribune (Eric Hansen):
[Tom] Lemming said several of the already-committed ND recruits will be in attendance, including quarterback Demetrius Jones of Chicago's Morgan Park High School. In tow with Jones will be defensive back standout Sergio Brown from Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill. Brown, 6-2 and 193, will be visiting in an unofficial capacity.

Maywood & Bellwood preachers

An anonymous poster wrote:
the true powers in Maywood and Bellwood are the preachers who are happy with [Committeman Eugene] Moore, because they can continue ripping of [sic] their own communities!

Anybody care to comment?

What preachers? How are they "ripping off" the communities?

congratulations to Mayor Serpico

on becoming a grandfather.

Welch brothers file suit against Nyberg

On August 25, 2005, I filed a complaint against Emanuel "Chris" Welch with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Today I received Welch's response to the ARDC.

Included in the response are two suits filed against me in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Emanuel Christopher Welch v. Carl Nyberg

4. Throughout NYBERG'S postings on his web blog [sic], NYBERG repeatedly attacks Plaintiff's [sic] WELCH'S character and integrity, calling him a "liar" and insinuating he associates with corrupt individuals in the posting entitled "Ethics Complaint Filed Against Mark Sterk." Defendant NYBERG further insinuates that WELCH is comfortable with illegal activity in "Trib Covers EMM," that he is an unethical attorney in "Open Questions for Chris Welch," and in "Nyberg Files Complaint Against Welch" and that he engages in nepotism in "My Two Cents on Billy W. Welch."...

5. Plaintiff WELCH understands that Defendant NYBERG is entitled to his opinion, however, consistent with this pattern of harassment, on August 30, 2005, Mr. NYBERG moved beyond his web blog [sic] and maliciously wrote a false and defamatory letter to Plaintiff WELCH'S boss, Mr. James J. Roche.

6. The letter was delivered to Mr. James J. Roche, read by him and states that WELCH "is using his position as president of the District 209 board to build a political organization to the detriment of Proviso Township High Schools and taxpayers."

7. NYBERG goes on to say in the August 30th letter that Plaintiff WELCH is "actively looting the district," and that WELCH violates attorney ethics standards "when it suits his personal loyalties and ambitions."

Then there's some legalese and it wraps with:

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, WELCH, prays his Honorable Court to enter judgment on Count I in his favor and against the Defendant, NYBERG for compensatory damages in excess of $1,000,000.00, together with punitive damages and his cost of suit.

Respectfully submitted
Emanuel Christopher Welch
By: /s/James J. Roche
One of his attorneys

Bill Welch v. Carl Nyberg

4. On or about August 24, 2005, Defendant NYBERG published on his web blog [sic] an article written by him, entitled, in bold letters, "Billy Welch Indicted for Drug Dealing."

5. This web blog posting re-creates an arrest report for Billy Welch.

6. After re-creating the arrest report, Defendant NYBERG then adds, in his own words, "Both Marco Thomas and Welch were indicted on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver."

7. Not only was Plaintiff WELCH shortly thereafter cleared of all wrongdoing in association with this arrest report, he was never indicted....

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, WELCH, prays this Honorable Court to enter judgment on Count I in his favor and against the Defendant, NYBERG, for compensatory damages in excess of $1,000,000.00, together with punitive damages and his costs of suit.

Respectfully submitted
Bill Welch
By: /s/James J. Roche
One of his attorneys

Friday, September 16, 2005

grand opening of magnet school

Any readers want to give their impressions of the event?

One person said Paul Davis of Danielle Ashley, Emanuel "Chris" Welch's overpaid PR firm, hosted the event.

Apparently Davis mispronounced the names of the mayors.

D209 pays Danielle Ashley $125-175 per hour. They're a PR firm that hires former journalists. And they can't pronounce names of mayors correctly?!

Chris, if you need someone that can shill for you in the newspaper and pronounce Serpico, Calderone, Yarbrough and Pasquale, I'll do it for half what Danielle Ashley is charging D209. But I won't give you the kickback to your campaign fund. Is this a problem?

TB Sanitorium

I noticed that the TB Sanitorium in Forest Park is spending a bunch of money on landscaping. It's gone beyond being "nice" and is looking like a professional garden.

I'm for public spaces looking nice, but after a point I wonder if they are wasting money.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oak Park GOP committee commits suicide

Bill Dwyer of Wednesday Journal wrote the story.

Does the "muliple gunshot wounds to the head" part seem strange to anybody else?

RIP Steven Meyer, a man passionate about his politics.

vote for Christine Cegelis

Democracy for America is having an online poll to detemine whom to support for Congress.

I'm helping Christine Cegelis.

I hope you will vote for her in the DFA poll. And if you want to be generous, please give through the Act Blue site I created.

Esparza's committeeman campaign

An anonymous poster claimed Moore paid Esparza to run in the committeeman's race last time.
Last election he paid Paul Esparza $50,000 to be a candidate in the committeeman's race which split the vote.

Did Esparza produce any literature? Signs?

He didn't file a campaign disclosure report with the State Board of Elections. This isn't a problem unless he went over the threshhold that requires reporting.

Does anybody remember what the threshhold is? For some reason $300 comes to mind.

anon posting

I prefer people post under indentifiable screen names or handles. However, since there was a request to allow anonymous posting, I decided to continue to allow anonymous posts.

However, I reserve the right to delete posts that are rude without substance. I will not delete posts made under real identities.

Don't like the house rules? Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Winter Soldier movie and reception

Friday night at the Gene Siskel Film Center there will be a reception for political activists and allies starting at 7:15 before the 8:15 showing of Winter Soldier.

The Gene Siskel Film Center is at 164 N. State Street, a half block south of the State & Lake "el" stop.

See this earlier post for more info on the film.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Democratic Committeeman

An earlier thread turned toward discussing the race for Democratic Committeeman.

Here's the results from 2002.

Eugene "Gene" Moore (DEM) 9,073 47.07%
Paul "Paulie" Esparza (DEM) 2,293 11.90%
Karen A. Yarbrough (DEM) 7,911 41.04%

Whoever is running has to get on the ballot in Decemeber and beat Moore in March.

Can it be done? How?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

owner of Forest Park nursing home indicted for patient neglect

The Forest Park Review sent an email saying this is breaking news.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today that a Cook County Grand Jury has returned indictments against Forest Park L.L.C. and Care Centers, Inc., the licensee and owner of the Pavillion of Forest Park nursing home.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Winter Soldier

The Gene Siskel Film Center is showing Winter Soldier September 16-22.

To get to the info about Winter Soldier on the GS Film Center website click on "calendar" and then scroll down to the 16th.

Nearly unseen for over 30 years, WINTER SOLDIER is an extraordinary “lost” documentary of the Winter Soldier Investigation conducted in Detroit by Vietnam Veterans Against the War during the winter of 1971. Over the course of four days, more than a hundred veterans (including a young John Kerry) gave testimony of atrocities they had witnessed or committed. Their harrowing chronicle of rape, torture, infanticide, killing for sport, and other horrors makes the case that My Lai was not an aberrant episode but part of a daily, officially sanctioned program of genocide.

I'd like to organize a field trip for bloggers either Friday or Saturday night. Anybody interested?

how much of Oak Brook is in Proviso Township?

The History and Geneology of Proviso Township indicates part of Oak Brook is in Proviso Township.

The Oak Brook website seems to indicate part of Oak Brook is in Cook County.

Anybody know the story?

IDOC gives bedding to Red Cross in Hillside

From a G-Rod press release:
The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has also delivered 3,000 bedrolls to the Red Cross in Hillside.

Melrose Park connection to Mrs. America competition

Kaili (Benefield) Harding will be featured in the 2005 Mrs. America Pageant on Wednesday.

Her husband, Rich Harding, is a USMA (West Point) grad and an engineer with International Truck and Engine in Melrose Park, Ill.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Bob Libka: what do people know about him?

Gary Woll wrote:

[Libka] is no stooge for any person. I have known Bob Libka for 20 years and he is personally uncorruptible and totally dedicated to being a good educator! I doubt, before he became superindentent, if he had ever met Moore or Porter or any other of the folks, some rightly and some wrongly, who get lumped in this crowd.

What do people know about Libka?

He went to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and served as a Coastie officer.

He did a stint in New Dehli.

His wife works as a senior administrator at Proviso East.

This last point troubles me. I'm opposed to immediate family being in each other's chain of command. It makes Libka vulnerable to arm-twisting by Chris Welch. Welch can zero-out the Libka household income in a few minutes.

when Wisconsin works the phone call comes from Melrose Park

This is a feel good AP story.
Employees at the Chippewa Falls facility had already headed home Sept. 3 when the call came in that customer Fisher Safety was in need of an emergency shipment of floating pumps to pump water from low lying areas. The facility had just one pump in stock.

But Darley vice president and COO Paul Darley - at the company headquarters in Melrose Park, Ill. - wasn't ready to give up.

He said he gave Chippewa Falls plant manager Gene Normand a call and he came back to work. Normand then assembled their 11 employees, even though it was a holiday weekend. (emphasis added, if you couldn't guess)

Glenbard West defeats Proviso West 29-26

Sun-Times (Greg Swiderski) wrote the story.

Rob Nelis will be Maywood village manager

The Herald News (Kim Smith) gives the report from the vantage point of the community he's leaving, Wilmington, Illinois.

Wilmington is in SW Will County.

Maywood seeks Finance Director

I thought Jason Ervin was just hired.

According the Daily Herald Maywood is taking applications.

The deadline is September 16, 2005. Any insights?

a rumor about FBI and Eugene Moore

The FBI was investigating Eugene Moore for illegal activity in connection with his role in "investing" the Maywood Police Pension Fund before the September 11th attacks. The source speculated that the FBI agents conducting the investigation were pulled off the case to do 9/11 related investigations.

Happy 9/11 anniversary, Gene.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Memorial Park District

According to the Melrose Park Herald it serves a number of communities.

It still doesn't need its own police force. Does the Chicago Park District have its own police?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

BREAKING: feds search MP police dept

It's gettting a bit warm in Anthony Bruno's inner circle. CBS2 (Dorothy Tucker):

While authorities declined to talk about their investigation, sources tell CBS 2 that Melrose Park Police Chief Veto Scavo was the target of the raid....

The source said the officers were providing security for a number of businesses, including nightclubs. A nightclub manager, who declined to be interviewed, said Scavo forced bars to use his private firm and threatened not to answer their calls for help if they didn't.

Creative shakedown, eh?

Forest Park ethics ordinance

Dave Goetz wrote in the Forest Park Review:

It would seem more prudent for [the Ethics Committee] to meet regularly, establishing and clarifying ethical issues as they pertain to the village, rather than acting as a tribunal to settle issues after-the-fact. The potential $2500 fine for frivolous claims should be reduced to a more manageable $500.

This inspired me to get the ordinance from the Village. It's online (click on Title 1: Administration and then "Ethics Commission").

It's actually worse than Dave wrote.

8. The commission may fine any person who intentionally violates any provision of section 1-7-3 of this chapter in an amount not less than one thousand one dollars ($1,001.00) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). The commission may fine any person who knowingly files a frivolous complaint alleging a violation of this chapter in an amount not less than one thousand one dollars ($1,001.00) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). (emphasis added)

So the mayor gets to appoint three of his people to be an ethics commission. And if the mayor's appointees judge your complaint "frivolous" (not necessarily untrue) they can hit you with a $5,000 fine. Something tells me there aren't going to be many complaints against the mayor sent to this commission.

These penalties are completely unnecessary because a separate part of the ordinance provides for referring "false reports" to the state's attorney for prosecution. So the ethics commission would have to persuade an independent prosecutor to pursue the matter and then the complaintant would get to defend her/himself in court.

I called Rep. Karen Yarbrough and Sen. Don Harmon about this. Harmon called back within 24 hours and agreed with my analysis. He said he would have the legislature's researchers look at this.

I'll follow this.

Proviso D209 newsletter

Of course, it's propaganda, but this quote amused me.

District 209 CEO Robert Libka received a five-minute uninterrupted standing ovation during the event from the more than 500 guests present.

Did Libka just pull some drowning student out of the Des Plaines River? Jackson may not have been a great superintendent, but he wasn't hated.

If Libka got a five-minute standing "O", I'll bet Chris Welch led the cheers and was glaring at people to keep them standing.

A five-minute standing "O" for a school superintendent is more Stalinist than ringing endorsement.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

how the powerful evaluate elected officials

Let’s assume society’s truly powerful have cheated somewhat to accumulate power.

Now let’s assume you are one of these elites. Picture yourself being Don Vito Corleone.

What would you want from an elected official?

The powerful don’t particularly want to run everything, but they want to get their way on the stuff that’s important to them. These are the qualities I figure a powerful person would want from an elected official.

The ideal elected official would be
* Stupid
* Venal
* Vain
* Cowardly

Here’s the scoring scheme I created for each category.

Courage -3 to +3
Venality 0 to 6
Vanity 0 to 6
Intelligence 1 to 7

Feel free to grade Proviso elected officials in these areas.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Bruno, legal bills, Cicero, James Roche & Assoc.

I missed this Sun-Times (Steve Patterson) article dated August 12, 2005.

The new government is going after Bruno for legal expenses improperly billed to the village. One of the law firms that did the legal work was James Roche & Associates. That's the same law firm that signs Chris Welch's paycheck.

The town's lawsuit comes after bills were found to have been paid not only defending Bruno and Donahue in a civil rights lawsuit, but also in defamation suits the two filed in response to that lawsuit.

Jeffry Pesek claimed the two muscled him to gain control of his building at 6001 W. Roosevelt Rd. After Pesek declined to sell to the two, a car slammed into his building -- after which he was asked again. When he again declined to sell, he was denied town permits to repair his building, his lawsuit says.

Though Pesek says Bruno told him he wanted the building "for his personal interest," Lazarus said Bruno was acting on behalf of the town.

I wonder if these subpoenas have anything to do with the glorified FOIAs filed in Forest Park.

In general I'm suspicious of these municipal law firms that do a large amount of business with shady local gov't and make significant campaign contributions. My suspicion is that this is money laundering. Tax payer money is sent to law firms to pay padded bills. The law firms then send the money back to the chosen politicians.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Al Capone buried in Hillside

It's news to me.

News25.com (Michael Hill) from South Africa:
Tipton talks of visiting gangster Al Capone's grave before it was moved from Chicago to Hillside, Illinois, and feeling "something powerful" being 1.8m up from the iconic gangster. It got him hooked. He has now visited about 1 200 graves and maintains the website full-time.

why wasn't Billy Welch prosecuted?

I posted the text of the arrest report of Marco Thomas and Billy Welch, Proviso West's new night custodian.

I thought it was odd Billy Welch didn't get prosecuted. I considered it possible that Billy Welch was the informant that gave the DEA the tip. It seems obvious that the DEA agents had a tip since the car they nominally pulled over for erratic driving had 240 grams of crack cocaine. What are the odds of the DEA pulling over a car on the flimsiest of pretenses and finding 240 grams of crack?

I didn't want to go public with the hypothesis Billy Welch was the informant because it might put him at some risk. I now consider it unlikely he was the informant.

I called the State's Attorney's press office and asked about the Billy Welch case. I learned that Chris Welch used to work in the State's Attorney's press office.

Chris Welch is the brother of Billy Welch. Chris Welch used to work for the State's Attorney. Chris was Billy's defense attorney in this drug possession case. And Chris is the president of the school board that just hired Billy.

Eventually the State's Attorney's office made the claim that the case against Billy Welch was dropped at the request of the U.S. Attorney's office. This had me thinking Billy was the informant.

But then I called the U.S. Attorney's press office. The U.S. Attorney's press office explained that the initial drug possession charges were filed in Cook County, but that the U.S. Attorney took the lead on prosecuting Marco Thomas. The U.S. Attorney never had anything to do with Billy Welch, in this case.

I called the State's Attorney's press office back. She said the U.S. Attorney prosecuting Marco Thomas presented an "impediment" to prosecuting Billy Welch. She was claiming that there was no difference between what she was telling me in the two different conversations.

I was getting annoyed with her and suspected I was not getting the truth. I kinda lost my cool and accused the State's Attorney's office of covering for Billy Welch. She told me, I was making "serious allegations". No shit?

I consulted with an attorney friend who is also a prosecutor. He said the State's Attorney's story didn't make sense.

So here's why I figure Billy Welch was not the informant.

1. If he was the informant merely dropping the charges against him would be sorta obvious. A and B gets arrested together based on an inside tip. A gets prosecuted big time and B doesn't get prosecuted at all. Who's A gonna suspect of giving the tip?
2. If Billy Welch were the informant I'd expect the State's Attorney to have a rehersed explanation of why he wasn't prosecuted or "no comment". Does it make sense to give a series of inconsistent explanations that are bullshit.

So if Billy Welch wasn't the informant, why wasn't he prosecuted?

Did the State's Attorney's office just drop the charges?

Was this a favor to Chris Welch?

Or is there a ring of drug dealers that can get charges dropped at the county level?

firefighters raise money for Loyola burn unit

Next Saturday the Schaumburg Fire Fighters Association is sponsoring a softball tournament (click on "softball event" button on the left) to raise money for Loyola's burn unit.

life sentence for car-jacking & sexual assault

Chicago Tribune:
CIRCUIT COURT -- A Chicago man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for a sexual assault, carjacking and robbery that took place two years ago in Maywood.

I'll bet this guy didn't have Michael Jackson's defense team.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Why isn't Moore in jail?

An anonymous comment asked, "If this guy Moore is so bad why isn't he in jail?"

The short answer is that unless the Bush administration designates an individual a national security threat, one has to be tried and convicted before being sent to prison.

Why hasn't Moore been charged with any crimes since becoming an elected official?

This is an excellent question for Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney Northern District of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General and Dick Devine, Cook County State's Attorney.

Devine and Moore are Democratic elected officials in Cook County that run for re-election at the same time. So if Devine antagonized Moore, Devine would have a harder time getting re-elected.

why are corrupt public officials corrupt?

An anonymous poster posed the question:
Is this the reason why the "bad guys" go into politics... to enrich themselves?

Here's my three part answer to why public officials are corrupt:

1. Some unethical people and sociopaths are attracted to politics.
2. The system creates pressure to behave in a corrupt way.
3. People who are willing to abuse power have an advantage in politics.

The solution to corruption is always the same.

a. Increase transparency
b. Decrease conflict-of-interest

the topsy-turvy world of Proviso District 209 politics

The Chicago Tribune (Barry Temkin) used the phrase "the topsy-turvy world of Proviso District 209 politics" in a news article about how Mark Schneider became the new athletic director at Proviso West.

Do Chris Welch and his allies consider "topsy-turvy" a compliment?

Sergio Brown, Proviso East football player

The Sun-Times (Taylor Bell) lede says Sergio Brown was "overlooked" until relatively recently.
The last of four Chicago-area products listed among the Top 100 prospects in the nation who is uncommitted, Brown has whittled his list of colleges to three finalists --UCLA (the first school to make an offer), Nebraska and Minnesota -- and established a game plan designed to fully evaluate their positives and negatives.

He said he will make official campus visits during the season, when the students are in class, and plans to make a commitment before the season is over. He hopes Michigan will extend an invitation to visit. And he still is considering Illinois and Notre Dame.

He's not considering the Naval Academy?

Blagojevich, Madigan & Air National Guard

Have I mentioned that Forest Park would benefit from moving five Army Reserve units from the Forest Park Reserve Center to the National Guard base north of Cermak and west of First Ave?

Oh, yeah, I did.

Blagojevich and Madigan are going to court to challenge the DOD on moving an Air National Guard unit from Illinois to Indiana. See the State Journal-Register (Adriana Colindres):
Blagojevich and Madigan maintain the Pentagon's May recommendation to move the aircraft violates federal law that requires governors to consent to any type of realignment involving a state's National Guard bases.

At the risk of wandering out of Proviso this case should be interesting.

If the courts back the feds, it makes the Air National Guard a second Air Force Reserve.

I'm not persuaded there needs to be an Air National Guard independent of the Air Force Reserves and the National Guard. Why do we need an Air National Guard? What would be different if it ceased to exist? Guys wouldn't get to fly jets on the gov't dime?

cheap petrol in Melrose Park

ABC-7 (Ben Bradley):
In Melrose Park, motorists are lining up a block away for gas priced at $2.85 a gallon. However, in Northwest Indiana, there was no fuel to buy -- whatever the price -- for a short time at three gas stations because of a slowdown of fuel shipments from local refineries.

And the meat of the piece:
Four oil refineries supply the Chicagoland area. Three of them get their crude oil from Canada instead of the Gulf Coast. Despite that, ABC7 has confirmed some sporadic fuel shortages being blamed on Hurricane Katrina. At the stations that still have fuel, some owners are dropping their prices to draw crowds.

Friday, September 02, 2005

ARDC responds regarding Emanuel C. Welch

Complaining about attorneys to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois is easy.

Today I received a response to my complaint about Emanuel "Chris" Welch.

From the ARDC letter dated September 1, 2005 and signed by Althea K. Welsh.

Out inquiry will focus on your allegations of a violation of Rule 8.4(b)(1) of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. Because Mr. Welch does not represent the School Board, we do not believe that Rule 1.7 applies in the situation you describe.

I intend to appeal the ruling on 1.7. Since Rule 1.7 merely imposes a disclosure requirement, it doesn't seem particularly onerous to make attorneys serving as public officials to disclose prior attorney-client relationships on matters before them.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Forest Park: Doolin vs. Calderone

Forest Park’s Mayor Anthony Calderone and Commissioner Patrick Doolin don’t like each other.
Doolin has reason to be angry with Calderone.
Under Forest Park’s commissioner form of gov’t, each commissioner is responsible for a department of village government. Doolin is the commissioner for streets and public improvement. Doolin was recently responsible for the search for a public works director. Doolin claims the search lasted fifteen months.
Calderone, along with commissioners Gillian and Hosty, who reliably, if not always, support Calderone, voted down Doolin’s candidate for public works director. They claimed to disapprove of Doolin prioritizing academic qualifications. Doolin’s candidate had a masters in public administration. The interim department director did not pursue academics since graduating from high school.
If Calderone and the others disapproved of having academic prerequisites for the job they should have raised this earlier in the process. Waiting for Doolin to invest considerable effort and then objecting to a decision made in the beginning is an unprofessional way to do business. Doolin has cause to be mad at Calderone, Gillian and Hosty. Their conduct was disrespectful. Any normal person treated the way Calderone, et al, acted would be pissed-off.
Given that the sleight has occurred, what should Calderone do? Should he try to mend fences? Should he ignore Doolin? Or should he bait Doolin to escalate the controversy?
From the Forest Park Review (Seth Stern):
This is Tim Gillian’s attitude:
"Those people out and out dislike us," said Gillian referring to Steinbach and Doolin. "There is a complete lack of respect. I’m sure that in their opinion I do not respect them, but that is not the case. I respect anybody who throws their hat in the ring. I certainly respect the office. I try real hard to keep personalities out of it. Right now it is very strained."

And Mark Hosty’s:
"They came in contentious, and it has stayed contentious" said Hosty who is now in his second term on the village council. "It has been contentious since the swearing in. It’s been made personal."

Calderone referred to Doolin's complaints as "sour grapes".
I’ve attended a couple village board meetings and differ with Gillian’s analysis that Doolin and Steinbach have showed “a complete lack of respect”. Hosty sounds like he’s whining when he accuses Doolin and Steinbach of being“contentious”. The minority is supposed to ask questions. Based on the meetings I attended nothing raised by Doolin or Steinbach could be categorized as unreasonably contentious in content or style.
The onus for reconciliation falls on the people in power: Calderone, Gillian and Hosty. The minority has nothing to offer except capitulation.
On a personal level I like Calderone and Hosty, but they’re playing this situation foolishly. Calderone should figure out what his priorities are. He should hold firm on his priorities and let Doolin and Steinbach win some of the other stuff. Calderone should be cagey enough to take his ego off the priority list and be humble toward the minority. Apologizing and kissing ass is cheap.
If Calderone is shrewd, he’ll do what he needs to do to persuade Doolin to stop writing letters to the paper accusing Calderone of being a crook. There’s enough smoke that the allegations and insinuations hurt Calderone’s reputation.

anonymous comments

Allowing anonymous comments means spammers will attack the blog.

I'm leaving anonymous comments enabled, but I am planning to turn them off.

If you object, you've got about 24 hours to persuade me.

Melrose Park raises water fees on commercial properties

As a matter of tax policy, raising water fees for commercial properties makes sense because commercial properties pay less than their share compared to single-family homes. This is because commercial properties more effectively game the assessment process.

For a single-family home it doesn't make sense to pay Michael Madigan's law firm $1,000 to appeal your assessment. He's gonna save you less than $1,000 on average. But for commercial properties it does make sense.

See Melrose Park Herald (David Pollard).

Proviso West sports

Maywood Herald (Tim Stablein) has coverage of Proviso West football and soccer.

Melrose Park connection to Katrina

Sun-Times (Frank Main):

The French Quarter, the high ground of New Orleans, was one of the few parts of the city with minimal flooding. But wind damage was everywhere....

"I am not a religious man. I am a pagan, actually. But seeing Jesus still standing was awesome," said Ken Hallober, a Melrose Park native who works in New Orleans selling statues and making Mardi Gras beads.

Hallober fled the city before the hurricane but came back after the storm, swimming through floodwaters under the Interstate 10 overpass to get back to his French Quarter apartment, which only lost its shutters.

If it's good enough to the big guys, I can do it too.

Leave your Katrina & New Orleans comments here.