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Proviso Probe

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ADMIN, Jose Montoya coverage [H, MP, D89]

If you've got complaints about the Jose Montoya coverage, post 'em here. See the earlier discussion for background.

ANNIV, 10 years ago today

was the last day I wore my uniform to work.

I actually did a presentation at McNeal Hospital in Berwyn. We (Lt. Fred Davis & I) were probably there to recruit residents to be Navy doctors.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

MILITARY, National Guard unit returns [NR]

On October 17, a North Riverside National Guard unit, Charlie Company, 205th Medical Battalion returned. The 65 member unit had been activated in August, 2005 and deployed to Iraq, 40 miles north of Baghdad. See Suburban Life (Dan Petrella and Joe Sinopoli).

Welcome home members of the Illinois National Guard.
At the Armory, Brig. Gen. Dennis Celletti, assistant adjutant, U.S. Army, Illinois National Guard, as well as officers of all ranks waited to greet the troops.

A native of Rock Falls, Ill., and a member of the Robert Coulter Jr. American Legion Post in La Grange, Celletti called upon the crowds assembled to lend their support, patience and understanding to the returning soldiers.

"They fought for our freedom, the Iraqis' freedom, and they need your 100 percent support in welcoming them back into the fold," Celletti said.

No, General, they didn't fight for our freedom; they followed orders.

The risk to our freedom is the Bush administration, not Iraqis.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ED, Moyer's back at PMSA & D209 wants to raise taxes [D209]

The big news from last night's meeting of Proviso Township High School's board of education had to be the return of Moyer (see Proviso Insider) and the announcement that the district will be going to referendum for a tax increase.

Moyer is not only popular he commands genuine loyalty among PMSA students and parents. He had been critical of PMSA, so presumably he was offered some power to make changes.

The tax proposal will get some time at the November meeting. Part of the case for increasing taxes is repeating the claim that District 209 has run a deficit for the last ten years.

Mike Manzo, the former school board president, claims this isn't true. Manzo claims that when he was president of the board the district always had enough money in the working cash fund to cover the deficits in the other funds. But if this wasn't true the district would have been broke. According to Nikita Johnson, the business manager, the district will be truly broke at the end of the 07-08 school year.

I'm curious what the deficits have been. The current school board president Emanuel "Chris" Welch seems to be willing to buy popularity with district expenditures. The teachers got a generous contract right before he ran for state representative. Many of the district's contractors contributed generously to Welch's campaign for state representative.

Generally the board meeting was conducted in a professional manner which contrasted with the last board meeting.

There was a discussion about the district's second chance program for students who get booted from regular classes. Fields is proposing to use a private contractor and get the students out of Proviso East and Proviso West.

Fields suggested having the program at the schools wasn't much of a deterrent since students in the program had shorter hours than regular students.

Chris Welch said the situation was, "news to most of us." Being that the board voted to switch the hours from the evening to the day just a few meetings ago, it seems surprising to me that anyone was surprised about the current state of the second chance program.

I don't have strong feelings about doing the program on campus or off. However, it seems possible that a private vendor might be tempted to discourage the students from showing up. Fields claimed the cost was $5,000 per seat which is far less than D209 spends educating students ($14,093 in 05-06). So even if the students show up, I doubt there's much education happening.

In closed session the board decided to retain Robert Libka at a new salary.

If anyone cares, I sat during the Pledge of Allegiance for a couple reasons. One, I never much liked the Pledge. Patriotism is something you live in how you conduct your life. Empty words can't make up for neglecting one's duty on a day-to-day basis. Two, it seems absurd for the president of District 209 to be leading a pledge about "liberty and justice for all." The guy filed a bad faith lawsuit to try to squelch my First Amendment rights. And now the district has blocked access to Proviso Probe without even providing an explanation.

[UPDATE: Pioneer Press (Chuck Fieldman) covers Moyers' return.
[Moyers] resigned in July, citing "a progression of issues regarding the direction of the Academy with which (he) could not agree.

"I left with a great deal of regret," he said. "Since I left, I've had a feeling of work undone."

Moyer's problems, he added, were with District 209's previous administration.

[Isn't Moyers saying that Libka was a screw-up?]

N06, Stroger campaign has problems but endorsed by Sun-Times

The race for President of the Cook County Board of Commssioners pits Commissioner Tony Peraica (Republican) against Alderman Todd Stroger (Democrat).

Today's Sun-Times (Steve Patterson) brings some of our local actors into the story. Apparently Bellwood Village President Frank Pasquale enlisted the support of Anthony Bruno in sponsoring an event.
Bruno, a disbarred attorney, has been tied to multiple controversial contracts in Melrose Park and Cicero, and federal officials have subpoenaed records of payments made to him for projects in Cicero.

A Bruno spokeswoman said, "He's been hired as a party planner, nothing more," while Pasquale said, "When the hell is this b.s. ever going to end?"

Have some fun in the comments suggesting answers to Pasquale's question. When is the b.s. going to end?

Apparently Alderman William Beavers has been trying to shakedown Gov. Rod Blagojevich to help fund Stroger's campaign. Blagojevich said he'd help, but then punted the check writing to the Madigan clan. Sun-Times (Mark J. Konkol):
During a South Side campaign stop, Blagojevich wouldn't talk about how much money he has pledged to the Stroger campaign

Instead, he urged other Democrats -- specifically Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan and his daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan -- to start throwing campaign cash Stroger's way.

Here's what one political insider told me. John Stroger is sitting on a mountain of money. But the money goes back to the pre-reform days. Back then retiring pols could use unspent campaign funds for personal stuff. Big Stroger's warchest is old enough to be grandfathered. Todd's mom apparently likes the idea of keeping the cash more than electing her son.

So political insiders aren't exactly thrilled about the idea of blowing their warchests just so Ma Stroger can keep the cash.

Chicagoist (Kevin Robinson) wrote about Beavers trying to hustle the governor.

Robinson makes the point Todd Stroger is in over his head.
See, [Beavers] gets to run the board through the Toddler if Stroger wins, and he gets to run for the Presidency in four years if Stroger loses. And in either case, he's got a big enough war chest to do it. While Chicagoist can be as jaded and cynical about local politics as the next guy, this is beyond the pale for even us. We don't know what's sadder: the gross manipulation of the system, or knowing that Todd Stroger is too dumb to get it.

Chicagoist never liked Stroger. Either one of them. But at least we could respect the old man.

(BTW, I disagree that Beavers will be a viable candidate in four years if Peraica wins. The Dem Machine will make it a higher priority to nominate a candidate with appeal to reform-minded, goo-goos.)

I think this is the emerging consensus about Todd Stroger. He's got all his Dad's liabilities and few of his strengths. Todd Stroger is neither a strong behind-the-scenes player, like Lyndon Baines Johnson nor a strong campaigner like Bill Clinton. Stroger possesses neither the oratory skills of the Kennedy brothers nor the homy morality of Jimmy Carter. Stroger has neither the intellect of Adlai Stevenson nor the common touch like Truman and FDR.

In short Stroger lacks a strong suit. The literature he was distributing at a League of Women Voters forum this weekend listed his first accomplishment as being a honors student in high school. His other accomplishments include being an honors student in college, getting married and having two children. Everything else on the literature amounted to showing up for work. He didn't list a single professional accomplishment.

Even Chicago Defender (Damian Buttel) is starting to hammer Stroger.
For at least the third time in two weeks, Cook County Board Democratic presidential candidate Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) has failed to appear at a scheduled campaign event.

"They could have at least given us the courtesy of a phone call," said
Arlene Kasper, one of the luncheon's organizers. "The event had been confirmed for weeks," she said.

And NBC-5 slipped in a line that shows how passively Stroger asserts himself in his own campaign.
"I didn't really know of this event until you showed it to me," Stroger told NBC 5. "Usually when I find out about events, I find out about it the morning of."

But Stroger did get one piece of good news recently. The Sun-Times editorial board endorsed him.
While we believe Republican Tony Peraica is a qualified and experienced candidate who would be dedicated to reform, we fear his agenda would founder on the rocks of the county's Democratic domination, paralyzing his tenure.

And we take Stroger at his word that he is committed to that process [reform].

We're taking a risk in supporting Stroger, but he's saying the right things and seems genuinely committed to change.

Monday, October 23, 2006

ED, board of education meeting tonight [D209]

What's going to happen at tonight's board meeting?

BTW, Bob Libka resigned. See Forest Park Review (Josh Adams).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

N06, Illinois Republican Congressman to quit election

I just don't know which one. See Archpundit.

[UPDATE: This is inaccurate. No Illinois members of Congress are resigning. For the details see Archpundit or Capitol Fax Blog.]

LABOR, custodians and clerical workers reach deal [D89]

Pioneer Press (Chris LaFortune):
District 89 has reached new contract agreements with both its custodial and clerical unions after nearly a year of negotiations.

Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview School District 89 school trustees voted 5-0 to approve contracts with both unions Thursday. Trustees Jose Montoya and Corey Cooper were absent.

SEIU Local 73 represents the employees in question. SEIU 73 also represents the District 209 custodians. What other shops in Proviso are represented by SEIU 73?

HEALTH, where should smoking be allowed? [W]

Westchester has scheduled a meeting to discuss smoking for Tuesday, October 24, 6:30 PM at Village Hall. See Westchester Herald (David Weese).
Cook County recently passed a smoking ban that will be law in Westchester unless the village passes an ordinance of its own by March 15.

What restrictions on smoking would you like to see?

I favor creating a system that allows there to be a mix of smoking and non-smoking bars.

Monday, October 16, 2006

N06, early voting begins today

From the County Clerk's website:
Prior to the November 7, 2006 general election, early voting will take place Monday, October 16, through Thursday, November 2. Voting hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. On Saturdays October 21 and October 28, hours are 9 a.m. to noon.

Early voting will also be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Sundays at the five suburban courthouses as well as the Clerk's office, 69 W. Washington St., Chicago.

Bring Photo ID

In an effort to prevent vote fraud and double voting, state law requires early voters to display valid identification to an election official before receiving a ballot to vote early. Valid forms of ID include: a current driver’s license, state-issued ID card or another government-issued ID with a photograph.

Proviso voting locations are:

* Bellwood Village Hall
* Brookfield Public Library
* Maybrook facility, 1131 Maybrook Square, Room 109

Other local early voting polling places include:

* Cicero Village Hall
* Elmwood Park Village Hall
* Lyons Township Hall
* Oak Park Village Hall

What are the races you feel strongly about?

* Governor?
* Treasurer?
* President of the Cook County Board?
* Regional Superintendent of Education?
* a Congressional race in another part of the country?

N06, Blagojevich on the West Side

I covered Gov. Rod Blagojevich stumping for votes at the monthly meeting of Ald. "Ike" Carothers' ward organization. See Austin Weekly News (Carl Nyberg).

The meeting occured before the U.S. Attorney announced the indictment of Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko.

What I didn't write about in the article was how Blagojevich seemed.

Blagojevich had a pensive quality. At one point he said that he had more friends four years ago than he had now.

He cast himself as fighting for a progressive vision. He acknowledged that politics is sometimes dirty and dishonest. He told a story about how he tricked the "Pro Life" legislators on stem cell research. Blagojevich knew the anti-abortion crowd wanted to strip funding for stem cell research from the budget. Blagojevich gave the legislature the budget without enough time for the anti-abortion legislators to find where Blagojevich put the stem cell research money. When asked about the issue, Blagojevich proudly explained, "I told them the truth. I'm not saying [if there's stem cell research money or not]."

I thought this anecdote did a good job of making the case that if you want to make progress in politics sometimes you have to play dirty.

However, Blagojevich crossed into bullshit territory when he said that he wanted his legacy to be to build a progressive movement that would sustain itself beyond his gubernatorial campaign.

Blagojevich has raised prodigious amounts of campaign funds. He could have invested in building local party infrastructure. Instead the money went to knocking his Republican oppoent back on her heals.

Blagojevich and Cook County Assessor avoided mentioning Todd Stroger, but Congressman Danny K. Davis, Commissioner Earlean Collins and Ald. Carothers all made the case for electing Stroger.
Cook County Commissioner Earlean Collins made the case to vote for Alderman Todd Stroger to be the next president of the County Board.

Collins explained that Cook County is, "one of the largest blocks of Democratic votes in the country."

"We cannot afford to have a Republican as president of the County Board if we want to get the Bushes out of office," Collins insisted.

Davis and Carothers, the sometimes rivals despite both being Democrats, also urged listeners to support Stroger in spite of any reservations they harbored. Davis said that he would be campaigning with Stroger in Proviso Township, the western part of his 7th Congressional District.

"We need Todd Stroger more than he needs us," Davis said.

Davis predicted that Commissioner Tony Peraica, Stroger's Republican opponent, if elected would, "Cut, cut, cut; downsize, outsource and privatize."

Carothers recounted how his father, former Alderman Bill Carothers (28th Ward), who was in attendance, handled questions about his qualifications for elected office. "When you vote for me, you qualify me," said Carothers.

Carothers went on to say, "we're gonna qualify Todd Stroger. The 29th Ward is going to give him more votes than the Eighth Ward (Stroger's ward)."

PHOTO, Americana and pizza

Saturday, October 14, 2006

GOV, keeping tabs on what various boards are doing

The Oak Park and River Forest chapter of the League of Women Voters send "observers" to meetings of local taxing bodies. These observers generate reports which are posted to the chapter's web site.

I would like to piggyback on the chapter's efforts and link to the reports on meetings of the Triton College board.

Also, I believe it would be useful for Proviso Township to have a League of Women Voters chapter. Please contact me if you would like to help organize a local chapter of the League.

Friday, October 13, 2006

POL, Broadview TEA Party

The Broadview TEA Party has a nice website.

On the home page it covers the village increasing fees charged to people making Freedom of Information Act requests.

The website has a page devoted to village finances.

And the party has created a forum for discussing Broadview issues.

N06, Charles Flowers website

Charles Flowers, EdD (D-Maywood), is running for regional superintendent of education of suburban Cook County. Flowers' opponent is incumbent Robert Ingraffia (R-Mount Prospect).

Flowers is holding a fundraiser Monday.

OBIT, Jose Montoya [H, D89]

Hillside police officer and District 89 board member Jose Montoya is dead.

More information to follow.

[UPDATE: Proviso Insider:
The Insider has learned that Hillside Police Lt. Jose P. Montoya, 48, a Melrose Park resident, and school district 89 board member, died on Friday, October 13, 2006 from an apparent accidental shooting. Sources tell Insider that Montoya was cleaning his duty weapon in the garage of his Melrose Park home when he accidentally shot himself in the chest. Montoya apparently died at approximately 3pm, and was discovered by his wife when she came home from work. Montoya leaves behind his wife, parents, children, a brother and a host of friends. Funeral arrangements are pending.

[Other sources have said the shooting was a suicide.]

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

BLOG, where to discuss Rezko indictment

The U.S. Attorney, Northern Illinois District keeps a blog. If you have strong feelings about the indictment of Gov. Blagojevich's fundraiser Tony Rezko, you can discuss them there.

Also, the Capitol Fax Blog is always a good place. And there's Proviso Insider too.

ETHICS, ghost legislating protected by insider journalism

Daily Herald (Rob Olmstead):
Perhaps the most surprising new topic came after the debate [between Tony Peraica and Todd Stroger] at the Union League Club, when Stroger admitted having other legislators vote for him on the House floor when he was a state representative.

While the practice is fairly common, it’s usually officially denied and a no-no....

“I’m sure that at that time, I was not at my seat. When you’re in Springfield, there’s a lot of things going on at the same time. … Sometimes you’re out talking to constituents … and your seatmate will try to take care of you, but sometimes, they feel like they don’t know what your position will be … and there’s two people sitting by me … (who) decided that they should vote ‘present’ since I wasn’t there.”

To me there are two scandals here.

1. Legislators voting for each other is unacceptable. If it is acceptable for legislators to vote for each other, why not just have the party bosses fill out a sheet with how their members voted?
2. I'm appalled at the Springfield media knowing about this practice and helping the pols keep it secret.

ED, feedback on Stan Fields [D209]

Stan Fields was hired in August to be the superintendent of Proviso Township High Schools.

A Proviso Probe reader pointed us to Fields webpage on RateMyTeacher.com.

What do you think of Fields performance so far?

POL, where did your Congressman go?

h/t TPMmuckraker

The Center for Responsive Politics has a searchable database of travel by members of Congress.

I'm not sure if the database is fully functional. Congressman Davis' trip to Sri Lanka didn't show.

Monday, October 09, 2006

OPEN, what's on your mind?

I was outa town for the weekend, but I'm still alive.

We're four weeks from election day. In what contest are you emotionally invested?

SPORT, Westchester man to be inducted PGA Hall of Fame [W]

William Heald of Westchester will be inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame on December 8. See PGA of America news.
William Heald: A PGA member since 1952, William "Bill" Heald is a PGA Master Professional and a two-time winner (1981 and 1999) of the Bill Strausbaugh Award for distinguishing himself in mentoring PGA Professionals. Heald served as PGA head professional at Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside, Ill., for 33 years and spent a decade at the facility as general manager. He served as Illinois PGA president from 1976-77, and as District 6 Director from 1993-95, and a 1991 member of the National Club Relations Steering Committee.

Among his initiatives was coordinating PGA members, Park District presidents, management companies and non-private facility amateur players for a video presentation which promoted why facilities are better served in employing PGA Professionals. During his presidency of the Illinois PGA Section, Heald established the first Section executive office with a full-time executive director. In 1997, Heald was inducted into the Illinois PGA Hall of Fame. Though retired from Riverside Golf Club, Heald remains one of the most active Illinois PGA Professionals while serving on the Section Employment and Rules Committees.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

POL, law firms & campaign contributions [BW]

In an earlier discussion a reader mentioned Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, Dicianni & Krafthefer, P.C. contributed generously to Bellwood First Party, Frank Pasquale's political committee. Pasquale is the village president in Bellwood.

Since 2001 Ancel, Glink has contributed about $7,500. Ancel, Glink does municipal law and gives kickbacks... er, "campaign contributions" to a large number of muncipal political committees.

My take is that law firms are often money laundering for politicians. The politicians give them make work projects and the law firms give to the political committees their clients want supported.

Illinois law should be changed to prohibit law firms from doing money laundering. Law firms have two advantages over other contractors. Legal work is rarely awarded by competitive bid. And lawyers can invoke attorney-client privilege, so it makes it almost impossible to roll them if law enforcement ever does an investigation.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

POL, Sri Lanka's "terrorists" negotiating with government

Yahoo (AP, Bharatha Mallawarachi):
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels agreed Tuesday to unconditional talks with the government but warned they will pull out of a 2002 cease-fire if the government persists with its military campaign, a spokesman for the insurgents said.

So the government of Sri Lanka not only is negotiating with the Tamil Tigers, but had a cease fire with the organization.

My position was that having the Tamil Tigers on the State Department's watchlist was largely an arbitrary decision. And that attempts to link Rep. Danny Davis with terrorism by saying that he went on a trip funded by an organization that took money from someone who was later linked to the Tamil Tigers was an absurd combination of guilt by association and the game telephone.

I see the AP article as vindicating my position that the Tamil Tigers are not terrorists as the word is used in the United States.

Monday, October 02, 2006

ECON, Senators may hold key to blocking electric rate increase

Earlier Proviso Probe covered the potential ComEd rate increase and the effort to block it with a rate freeze in the legislature.

Capitol Fax Blog (Rich Miller) explains that House Speaker Michael J. Madigan asked Governor Rod Blagojevich to call a special session of the legislature to enact the rate freeze legislation. Blagojevich agreed to do this sorta.

Blagojevich said he'd do it once the votes were identified.

This is where you come in. It seems likely that Madigan will deliver the votes in the House. However, it wouldn't hurt to call your rep (scroll down for phone numbers) and make a point of saying you favor the rate freeze.

Senate President Emil Jones is tight with ComEd (Exelon is the parent company). When Blagojevich nominated consumer advocate Marty Cohen to head the Illinois Commerce Commission the vote to confirm failed in the Democrat controlled Senate. See Citizen Utility Board press release.

I am asking Proviso Probe readers to contact their state senators and ask them to support the legislation to freeze electrical rates. The utility companies want electrical rates deregulated. But the original deregulation package envisioned there being competition. There will be no competition to keep prices down if the rate freeze isn't extended.

Proviso Senators
Sen. Kimberly Lightford ($4,700)--(708) 343-7444
Sen. Louis S. Viverito ($2,700)--(708) 430-2510
Sen. Dan Cronin ($2,100)--(630) 792-0040
Sen. Don Harmon ($2,100)--(708) 848-2002

The amount in parentheses is the amount each senator has received from Exelon PAC.

ADMIN, namecalling on Proviso Probe

It has come to my attention that some people post comments to Proviso Probe that they don't really believe, but they want to provoke a fight. I don't like this practice and I would ask Proviso Probe participants to stop doing this. If someone says something really provocative consider the possibility that it's really somebody just trying to stir the shit pot.

Also, I have liberally allowed namecalling, but I am going to change this policy. Names that are references to a person's sexuality will be deleted. Don't use "bitch ass," "punk ass" and the like.

I'm also close to making a rule to prohibit references to bodies in a negative way. Does is matter if so-and-so is fat?

GOV, Welch voted out as school district attorney [D88]

Tonight by a 4-3 vote Emanuel "Chris" Welch and his law firm, James J. Roche & Associates, were fired from District 88, the elementary school district serving Bellwood and Stone Park.

The three members who had been in the minority (Althea Busby, Toni Dorris and John Wicks) were joined by longtime board member Marilyn Thurman, who is thought to be allied with Chuck Baxter.

The board justified the decision by citing Welch's exhorbitant legal bills. James J. Roche charged District 88 over $220,000 in a five month period according to one board member.

Board member John Wicks says no quid pro quo arrangements were made with Thurman.

The motion was made under new business and Welch's initial reaction was that he had the vote, "in the bag".

Since the issue was not included in agenda provided in advance Welch may have grounds for challenging the termination.

From page 11 of the Illinois Attorney General Guide to the Open Meetings Act (pdf):
The Act provides that this requirement "shall not preclude the consideration of items not specifically set forth in the [regular meeting] agenda." [Note: "consideration of" has been construed to exclude action on a topic...."

There are a few problems with Welch trying to overturn the decision this way.

1. He was the attorney at the meeting. If he missed it at the time it reflects poorly on his knowledge and skill as an attorney.
2. District 88 fired James K. Graham without properly including the item in the agenda. Welch was the attorney that said it was OK to fire Graham without including the issue in the agenda provided 48 hours in advance.
3. There's nothing to stop District 88 from firing James J. Roche again.

But Welch has been fired from District 88 before and he's been been rehired, so this story might not be over.

[UPDATE: You remember the scene in Robocop where Alderman Miller takes hostages after losing an election. He tells the hostage negotiator, "First, don't fuck with me. I'm a desperate man! And second, I want some fresh coffee. And third, I want a recount! And no matter how it turns out, I want my old job back!"

[Apparently, Chris Welch wants a recount of the vote. And he wants his old job back. See Proviso Insider. Welch is using the idea he read on Proviso Probe to contest getting fired.

[Here's some more free advice for Chris Welch. Remember how the scene ends for Alderman Miller? Robocop grabs Miller through the wall and throws him out the window.]

KLEPT, Billy Welch incident at Proviso West [D209]

I have received a tip that there was an incident at Proviso West involving Billy Welch this morning and that Chris Welch, Billy Welch's brother and the president of the board of education has gone to the high school.

If you have any information, please call 43O-3538 in the 773 or email me, RadioNyberg circled "a" Yahoo spot com.

If you can't call or email post what you know in the comments.

N06, Flowers announces fundraiser

Democrat Charles Flowers, EdD, is running for Regional Superintendent of Education against incumbent Republican Bob Ingraffia.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

ETHICS, Proviso Insider makes dubious allegations [D209]

Proviso Insider has made allegations against District 209 board members Charles Flowers and Theresa Kelly which are almost assuredly untrue.

The first allegation is that Flowers and Kelly are being investigated by the State's Attorney and may be indicted for leaking "confidential board documents and closed session materials" to me (Carl Nyberg).
Cook County States Attorney officials confirm to the Proviso Insider that an investigation has been on-going regarding Proviso Towship High Schools, District 209, Board of Education members Charles A. Flowers and Theresa L. Kelly. According to Insider sources, Flowers and Kelly are being investigated in connection with leaks of confidential board documents and closed session materials to the publisher of the Proviso Probe blog site, provisoprobe.blogspot.com, Carl Nyberg. According to sources, the States Attorney has received numerous complaints about confidential information leaking out from the District 209 Board. This information compromises the integrity of the Board of Education and the professional reputations of those involved. States Attorney officials confirm that indictments may result from these actions.

Sounds ominous, right? Only, even if the allegations are true there's nothing illegal about the conduct.

From page 28 of Illinois Attorney General Guide to the Open Meetings Act (pdf):
Disclosure of Matters Discussed in Closed Meetings: A public body cannot sanction one of its members for disclosing information or issues discussed in a closed meeting. 1991 Ill. Att'y Gen. Op. 1. The Attorney General noted that the possibility of such sanctions "would only serve as an obstacle to the effective enforcement of the Act, and a shield behind which opponents of open government could hide."

In affirming dismissal of a count alleging that a public body had violated the Act by making disclosures to the public concerning information given in a closed meeting, the Appellate Court noted that "there is nothing in the Act that provides a cause of action against a public body for disclosing information from a closed meeting." Swanson v. Board of Police Commissioners, 197 Ill. App. 3d 592, 609 (Second Dist. 1990).

These observations and holdings don not, of course, indicate that members of a public body should not deal carefully with confidential information that may be brought before the body in the course of a closed meeting.

So, Proviso Insider's source State's Attorney's office would seem to be grossly ignorant of the law. Or Proviso Insider is lying.

In the same entry Proviso Insider makes other allegations against Kelly:

The States Attorney also confirms that it is also looking into the handling of a
Proviso East Alumni Wall of Fame account by board member Theresa L. Kelly. In 2004, Theresa Kelly was responsible for collecting fees to an alumni dinner that occurred in September of that year. However, she has p rovided no reports on how much money was raised from the event or how the money was spent.

According to Kelly the account for the fund was opened by former business manager Sarah Johnson-Millon. The bank statements get sent to the high school.

Board president Chris Welch righteously told Kelly to "show us the money" at the last board meeting. If District 209 has all the bank statements, records of deposits and cancelled checks, why doesn't Welch put business manager Nikita Johnson on the case? If she's the business manager and she has the records, why not have her do an audit?

Maybe because Welch would rather tar Kelly with allegations than account for money that probably isn't missing in the first place.

Remember, at the board meeting Welch was screaming, "Show us the money!" he also accused board member Flowers of keeping a District 209 computer when he left the employment of Proviso Township High Schools in 1999. Flowers now claims to have a letter saying the computer in question was returned in 1999. The bad information apparently came from slipshod recordkeeping.

[UPDATE1: Proviso Insider says I should expect a subpoena.
If you [Carl Nyberg] have not received them already, you should be receiving subpoenas very soon.

[I guess I'm gonna find out soon if Proviso Insider should change his name to "Proviso Bullshitter".]

[UPDATE2: Kelly claims she has obtained copies of the documents pertaining to the Wall of Fame fund from District 209. So any questions Welch or Fields had pertaining the fund could have been answered by checking the records.

[Is Flowers or Kelly going to sue Welch, Fields or Proviso Insider for defamation?]