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Where the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at: http://www.dukesblotter.com/#sthash.gzOejJCT.dpuf

Officer Down

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Police Blotters June 30, 2011

Click on the town you are interested in.





























Palatine


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UNION: (National) People’s Parade Delivers 1.3 Million Signatures for Ohio S.B. 5 Citizens’ Veto

STORY AT AFL-CIO

by Mike Hall, Jun 29, 2011

A People’s Parade with more than 6,000 Ohio workers, fires engines, a drum corps, bagpipes and a semi-truck full of more than a million signatures marks the latest stage in the citizens’ veto drive to repeal Gov. John Kasich’s (R) bill that eliminates the collective bargaining rights of more than 350,000 public employees.

The parade (click here for a short video) through downtown Columbus today delivered the 1.3 million signatures on repeal petitions  to the Secretary of State’s office. Only 231,000 signatures were needed to put repeal on the November ballot. But the 10,000 We Are Ohio volunteers from all over the Buckeye State found overwhelming support for repeal and collected more than five times the number required.

We Are Ohio spokesperson Melissa Fazekas says, “We originally wanted to collect between 450,000 and 500,000 total signatures. We’ve blown way past that.”

Says Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga:

This unprecedented number is a record for any Ohio ballot initiative and shows that Ohioans are fed up with Gov. Kasich’s extreme partisan agenda.  This is not just a referendum on Senate Bill 5; it is a referendum on Kasich and his political allies’ blatant assault on working families and the middle class.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, who joined the parade, says S.B. 5 is  “a dangerous and destructive piece of legislation that would take away the rights of police officers, fire fighters, teachers and other public employees to bargain collectively.”

As mayor of Columbus, I have negotiated many contracts through the collective bargaining process with our unions. Through this process I have been able to negotiate fair contracts by working with our unions instead of busting them as Senate Bill 5 seeks to do.

In related collective bargaining news, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) bill that eliminates collective bargaining rights for public employees went into effect yesterday. But like Ohio working families, Wisconsinites are fighting back, too. They collected far more signatures than needed in six state Senate districts to trigger recall elections for Republican lawmakers who backed Walker’s assault on workers’ rights. The elections are set for July and August.

NEWS: (Illinois) Ill. likely to see fierce battle over gun control

--The State of Illinois is the poster child for being backwards. Our water is even said to the worst in the nation. 
How can we expect to get real legislation from these people when we can't even get good drinking water?--
Duke

STORY AT Pantagraph

Jun 29, 5:00 PM EDT
By CHRISTOPHER WILLS
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- As state after state voted to let residents carry concealed guns, Illinois has held out, for a long list of reasons: A strong gun control movement. A dynasty of powerful Chicago mayors. A line-up of state leaders who oppose expanding access to guns.

With Wisconsin now on the verge of adopting concealed carry, Illinois soon will be all alone, the last state with a complete ban on carrying concealed weapons. That makes it the next big prize in the fierce national contest over gun control, with the National Rifle Association and its allies targeting the 50th state.

Despite the obstacles, gun-rights advocates believe time and political momentum are on their side. Pro-gun groups expect to make another push this fall or next spring. They're also pursuing at least two lawsuits. The outcome of the effort will determine whether firearms officially achieve new status in the United States -- something citizens of every state can own and carry, regardless of regional differences or which party is in power. In Illinois, the issue will also provide insight into the new leadership of the state's dominant city, which has firmly blocked legalization in the past.

"We never give up," said Andrew Arulanandam, public affairs director for the National Rifle Association. "We've been around 140 years as an organization. If we don't get something this time around, we're going to work until we get it."

Right now, Wisconsin is the only other state that doesn't give people a way to obtain permission to carry concealed guns. But lawmakers there have voted to end their ban, and Gov. Scott Walker said Monday that he would sign the change into law after July 4. .

Gun control advocates want to hang on to Illinois and avoid nationwide defeat on concealed carry.

"Illinois is really important nationally," said Mark Walsh, director of the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The country needs "one state people can look to and see it's still doing the right thing," he said.

Nobody can be confident about what will happen in Illinois without knowing why it has clung to a policy that every other state rejects. There's no single explanation, however.

Chicago is a big part of it. In much of the state, guns are commonplace, used for hunting and target-shooting. But in Chicago, guns are associated with crime. People worry that concealed guns will mean more shootings - in bars, on the El, at neighborhood festivals.

The city's leaders have a long record of supporting gun control measures. The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down Chicago's complete ban on handgun ownership in the city.

"It's about as anti-gun a city as one could find," said Harry Wilson, a gun control expert at Virginia's Roanoke College.

But plenty of states have legalized concealed carry despite having large cities where gun crimes are a major concern: New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania and more.

Wilson suggested the difference could be that the major cities in those states don't have the same political muscle as Chicago - home to two legendary mayors named Daley, each of whom served more than 20 years. Both Daleys emphasized gun control. The city's new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who took office in May, certainly won't abandon the issue, but might not consider concealed carry to be a top priority.

Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, agreed Chicago is what sets Illinois apart from other states.

"None of those places have something called the Chicago machine," Pearson said. "When you control the money for all the legislators for the state, then you have a huge amount of power over how people vote."

The state's most powerful politicians come from Chicago and collectively dominate the Illinois Legislature. The governor, Senate president, House speaker and attorney general are all Chicago Democrats.

Gov. Pat Quinn has promised to veto concealed carry legislation if it were to reach his desk.

"I don't agree with those advocates who feel that that is a measure for public safety. I think it's the opposite," Quinn said last week.

But Quinn's role might not matter if concealed carry were to win legislative approval, which would require a three-fifths vote under procedural rules. When the Illinois House voted on the issue last month, concealed carry had a 65-32 majority but still failed. It needed 71 votes to pass. But that means if it ever reaches the governor, it would have enough votes to overcome Quinn's veto.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from Harrisburg, in rural southern Illinois, said support is inching upward because of the state's new legislative districts. With Chicago's population declining, many of the city's districts have been redrawn to stretch out into the suburbs. So some city-based politicians may wind up running partly in areas that are more sympathetic to legalizing concealed weapons.

"I see more Chicago legislators opening up to talk," said Phelps. And if every other state lets people carry concealed guns, it's no longer possible to argue the idea is radical and dangerous, gun rights advocates say.

Phelps hopes to hold another vote during the Legislature's brief fall session or when they resume normal business next year. But powerful Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan may not let the contentious issue come up again soon.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says it's ready to fight the legislation again. Brian Malte, the group's director of state legislation, said Illinois is "ground zero in the gun control debate" over concealed carry but also over strengthening background checks and banning assault weapons.

"It's really a tug of war," Malte said. "Next year will be a very interesting year in the Illinois Legislature."

PENSION: (National) Accounting for American public pensions is still flawed

STORY AT The Economist

Jun 30th 2011
By Buttonwood

THERE is crazy and then there is accounting for American public-sector pensions. A proposed set of reforms from the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the standard-setter for America’s state and local governments, is a step in the right direction. But it will still leave an unsatisfactory system.

The best way to illustrate the insanity is to compare the public and private sectors. When a private company switches its pension scheme from a final-salary, or defined benefit (DB), basis to a defined-contribution (DC) basis, the intention is to save money. The company’s exposure to a DC scheme is limited to the amount that it puts in; in a DB scheme, it must make up any shortfall in investment returns.

A state that switches from DB to DC for new employees would find that its cash costs rise in the short term. New hires will make their contributions to the new DC scheme, not the old DB scheme, but the state still has to cough up for existing DB benefits. The current accounting rules force the state to recognise those costs more quickly once the DB scheme is closed to new members, dissuading some states from making the move. In Nevada a study by the Segal Group, a consultancy, found that employer contributions would have to rise by 10% of payroll, or $1.2 billion, over two years.

A switch from DB to DC will save money over the long term by capping the employer’s liability. But not that much. That is because many states have legal and constitutional provisions protecting existing workers’ pension rights. Such provisions safeguard not just the accrued pension rights of workers; they also bar states from altering their rights with regard to their future service. The same protections do not apply in the private sector.

The cast-iron nature of this pensions guarantee ought, you might think, to be reflected in pension accounting. But states are allowed a more generous accounting treatment than private-sector employers. They can discount their liabilities on the basis of the assumed rate of return (8% is standard) on the assets in their pension funds. Companies have to use the (lower) yield on an AA-rated corporate bond. So the present value of a state’s liabilities is lower than it would be if private-sector rules applied, even though the rights of public-sector workers are greater.

The GASB proposals do at least suggest that the unfunded portion of a state’s liability be discounted at an AA rate. But calculating this portion still involves the use of the expected return on assets.

The assumption that the entire pension fund can earn 8% is highly questionable. Given the current yields on cash and Treasury bonds, it requires a double-digit return from equities over the long term. That looks improbable. The return from equities comprises the dividend yield, plus dividend growth, plus or minus any change in the rating (the price-dividend ratio). Given that the starting dividend yield is 2%, you need to make some heroic assumptions to get to a double-digit return.

Whatever the excess return from equities, it is a reward for risk. You cannot simply assume this risk away, especially after the experience of the past ten years. After all, if states could count on a high return from equities, why stop at their pension-fund exposure? They should borrow money in the bond market and invest the proceeds in shares. They could use the profits to pay for future expenditure on schools and highways. Invest enough and perhaps state taxes could be abolished altogether. There is a chance, however, that citizens would consider this reckless.

In the past, high-return assumptions have allowed the states to get away with making lower contributions. But when the strategy goes wrong, the taxpayer foots the bill. A recent study by the Centre for Retirement Research at Boston College found that states have a funding ratio (the proportion of assets to liabilities) of 77% on the official measure, but just 51% if a risk-free rate is used.

This is a big hole to fill. A new paper* by Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Rochester and Joshua Rauh of the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago calculates that, to fully fund state and local pensions within 30 years, contributions will have to more than double. That translates into a tax increase of $1,398 per household per year, with five states (New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Wyoming and Ohio) requiring an increase of more than $2,000 a year.Taxpayers may be happy to make this contribution to the welfare of their fellow citizens. But they should at least be told about the size of the bill.

PENSION: (Illinois) The Two-Front Fight to Control PSEBA Costs

--This article is from the Illinois Municipal League. While I am usually not in agreement with their views they do have a point on this issue that I do agree with. 
That issue is that the Pension Fund statutes need to be reformed to better define events and give the power to the local pension boards to make determinations on a case by case basis. 
We will never have true pension reform in this state until these issues are discussed and resolved.--
Duke

ARTICLE AT Illinois Municipal League

By
Jerry Zarley, Legal Analyst, IML
Joe McCoy, Legislative Director, IML

The Illinois Municipal League is working to introduce sensible changes to the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (PSEBA). This is the law that allows injured police officers and firefighters to collect health insurance benefits for life if an injury was incurred while responding to an emergency. These benefits are also available to the families of an injured employee.

The law was intended to provide health insurance benefits to public safety employees whose injuries were so severe as to be considered "catastrophic." Federal law and insurance policies define "catastrophic" to mean the impossibility of gainful employment. Unfortunately, ambiguous statutory drafting resulted in a law without a definition of "catastrophic." This ultimately prompted the Illinois State Supreme Court to eventually find that a duty-related disability is equal to a "catastrophic injury."

The result of this ruling is that there is an exceedingly broad eligibility for a benefit that was intended for special cases. A "duty disability" under the Illinois Pension Code simply means that the recipient is judged by the boards to be no longer able to perform the duties of a firefighter or police officer. The bottom line is that perfectly able-bodied individuals are collecting taxpayer-funded health insurance benefits for life while continuing employment and collecting a paycheck from the subsequent employer.

And this benefit is expensive. The IML Managers Committee published a study in the spring of 2011 that examined PSEBA cost trends. According to a survey of 50 communities throughout the state, the annual cost of PSEBA claims grew by 677% from 2003-2010. The projected growth from 2010-2020 is expected to be 2068%. This cost growth reflects what could occur with no changes to the PSEBA law.

The IML is seeking to curb this cost growth through legislation. Senate Bill 2014 was introduced by Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) in the spring of 2011. The legislation received a "subject matter only" hearing before the Senate Pensions and Investment Committee, which means that testimony was provided but no vote was taken. The police and firefighter unions are opposed to sensible changes that will make able-bodied and gainfully employable individuals ineligible for the lifetime health insurance benefit under PSEBA. To the contrary, police officer and firefighter unions are working to expand eligibility for the existing benefit in the Illinois court system.

The IML is also working to control PSEBA costs within the courts. Within the last year, the IML has filed three amicus (friend of the court) briefs with the Illinois Supreme Court in an effort to halt the expansion of PSEBA benefits.

The first two cases were consolidated, as they addressed the same issue: The definition of the word "emergency" in the PSEBA statute. (See, the Gaffney Brief and the Lemmenes Brief)

A police officer or firefighter seeking eligibility for benefits under the PSEBA statute must have been catastrophically injured while responding to what he or she reasonably believed to be an emergency. The firefighters in the first two cases were injured during a training exercise that they were ordered to treat as if they were real emergencies. The firefighters claimed that these training exercises were in fact "emergencies" within the meaning of the PSEBA statute, entitling them to PSEBA benefits. In both of these cases, the IML explained to the Illinois Supreme Court that the plaintiffs' interpretation is flawed. Training exercises, by their very nature, cannot be considered emergencies.

The IML also recently filed a brief in a PSEBA case on behalf of the City of Country Club Hills. In this case, a former police officer sought to retroactively obtain insurance premiums that he voluntarily paid before he was awarded a disability pension and while he was still considered a city employee. Using the legislative history of the PSEBA statute (as the Court had done in a prior PSEBA case (See, the IML Summary on Krohe v. City of Bloomington)), the IML submitted an argument before the Illinois Supreme Court contending that the General Assembly did not intend PSEBA to be applied in this manner, and that it was, rather, intended to apply as a post-employment benefit. The brief filed before the Court included the IML PSEBA study as evidence as to the increasing cost of the benefit.

None of these cases has been decided as of this writing.

NEWS: (Northlake) Nearly $100,000 from Northlake festival missing

--Hmmmm, stolen out of a locked office with only a limited amount of people with keys. Talk about an inside job.
To be honest, I think it is pretty crappy that someone would do this and I hope they catch the person(s) responsible. Especially since I spent a small fortune there over the weekend.--
Duke


By Sam Unger
WGN-TV
11:48 AM CDT
 June 30, 2011

Northlake police say nearly $100,000 in proceeds from a weekend village festival is missing.

Officers responded to a report of burglary at the Northlake city hall Sunday morning and discovered that approximately $99,000 in cash was taken from a "secure location" in the building, according to police.

The cash was part of the proceeds from the Northlake Days Festival, which ran from June 24th through June 26th.

Northlake police release few other details, saying the investigation was "ongoing." They asked anyone with information to call (708) 531-5755.

Northlake Mayor Jeffrey Sherwin said the festival was “designed to be a break-even event for the residents of Northlake. This year’s festival was successful, with a good turnout. These funds weren’t earmarked for any charity, just to help pay for the annual festival.”

R.I.P.: Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly

ODMP 

Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly
Berks County Sheriff's Department, Pennsylvania
End of Watch: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Biographical Info

Age: 28
Tour of Duty: 5 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: June 29, 2011
Weapon Used: Rifle; AK-47
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Deputy Kyle Pagerly was shot and killed while serving a warrant as part of a fugitive task force at a home on Pine Swamp Road in Albany Township.

When task force members arrived at the scene the suspect ran into the woods. Deputy Pagerly and his canine pursued the suspect. When officers located him he opened fire with an AK-47, striking Deputy Pagerly in the head. Other officers returned fire and killed the subject.

Deputy Pagerly was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Deputy Pagerly was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Berks County Sheriff's Department for five years. He also served with the Spring Township Fire Department. He is survived by his wife.

Agency Contact Information

Berks County Sheriff's Department
633 Court Street
3rd Floor
Reading, PA 19601
Phone: (610) 478-6240

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NEWS: (Illinois) State legislators’ stipends cost taxpayers $1.7 million

--I have no problem with people making money for working. The thing is, these people only work they really want to and if they don't finish things on time they get recalled in which case they make even more money. Plus, don't forget their 85% pension and health care benefits.--
Duke

STORY AT Daily Herald

By Jake Griffin

Tom Morrison is one of the few Illinois state legislators to make $64,716 a year for his time in Springfield.

While that might seem like a lot to some, it’s the bare minimum taxpayers will spend on a legislator this year.

The freshman Republican from Palatine is among just 41 lawmakers getting the base salary for their six-month lawmaking efforts.

The other 136 — three-quarters of the Illinois General Assembly — will get added stipends ranging from $9,851 for chairing one of the legislature’s numerous committees to $26,212 for being House speaker, Senate president or minority leader.

Those stipends cost Illinois taxpayers an extra $1.7 million — the second-highest in the nation behind New York, which will pay out $2.5 million in leadership stipends to lawmakers this year.

Massachusetts is the only other state that pays more than $1 million a year for legislative stipends. In fact, Illinois’ stipend costs are higher than 40 other states’ combined.

“The leaders of each respective party on each committee do a considerable amount of work and probably deserve extra compensation for the amount of work they do,” Morrison said. “But we probably need to look at how many committees there are and pare that number down.”

According to data provided by Senate President John Cullerton’s and House Speaker Michael Madigan’s offices, 41 senators and 60 state representatives receive a stipend for either being the chairman of a committee or the ranking minority member on the committee.

“It’s just another one of those costs, that low-hanging fruit, that we could cut immediately out of state government,” said Sen. Dan Duffy, a Lake Barrington Republican. “It’s part of your job to be on committees and it comes with the experience to lead those committees.”

Duffy receives a $9,851 stipend for being minority spokesman of the Senate pension committee. He said he wasn’t aware all the stipends were costing taxpayers so much.

“It’s not fair,” he said. “Giving out these stipends should be cut. That’s something I can look into and propose a bill to eliminate these stipends.”

Marengo Democratic State Rep. Jack Franks said it’s not the committees that are the biggest problem, but the 35 party leadership posts.

“Some of them aren’t really earned,” he said. “Especially the leadership jobs. Those are political positions and shouldn’t get stipends.”

Franks also receives a committee stipend, but said he’d have no problem if it was voted away.

“It’s too easy to get some of these stipends,” Franks said. “And $1.7 million? That’s a lot of money.”

Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute, believes all the stipends should be scrutinized. The nonprofit government accountability organization has done studies on legislative salaries and benefits, she said.

“When legislators are paid so well that they don’t need outside employment they tend to become isolated from the real-world economic climate,” Rasmussen said. “You wonder if it’s the public who are actually serving the legislators.”

Last week, legislators voted to extend a 4.6 percent salary and stipend cut they imposed on themselves starting last year. The measure is awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature.

“Giving up a few days pay is nothing compared to what (financially) hurt people across the state are feeling right now,” Rasmussen said.

Antioch Republican JoAnn Osmond is one of six assistant minority leaders in the House who receive an additional $17,235 a year for the post. She said party leaders do put in a lot of extra work each year, even during the six months when the legislature is not in session.

“I don’t think people realize the amount of work that goes into it,” she said. “But that’s not to say it’s not something we could look at and review. I should say I am a little surprised by the amount of money.”

Dollars for leaders

Of the 177 Illinois state legislators, 136 receive some type of salary boost for a leadership post, which will cost taxpayers an additional $1.7 million this year. Here's who receives some of those leadership stipends on top of their $64,716 annual salaries:

$26,212

House Speaker: Michael Madigan

Senate President: John Cullerton

House Minority Leader: Tom Cross

Senate Minority Leader: Christine Radogno

$22,160

House Majority Leader: Barbara Flynn Currie

$19,699

Senate Majority Leader: James Clayborne

Assistant Senate Majority Leaders: Maggie Crott, Kimberly Lightford, Antonio Munoz, Jeffrey Schoenberg, John Sullivan

Senate Majority Caucus Chairman: Donne Trotter

Deputy Senate Minority Leader: Dale Righter

Assistant Senate Minority Leaders: Bill Brady, John Jones, David Luechtefeld, Dave Syverson

Senate Minority Caucus Chairman: Matt Murphy

$18,880

House Deputy Majority Leaders: Lou Lang, Frank Mautino

House Deputy Minority Leader: Tim Schmitz

$17,235

Assistant House Majority Leaders: Edward Acevedo, Joe Lyons, Jack McGuire, Chuck Jefferson, Dan Burke, Karen Yarbrough

Assistant House Minority Leaders: Dan Brady, Jim Durkin, Renee Kosel, Ron Stephens, JoAnn Osmond

House Majority Conference Chairman: Marlow Colvin

House Minority Conference Chairman: Jim Watson

$9,851

60 House committee chairmen and minority party spokesmen

41 Senate committee chairmen and minority party spokesmen

UNION: (Chicago) Emanuel offers choice: 625 layoffs or work-rule changes

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

By John Byrne
Clout Street
10:10 AM CDT, June 29, 2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today revealed that he's offered City Hall labor unions a choice: Agree to $20 million in savings through work-rule changes or face 625 layoffs.

"If you don't, that will be the choice left to me on behalf of the taxpayers," Emanuel said at a news conference to announce Walgreens will add 600 jobs in Chicago over the next two years.

Labor leaders will take 10 days to two weeks to put together their own package of proposed cuts, the mayor said. He would not say whether he will issue the layoff notices in the meantime. "I'm not just going to sit here and wait. I'll make certain decisions," he said.

Emanuel is looking for ways to fill a $30 million budget hole left behind by his predecessor, Richard Daley. The former mayor's final budget was contingent on unions agreeing to continue earlier concessions beyond a Thursday deadline. But Daley did not negotiate that extension before leaving office last month.

Emanuel today said he showed labor leaders about $20 million in savings through work rule changes and workplace efficiencies to make up for the lapsing unpaid days off for union workers.

Emanuel said he has also identified 625 city workers to be laid off if the unions don't agree to the work rule changes. But the mayor wouldn't say what departments those workers would come from.

The work rule changes are the same rules that unions have agreed to in some unionized private sector businesses, he said.

Emanuel also said he has identified other ways to get to the full $30 million in savings without layoffs, but did not specify them.

"If we do this, I don't have to lay off 625 people," Emanuel said.

"I need them to be a partner in this," he said of the unions.

UNION: (Chicago) FOP wins 'cooling off' period battle

--Any officer, anywhere should automatically take a trip to the ER after being involved in a shooting. Just to make sure they are physically ok and no one should ask them any questions for at least 24 hours anyway.--
Duke

STORY AT ABC7 Chicago

June 29, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Chicago police officers have won the right to a 24-hour ''cooling off'' period from the time they shoot someone to the time they must speak to an independent investigator.

The Independent Police Review Authority insisted last year on speaking to officers within two hours of a police-involved shooting. That sparked a fight with the Fraternal Order of Police.

Now, the two parties have agreed to a minimum of 24 hours before the Independent Police Review Authority can question officers about a shooting.

those interviews must take place between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. to give an officer what is being called a "proper sleep cycle."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NEWS: (Suburban) $100 smoking ticket? Yes, if you break the law in Palatine

--Guess they have to fund that new police station.--
Duke

STORY AT Daily Herald

By Rachel Levin

Monday marked the beginning of the Palatine Police Department’s crackdown on smokers who don’t play by the rules.

Two months after officials attempted to address numerous complaints by creating a designated smoking area in the village’s downtown, police officers are now issuing tickets to smokers who light up too close to the entrances of public buildings.

Fines for smokers range from $100 to $250, under the state’s Smoke-Free Illinois Act. An owner of a public place who violates the act can face fines from $250 to $2,500.

“It’s sad it’s come to this,” Councilman Aaron Del Mar said.

It is illegal to smoke within 15 feet of any door of a public place, such as a restaurant or bar. That presents a unique challenge for the village’s downtown, where there aren’t many places to smoke that aren’t within 15 feet of a door.

The village council hoped to solve the problem April 11 when it established a smoking area in a parking lot at the corner of Brockway and Slade streets. But 90 days later, smokers are still loitering next to doors, officials say.

Village Manager Reid Ottesen said the smoking area is getting “minimal use” and that citizens are still complaining.

According to Ottesen, 90 percent of the complaints are about one location: T.J. O’Brien’s Bar and Grill, formerly known as Hotshots Saloon.

“We’re going to enforce the regulation if establishments don’t inform customers of the regulation,” said Councilman Brad Helms, whose ward includes T. J. O’Brien’s.

T.J. O’Brien’s owner, Tim O’Brien, declined to comment. The bar, at 53 W. Slade St., opened last August.

The area of the parking lot designated for smokers is uncovered and completely open to the elements. Ottesen said the village might construct a shelter if smokers actually used the space.

“What we’re trying to do is create an area where smokers aren’t going to be bothered and they aren’t going to bother other people,” Ottesen said.

Council members said O’Brien should not feel targeted and that the law is being equally enforced throughout the village. But both Helms and Del Mar believe the business has strayed from the family-friendly restaurant O’Brien originally proposed.

“If his establishment is the root of the cause, then the village government will take action,” Del Mar said.

NEWS: (Suburban) Retired Aurora firefighter: I was unfairly passed over for promotion


By Clifford Ward
Special to the Tribune
10:36 AM CDT, June 28, 2011

A retired Aurora fire department officer has filed a complaint against the city, claiming Aurora gave him a bogus reason for bypassing him for a promotion, an allegation the city denies.

In a civil rights complaint filed this week in Kane County, Joseph Bartholomew, a retired lieutenant, said Aurora violated its policies when it named another officer to a vacant captain’s position when Bartholomew was next on the promotion list.

The city told Bartholomew, who was recovering from work-related issues, that it did not promote officers on light duty or disability, but the city later promoted another firefighter who was on medical leave, the complaint alleges.

In a statement issued Monday, Alex Alexandrou, Aurora’s chief administrative services officers, said the city had not been served with the complaint. But Alexandrou denied the general assertions made by Bartholomew.

“The city did not violate Mr. Bartholomew’s civil rights,” Alexandrou said. “The city complied with all applicable rules, regulations and laws in its dealing with Mr. Bartholomew. As a result, the city plans on vigorously defending any such allegations accordingly.”

Bartholomew said he was passed over for promotion in August 2008. At the time, he said, he was on light duty as he dealt with the after-effects of spinal surgery that resulted from a work-related injury, and from post-traumatic stress disorder, the result of being trapped in a burning building in 2004.

Bartholomew said when he inquired about the promotion, the city told him it did not promote firefighters on reduced duty or disability. However, in June 2010, the city promoted a firefighter who was not working because of illness  and who died a month later from his illness, the complaint alleges.

Losing the promotion cost Bartholomew in salary and pension benefits, according to the suit, which said Bartholomew is now retired on disability.

PENSION: (Illinois) Blagojevich likely to lose state pension, keep federal perk

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

Ex-governor would have received $65K a year from Illinois

June 27, 2011
By Ray Long
Tribune reporter

SPRINGFIELD — Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich stands to lose a $65,000-a-year state pension as a felon, but he's likely to be eligible for $15,000 a year in federal retirement pay for his time as a congressman.

The defrocked Democrat also would be eligible for a refund of about $128,000 in personal contributions he made to the state's retirement fund.

Such is the financial fallout Blagojevich and his family face following Monday's guilty verdict on 17 corruption counts and last year's conviction for lying to the FBI.

Blagojevich served 10 years in state government — four years as a state representative and six as governor — before he was impeached and tossed from office in January 2009. Had he not been convicted of any crimes, Blagojevich would have been able to draw a $65,000-a-year state pension beginning Dec. 10, when he turns 55.

No ruling has been made on whether he can collect the state pension. The board overseeing pensions of state officials and lawmakers was waiting for the final outcome of the trials, said Timothy Blair, executive director of the General Assembly Retirement System.

Blair said the retirement system now will ask the state attorney general to review the case and make a recommendation on whether Blagojevich should lose his pension.

Senate Majority Leader James Clayborne, who is the pension board chairman, cited the case of former Republican Gov. George Ryan, who lost his entire pension following corruption convictions.

"I assume that the same thing will happen, that it will probably not be approved" for Blagojevich, said Clayborne, D-Belleville.

Sen. Bill Brady, who sits on the pension board, agreed. "There's no question in my mind that the same logic would prohibit Gov. Blagojevich from collecting on the pension," said Brady, R-Bloomington.

But Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said it is "premature to consider or comment on a case that's not yet before the board."

Blagojevich must be sentenced before he can be disqualified from getting a state pension, said Robyn Ziegler, a spokeswoman for Democratic Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. And it's unclear when that will happen.

The pension system's Blair said he is hopeful the board will have a decision in place before Blagojevich can start drawing pension checks in December. That would avoid a repeat of what happened with Ryan, who collected $635,000 from Illinois taxpayers in the three-plus years between his retirement and corruption conviction.

Blagojevich's federal pension for his six years in Congress will kick in at 62, said aides to North Side Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, citing guidelines. That's standard for congressmen with at least five years of service.

Now Blagojevich, a career politician, faces the question of how long his next term will be, though this time he is expected to serve it in prison rather than in public office.

Monday, June 27, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Blagojevich guilty

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

By Bob Secter and Jeff Coen
Tribune reporters
2:15 PM CDT, June 27, 2011

A federal jury today convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of corruption.

Blagojevich showed no reaction as the jury found him guilty on 17 of 20 counts against him. He then sat back in his chair with his lips pursed and looked toward his wife Patti with disappointment on face. The jury deadlocked on two counts and found him not guilty of one count.

 As he left his Ravenswood Manor home for the courtroom today, Blagojevich had told reporters, 
“My hands are shaking, my knees are weak.” He said he was praying for the best.  “It’s in God’s hands.”

Blagojevich stopped to hug one onlooker and thanked her for her support.  Another onlooker jeered, calling to Blagojevich to enjoy his time in jail.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and the head of Chicago's FBI office, Robert Grant, were in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.

Jurors had barely begun their 10th day of deliberations when they told Judge James Zagel they had reached a verdict on 18 of 20 counts against the former governor.

“The jury has come to a unanimous decision on 18 of 20 counts … We are confident that we will not be able to come to agreement on the two counts even with further deliberation,” a note from the jury read.

Blagojevich took the stand at his retrial and denied all 20 counts. One allegation is that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.

Jurors at Blagojevich's first trial last year came back deadlocked after deliberating for 14 days. They agreed on just one of 24 counts, convicting Blagojevich of lying to the FBI. He faces up to five years on that conviction.

If found guilty on all the counts this time, he faces up to 350 years in prison — though guidelines would dictate he get far less.

Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008, after the FBI had wiretapped hundreds of his telephone calls at work and home. The Illinois Legislature impeached him a month later.

Both trials hinged on whether the former governor's bold ramblings to aides and others on the telephone was just talk, as he insisted, or part of "a political crime spree," in the words of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Before a national audience, the Blagojevich saga exacerbated Illinois' reputation for graft. A conviction would mean Blagojevich is the second Illinois governor in a row facing a prison sentence for corruption. His predecessor, former Gov. George Ryan, is serving a 6{ year sentence.

The case also became a media spectacle, as the indicted governor and his wife, Patti, appeared on TV reality shows, and as the loquacious Blagojevich made theatrical appearances daily outside the courthouse during the first trial to profess his innocence and hug his remaining fans.

In a case full of high-level name dropping, defense attorneys in the retrial pulled into court Chicago's new Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Emanuel's appearance on the witness stand, the most anticipated by a Chicago mayor in a federal courtroom in decades, was over in just five minutes. Jackson was done in about half an hour.

Overall, though, the retrial had far less of the circus-like atmosphere that accompanied the initial trial. Blagojevich himself also was more subdued this time.

Other major differences were in the prosecution's dramatically streamlined case, and the fact that the defense put on a case after not doing so the first time around.

Prosecutors dropped racketeering counts against the ex-governor and dismissed all charges against his then co-defendant brother, Robert Blagojevich. They presented just three weeks of evidence — half the time taken at the first trial. They called fewer witnesses, asked fewer questions and played shorter excerpts of FBI wiretaps that underpin most of the charges.

There was also a new variable at the retrial: The testimony from Blagojevich himself. At the first trial, the defense rested without calling any witnesses and Blagojevich didn't testify despite vowing that he would.

Retrial jurors saw a deferential Blagojevich look them in the eyes and deny every allegation, telling them his talk on the recordings was mere brainstorming. This time, jurors must decide if they believe him.

BREAKING NEWS: The jury is in on Blagojevich

--Once it is announced we will post the verdicts. The jury has reached a verdict on 18 of the 20 counts.--
Duke

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

By Bob Secter and Jeff Coen
Tribune reporters
12:24 PM CDT, June 27, 2011

Dozens of reporters and photographers have gathered in front of Rod Blagojevich's home as jurors in his corruption retrial prepare to announce their verdict.

The jury told Judge James Zagel this morning it has reached a verdict on 18 of 20 counts against the former governor.

“The jury has come to a unanimous decision on 18 of 20 counts … We are confident that we will not be able to come to agreement on the two counts even with further deliberation,” a note from the jury read.
The judge said he expects the verdict to be announced in his courtroom between 1 and 2 p.m.

As of noon, a dozens reporters and half a dozen camera crews were camped out at Blagojevich's home in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood. It was not known if he was inside.
Blagojevich took the stand at his retrial and denied all 20 counts. One allegation is that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.

Jurors at Blagojevich's first trial last year came back deadlocked after deliberating for 14 days. They agreed on just one of 24 counts, convicting Blagojevich of lying to theFBI. He faces up to five years on that conviction.

If found guilty on all the counts this time, he faces up to 350 years in prison — though guidelines would dictate he get far less.

Blagojevich was arrested in December 2008, after the FBI had wiretapped hundreds of his telephone calls at work and home. TheIllinois Legislature impeached him a month later.

Both trials hinged on whether the former governor's bold ramblings to aides and others on the telephone was just talk, as he insisted, or part of "a political crime spree," in the words of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Before a national audience, the Blagojevich saga exacerbated Illinois' reputation for graft. A conviction would mean Blagojevich is the second Illinois governor in a row facing a prison sentence for corruption. His predecessor, former Gov. George Ryan, is serving a 6{ year sentence.

The case also became a media spectacle, as the indicted governor and his wife, Patti, appeared on TV reality shows, and as the loquacious Blagojevich made theatrical appearances daily outside the courthouse during the first trial to profess his innocence and hug his remaining fans.

In a case full of high-level name dropping, defense attorneys in the retrial pulled into court Chicago's new Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Emanuel's appearance on the witness stand, the most anticipated by a Chicago mayor in a federal courtroom in decades, was over in just five minutes. Jackson was done in about half an hour.

Overall, though, the retrial had far less of the circus-like atmosphere that accompanied the initial trial. Blagojevich himself also was more subdued this time.

Other major differences were in the prosecution's dramatically streamlined case, and the fact that the defense put on a case after not doing so the first time around.

Prosecutors dropped racketeering counts against the ex-governor and dismissed all charges against his then co-defendant brother, Robert Blagojevich. They presented just three weeks of evidence — half the time taken at the first trial. They called fewer witnesses, asked fewer questions and played shorter excerpts of FBI wiretaps that underpin most of the charges.

There was also a new variable at the retrial: The testimony from Blagojevich himself. At the first trial, the defense rested without calling any witnesses and Blagojevich didn't testify despite vowing that he would.

Retrial jurors saw a deferential Blagojevich look them in the eyes and deny every allegation, telling them his talk on the recordings was mere brainstorming. This time, jurors must decide if they believe him.

The 20 counts against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich include wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery, extortion and extortion conspiracy.

Count 1 Wire Fraud -- Solicitation of Children’s Memorial Hospital
           
Count 2 Wire Fraud – Sale of U.S. Senate seat 
                                     
Count 3 Wire Fraud – Sale of U.S. Senate seat 
                                    
Count 4 Wire Fraud – Sale of U.S. Senate seat 
                                     
Count 5 Wire Fraud – Sale of U.S. Senate seat  
                                    
Count 6 Wire Fraud – Sale of U.S. Senate seat  
                                    
Count 7 Wire Fraud – Sale of U.S. Senate seat 
                                     
Count 8 Wire Fraud – Sale of U.S. Senate seat
                                      
Count 9 Wire Fraud – Solicitation of racetrack executive  
                      
Count 10 Wire Fraud – Sale of U.S. Senate seat   
                                  
Count 11 Attempted Extortion -- Solicitation of U.S. congressman 
           
Count 12 Attempted Extortion – Solicitation of Children’s Memorial Hospital

Count 13 Bribery – Solicitation of Children’s Memorial Hospital
                 
Count 14 Conspiracy to Commit Extortion – Solicitation of racetrack executive 
                          
Count 15 Conspiracy to Commit Bribery – Solicitation of racetrack executive     
    
Count 16 Attempted Extortion – Solicitation of construction executive
       
Count 17 Bribery – Solicitation of construction executive    
                   
Count 18 Extortion Conspiracy – Sale of U.S. Senate seat   
                    
Count 19 Attempted Extortion – Sale of U.S. Senate seat   
                       
Count 20 Conspiracy to Commit Bribery – Sale of U.S. Senate seat  

PENSION: (Chicago) Former Mayor Daley will get back all of his pension contributions within 26 months

--The Pension Reciprocal Law in action. This is why it needs to be repealed.
No wonder why he is smiling so smugly.--
Duke


BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporter
Last Modified: Jun 27, 2011 05:59AM

During the four decades he held public office — as mayor of Chicago, Cook County state’s attorney and Illinois state senator — Richard M. Daley paid a total of $393,679 into his government pension plans.

He’ll get all of it back within 26 months.

Daley, who left office six weeks ago, has begun collecting his pension, which, for now, comes to $183,779 a year. Next year, he’ll start getting automatic cost-of-living raises that will boost his pension by 3 percent every year.

Daley, 69, chose to retire under the state’s most lucrative government pension plan — the one that Illinois legislators set up for themselves. It provides Daley with a pension equal to 85 percent of his final mayoral salary of $216,210. The state pays two-thirds of his pension. The city — which also is providing the former mayor and his wife with two cars and bodyguards — picks up the rest.

While collecting his government pension — one of the highest ever for any retired elected official in Illinois — Daley also is involved in three new ventures in the private sector. He’s joined the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, which was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars on city deals while Daley was mayor. He’s also been hired to organize a lecture series at the University of Chicago. And he’s opened an office with his son, Patrick Daley, to work on business deals.

NEWS: (Illinois) Quinn signs back seat safety belt measure into law

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

By Monique Garcia
Clout Street
10:30 AM CDT, June 27, 2011

Back seat passengers will now be required to wear seat belts in Illinois under a measure Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law today.

The move strengthens the state's current seat belt laws, which require passengers in the front seat and anyone under the age of 19 to wear safety belts. Police will be able to stop vehicles if they notice a passenger isn't strapped in. Fines start at $25.

Exemptions include those riding in taxis or emergency vehicles such as police cars and ambulances. The measure was sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat who authored the state's first law requiring passengers to buckle up during the 1980s.

Quinn signed the bill at a ceremony at the Thompson Center in Chicago.

The governor said the safety measure is particularly important heading into the 4th of July weekend, which can be one of the most dangerous for drivers.

Cullerton and Quinn both recognized the work of the late Rep. Mark Beaubien, a Republican from Barrington Hills, who pushed the bill in the House. Beaubien's family was at the bill signing at Quinn's Chicago office.

The governor also signed a law making it illegal for passengers to ride in trailers, wagons and other vehicles while they are being towed on highways. Farm-related activities and parades are exempt.

R.I.P.: Police Officer Russell Anthony George

ODMP  

Police Officer Russell Anthony George
Ball Police Department, Louisiana
End of Watch: Sunday, June 26, 2011

Biographical Info

Age: 47
Tour of Duty: 18 years
Badge Number: BL-4

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: June 26, 2011
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Officer Russell George was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a call for assistance from another officer from his department at approximately 2:50 am.

He was traveling south on US Highway 165 when his patrol car collided with an abandoned bicycle that was located in the roadway. After colliding with the bicycle, Officer George lost control of his patrol car, left the roadway and collided with several trees. The collision with the trees caused his patrol car become engulfed in flames. Officer George died at the scene.

Officer George was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Ball Police Department for 18 years. He is survived by his wife, daughter, two step-daughters, mother, and four siblings.

Agency Contact Information

Ball Police Department
100 Municipal Drive
Ball, LA 71405
Phone: (318) 640-4673

R.I.P.: Deputy Sheriff Charles Allen Van Meter

ODMP 

Deputy Sheriff Charles Allen Van Meter
Brazoria County Sheriff's Office, Texas
End of Watch: Sunday, June 26, 2011

Biographical Info

Age: 27
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: June 26, 2011
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Deputy Charles Van Meter was killed in an automobile accident on State Highway 6, in Manvel, at approximately 10:30 pm.

An eastbound pickup truck caused a collision when it turned left off of Highway 6 to enter a gas station near FM 1128, failing to yield to the oncoming patrol car. Deputy Van Meter, the passenger in the patrol car, sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene. His partner was flown to a hospital in critical condition.

Agency Contact Information

Brazoria County Sheriff's Office
3602 County Road 45
Angleton, TX 77515
Phone: (979) 864-2214

Sunday, June 26, 2011

NEWS: (Illinois) Quinn to sign workers' compensation reform Tuesday

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

By Monique Garcia, Tribune reporter
7:49 PM CDT, June 26, 2011

Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday plans to sign into law an overhaul of the state's workers' compensation system, a move that will slash medical rates, set new standards in determining a worker's disability and put in place more safeguards to prevent abuse.

The governor is scheduled to mark what he calls "historic" changes with a fly-around starting at engine manufacturer Navistar in Melrose Park. He'll then make stops at Ingersoll Machine Tools in Rockford, Kraft Foods in Champaign and Aisin Manufacturing in downstate Marion.

"This is a giant step," Quinn told the Tribune on Sunday.

The sweeping package is the result of months of negotiations among Quinn's office, business groups, unions, health care providers and trial lawyers. The administration estimates the changes will save Illinois businesses at least $500 million a year, but the final product doesn't get a thumbs-up from all stakeholders.

Critics say the majority of savings come at the expense of doctors and hospitals that treat injured workers, while others say it doesn't go far enough in requiring employees to prove they were hurt on the job. But supporters contend it is a balanced approach that was able to win votes from Democrats and Republicans.

"Everybody doesn't get everything they want, but in this case I think we reach a relatively strong medium where we were able to accomplish significant reforms while at the same time protecting the rights of legitimately injured workers," said Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, a key negotiator.

The business lobby has long pushed for changes to the expensive system, which costs Illinois companies about $3 billion a year. Democratic leaders were eager to tackle the subject after they pushed through a major income tax increase in January and other states began publicly wooing Illinois corporations.

Efforts were bolstered by a scandal at a downstate prison, where hundreds of guards have been awarded millions of dollars for injuries they say happened at work. Federal authorities are now investigating.

The new law will dump most of the arbitrators who hear cases for the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission and will set new standards of conduct. They'll have to be licensed attorneys and get ongoing training on fraud, ethics and medical best practices.

Arbitrators will be required to consult American Medical Association guidelines when determining a worker's impairment after an injury. A new review process aims to ensure standardization in the type and amount of treatment a worker receives. Money awards for carpal tunnel claims would be limited, as would payouts employees receive for injuries that force them to take new jobs that pay less.

The measure also will put into law several court decisions that require a worker to prove an injury happened on the job, though business groups say that's not enough of a burden of proof. Critics also aren't happy with rules requiring injured workers to go through a network of doctors set up by the Department of Insurance, saying there are too many loopholes and it doesn't do enough to stop costly referrals to specialists.

Even so, Quinn says businesses should start to see savings when insurance reforms go into effect Sept. 1.

Quinn will be joined at the bill-signing ceremony by fellow Chicago Democrats House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno, of Lemont, also will be in attendance. Absent will be House GOP leader Tom Cross, of Oswego, whose caucus took a unified position against the bill. Freshman Rep. Chris Nybo, R-Elmhurst, eventually broke ranks and voted for the reform package.

"We got the job done," Quinn said. "I'm very happy that we succeeded. It would have been sad if we didn't get that bill passed. It's going to save real businesses, large and small, anywhere from half a billion to three-quarters of a billion of dollars."

OFFICER DOWN NEWS: Anthony "Tony" Fosco (Chicago P.D.)

--Tony was a relative of mine. His brother Nick was my grandfather. Him and my parents were friends from the "old neighborhood" (Taylor St). God Speed Tony.--
Duke

(Thanks Shaved for being the only place to supply any info.)

A recently retired Chicago police officer was found dead from a gunshot wound to the lower torso in his Garfield Ridge residence. Although suicide has not been ruled out, the officer may have accidentally shot himself while removing his service weapon from his belt line.

The male Officer had just retired after 40 years of service with the Chicago police department and was 61 years of age.

Tony's Obit from the paper:

Fosco, Anthony L. (Ret. CPD), age 61 of Chicago. At rest June 24, 2011. Beloved husband of Kathryn, nee May. Loving father of Nicole, Anthony, Daniel and Dominic. Dear son of the late Nicholas and Rose, nee Tufano. Fond brother of Rose Siciliano and the late Nicholas and Sabatino Fosco. Brother-in-law of Bernard (Ret. CPD), Daniel (Sue) Edward (CPD) (Judy) and the late John (Linda), Gerald (CFD), James (CPD) May. Uncle of many nieces and nephews. Fond friend of many. Funeral Wednesday 9:00 a.m. from Blake-Lamb Funeral Home, 4727 W. 103rd St., Oak Lawn to St. Rita of Cascia Shrine Chapel (7740 South Western Ave.) Mass 10:00 a.m. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Visitation Tuesday 3:00 - 9:00 p.m. Member of The Chicago Police Dept. for 39 years and Member of F.O.P.

R.I.P.: Sergeant Darrell Curley

ODMP 

Sergeant Darrell Curley
Navajo Division of Public Safety, Tribal Police
End of Watch: Saturday, June 25, 2011

Biographical Info

Age: Not available
Tour of Duty: 26 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire
Location: Arizona
Date of Incident: June 25, 2011
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect Info: Not available

Sergeant Darrell Curley was shot and killed when he and another officer responded to a domestic disturbance in Kaibito, Arizona.

The dispute involved a fight between two brothers. Another officer who had responded to the scene was also shot and wounded. Sergeant Curley was transported to a hospital in Page, Arizona, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Sergeant Curley had served with the Navajo Division of Public Safety for 25 years and was assigned to the Tuba City District.

Agency Contact Information

Navajo Division of Public Safety
PO Drawer J
Window Rock, AZ 86515
Phone: (928) 871-6363

NEWS: (Chicago) 5 cops hurt breaking up fight that led to 13 arrests

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

By Liam Ford
Tribune reporter
12:06 PM CDT, June 26, 2011

Five Chicago police officers were injured as they broke up a large fight in the Little Village nieghborhood on the West Side early this morning, police said.

Thirteen people were in custody in the fight, which took place a little before 4:30 a.m. in the 2800 block of West 25th Street, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Michael Sullivan.

The officers injured were all treated and released, police said; the most seriously injured had been hit over the head with a bottle.

Police initially were called for a complaint about loud music, followed quickly by another report about a fight, Sullivan said.

The group of people fighting among themselves started fighting with police when officers arrived, Sullivan said. Officers from the Ogden and Harrison police districts were among those who responded to the fight, which happened on the border between the two districts.

R.I.P.: Trooper Adam M. Bowen


Trooper Adam M. Bowen
Virginia State Police, Virginia
End of Watch: Friday, June 24, 2011

Biographical Info

Age: 28
Tour of Duty: 3 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: June 24, 2011
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Trooper Adam Bowen was killed when his patrol car was involved in a collision in King George County.

Trooper Bowen was responding to call for assistance from a Virginia State Police special agent. He was traveling westbound on Route 3 and as he entered the intersection of Route 3 and Madison Drive his patrol car collided with a vehicle that was traveling eastbound. The impact forced the patrol car to run off the road and strike a traffic pole. The patrol car was split in half by the force of the impact and the front end of the vehicle continued into a nearby parking lot where it struck three parked cars. Trooper Bowen died at the scene.

Trooper Bowen had served with the Virginia State Police for three years. He had previously served with the U.S. Air National Guard and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He is survived by his parents and fiancée.

Agency Contact Information

Virginia State Police
7700 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23235
Phone: (804) 674-2843

Duke's Confidential Tip Line

*******************************************************

Duke's Daily Blotter announces the opening of its Confidential Tip Line.

(708) 632-8062

This line is a simple voice mail box system. There is no caller id and it is completely anonymous.

This line can be used for many purposes.

1. Citizens with information on criminal activities and they unsure who to call or are uncomfortable calling the police directly.


2. News tips from citizens.


3. News tips from employees that need to remain anonymous.

Duke's Confidential Tip Line is operational 24 hours a day.

You can still send emails to questions@dukesblotter.net

***********************************************************************************

Saturday, June 25, 2011

NEWS: (Suburban) 7 injured in Melrose Park apartment fire

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

By Deanese Williams-Harris
Tribune reporter
8:36 PM CDT, June 24, 2011

Five adults and two children were injured this evening after a fire broke out in an apartment building in west suburban Melrose Park, officials said.

Firefighters were called about 5:47 p.m. to a second-floor apartment of a 15-unit building on the 3100 block of Thomas Street, according to a fire department spokesman. 

Five adults of unspecified age and two children, ages 2 and 3, all suffered smoke inhalation and were taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, West Lake Community Hospital or Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, both in Melrose Park. Conditions for the injured were not available.

No firefighters were injured in the fire.

The fire was contained to the second-floor unit, but the building sustained heavy damage, according to the spokesman. The entire building was boarded up, leaving several residents displaced, he said.

American Red Cross relief workers were on the scene assisting displaced families with food, clothing and shelter.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

NEWS: (Chicago) Gun advocate calls Garry McCarthy’s views ‘nutty,’ from ‘political hack’

STORY AT Chicago Sun-Times

BY DAVE MCKINNEY
Sun-Times Springfield Bureau Chief
dmickinney@suntimes.com
Last Modified: Jun 25, 2011 09:16AM

SPRINGFIELD ­— In a blistering counterpunch, a leading pro-gun advocate Friday called Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s racially loaded attack on the National Rifle Association as “too nutty to dignify with a response” and denigrated the city’s new police chief as a “political hack.”

Federal gun laws pushed by the National Rifle Association amount to “government-sponsored racism” because they help channel weapons into inner-city areas that then get used to kill “black and brown children,” McCarthy told parishioners at St. Sabina Church earlier this month in statements that were aired broadly for the first time this week.

“As much as we wouldn’t expect to hear McCarthy speak in opposition to gun control, it is equally certain that few of us were prepared to hear what actually came from McCarthy’s mouth when he spoke to the St. Sabina’s congregation,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

“After several minutes of gratuitous self-promotion, McCarthy launched into a racially charged tirade in which he accused the NRA and law-abiding gun owners of participating in a government-sponsored program to kill black people. Like most of you, we believe an assertion such as McCarthy’s is too nutty to dignify with a response,” Pearson said in statement posted Friday on his group’s website.

McCarthy’s inflammatory statements blamed the NRA for supporting gun laws that put guns on a conveyor belt to the inner city, where they are used to kill and maim minorities, including children.

“I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of African-American history in this country, and tell me if I’m crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers, across this country, that are killing black and brown children,” McCarthy said at the church.

Pearson, who is helping push a drive to allow Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons, said McCarthy’s statement constituted “an affront to law-enforcement officers everywhere.”

“But, then again, any suggestion that McCarthy is a law-enforcement officer is a sham. Rather, McCarthy is merely another in a long line of political hacks who have resided in the office of police superintendant,” Pearson said. “McCarthy’s job description has nothing to do with law-enforcement and everything to do with enforcing the political agenda of his boss, Rahm Emanuel.”

A statement issued by McCarthy Friday did not address Pearson’s criticisms nor the St. Sabina flap, other than offering a toned-down assessment of the scourge of illegal guns on Chicago’s streets.

“The commitment of law enforcement must be to holding violent criminals accountable for their actions and at the same time recognizing individuals’ constitutional rights.

“Law enforcement cannot do this alone, and strong gun laws against illegal firearms are critical in order to maintain public safety and private rights,” McCarthy said. “Gang and drug activity intersect with guns, and all three must be the focus of violence-reduction efforts in our communities.”

Friday, June 24, 2011

NEWS: (Illinois) Conceal-and-carry? I prefer reveal-and-carry


John Kass
June 23, 2011

Illinois may indeed lead the nation when it comes to political corruption, but we're doing lousy in protecting the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.

"That's Illinois, last in citizen's rights, first in taxes. What more could you want?" said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Pearson has every right to be sarcastic. The Wisconsin Legislature this week passed a concealed carry bill and sent it to the governor's desk, leaving Illinois the only state in the union without some kind of concealed carry provision.

The only state. And that's really embarrassing. Taxpayers in 49 other states get to carry guns under their jackets. But in Illinois, only our criminals carry.

Illinois Gov. Jell-O, a Democrat who caves on just about everything else, remains steadfastly opposed to concealed carry. Pat Quinn believes such a law would allow "more weapons — hidden weapons — in public places," a spokeswoman said.

Pearson agrees — and says that's a good thing.

"It would put more guns on the streets. It would put them in the hands of law-abiding citizens," Pearson said. "Right now, they're in the hands of criminals. I don't know if you're aware, but criminals don't obey the law."

Of course criminals don't obey the law. That's why we call them criminals.

And taxpayers, by definition, do obey the law. That's why we call ourselves Chumbolones.

Though I'm an endangered species — a journalist who hunts and shoots and thinks the Constitution actually means what the Founding Fathers intended it should mean — I've worked out a compromise.

If the governor is worried about hidden weapons, well, why not just unhide them?

Let's move from conceal-and-carry to reveal-and-carry. Why hide? We're Americans, dang it.

So why not just strap on a big cowboy pistol, like the kind Robert Duvall used as Capt. Augustus McCrae in "Lonesome Dove" or the kind Jeff Bridges used as Rooster Cogburnin "True Grit," and see what happens?

Here's one possibility: We'll drop our sloppy talk and stop cursing in public, and maybe we'll stop using all those contractions. Such talk will serve as a warning to aggressors.

As the famed science fiction writer Robert Heinlein once said, "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."

How true. So while I don't want anyone to die over a bad case of manners, wouldn't it be nice if people were civil to each other? Of course it would.

Just imagine if you were on a hot CTA bus and some guy just inadvertently slimed the passenger next to you with sweat — the sweat just pouring off the guy — you'd have a course of action open to you.

You could stand and say, "I believe you have just slimed that passenger with your perspiration, sir. Beware, lest you slime me, for I do not abide rude behavior in a man."

Or, if you get into an auto accident with someone in a conceal-and-carry state, here's what usually happens:

You both jump out of the car screaming, neither of you sees a weapon on the other, someone is always yelling and cursing, and then the other guy starts yelling and cursing, and spittle flies, which can lead to trouble.

But if you live in a reveal-and-carry state, it's pretty obvious when someone is carrying. And when they start talking like a cowboy, things become awfully clear.

"I am heartily sorry that I have crashed into your car, my good sir," you'd say. "I meant no offense."

"Yes," the other would say. "Though my conveyance was reliable, it is not worth a human life."

And then you both wait for the cops, calm and reasonable, talking like movie cowboys.

About the only thing I'd outlaw is the wearing of chaps. We don't want to carry the cowboy thing too far, and there's really no need of chaps on 79th and Western Avenue, or in Highland Park, Hinsdale, Melrose Park or just about anyplace else.

Not even Decatur. There's no brush for one thing, and the wild country is long gone.

But if we all wore big Navy Colts strapped to our legs like Rooster Cogburn, wouldn't it follow that we might also start talking like Rooster Cogburn? And that would be cool.

Not everything Rooster Cogburn says is polite. For example, that famous line offered to a Texas Ranger, "How long you boys been mounted on sheep down there?" would be considered quite rude in certain Texican precincts.

The main thing to remember is that not everybody wants reveal-and-carry. Pearson is one of them.

"People seem to think, or have been told by the media, that a gun has a soul and imparts evil to its owner," said Pearson. "That's just not the case. It's a simple machine, like an eggbeater."

Pearson prefers conceal-and-carry to my reveal-and-carry idea, because the benefits spread to those who choose not to go strapped.

So, Richard, when are you moving to Wisconsin?

"Absolutely not," said Pearson. "I will continue fighting for freedoms here."

In the state where corruption does better than the Constitution.

NEWS: (Chicago) Top cop Garry McCarthy likens federal gun laws to ‘racism’

--Totally changes the many positive outlooks that people may have had for the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Dept.--
Duke



BY STEFANO ESPOSITO

Staff Reporter
Last Modified: Jun 24, 2011 04:49AM

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy earlier this month told parishioners at St. Sabina’s Church that federal gun laws are akin to “government-sponsored racism.”

“I want you to connect one more dot on that chain of African-American history in this country, and tell me if I’m crazy: Federal gun laws that facilitate the flow of illegal firearms into our urban centers, across this country, that are killing black and brown children,” he said according to an WMAQ-Channel 5 story that aired Thursday.

McCarthy can be heard telling the congregation in the video about the NRA, “The NRA does not like me, and I’m OK with that.”

McCarthy went on to say that in the debate about gun control, there has to be “a recognition of who’s paying the price for gun manufacturers being rich and living in gated communities.”

McCarthy told parishioners an anecdote about a brutal night of killings in Newark, N.J., where he was previously head of the police department. McCarthy said that after he got home that night, he turn on the TV to relax, and tuned in to Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

“She was caribou-hunting and talking about the right to bear arms,” McCarthy said. “Why wasn’t she at the crime scene with me?”

McCarthy also told parishioners that “everybody is afraid of race. I’m not afraid of race.”

In a statement Thursday, McCarthy said “strong gun laws against illegal firearms are critical in order to maintain public safety and private rights.”

NEWS: (Chicago) Tip leads FBI to 'Fat Rat' in Alabama

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

By Andrew L. Wang
Tribune reporter
12:17 PM CDT, June 24, 2011

A Chicago fugitive characterized in court documents as a "bundle runner" in the West Side heroin trade was arrested in rural Alabama Thursday after the FBI was tipped off that he was hiding there.

Corey Griffin, known on the street as "Fat Rat," was captured in the afternoon at a relative's home west of the town of Brent in central Alabama, said Paul Daymond, a spokesman for the FBI's Birmingham office. Griffin did not resist arrest.

"Citizen tips are very important," he said. "This case and the (James "Whitey") Bulger case show that."

Bulger, a former FBI informant and Boston mobster charged with a string of killings, was arrested Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. after a tipster told agents his whereabouts.

Griffin, 40, was in federal custody in Birmingham today and scheduled to appear before a federal judge Monday. He was expected to return to Chicago next week.

Griffin was considered one of Chicago's most-wanted fugitives and has been featured on billboards seeking information on his whereabouts. This month the FBI and Chicago police offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, about seven months after he was charged as part of "Operation Blue Knight," a joint investigation by Chicago police and the FBI.

Authorities say Griffin, who lived in Chicago in the 0-99 block of South Mayfield Avenue, was a member of the Traveling Vice Lords street gang and worked as a "runner" -- in street parlance, a low- to mid-level member of the drug operation whose job was to move heroin and cash from one place to another.

The November complaint also names four other purported members of the Traveling Vice Lords and alleges that it was Griffin's job to drop off drugs at another person's house for sale at a specific West Side corner and later return to collect proceeds from the sales.

On July 1, 2010, Griffin allegedly was seen with his codefendants leaving an apartment near Sacramento Avenue and 23rd Street that investigators identified as a stash house where heroin was cut, mixed and packaged. The complaint also details controlled drug buys in which a confidential source bought packages of heroin from Griffin.

Griffin was one of 96 purported gang members charged in "Blue Knight," and one of about two dozen that initially eluded capture.

It was not clear how long he had been at the Alabama location.

NEWS: (National) Hackers break into Arizona police computers

STORY AT Chicago Tribune

Reuters
10:16 AM CDT, June 24, 2011

WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Reuters) - Computer hackers who previously broke into a U.S. Senate server and brought down the CIA website struck an Arizona police website on Thursday, releasing dozens of internal documents over the Internet.

Lulz Security, saying it opposed a tough anti-immigration law in Arizona, said it was releasing documents that related to border control and other law enforcement activities. Its headline was "Chinga La Migra," Spanish for a more profane way of saying "Screw the Immigration Service."

It released about a half a gigabyte of data, including account names, passwords and contact information for several people. Reuters was able to reach two of them to establish that they were accurate.

A scan of the dozens of files released revealed what appeared to be security bulletins from other law enforcement agencies, internal planning documents and even routine reports on traffic incidents.

"We are aware of computer issues," said Steve Harrison, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, "We're looking into it. And of course we're taking additional security safeguards."

The Mexico border state passed a law last year ordering police to check the immigration status of anyone suspected to be in the United States illegally, in a bid to curb illegal immigration and border-related crime.

A majority of Americans supported the measure, but outraged opponents charged it was unconstitutional and would lead to the harassment of Hispanic-Americans, and called for an economic boycott of the desert state.

The most controversial parts of the law were blocked by a federal judge shortly before it came into effect last July, although Arizona is pursuing an appeal.

FEW ARRESTS

Lulz, a group of rogue hackers who have not been identified, posts the results of its hacks on Twitter, the microblogging site where the group has cultivated more than 240,000 followers.

So far LulzSec's publicized assaults on Sony Corp., the CIA, News Corp's Fox TV and other targets have mostly resulted in temporary disruptions of some websites and the release of user credentials.

There have been few arrests in the hacks. British police said on Tuesday that they had arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicion that he was connected to attacks on Sony, the CIA and a British police unit that fights organized crime.

Spanish police earlier this month apprehended three men on suspicion they helped Anonymous, a second rogue hacking group that has teamed up with LulzSec.

Hacker attacks forced Brazil to shut down its presidential website and other government sites temporarily on Thursday, a day after cyber attacks briefly disabled other government sites.

LulzSec, whose hacks started to hit headlines last month, has published the email addresses and passwords of thousands of alleged subscribers to porn sites, it temporarily took down the public website of the CIA, and it published data from internal servers of the U.S. Senate.

Security experts who have researched LulzSec's origins say it emerged from Anonymous, which became famous for attacking the companies and institutions that oppose WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Anonymous also attacked Sony and governments around the globe that it considered oppressive.

LulzSec's members are believed to be scattered around the world, collaborating via secret Internet chat rooms. Suspected leaders include hackers with the handles Kayla, Sabu and Topiary, security experts say.

The group's name is a combination of lulz, which is slang for laughs, and sec, which stands for security.

(Additional reporting by Tim Gaynor in Phoenix and Roberto Samora in Sao Paulo)

(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Jim Finkle; Editing by Paul Simao)

PENSION: (Illinois) NIU Chief: Lawmakers need to keep pension promises

STORY AT Evanston Now

Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at 9:27 pm by Statehouse News
By Diane Lee

SPRINGFIELD — Northern Illinois University President John Peters on Tuesday warned current and retired state university workers to brace for possible changes to their pension benefits in the fall.

"Make no mistake, my friends, what happens in Springfield, this fall, regarding pension reform and annuitant health-care policy changes is of critical importance to every annuitant in the state of Illinois," said Peters, referring to an annuitant as a person who receives pension benefits.

Peters asked State University Annuitants Association, which represents current and retired faculty and staff working to preserve their pensions, to suggest solutions to state lawmakers in order to resolve the state's growing pension problem.

"In my opinion, leaders in public higher education in Illinois must suggest viable alternatives that will address the very real financial distress confronting our pension systems," he said.

Illinois' five taxpayer supported pension systems, including pensions for university workers, are underfunded by $130 billion. To control that debt, lawmakers passed pension reforms this past year that trim costs for future workers.

Kelly Kraft, Gov. Pat Quinn's budget spokeswoman, said this past year's reforms will save $200 billion over the coming decades for future employees, but they do little to address costs associated with current workers and current retirees.

This past spring, leaders in the Illinois House proposed to change current benefits by having current employees pay more for their benefits, see reductions, or have retirees pay for some of their health-care costs. State lawmakers are expected to revisit reforming pensions for current employees in the fall veto session.

But Peters said workers who made their contributions deserve full retirement benefits, and the state hasn't lived up to its promises. He pointed to state lawmakers history for skipping or making partial pension payments to the Illinois pension systems.

"Many individuals on our state Legislature didn't learn that lesson, or maybe they forgot that lesson: Once you make a deal with somebody, you keep it," Peters said.

Leo Welch, president of State University Annuitants Association, said the Illinois Constitution guarantees that once staff and faculty join the system, their pensions cannot diminished nor impaired.

"We fully support the constitutional provisions that protect current employees, as well as current annuitants," Welch said.

State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, said the state will need to address pension payments, but the constitutionality of possibly changing pensions for existing workers will need to be decided in the courts.

"It is in everyone's best interest that these pension systems not fail. That is where we are headed if we don't do something," Pritchard said. "Sooner or later, they are going to run out of assets, and what are they going to pay people with?"

It's not just payments to retirees. A new report from the Illinois Policy Institute, a free market think tank, states that within a decade, Illinois will be paying more for university retirements than to run the state's colleges and universities.

Northern Illinois University, like many other universities in Illinois, has raised tuition as state money for operations dwindles.

However, Welch defends tuition hikes, as a down payment for young people and their families.

"The state should view higher education, as well as education in general, as an investment as opposed (to) viewing it as a cost," Welch said. "If the economy is going to recover, it is going to depend on educated citizenry in the state of Illinois."