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ere the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at:
Where the TRUTH starts. Public Pension Reform. Law Enforcement News. Officer Down News. Collective Bargaining. Corruption. - See more at:

Officer Down

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NEWS: (Chicago) Brothers Suing 2 Chicago Cops For Beating Caught On Tape

--A video with no sound from an awkward angle and the guy being in possession of a gun. 
It all sounds kind of sketchy to me.
I would like to know where the gun was and what prompted the officers to visit the store in the first place.
If a guy has a gun on him I probably would have hit him to.
To many unknowns in this story.--

Story and Video at CBS2 Chicago


October 30, 2012 9:40 PM

CHICAGO (CBS) – Two Chicago police officers are being investigated by the FBI and the Independent Police Review Authority, after beating two brothers at a South Shore storefront. The officers have been relieved of police powers, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Surveillance footage obtained by our CBS 2 Investigators is at the center of that investigation.

CBS 2′s Dave Savini gives you an exclusive look into allegations of police abuse.

The video shows a two-officer tactical unit move in at a store. They are handcuffing people, including Jecque Howard, who said he was working at the store.

“I’m getting a gun pointed at me and punched in my face and kicked in my ribs,” said Jecque Howard.

Howard said the officers never even said why they were there. He said Officer George Stacker was the first to approach him.

“He came to the front and said ‘you work here?’, and I said, ‘yes’. He said ‘well not after today, you’re fired,’” explained Howard.

Howard’s brother, Paul Neal, was working outside the South Shore shop for a government cell phone program at the time.

As the brothers watched the tape, they said they were still in disbelief about what happened next.

“That’s Aldo Brown,” they said in unison, while watching the video as Officer Aldo Brown approached Jecque in the store.

“He told me to drop my pants, to take off my pants,” said Howard, who did not want to strip, but did lower his pants before the situation got worse.

“I got hit in the right side of my face. He hit me over here on my left side,” Howard said, explaining all that happened while his hands were down, and he was not doing anything threatening.

“Then he put his hand around my throat and got to choking me,” said Howard. “And then he threw me on the floor and put me in cuffs and while I was in cuffs is when he hit me like two more times in the face and kicked me in the ribs a couple of times. It was kind of scary. It was real scary actually.”

Paul Neal said he had a similar run-in with this same officer, Aldo Brown, last year and had filed a complaint. As of Tuesday, the excessive force complaint was still being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority.

Neal said he wanted to help his brother, but said he was being roughed up outside by the other officer – Stacker.

“He threw me on the car and that’s when he started hitting me in my ribs,” said Neal.

Neal said a camera recorded him being roughed up outside, but he has not obtained the video yet.

“These guys are just trying to work,” said Attorney Tim Fiscella, who represents the brothers who were arrested that day.

Neal was charged with resisting arrest.

Howard was charged with having a gun, which he said was for protection while working in that neighborhood. He also had a small amount of cannabis.

All the charges were dismissed, because the officers did not show up to court.

Fiscella said, without the video, there could have been a different outcome in court.

“It’s going to be his word against the officers’ word,” he said.

The brothers have filed a federal lawsuit.

“Somebody’s got to do something about this guy,” said Neal.

“I would like it if he could get fired,” said Howard.

CBS 2 was unable to reach Officer Aldo Brown, but Officer George Stacker did say he felt, “They [Stacker and Brown] followed police guidelines to a T.”

However, he would not say on the record why he and Brown failed to show up in court.

NEWS: (Cook County) Preckwinkle drops bullet tax, keeps gun tax

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Hal Dardick
Tribune reporter
10:43 AM CDT, October 31, 2012

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today dropped plans for a five-cent bullet tax, but still wants to charge a $25 tax on every gun purchase.

The compromise was negotiated over several days with Commissioners John Fritchey and Edwin Reyes, both Chicago Democrats, who had balked at the guns and ammo taxes.

In exchange for their support, Preckwinkle agreed to create a $2 million fund to combat gun violence. Fritchey had proposed dedicating $1.4 million to anti-gun violence efforts. She also agreed to exempt law-enforcement officers from having to pay the tax, which helped convince Reyes to support the plan.

An undetermined portion of the $2 million would be granted to “non-profits with a track record of effective violence prevention and community outreach.” About $100,000 would be used to crack down on illegal gun purchases.

An advisory board that will award the grants also would look at gun courts in other jurisdictions and come up with a recommendation for the county by July 1, Preckwinkle said.

Although Preckwinkle dropped immediate plans for the ammo tax of a nickel per bullet, she said the county will continue to look at the idea. As it was proposed, the taxes on some boxes of bullets would have been greater than the cost of the bullets themselves, Preckwinkle said.

The bullet tax was projected to raise $400,000 in revenue. The gun tax would raise $600,000, Budget Director Andrea Gibson said.

The revenue would help defray the cost of medical care for people who are shot and then treated at county-run, taxpayer subsidized Cook County Hospital. The hospital treats about 670 gunshot victims at year at an average cost of $52,000, Preckwinkle said.

PUBLIC NOTICE: Kane County and Elmwood Park

--This is something interesting that was sent to me.
First time I have this type of incident handled in such a manner.
Kind of creative and unsettling all at the same time.--


CHILD SEX ABUSE SUSPECT In Elmwood Park, Illinois!

Elmwood Park Sex Abuser 

On October 22, 2012, Kane County Investigator Pam Ely interviewed a very young female Kane County resident who implicated a 10-year old Elmwood Park boy in a sexual abuse claim. The suspect lives in the far Northwest section of Elmwood Park, where he has been residing with his family since birth. The suspect attends a nearby Roman Catholic grade-school and is on a local football team for youngsters in his community. According to a source close to the alleged victim, Investigator Ely described the victim’s videotaped statement to authorities as "very credible."

Because of the suspect’s young age, it's unclear if charges will be approved by the States Attorney, though the matter is pending (as of 10/29/2012). Sources close to the suspect's family have shared with others that suspect's relatives are in denial over the allegations. Therefore, it is purported that the suspect's parents refuse to send the suspect for a mental-health evaluation and/or treatment. Unfortunately, due to the young age of the suspect, his name and address cannot be published at this time.

This public service announcement is meant for the large number of parents in the Elmwood Park community who have young kids who could have (or had) exposure to the suspect. If the general description of the suspect is a concern to you, please ask your children if any inappropriate contact had been made.

If a crime is detected, please take immediate action by contacting law-enforcement at once!

Afterwards, please update us at

Thank you.

This is a public service announcement paid for by people who love and care for the victim.

NEWS: (Suburban) Former North Chicago chief accused of stealing seized drug money

--Just another town that needs to overhaul its leadership.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Robert McCoppin
Tribune reporter
4:29 PM CDT, October 30, 2012

Michael Newsome
A former North Chicago police chief was arrested and charged today with theft of more than $140,000 that had been seized from drug arrests, officials announced.

Former Chief Michael Newsome was accused of using the money to buy a new car and do home repairs on his kitchen, among other personal expenditures, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Scheller said.

Newsome, who left office in February amid a public uproar over alleged police brutality within the department,  was charged with an ongoing theft of more than $140,000 from April of 2011 through March 31 of this year, Scheller said.

Newsome, 51, was also charged with a separate count of theft of $500 to $10,000, stemming from an allegation that he withdrew an amount of money on May 4 of last year to pay for his children's school, authorities said.

Additionally, Newsome was charged with official misconduct and misapplication of funds, officials said.

Earlier this year, Mayor Leon Rockingham Jr. directed Newsome’s successor, Chief James Jackson, to review all internal police policies, according to a statement from the city. In doing so, Jackson discovered questionable withdrawals from the asset forfeiture account maintained by the police department. Money seized from drug arrests is deposited into that account.

After that discovery, the mayor directed the chief to notify the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office, which opened an investigation, resulting in today’s arrest. Newsome surrendered to officials this morning and was released after posting $25,000 bond, officials said.

In the press release, Rockingham said that if the charges are proven, it would be “an enormous betrayal of trust.”

NEWS: (Northlake) Man shot in face in Northlake

--There is not any unofficial or official inside scoop here folks.
 All I can say is please enjoy Halloween. 
Our kids are safe. The police are working this.--

Story at Pioneer Press

Last Modified: Oct 31, 2012 10:27AM

NORTHLAKE — A man was hospitalized Tuesday afternoon after being shot in the face in Northlake.

Northlake Police Chief Dennis Koletsos said Tuesday his department was investigating the shooting, which took place at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Roberta and North avenues.

Northlake Police Detective Jay Militello said a 35-year-old Northlake man suffered a gunshot wound to the face while pulling away from an establishment in that area. Police said the shooter, described as a black male, 5-feet-6, 220 pounds wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt, stood outside the vehicle and shot at it several times.

The victim was taken to Loyola University Health System in Maywood. Militello said he does not believe the gunshot wound the victim received is life threatening.

He said police are questioning potential witnesses. As of Tuesday evening, no one was in custody and police would not comment on a possible motive.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact the Northlake Police Department at (708) 531-5755.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NEWS: (Suburban) Firefighter’s cooking passion leads to Food Network

--You would find it extremely difficult to find a nicer guy than Dewey. 
A great public servant, friend, and cook.
Way to go Dewey!!!!!--

Story at Pioneer Press

David “Dewey” Atkocaitis was selected out of thousands of applicants to be featured cooking with Sunny Anderson on the Food Network. | Contributed photo

By MARYANN PISANO | Contributor
Last Modified: Oct 30, 2012 12:42PM

RIVER GROVE — All the years David “Dewey” Atkocaitis has been cooking have paid off.

A full-time Northlake firefighter and part-time deputy fire chief in River Grove, Atkocaitis was selected out of thousands of applicants to be featured cooking with Sunny Anderson on the Food Network.

Atkocaitis watched his father cook growing up, and so, he took an interest.

“It just progressed when I got to the fire department,” Atkocaitis said. “I started cooking all the time and it just became a passion.”

This led him to appearing on daytime’s “Regis and Kelly” for a cooking contest two years ago. After that, he appeared in a local food show called “Feeding the Fire.” These events led him to the opportunity with Sunny Anderson and the Food Network.

Atkocaitis saw Food Network was looking for a home cook in an Internet posting. He sent the network an e-mail telling them about himself, and two days later, they called him, asking some more questions.

“I hadn’t heard from them in months after that,” he said. “Then out of the blue I got an e-mail saying they were looking to start filming and feature me on the show.”

Anderson came to the River Grove firehouse to film the show on Sept. 6. Atkocaitis and Anderson cooked buffalo chicken lasagna and southwestern vegetable coleslaw. They filmed for almost 12 hours, which was edited down to a 15-minute segment. The segment was scheduled for airing Oct. 27.

“Home Made in America with Sunny Anderson” airs Saturdays on Food Network at 9:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m. Central.

Since filming the show, Atkocaitis has started a cooking blog. On average, he gets about 5,000 viewers a week. He was selected along with 20 other food bloggers to Cook Along with Emeril Lagasse. This means Atkocaitis cooks foods from Lagasse’s new cook book and posts about it on his blog.

“One day, I got an e-mail saying that Emeril was following me on Twitter,” he said. “I told him I was a big fan of his. Then he replied, ‘I’m quickly becoming a big fan of yours.’”

Lagasse also featured Atkocaitis’ Capri sandwich on his Facebook page.

Atkocaitis will continue food blogging and cooking for his family. He hopes one day he will land his own cooking show. Most of all, he will continue cooking for his fellow firefighters.

NEWS: (Northlake) Northlake claims negligence in finance director’s release

--This may sound strange coming from me but Mayor Sherwin did the right thing firing Bill Kabler.
The only disagreement I have is that he should have done it a lot sooner and he should have brought in the Illinois State Police to investigate the theft from the beginning.
Nothing against my guys, they do a great job but there are factors to be taken into consideration when you have to investigate or question the people that pay you.
Bill Kabler was always out to hurt the city employees, especially the police department.--

Story at Pioneer Press

By Mark Lawton
Last Modified: Oct 30, 2012 01:04PM

NORTHLAKE — The city has fired its finance director for what it says was negligence in the handling of funds from Northlake Days in 2011.

In a written report issued Oct. 1, Mayor Jeff Sherwin said he terminated William Kabler’s employment Sept. 12.

“As you are aware, the theft of the Northlake Days money in 2011 is unresolved and this loss is a direct result of Mr. Kabler’s negligence in the way the money, which was his responsibility, was handled,” the report reads. “Even though the loss was covered by insurance, it still does not mitigate Mr. Kabler’s negligence.”

Northlake police reported about $99,000 in cash was stolen from city hall, 55 E. North Ave., on June 26, 2011 according to a report at the time.

“This was not the right way to handle the money,” Sherwin said Oct. 22. “It was in an unlocked office in a copy paper box.”

Kabler disputes the claim.

“I wasn’t in charge of security,” Kabler said. “I was in charge of the money. It did get placed in my office. They knew where it was going.”

Sherwin wrote he chose not to end Kabler’s employment sooner because he wanted a police investigation to run its course. That investigation remains open.

“We have nothing to indicate who took the money,” Sherwin said.

Kabler sees his firing differently.

“I took the fall because (Sherwin) needed a fall guy,” Kabler said.

The city seeks a new finance director. Through the West Central Municipal Conference, it has found five candidates, which it expected to narrow to two. The remaining two will be interviewed by the City Council, which will select the new finance director.

Sherwin hopes to see someone start in the position by Thanksgiving.

NEWS: (Chicago) Chicago surpasses last year’s homicide total with South Side shooting

--But the strategies in place are working and there is no shortage of manpower on the streets yet we are still counting the dead bodies as they pile up.--

Story at Chicago Sun-Times

Staff Reporters
Last Modified: Oct 29, 2012 01:40PM

Chicago’s violent year hit a deadly milestone on Monday when the city saw its 435th homicide — surpassing last year’s murder count. And it’s still only October.

The 436th homicide victim of the year was a man in his 30s. He was shot at 10:34 a.m. Monday in the 7900 block of South Escanaba. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he died today, police said.

The city’s homicide count grabbed international attention when it spiked during an unusually warm spring.

President Barack Obama has talked about the violence in his adopted hometown, including in an MTV interview on Friday.

“I live on the South Side of Chicago,” said Obama. “Some of these murders are happening just a few blocks from where I live. I have friends whose family members have been killed.”

“What I know is that gun violence is part of the issue,” he said. “But part of the issue also is kids who feel so little hope and think their prospects for the future are so small that their attitude is, ‘I’m going to end up in jail or dead.’ And they will take all kinds of risks.

“If they’ve got mental health issues, are they getting the kind of services and counseling that they need early on?” he said.

“Are we making those investments in those young people so that by the time they’re 11, 12, 13, 15 ... they can make responsible choices because they feel they’ve got something at stake?”

While the city had reported there were 433 homicides in 2011, a police official on Sunday said the number of homicides last year has been updated to 435 after two deaths were reclassified.

There were six fatal shootings in Chicago from Friday night through Sunday. At least 14 others were wounded by gunfire.

At 7:59 a.m., a 35-year-old man was fatally shot in the 1300 block of West 13th, police said.

A neighbor, who asked not to be named, said several children under age 7 were in her home and dropped to the floor when they heard shots.

“It’s scary. The babies are in here watching TV and this happens,” she said.

In another shooting at 4:30 p.m., a 23-year-old man was shot Sunday in a South Side alley.

Police covered the body with a sheet as passersby craned their necks near 69th and Halsted for a look.

“It’s wild around here all the time,” said a man smoking a cigarette a few yards away, who asked not to be named. “That’s the nature of the beast. It’s sad, really.”

About six hours earlier, a 21-year-old man was killed in a shooting in the 1100 block of North Keystone in Humboldt Park, police said. A 17-year-old male was also wounded in the shooting and taken in good condition to Stroger Hospital.

Earlier still Sunday, around 2:40 a.m., 22-year-old Johnny White was shot and killed while standing in a South Side parking lot on the 7500 block of South Rhodes, police said.

On Saturday morning, 21-year-old Devon Greer was fatally shot through a window while playing video games with his brother in an apartment in Humboldt Park, authorities said.

Greer, of south suburban Lansing, was inside an apartment on the 3800 block of West Augusta Boulevard when shots rang out around 3:40 a.m., authorities said. Greer’s brother was not injured.

The most recent non-fatal shooting happened when a teenage girl and a woman were shot while inside a car around 2:15 a.m. Sunday in the 5800 block of South Wood in the Englewood neighborhood, police said.

A separate shooting left a 22-year-old woman with a bullet wound in her foot around 12:45 a.m. Sunday. The shooting happened following a fight outside a party on the 2800 block of North McVicker Avenue, police said.

Around 4:20 a.m. Saturday, three people — two males and a female — sustained minor injuries when someone shot at them on the 400 block of East 47th, police said.

Earlier Saturday a man walked into a West Side hospital after he was shot in the leg. The shooting happened around 1:40 a.m. at the intersection of Madison Street and Lavergne Avenue and the man was listed in good condition at Mount Sinai Hospital, police said.

On Friday night, another man drove himself to a hospital after he was shot in the West Side Austin neighborhood. The shooting happened around 11:25 p.m. in the 100 block of South Lotus Avenue. The man told police he was standing on the street when he heard gunfire and realized he was shot in the leg. He drove himself to Loretto Hospital, where he was listed in good condition, police said.

NEWS: (Suburban) Evanston canine cop, partner share more than just job

--Any K-9 story is a good story, but then I am biased on the subject.--

Story at Pioneer Press

Last Modified: Oct 29, 2012 08:45AM

Officer Anthony Sosa and his German shepherd partner Rony pose for a portrait in Evanston on Oct. 12. | Jon Durr~For Sun-Times Media
EVANSTON — Anthony Sosa, the Evanston Police Department’s new canine officer, celebrates a birthday this month.

Rony, the exuberant German shepherd he’s been paired up with, is celebrating one of his own two days before.

“We’re both Scorpios,” the officer confided.

They’re bound to be close. Sosa and Rony spend long shifts together, conducting painstaking searches of buildings and vehicles, looking for weapons, drugs and other contraband.

Once off shift the officer takes Rony home with him where the dog has become part of the Sosa family.

“Socially, he’ll come up and lick and gets along well with the family,’’ the officer said, describing Rony’s home life.

At the same time, “he’s pretty much always on. He’s got to be doing something.”

Police officials announced last week the appointment of Sosa as the department’s new canine officer.

Applicants were put through a rigorous interview process, which included interviews, a compatibility review by command staff, even home visits, determining if they were right for the job, said Sgt. Kevin Campbell, in charge of the canine unit and part of the review team.

Sosa, 37, a seven-year veteran of the department and a former U.S. Marine with a degree in economics, was judged to be the top candidate, he said.

Following his selection the officer spent six weeks in Sharpsville, Pa., at a school run by a retired police officer and canine handler, learning the ins and outs of canine work.

At the Sharpsville Kennel, aspiring dog handlers work first on what is called “ghost obedience,” Sosa explained, which entails “getting your tones right, getting your attitudes right, before you even touch a dog.”

One of the drills calls for hanging onto a leash with nothing on the end, and then going through the motions of “presenting a vehicle to your dog,” Sosa explained.

Rony, a sable-colored German shepherd, was brought over from Czechoslovakia, where he had already undergone a year of training, Sosa said.

The two “clicked right away,” the officer said.

When he approached Rony, his new partner went into sort of a spin, then “jumped on top of me, licked me,’’ the officer recalled.

The department has been without a canine unit since last year when longtime dog, Jack, went into retirement.

A canine team “is an excellent tool for law enforcement, really assisting in search-and-seizure issues,” said Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington.

A search conducted with canines can be done with much less disruption and much more efficiently, the chief said.

“Also,” he added, “right now one of the things that is of huge import to our city is the proliferation of guns.

“We now go to a scene where those items maybe have been discarded, the dog can search a huge area for firearms that would take officers hours to do. It’s a very unique law-enforcement tool and I couldn’t be more thrilled (with how the new team interacts).”

Undeniably the dog has an exuberance the new officer wants to cultivate. In one of their first deployments Rony gave the officer a positive indication, just as they worked on in Sharpsville, indicating drugs were in a car on the 1800 block of Dempster.

With the window down the dog didn’t wait to be let in to begin sniffing. Rather, he “just jumped right through the window,” and located some seeds and stems that were residue of drugs, the officer said.

In the interview room of the Police Department he flashed the same zeal last week, snatching the foam windscreen from a Medill student’s microphone.

“That’s a good thing,” assured the officer. “We want him to be curious.”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

NEWS: (Chicago) Two teens charged with break-in at Chicago Police Department stable

--I think the little bast**ds should have to clean and care for the horses for at least one year.--

Related Story: NEWS: (Chicago) 2 Chicago police horses injured during break-in at stable

Story at Chicago Tribune

Staff report
12:16 AM CDT, October 28, 2012

Two boys, 14 and 16, were charged with injuring police animals and burglarizing the Chicago Police Department's Mounted Unit, according to the Chicago Police Department.

The Chicago Police Department won't name the two or provide additional information about them because they're juveniles, according to a statement released by police. Each faces five counts of injuring police animals, a felony, and a felony burglary charge, police said.

Two horses were injured in the September break-in, including a 20-year-old named J.R. that was sprayed with a fire extinguisher and a second horse named Schott that was beaten in the leg, apparently with the same extinguisher.

The two are accused of breaking into the headquarters, in the 7000 block of South South Shore Drive, sometime before 11:15 p.m. on Sept. 16.

Of the 30 horses at the stable, 27 were out of their stalls and wandering around, some shaken, police said at the time.

NEWS: (Chicago) Indictments name 2 Chicago police officers in towing scam

--Don't cops read the papers or watch the news? They have been nailing guys for years in these types of scams. Use your brains people.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Jennifer Delgado
Tribune reporter
5:36 PM CDT, October 26, 2012

Two veteran Chicago police officers were indicted on separate charges that each extorted payoffs from a tow truck driver in return for steering business to him.

The two -- Deavalin Page, 46, and Francis Zoller, 43, who were both assigned to the South Chicago police district – were snared in an undercover FBI probe code-named Operation Tow Scam in which seven other additional officers already have been convicted.

The tow truck driver who made cash payoffs to Page and Zoller was working undercover with federal authorities. The extortions allegedly took place between November 2007 and January 2008.

Page, a 19-year police veteran, and Zoller, who has been with the department for about 17 years, both pleaded not guilty in federal court to attempted extortion charges and were freed on bond. Booking photos were not available.

Zoller was also charged with mail fraud after he allegedly created a false police report about a car accident that never happened. He later accepted a $2,000 payoff for participating in the insurance scheme, the charges alleged. He also has pleaded not guilty to that charge.

Both officers were relieved of their police duties sometime ago, but were still employees of the Police Department as of Friday morning, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office. The department declined comment on their status.

Under Operation Tow Scam, two tow truck drivers and a third individual have been convicted in addition to the seven Chicago police officers.

NEWS: (Illinois) Two ex-cops -- one released from Death Row -- charged in extortion plot

--The way it reads is that sooner or later something has to stick.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Jeremy Gorner
Tribune reporter
1:22 PM CDT, October 26, 2012

Federal officials say they have foiled a grisly extortion plot involving two former police officers -- one of them released from Death Row nearly 15 years ago -- who plotted to abduct and dismember a man they believed had access to large amounts of cash from real estate holdings.

Steven Mandell, 61, of Buffalo Grove, and Gary Engel, 61, of Homer Glen, are charged with attempted extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion. Mandell had been sentenced to death for murder and kidnapping but his case was overturned in 1998.

Mandell, formerly known as Steven Manning, was a Chicago police officer for about 10 years until 1983. Engel is a former Willow Springs police officer.

During a brief court appearance today in federal court, Mandell and Engel sat handcuffed in the jury box, clad in orange jumpsuits. Shortly before the hearing began, Mandell smiled at a reporter sitting in the courtroom and appeared to mouth the letters “BS” – an apparent reference to his opinion of the charges.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown held Mandell and Engel over until a detention hearing on Wednesday. Prosecutors want both detained as dangers and flight risks.

The two were arrested Thursday evening on the Northwest Side as they allegedly planned to "arrest" the man and bring him to an office outfitted with a sink, a counter and shower.

They had “prop” firearms and fake law enforcement credentials, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Engel also possessed handcuffs and Mandell had a fake arrest document that appeared to name the victim as a criminal defendant.

After the arrests, FBI agents searched the area where the two planned to abduct the man and seized a loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol and additional ammunition, as well as saws, a butcher knife and zip-ties used for use as restraints.

Mandell and Engel intended to abduct the man, known as “Soupie” or “Soupie Sales,” during a fake arrest while the victim attended a meeting with another person identified only as Individual A, prosecutors said.

They planned to take the man to a nearby office, which they called “Club Med,” where they planned to force the man to turn over cash and about 25 commercial real estate holdings and then kill him, prosecutors said.

During the investigation, which included audio and video recordings, Mandell speculated the victim generated as much as $100,000 a month in cash from rental properties. At one time, Mandell and Engel discussed demanding at least $500,000 from the victim to be released, while still planning to murder the victim, prosecutors said.

During the last month, Mandell arranged to outfit “Club Med” with a large deep sink, a long counter and a shower, according to federal officials.

"He took possession of the extortion location this past Monday, and met there with Engel over the next three days to plan how they would abduct the victim while posing as police officers, how they would restrain the victim, and dismember the victim after the extortion and murder," the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.

On Oct. 10, Mandell discussed the plot with Individual A, telling the person: “My guy knows what he’s doing, he knows how to waterboard, do interrogation, psy-ops,” according to the affidavit.

Mandell and Engel allegedly discussed using the counter and sink area to drain the victim’s blood before dismembering the body.

Federal officials say Mandell was known as Steven Manning when he worked as a Chicago police officer from 1973 to 1983.

Mandell was also the leader of a burglary ring, according to law enforcement officials. In 1993, he was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering trucking company owner James Pellegrino, who was found in the Des Plaines River two months after his disappearance in 1990 with a bullet wound to the head.

Pellegrino’s wife testified that her husband warned her Manning might kill him, but the conviction was overturned in 1998 when the Illinois Supreme Court found a Cook County judge improperly admitted testimony, including Pellegrino’s wife’s, and some evidence into the trial.

At the time of the murder conviction, Manning had already been convicted in 1992 of kidnapping a drug dealer in Missouri, but that conviction was also overturned.

Mandell sued two FBI agents following his release from prison, claiming they framed him in Pellegrino’s murder. While he won the case, he lost a similar case against the federal government and collected no money in the lawsuits.

PENSION: (Suburban) Former Frankfort police chief gets pension refund

--Just another case of an administrator trying to play the system and make us look bad.
At least they stopped it.--

Related Story: PENSION: (Suburban) Former Frankfort police chief backs off pension dispute after officers raise questions

Story at Chicago Tribune

Action follows retroactive conclusion of controversial participation in fund after job shift 2 years ago

By Ashley Rueff, Chicago Tribune reporter
9:05 PM CDT, October 25, 2012

A former southwest suburban police chief will be refunded $23,709 he made in pension contributions in the last two years following a controversy over his eligibility for the police pension fund while serving as the village's assistant administrator.

Members of the Frankfort Police Pension Board approved Rob Piscia's request for the refund during a special meeting Thursday where three of the five trustees were present.

Pension Board President Tom Kiley said Piscia will be refunded all contributions he made toward his pension from Sept. 17, 2010, through Sept. 14, 2012.

"We have a printout from the village, based on payroll, showing all those contributions that were made and can be, and should be, refunded so that Rob can roll that over to another qualified investment," Kiley said.

Pension Board Secretary Venita Bukowinski said Piscia would not receive any interest on the contributions he is being refunded.

Piscia requested the refund after his decision to end his participation in the police pension fund as of September 2010, coinciding with the conclusion of his role as the village's police chief.

The Village Board appointed him assistant administrator in 2010. He began the transition into the new role in May of that year, but Piscia said his main responsibility was still to serve as police chief until a replacement was hired in September 2010.

Then, while serving in his new administrator role, Piscia continued to contribute to and to earn credible service toward his police pension.

In May, the Illinois Department of Insurance, which acts as an oversight agency for local police pension boards, issued an advisory opinion stating that Piscia should have ended his participation when a new police chief was hired. Some Frankfort police officers also expressed their concerns about the propriety of Piscia's activity in the fund in a letter submitted to the pension board in July.

At first, Piscia said he believed he still was eligible for participation in the fund because as assistant administrator, he kept his status as a sworn police officer and maintained police-related duties.

He planned to make his case during a pension board hearing in September, but shortly before the hearing date, Piscia informed the pension board of his plan to end his participation as of September 2010. The hearing was then canceled.

By stopping his participation in September 2010 instead of in September 2012, Piscia lost roughly $9,000 a year from his future police pension, the Tribune calculated. Without the two years of credit, the 48-year-old's possible future annual pension was knocked down from about $75,000 to $66,000. Piscia can start collecting at age 50.

Friday, October 26, 2012

NEWS: (Suburban) Chicago Alderman Owned Reputed Drug House

--Jason Ervin was the Village manager of Maywood for awhile. How he could say he was unable to get any help with his building is a little sketchy, at best.
Also, you must take into consideration Ervin's dislike for several officers on the Maywood Police Department, especially Sergeant Wheeler.
Ervin played a big role in Sgt Wheeler's termination from Maywood on residency issues.
I think a case could be made that a witch was conducted against Sgt Wheeler by Ervin and a few others in the village. I make that statement based upon a four page letter I am in possession of that pretty much spells it out. 
You could probably argue that Ervin was upset by the police activity at his building.
I will post that letter in the coming week.--

Story and Video at Better Government Association and My FOX Chicago


October 24, 2012 07:00 AM

For roughly a decade, Ald. Jason Ervin owned an “investment property” that was a magnet for drugs and other crime. The building is no longer his problem: he stopped paying the mortgage, and the bank took control.

By Robert Herguth/BGA and Dane Placko/FOX Chicago

For Ald. Jason Ervin, who represents a large swath of Chicago’s troubled West Side, drug activity in the area hits close to home.

That’s because until recently Ervin owned what sources and police records portray as a drug house in nearby Maywood.

During the decade or so that Ervin owned the three-flat at 1600 W. Madison in the near-western suburb, police were called to the property or the immediate vicinity roughly 150 times, often for drug-related incidents, but also for gunshots, assaults, trespassing and thefts, among other things, according to records obtained from the Village of Maywood under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Not all incidents were substantiated or resulted in arrests, and some of the troubles occurred just outside the building, on public property.

But enough problems were tied directly to the 2,200-square-foot Madison building that it gained a reputation as a drug and gang hotspot within the neighborhood and among police, according to records obtained by the Better Government Association and FOX Chicago, and interviews.

While Ervin takes issue with the characterization of his building as a "drug house," he acknowledged a legion of problems, from shady tenants he was forced to evict to vandalism and drug activity.

"Would I make the same investment today?" he said in a recent interview. "No way."

Ervin said he bought the building to make money – he planned to rent it out, not live there – while he was in his 20s and starting to dabble in real estate.

Cook County records show Ervin and his now-former wife purchased the property in 2001 for $175,000 from Henderson Yarbrough, who later was elected mayor of Maywood and hired Ervin as village manager – a job that made him responsible for municipal departments including police and code enforcement. (Ervin left the post in 2011 when he was appointed by then-Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to serve as 28th Ward alderman. Ervin won a subsequent election.)

Eventually, the "economics" changed, in part because of soaring property taxes, and he ended up losing thousands of dollars a year "on a cash basis," Ervin said.

He stopped paying the mortgage in early 2009 and, later in the year, Wells Fargo Bank filed a foreclosure action in Cook County Circuit Court against the Ervins, claiming they owed more than $200,000, court records show. Ervin and his wife separated around this time and later divorced, records show. Their divorce papers indicate Ervin is responsible "for any judgment, debt, expense or liability associated with 1600 Madison," although Ervin was vague about whether that stands.

Ervin said he hasn’t considered himself the owner of the building for several years. He said Wells Fargo "informally" took control of the building in 2009 and "formally" took control in 2010. However, county records show the legal transfer of the three-flat to Wells Fargo did not occur until early 2012. The building is now on the market with a real estate company; an asking price hasn’t yet been set.

Regardless, since Ervin bought the building in 2001, police records paint a chilling portrait of life there.

Of the 150 or so police service calls from 2001 through 2011, roughly 30 were initially categorized as drug calls, while other reports ran the gamut: criminal trespass, fight in progress, domestic battery, shots fired, mental subject, loitering, open alcohol and criminal sexual abuse (with the alleged victim a girl living in one of the apartment units, a police report shows.)

In another police report, a Maywood cop wrote in 2002 how police arrested a 26-year-old man in the hallway of Ervin’s building during a "premise check." According to the report, "As R/O [responding officer] began to ask who the offender was R/O noticed two white rocks in clear plastic knotted bags in the offender’s mouth. R/O used a flashlight to illuminate the facial area of the offender. R/O ordered the offender to spit the suspected crack cocaine from his mouth."

The man was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Former Maywood police Sgt. Dwayne Wheeler, who once ran the department’s narcotics unit, said Ervin’s building and others on the block were constant trouble for police and neighbors. Officers routinely responded to calls there, made arrests and investigated drug sales, Wheeler said.

"It was on our target list," Wheeler said. "We had a list of properties that we would go to on a daily basis. We would do undercover buys at that property. It was always an issue."

"It was regarded as an eyesore and a drug house," he added. Maywood Police Chief Tim Curry personally made drug arrests at the building, but said Ervin’s three-flat wasn’t unique. "All of the buildings on that block were drug houses" at one time or another, Curry said.

Neighbors said 1600 W. Madison has been a well-known hot spot, with one local, Robbie Adams, saying "there was a lot of riotous living here, drug selling, it’s just ran down – in the early ‘80s it was a beautiful place."

Ervin described the neighborhood as "an established heroin market," and said drug selling in the area predates him. Village records also show police responded to drug calls at the building before Ervin owned it.

Yarbrough, the building’s previous owner, did not return phone calls from the BGA. His wife, state Rep. Karen Yarbrough, is the Democratic nominee for Cook County recorder of deeds.

Ervin also said he did what he could to clean up the three-unit building, at one time even evicting a relative who was living there and causing problems. Criminal activity is "not something we condoned or supported," Ervin said.

To that end, a Maywood police report detailing a 2010 drug arrest at Ervin’s building – in which a suspect was found with substances believed to be marijuana and Ecstasy – mentions Ervin by name, stating "Mr. Ervin . . . has warned a group of male adults numerous times to stay out of the building hallway entrance or he will prosecute them for Criminal Trespassing to Property. Mr. Ervin also stated if we located any one trespassing on his property he will sign complaints."

Ervin told the BGA that, in the end, owning the building "proved to be a bigger challenge than [we anticipated.] . . . At some point you have to make a decision that makes sense and move forward, and it was time to move on."

Asked whether these circumstances indicate he’s ill equipped to serve in public office, Ervin said the experience makes him a better alderman because "it helps me to understand better some of the issues" affecting constituents on the West Side, which is rife with gang and drug activity, and foreclosures.

This story was written and reported by the Better Government Association’s Robert Herguth and FOX Chicago’s Dane Placko. They can be reached at (312) 821-9030 or BGA Senior Investigator Patrick Rehkamp and BGA intern Nathan Lurz contributed to this report.

NEWS: (Suburban) South Barrington officer facing drug charges

--One word.....STUPID!!--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Jason Meisner
Tribune reporter
5:43 PM CDT, October 24, 2012

A South Barrington police officer has been charged with forging prescriptions to obtain large amounts of a powerful painkiller at suburban drug stores, sometimes while he was still on duty and in uniform.

Keith Baker, 30, a patrol officer in South Barrington since 2010, was charged with forgery, official misconduct and possession of a controlled substance. Judge Laura Sullivan set his bail at $10,000, records show.

Prosecutors said Baker took blank pages from a prescription pad belonging to a friend who is a physician and forged orders for Norco, a narcotic used to treat moderate to severe pain. The physician told police he did not authorize Baker to take any of the pages and that the signature used on them was not his.

Baker took the phony prescriptions to stores in Hoffman Estates and South Barrington on five separate occasions beginning in May and received nearly 1,000 pills over the next three weeks, prosecutors said.

He was charged Tuesday after turning himself in at the Leighton Criminal Court Building. If convicted, Baker faces from probation to 5 years in prison, prosecutors said.

NEWS: (National) Feds Charge NYPD Cop with Cannibal Conspiracy

--Cop or no cop, this is just downright spooky and sick stuff.--

Press Release at FBI - New York

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest of New York City Police Officer for Kidnapping Conspiracy and Illegally Accessing Federal Law Enforcement Database

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 25, 2012   

Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Mary E. Galligan, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (NYPD), announced the arrest of active-duty New York City Police Officer Gilberto Valle for conspiracy to kidnap and for illegally accessing the federal National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. Valle allegedly conspired with more than one individual to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook, and cannibalize a number of women, and he used the NCIC database to obtain information about a specific woman. He was arrested by special agents of the FBI and detectives from the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau yesterday at his residence in Forest Hills, Queens, and will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman in Manhattan federal court.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “Gilberto Valle’s alleged plans to kidnap women so that they could be raped, tortured, killed, cooked, and cannibalized shock the conscience. This case is all the more disturbing when you consider Valle’s position as a New York City Police officer and his sworn duty to serve and protect. Our investigation is ongoing.”

FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Mary E. Galligan said, “The allegations in the complaint really need no description from us. They speak for themselves. It would be an understatement merely to say Valle’s own words and actions were shocking.”

According to the allegations in the complaint filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court:

In September 2012, the FBI learned that Valle was sending e-mail and instant messages discussing plans with multiple co-conspirators to kidnap, rape, torture, kill, cook, and cannibalize a number of women. A court-authorized search of the computer revealed that Valle had created files pertaining to at least 100 women and containing at least one photograph of each woman (the “individual files”). The computer also contained personal information about some of these women—including relevant addresses, physical descriptions, and photographs—and electronic communications in which Valle and co-conspirators detailed their plans. Additionally, Valle used the NCIC database and other methods to locate potential victims, surveilled potential victims at their homes and places of business, drafted an “operation plan” to abduct and “cook” an identified woman, researched methods of disabling and drugging women, and agreed with at least one other individual to kidnap a woman in exchange for a sum of money.


In July 2012, Valle had a series of online communications with a co-conspirator (CC- 1) in which they discussed how best to kidnap, murder, cook, and eat Victim-1, including where to find a recipe for chloroform. During this time period, Valle also created a document entitled “Abducting and Cooking [Victim-1]: a Blueprint.” The document contains pedigree information about Victim-1—including her name, date of birth, height, weight, and bra size. The document also contains a section called “Materials Needed” in which Valle wrote, in part, the following:

Car (I have it)
Chloroform (refer to website for directions)
Rope (Strongest kind to tie her up)

In subsequent instant message conversations, CC-1 asked Valle, “How was your meal?” to which Valle immediately responded, “I am meeting her [Victim-1] on Sunday.” On the following Sunday, Valle contacted Victim-1 and said that he wanted to meet her. They met later that day at a restaurant for lunch.


Valle also had conversations with another co-conspirator (CC-2) in February 2012, in which they negotiated and agreed to a price at which Valle would kidnap another woman (Victim-2). In those conversations, Valle insisted upon a price no less than $5,000 and assured CC-2 that Victim-2 would be bound, gagged, and alive when he delivered her. The FBI reviewed cell site data obtained pursuant to a court order and learned that, in March 2012, a cellphone with a telephone number belonging to Valle made and received cellular communications on the block in Manhattan on which Victim-2’s apartment building is located. When the FBI later interviewed Victim-2, she stated that she has never invited Valle to her home and does not know him well.

The NCIC Database
On May 31, 2012, Valle accessed the NCIC database and obtained information about a woman whose name matched the name of one of the individual files created by Valle (Victim-3), and stored the information on the computer. Valle did not have authorization to perform that search or to access any information about Victim-3.

* * *

Valle, 28, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Valle is also charged with one count of intentionally and knowingly accessing a computer without authorization and exceeding his authorized access and thereby obtaining information from a department and agency of the United States, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the NYPD. He added that the investigation is continuing.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Hadassa Waxman is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

R.I.P.: Police Chief James Gilliam (Ret. Northlake)

James "Jim" Gilliam, 77, of Addison; beloved husband of Carol nee Egan; loving father of Steven (Mary) and Larry (Dana) Gilliam; cherished grandfather of Christi, Steven and Danny; dearest great-grandfather of Madelyn, Destiny and Christian; dear brother of Carolyn (William) Bumpus and Linda (Gary) Waldon. Visitation Sunday 2 to 8 p.m. at Humes Funeral Home, 320 W. Lake St., Addison (2 Mi. W. of Rt. 83, 2 Mi. E. of Rt. 83). Interment private. Jim was the retired Police Chief of Northlake. For info, or 630.628.8808.

Obituary at Chicago Tribune

Chief Gilliam was retired before I started in 1989. I had the pleasure of meeting him on numerous occasions. He was well liked as a police officer and as a police chief by everyone within the department.

Our deepest condolences to his family.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NEWS: (Suburban) Naperville traffic stop yields $1 million meth bust

--Meth has been making a gradual but steady move towards the Chicago area.
This is a great job and really puts a dent in the supply. At least for a little while.--

Story at Daily Herald

By Josh Stockinger

Prosecutors say Jesus Rubio did little to divert attention from himself as he drove through Naperville, texting and tailgating in a truck with a cracked windshield.

The trifecta of traffic violations added up to the largest methamphetamine bust on record in DuPage County, authorities said Wednesday.

Rubio, 25, and his 20-year-old passenger, Edgardo Rodriguez-Sanchez, both of Des Moines, Ia., were arrested Tuesday after a K-9 officer stopped them at Route 59 and Meridian Road.

Assistant State’s Attorney Audrey Anderson said a drug-sniffing dog alerted police to the bed of the truck. There, they found 19 one-pound bundles of methamphetamine tucked away under a pile of roofing shingles.

The suspects told police they came from Iowa to sell the drugs to an Illinois man for $18,000 a pound. Prosecutors said the men expected to nearly double their money because they had agreed to pay their supplier $9,500 a pound. The estimated street value of the drugs is about $1 million.

Both defendants identified themselves in bond court Wednesday as professional roofers. They each were charged with drug possession with intent to deliver and methamphetamine trafficking.

“This is by far the largest methamphetamine bust we have ever had in DuPage County,” State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said. “While we don’t see a lot of methamphetamine, it is an extremely dangerous drug that we are constantly on the lookout for, as evidenced by these charges.”

Judge Elizabeth Sexton set full cash bonds of $1 million for each suspect. If the men do post bond, they must prove the money does not come from ill-gotten gains.

Both men could face up to 120 years in prison if convicted. Their next court date is Nov. 5 in front of Judge George Bakalis.

Berlin credited Naperville police for their “outstanding work” on the case.

“Thanks to their efforts, a routine traffic stop resulted in the removal of nearly $1 million worth of dangerous drugs from our streets,” he said.

FUND RAISER: Early Voting - Coat and Vote Drive

(Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 - Date changed to hold at top of blog until October 25)
Sponsored by
Clerk of the Village of Melrose Park

Running from Monday, October 22 through Saturday, November 3, 2012

Even if you don't live in Melrose Park you can contribute to people in need from the area. The coat drive will supply two local orphanages and a homeless shelter that are currently in need of winter coats. All sizes are needed from childrens to adults.

There will be a collection box available in the Village Clerk's office on the second floor of the Melrose Park Village Hall at 1000 N 25th Ave, Melrose Park.

Everyone needs a little help every now and then and this is an excellent way to help some local area residents out in their time of need.

Please help if you can.

And please, no matter where you live

(Posted on Monday, October 22, 2012 - Date changed to hold at top of blog until October 25)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

R.I.P.: Police Officer Arthur Lopez


Police Officer Arthur Lopez
Nassau County Police Department, New York
End of Watch: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available
Tour: 8 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 10/23/2012
Weapon: Handgun
Suspect: Not available

Police Officer Arthur Lopez was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a hit-and-run driver at the intersection of 241st Street and Jamaica Avenue.

He and another officer witnessed the accident and followed the vehicle a short distance before it stopped. As they approached the car the driver opened fire, striking Officer Lopez. The subject fled on foot and fatally shot a citizen in the head while carjacking the car. The man remains at large.

Officer Lopez was transported to North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Officer Lopez had served with the Nassau County Police Department for eight years and was assigned to the Emergency Services Unit.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Commissioner Thomas Dale
Nassau County Police Department
1490 Franklin Avenue
Mineola, NY 11501
Phone: (516) 573-8800

October 23, 2006: A day I'll never forget....

It was six years ago today that I got the phone call. It was a Monday night (my night off) and it was just around Midnight when I was going to bed. My cell phone rang and it was a number I did not recognize. Upon answering I was greeted by Detective Dwayne Wheeler of the Maywood Police Department.

Dwayne was very upset and seemed rather hurried in his conversation and he said the one thing that can make any cops heart skip a beat. "Earl, we just had a cop go down. My chief wants to know if you  could get a hold of your bosses at WESTAF and see if you guys could help us out?" Needless to say, I was heartbroken and shocked. I knew there was a good chance that with it being a place so close that I might know the fallen officer. I had to ask him again what happened and he then told me that "Tom Wood was shot and killed. Do you think you could get WESTAF to help us out?" I said I would call him right back.

After a couple minutes of sweating and trying to get it together I made a call to my WESTAF supervisor, Bob Warnock, who was on duty at River Forest P.D.

You see, I was assigned to the Forensics Unit of the West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force and Bob was the unit commander. The task force at that time had 17 member agencies that contributed money and manpower to the two units (investigators and forensics). Maywood was not a member of the task force. But I knew that we would be no chance of saying no to such a request.

After hearing what happened, Bob said he would call me right back. I then called my department supervisor, Commander Jay Militello, to let him know what happened and that even if WESTAF did not take call out I was going anyway to help in any way I could because Tom was a friend of mine.

I got the call back from Bob and was told to activate our unit and get moving. I called Dwayne back and advised him that we were on our way.

Due to my intimate involvement in this investigation I can't say to much about what followed but it was a very long couple of days that followed. I remember finding out that my oldest son, Anthony, was at Tom's house at the time of the incident. Anthony and Tom's son have been friends for many years. I also remember being asked by Maywood administration to make some pretty uncomfortable calls to Tom's wife, Helene, because I knew her and they felt it would be better coming from me. These were not things I enjoyed doing.

I can say this much, in 19 years on the job I saw a lot of tragic and mean death. What people can do to one another will never cease to amaze me. But to this day I have never looked at an evidence photo of Tom Wood taken after his death. I just don't want to see them.

I was asked to look at one photo but it was just to an injury on one of Tom's hands and I was asked for an official opinion on what I thought caused it. That is the only photo I have ever seen.

I am no longer involved in the investigation since my disability but I keep in touch with the people that are investigating it and stay up to date.

I will never forget the day, October 23, 2006, and I will never forget Tom.

Rest in Peace my Friend....

Monday, October 22, 2012

ABC7's NewsViews: Illinois Pensions

Story and Video at ABC7 Chicago


September 30, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Our guests on this NewsViews are Illinois State Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg and Dan Montgomery, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

On Election Day, Illinois residents will vote on a proposed amendment to the state's constitution. It has to do with a matter that's been in the news a lot lately, public pensions.

The measure would "require a three-fifths majority vote of each chamber of the General Assembly or the governing body of a unit of local government, school district, or pension or retirement system, in order to increase a benefit under any public pension or retirement system."

Later this week, pamphlets will be mailed to voters explaining the proposed amendment.

Joining us to discuss the matter on this edition of NewsViews are Illinois State Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg, a chief co-sponsor of the measure, and Dan Montgomery, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

Around the Water Cooler

Surprisingly, things have been pretty quiet in the area. There are a few tidbits of information worth mentioning though.

Stone Park -

--Get It, the strip club made notorious before it was even finished being built is reported to be trying for a November 22, 2012 opening. Were some church donations made to help smooth things over? And is the original owner, Robert Itzkow, still the club owner or does he just own the property now and leasing it to someone named Chris, who is reportedly involved in another adult club? And is there a new local 'silent' owner involved? Will the name be Get It if and when the place does open?

--The Stone Park and Franklin Park police departments currently find themselves in a law suit along with the Cook County Sheriff's Police. There are at least 5 officers involved between the three departments.
I will post more directed stories on this one soon.
You can download and read the complaint

Melrose Park -

--There has been no reported movement in the investigation into the murder of Retired Police Sergeant Ron Susek.
There have been unconfirmed reports that the investigators have been shifted around. We also heard that the family received some type of update on the investigation not to long ago but no new information was given.
Duke's Daily Blotter will continue to follow this case and I will personally make sure that all information obtained is reported.
It really serves no purpose at this time to continually bring up the mistakes that were made in this investigation and the appearance as if there is no desire to even solve this case.
All we can do is hope that a break will occur and the offender is brought to justice.

--Gary 'Harpo" Montino's appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court on his pension has been denied. This was to be expected but he is allowed one more appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.
You can download and read the appellate decision

NEWS: (Suburban) Police: Man tried to meet Wheeling teen for sex

--This guy went to school with my kids--

Story at Daily Herald

By Christopher Placek

A 24-year-old Schiller Park man was arrested after police say he tried to meet up with a 14-year-old Wheeling girl to have sex.

Authorities charged Jeffery A. Vanderhayden with one count of grooming and one count of traveling to meet a minor — both felonies.

Police said Vanderhayden sent text messages to the 14-year-old girl on Thursday, asking how old she was and if she wanted to meet with him alone. The victim and her mother went to the police station, while the text messages continued, and Vanderhayden “indicated that he wanted to engage in specific sexual acts with the victim,” according to a news release.

Vanderhayden arrived at an agreed upon meeting location on the 500 block of North McHenry Road, where he was taken into custody. He “provided statements indicating he knew the victim was 14 years of age, and that his sole reason for contacting the victim was to have sexual relations with her,” the statement said.

Bond was set on Friday at $75,000. Vanderhayden is due in court again Nov. 8.

PAROLE ALERT: Cop Killer Colon Russell


I respectfully ask that you DENY PAROLE to Colon Russell, inmate #043107. This inmate's violent and premeditated murder of Wildlife Officer Danese Crowder in 1974 should preclude any consideration for parole.

On May 3rd, 1974, Officer Crowder attempted to arrest inmate #043107 for poaching deer out of season. During the ensuing pursuit, inmate #043107 intentionally stopped and shot Officer Crowder twice, including once in the back.



Wildlife Officer Danese Byron Crowder
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Florida
End of Watch: Friday, May 3, 1974

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 27
Tour: 4 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 5/3/1974
Weapon: Rifle; .243 caliber
Suspect: Sentenced to life

Wildlife Officer Danese Crowder was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man for hunting deer out of season.

After a brief chase the man stopped and shot Officer Crowder in the stomach and back with a .243 caliber rifle. The subject was convicted of Officer Crowder's murder and sentenced to life in prison.

R.I.P.: Police Officer Joseph Olivieri


Police Officer Joseph Olivieri
Nassau County Police Department, New York
End of Watch: Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 43
Tour: 19 years
Badge # 2846
Cause: Struck by vehicle
Incident Date: 10/18/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Police Officer Joseph Olivieri was struck and killed by a vehicle while investigating an accident in the HOV lane of the Long Island Expressway, near Exit 35.

He had exited his patrol car when another vehicle entered the crash scene and struck him. He was transported to North Shore University Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Officer Olivieri had served with the Nassau County Police Department for 14 year and had previously served with the New York City Police Department for five years.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Commissioner Thomas Dale
Nassau County Police Department
1490 Franklin Avenue
Mineola, NY 11501
Phone: (516) 573-8800

R.I.P.: Police Officer Kelley Chase


Police Officer Kelley Chase
Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma
End of Watch: Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 38
Tour: 5 months
Badge # Not available
Military veteran
Cause: Training accident
Incident Date: 10/12/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Police Officer Kelley Chase died after suffering a head injury during a defensive tactics test at the Oklahoma City Police Academy.

He was completing the six-minute long final test with an instructor when he was thrown to the ground and struck the back of his head on a mat. He remained conscious but was unable to stand up again after striking his head. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to internal head injuries the following day.

Officer Chase was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had been sworn in as a police officer only five months earlier at the beginning of his academy session. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Chief of Police Bill Citty
Oklahoma City Police Department
701 Colcord Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone: (405) 231-2121

R.I.P.: Police Officer Kevin Bowden


Police Officer Kevin Bowden
Prince George's County Police Department, Maryland
End of Watch: Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 28
Tour: 6 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 10/18/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Police Officer Kevin Bowden was killed in a vehicle collision near the intersection of Branch Avenue and Surratts Road in Clinton.

Another vehicle pulled into his path from the adjacent lane, causing the two vehicles to collide. The impact caused Officer Bowden's patrol car to strike a utility pole. Officer Bowden was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Officer Bowden had served with the Prince George's County Police Department for six years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

Please contact the following agency to send condolences or to obtain funeral arrangements:

Chief of Police Mark Magaw
Prince George's County Police Department
7600 Barlowe Road
Palmer Park, MD 20785

Sunday, October 21, 2012

NEWS: (Suburban) Elmwood Park promotes from within for fire chief

Story at Pioneer Press

Elmwood Park Fire Chief Michael Ventura

Last Modified: Oct 18, 2012 04:02AM

ELMWOOD PARK — While the current fire chief plans to retire next month, the person he introduced to the profession will man his post.

Elmwood Park Mayor Peter Silvestri appointed Elmwood Park Deputy Fire Chief Michael Ventura to become the new fire chief on Monday.

Silvestri said Ventura knows the community and is detail oriented.

“His new service will be a great continuation of a great fire department,” he said.

Ventura will be sworn in as the new chief at the Nov. 5 board meeting. Elmwood Park Fire Chief Michael Marino’s resignation goes into effect Nov. 9. He plans to retire.

Ventura said Marino introduced the idea of becoming a firefighter to him.

“I started out as plumber and that’s when I met Mike Marino, who is the current chief,” he said. “He was the one that introduced me to the fire service. Ever since, I’ve had a real interest in it and helping people in their time of need.”

When his appointment was announced at Monday’s Village Board meeting, Ventura, 54, thanked the mayor and trustees for the opportunity. Ventura has been a firefighter for 30 years, working his way up the ranks, and has been deputy chief since 2009. He has lived in the village since 1972.

“I came on in 1982 as a paid on-call (firefighter),” he said. “It’s like a part-time and I did that for three years and got hired full-time in 1985.”

He said he’s excited about being chief and has a lot of ideas about the department’s future.

“One of my things is to continue extensive training for all of our membership,” he said. “Keep our guys ready to go.

“The fire service is an evolving thing,” he said. “New technologies are coming out. We’re looking at purchasing a new fire engine and replacing the one that we have that is well over 20 years old.”

Ventura said family and friends are excited about the appointment, including his wife Cindi Ventura.

“I am so proud of him,” she said. “Our whole family is thrilled. He’s a hard-working guy and deserves it.”

NEWS: (Iliinois) Illinois a thankless land when it comes to heroes

--Great story and unfortunately, SO TRUE
Rest in Peace Officer Sonneveld--

Story at Chicago Tribune

John Kass
October 21, 2012

Russell Sonneveld, a former state investigator, and his partner Ed Hammer helped bring down their former boss, George Ryan, in the licenses-for-bribes scandal. Sonneveld, 63, who was demoted from his job, died of cancer last week. (HANDOUT / December 31, 2036)
When former Republican Gov. George Ryan gets out of prison, it'll be a big story, and his pal and former Gov. Big Jim Thompson will put an arm around old George and they'll pose for the victory photograph.

And at least some of their lickspittles will treat it as a return of the king, a media frenzy as sickening as it is predictable.

The six Willis children who were burned to death as a result of an auto crash with a bribe-paying truck driver will be mentioned. They were the victims of corruption in the licenses-for-bribes scandal under Ryan's watch when he was Illinois secretary of state. But Ryan's press agents will trumpet other aspects of his legacy, too.

Like that $12 billion in public works money he once dangled before boss Republicans and Democrats, to buy their love before his gubernatorial election. The bosses stepped eagerly over the bodies of those children to reach for the treasure, taking their voters with them, and in the process they corrupted the soul of this state.

But on Saturday, a man was buried with no media frenzy. His death wasn't a big story. It was an important story, but a quiet one.

Russell Sonneveld was 63. He died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer. He left a son, Nathaniel; a wife, Florine; a sister, and two brothers.

He wasn't some politician. He didn't dangle tax dollars before the people as a feast so they'd eat his sins.

Sonneveld was a cop. He did his job. That led him to investigate his boss, Ryan. Without Sonneveld and his partner, Ed Hammer, George Ryan would probably be a free man today.

"When Russ passed away this week, what I was thinking … so when George Ryan's released, when he goes to the halfway house or when he's totally released in July, you know all the (TV) channels and all the newspapers are going to be covering it," Hammer said. "And here Russ passes away from this horrible disease, kind of as an unknown."

But not unknown to Scott and Janet Willis, whose children were killed in that crash on Election Day in 1994. Ryan's people, including Dean Bauer, Ryan's inspector general, knew that bribes had been paid for licenses. Hammer and Sonneveld were investigators in Ryan's office. They'd already found a pattern of corruption. And their bosses had quashed their investigations.

It's one thing for investigators to go after someone outside the office. It is quite another for them to realize that the guy behind it all is the boss. They kept at it, knowing that it would cost them.

"A toll was taken. He was treated terribly," Scott Willis told me last week. "I remember that Janet and I stopped by to see him. He still felt badly that he had not done more to prevent the accident. We told him that he had done all that he could. And that we were so grateful for his willingness to stand up for what was right.

"(We told him) he was a good man, a decent man. But he wouldn't accept it. We told him it was a burden that he didn't have to bear. He did his job, and did good work, and for that he was shoved aside and disposed of. I think that took its toll on him. … He was a hero to us."

As Hammer and Sonneveld investigated, they worried. Their boss Ryan, then secretary of state, had the bipartisan Illinois Combine behind him in his 1998 run for governor. The investigators knew the Combine reached into local prosecutors' offices. They didn't know where to turn.

"We also knew George Ryan was a very powerful politician," Hammer said. "He was not just a Republican, he was a powerful politician for all politicians in the state of Illinois, Democrat and Republican. … It's the Illinois Combine. So where do we turn? Our boss is closing the cases, we can't go to the local state's attorney.

"We never really gave up," Hammer said. "Russ especially. And when the Willis kids were killed, we went through this whole discussion again. Where can we go?"

Finally, they went to the U.S. attorney's office and talked to prosecutor Patrick Collins. The federal licenses-for-bribes investigation ultimately took the corrupt governor down. But before charges were filed, Sonneveld felt Ryan's wrath. He was demoted. The official reason was to save taxpayers money. Sonneveld and Hammer got the message.

Sonneveld lost his $40,164-a-year job and was bounced to a much lower-paying post as an auto parts inspector, which he ultimately left. Hammer was transferred to another job in the secretary of state police.

By then, Sonneveld had given an affidavit to the feds, and the investigation became public during Ryan's run for governor. Ryan never apologized to the Willis family. His allies circled around him, and Ryan blustered his way through the final phase of the campaign.

And part of that bluster was to personally attack Russ Sonneveld.

"We deny all those allegations," Ryan said. "I'm amazed that (Sonneveld) comes forward three weeks before the election and says there's been a cover-up. Where has he been for the last four years?"

He was doing his job. And that cost him his job.

That's how heroes are thanked in Illinois.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Be back Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hi Folks,

Sorry. With the power outage yesterday and my trip to the hospital today sitting in front of the computer isn't really happening.

I will be back on Saturday with full updates and new stories.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

10-01: Officer needs assistance (Florida)

This is from Police Wives Unite:

We have learned of a Florida Officer and his family that are in need. While his wife was giving birth to their twin daughters this week, she passed away. He is left with nothing but the girls to raise on his own. We have also found out that they also have a 10 year old son. The Police Wife Life and Wives Behind the Badge are working on a baby drive to help this family out. Along with your love and prayers, we are asking that you send anything you can. The Police Wife Life was able to come across their baby registry and can be found here, other items needed are clothes and necessities for infants such as diapers, wipes and enfamil brand formula. All items and donations/gift cards can be sent to:

Officer Spires Family
ATTN: Lt. Pursley
Orlando Police Department
100 S. Hughey Ave
Orlando, FL 32801

Can you imagine the impact we as a National Law Enforcement community would have if every person who read this could send even just 1 item?!?

Babies "R" Us


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NEWS: (Illinois) Democrats join call to drop Illinois prison closures

--The way Governor Bumblin' Stumblin' Quinn has been screwing the unions and pushing for these closures he must have gotten a few sweet deal offers by some of the big corporate types in the Civic Committee.--

Story at Daily Herald

By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD — A handful of Democratic lawmakers turned up the heat on Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday, urging him to drop his plan to close some Illinois prisons and vowing to restore money to run them when legislators return to Springfield next month.

Pointing to an adult correctional system that has nearly 16,000 more inmates than it was designed for and a court ruling demanding Quinn slow down and consider prison employees’ safety concerns, lawmakers from central and northern Illinois issued statements or spoke at press events, urging the Democratic governor to reconsider.

“Closing prisons in a system that’s already overcrowded, it’s illogical to say that’s possible or safe,” Sen. Michael Frerichs told The Associated Press as he headed to a news conference at the Danville prison in his district. It has double the 900 inmates for which it was designed.

“Talking to the guards there, it makes for a more difficult and dangerous situation,” Frerichs said. “More (inmates) coming into Danville does not make it any easier for the employees here, it doesn’t make it more safe.”

Quinn ordered the closing of the super-maximum security prison at Tamms, the women’s lockup at Dwight, three transitional centers and two juvenile detention facilities because of budget problems. Tamms, reserved for inmates who cause trouble, has many empty cells, and the administration says other facilities are “outdated” and too expensive to run.

Overall, the adult prison system has more than 49,000 inmates in facilities designed for 33,700.

Lawmakers opposed to Quinn’s plan included money to run the prisons in the budget that began July 1, but the governor vetoed that spending. He wanted the money — about $56 million in the case of the prisons and youth centers — to go to the state agency responsible for controlling child abuse and neglect.

Spokesman Abdon Pallasch repeated Quinn’s commitment to closing “half-empty” prisons and said the prisons and juvenile sites on the list are no longer needed. Frerichs acknowledged Tamms has plenty of empty space but said that was partly due to the administration’s choice to not send inmates there. He called for a long-term analysis of correctional needs.

Like those who say Tamms must stay open as place to punish those who commit violence in other prisons, Sen. Pat McGuire said Monday that the Illinois Youth Center at Joliet is the only place devoted to the worst juvenile offenders.

“Closing IYC Joliet will make the remaining facilities more dangerous and poses a risk to public safety as well,” the Joliet Democrat said in a statement. “The administration threatens to repeat this mistake across our prisons systems.”

The General Assembly reconvenes the last week of November to consider legislation Quinn vetoed. In the case of Tamms and Dwight, Quinn reduced proposed spending by $41 million. That type of veto requires a simple majority in both houses to override.

But while lawmakers can restore funding for the prisons, they can’t force Quinn to spend it.

The prison employees’ union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, organized Monday’s coordinated effort. The union said a news conference was also scheduled by Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, and the Democratic House candidate in the area, Mike Smiddy of Hillsdale. Peoria Democratic Sen. Dave Koehler planned to issue a statement Monday, and Senate Democratic candidate Andy Manar of Bunker Hill planned an event next week to support the override, the union said.

The group joins southern Illinois lawmakers — both Democratic and Republican — who have been vocal in their criticism of closures all summer, and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, lent his support to the idea in a campaign stop there in late August. A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

Quinn wanted all the facilities closed by Aug. 31, except for an Oct. 31 Joliet shutdown. But AFSCME won a judge’s ruling last week barring Quinn from closing any facilities before he negotiates an agreement with the union on safety and other working conditions affected by the closures.

The administration said the delays are costing the state $7 million a month.