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DUKE'S DAILY BLOTTER

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Public Pension & Law Enforcement Advocate; Law Enforcement News; Officer Down Memorials; Public Corruption News

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ere 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
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

Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!



I would like to THANK everyone for making 2012 a great year for Duke's Daily Blotter.

I can't wait to see where 2013 brings us.

I promise that DDB will continue to try and give the best information available on what is important to you.

To all of you and your families I wish you a very safe, prosperous, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

And remember, in the immortal words of Sgt. Phil Esterhaus, "Let's be careful out there"

R.I.P.: Officer Chris Yung

OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE

Officer Chris Yung
Prince William County Police Department, Virginia
End of Watch: Monday, December 31, 2012


Bio & Incident Details

Age: 35
Tour: 7 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Motorcycle accident
Incident Date: 12/31/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Officer Chris Yung was killed in a motorcycle crash at the intersection of Nokesville Road and Piper Lane, in Bristow, while responding to the scene of a separate automobile accident.

A minivan made a left hand turn from northbound Nokesville Road into a shopping center and crossed in front of the officer's motorcycle, causing a collision. Officer Yung was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

Officer Yung had served with the Prince William County Police Department for seven years and was assigned to the Traffic Unit.

Officer Yung was a member of Law Enforcement United and served as a motor escort officer during the annual ride.

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

Chief Charlie Deane
Prince William County Police Department
1 County Complex Court
Prince William, VA 22192
Phone: (703) 792-6500

R.I.P.: Police Officer Edrees Mukhtar

OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE

Police Officer Edrees Mukhtar
San Antonio Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Saturday, December 29, 2012


Bio & Incident Details

Age: 28
Tour: 1 year, 7 months
Badge # 0804
Cause: Automobile accident
Incident Date: 12/10/2012
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Police Officer Edrees Mukhtar succumbed to injuries sustained three weeks earlier while responding to a call for service at approximately 2:45 am.

His patrol car slid after striking a wet spot in the 3700 block of Medical Drive, near I-10. The car struck a curb and then collided with an oncoming pickup truck. Officer Mukhtar was transported to University Hospital.

Officer Mukhtar had served with the San Antonio Police Department for 19 months.

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

Chief of Police William McManus
San Antonio Police Department
315 S Santa Rosa Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78207
Phone: (210) 207-7579

R.I.P.: Detective Randall "Shane" Thomas

OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE

Detective Randall "Shane" Thomas
Henderson County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina
End of Watch: Friday, December 28, 2012


Bio & Incident Details

Age: 47
Tour: 19 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Training accident
Incident Date: 5/1/2009
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Detective Randall "Shane" Thomas died due to complications from an injury he sustained while taking part in mounted patrol training in 2009.

In May 2009 Detective Thomas was training at a Farm when the horse he was riding reared and fell on top of him, breaking his neck. Detecgive Thomas was airlifted to Mission Hospital and spent the next four months rehabilitating in Atlanta, Georgia. Detective Thomas returned home in OCtober 2009, but had limited mobility. With the assistance of voice activated computer software, he was able to return to work with the Sheriff's Office doing computer data entry and managing confidential information about drug dealers.

Detective Thomas developed complication from his spinal injuries and he passed away on December 28, 2012 as a result.

Detective Thomas had served with the Henderson County Sheriff's Office for 19 years. He is survived by his wife, two sons, two daughters, a grandson, a sister and his parents.

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

Sheriff Charles S. McDonald
Henderson County Sheriff's Office
100 North Grove Street
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone: (828) 697-4596

Friday, December 28, 2012

NEWS: (Suburban) On Second Thought...

--Bellwood, Crook County, politics. What more needs to be said......--
Duke

Story at Better Government Association

School district fires administrator for alleged sexual harassment, then hires him back after he campaigns for school board members.

December 26, 2012 09:52 AM
By Alden Loury/BGA

A high-ranking administrator at a west suburban elementary school district was fired for alleged sexual harassment, then re-hired after campaigning for several school board members, the Better Government Association has learned.

Joe Burdi was head of buildings, grounds and transportation for Bellwood School District 88 when he was fired in December 2010 in the wake of a sexual harassment complaint – the second instance in three years in which a female employee accused Burdi of inappropriate comments and unwanted sexual advances, according to interviews and public records.

Weeks before his firing – while the latest allegation was still being investigated by the district – Burdi was among a cadre of political figures from Stone Park and Bellwood to hit the streets to gather signatures from registered voters so three District 88 candidates, all non-incumbents, could appear on the ballot in the April 2011 election, records show.

All three ended up winning, with a strong showing in Stone Park, records show. (In addition to Stone Park and Bellwood, District 88 draws grammar school-age students from Broadview, Hillside, Maywood and Melrose Park.)

In January 2012, with "yes" votes from board President Maria Castrejon and the three new members, the District 88 school board voted 4-3 to re-hire Burdi into an $80,000-a-year post and award him a $40,000 settlement to withdraw a federal civil rights lawsuit he had filed to get his job back. Like Burdi, Castrejon is part of the Neighbors Active Party of Stone Park, a political group, and she also serves as the elected village clerk in the western suburb. Burdi circulated nominating petitions for her school board race in 2009, documents show.

Burdi insists there was no quid pro quo, explaining he passed nominating petitions for the three new members because "I believe that they had the best interests of the kids at heart."

Besides, he said, the board did the right thing because he should never have been fired in the first place. He claims the sexual harassment allegations were never proven, and were used as an excuse to get rid of him because he was part of a rival political faction.

One of the beneficiaries of Burdi’s door knocking, first-term school board member Janice Johnson-Starks, said she did not know Burdi when she was running for office and only learned of his support after the election.

As for her vote to settle with Burdi and hire him back, Johnson-Starks said there was no conclusive evidence that Burdi had done anything wrong. "I’ve seen it before," she said. "I’ve worked in [the federal] government for 21 years, and I know that people slander people when they can’t get what they want."

Another new school board member helped by Burdi is Joe Madrid, a former Stone Park village trustee who served on the village board with Burdi at one time.

Madrid said he asked Burdi to circulate petitions, and Burdi obliged but didn’t ask for anything in return. Madrid said they didn’t talk about the harassment allegations or lawsuit.

The third new school board member, Daisy Allen, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Burdi did not circulate petitions for any of the seven school board candidates who unsuccessfully ran against Allen, Madrid and Johnson-Starks in 2011, campaign records show. The three sitting members who voted against rehiring Burdi weren’t up for reelection in 2011. They, along with Castrejon, last ran in 2009, and at that time, Burdi donated $1,000 to a campaign committee benefitting them, records show. Castrejon and her three then-allies later had a falling out, she said.

The BGA routinely investigates possible conflicts of interest and favoritism to ensure local government is operating with integrity and embracing sound financial practices.

Questions Surface About Attorney’s Role in Case

Another curiosity with Joe Burdi’s return to Bellwood School District 88 involves the now-former school board attorney, Emanuel "Chris" Welch, who recently was elected to the General Assembly as a state representative.

Back in December 2010, Welch told board members "that it was in our rights" to fire Burdi after a sexual harassment complaint was lodged by a female employee against him, recalled one veteran member, Marilyn Thurman.

Burdi was head of buildings, grounds and transportation, making more than $100,000 a year when the school board followed through and dismissed him.

Burdi sued to get his job back, and Welch told the board he could win the case, said another veteran board member, Dorothy Smith.

But by late 2011, Welch seemed to change his tune, as his law firm recommended that the board settle with Burdi and rehire him, according to Thurman and Smith.

That’s what the board eventually did, putting him into a slightly different job that carried an $80,000 salary. The board voted in January 2012 to reinstate Burdi, and he started in February.

Welch declined to discuss the case in detail, saying he is not allowed to talk about his clients to outsiders.

But Welch’s about-face came as he received financial support from Burdi’s political party, Neighbors Active Party of Stone Park, in his legislative race. That group donated $1,000 to Welch’s campaign fund in September 2011, $160 in October 2011 and $500 in March 2012, state records show.

"There is absolutely no connection with me, my firm and Mr. Burdi," Welch said in an email. "The Neighbors Active Party of Stone Park did support my state rep campaign by donating financially. We had mayors and their local political parties from at least six other municipalities do the same."

Stone Park Mayor Ben Mazzulla insists the political party backed Welch not because of Burdi, but because Mazzulla is long-time friends with Welch, with whom he attended high school. Welch’s legislative district does not cover Stone Park.

These stories were written and reported by the Better Government Association’s Alden Loury. He can be reached at aloury@bettergov.org or (312) 821-9036.

PENSION: (Suburban) Municipal Attorney Could Lose Lucrative Taxpayer-Funded Pension

--I am curious to know how many towns are doing this with outside contractors.
And we wonder why our municipal finances are in such bad shape.--
Duke

Story at Better Government Association

After BGA raises questions about his eligibility, agency decides to strip away his benefits.

December 21, 2012 10:50 AM
By Andrew Schroedter/BGA

A politically connected south suburban attorney who stood to benefit from a questionable and potentially lucrative pension sweetener now could end up with no public-sector pension at all.

Dennis Gianopolus, a top municipal attorney for Calumet City and Chicago Heights, was in line to collect a six-figure pension when he hit retirement age.

But prompted by questions from the Better Government Association, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) opened an investigation to determine if Gianopolus should qualify for a taxpayer-subsidized benefit, especially one topping an estimated $145,000 a year.

IMRF pensions are typically reserved for municipal employees or elected officials who work at least 600 hours a year – the IMRF says Gianopolus doesn’t meet either criteria. He isn’t full-time – he’s considered an outside contractor – and his positions with both Calumet City and Chicago Heights don’t "meet the 600 hour standard," according to the fund. Besides, he maintains a private law practice in Lansing. Calumet City officials have argued that Gianopolus is an "officer" and a salaried employee and therefore entitled to a pension.

But IMRF didn’t agree.

"You will not be entitled to a pension based upon your service with Calumet City or Chicago Heights," IMRF General Counsel Kathy O’Brien told Gianopolus in an Oct. 23 letter, obtained by the BGA under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Gianopolus told the BGA this week that he had no comment.

However, IMRF spokeswoman Linda Horrell says Gianopolus has formally appealed the ruling.

A hearing before the fund’s Benefit Review Committee hasn’t yet been scheduled. The committee will recommend that the decision by IMRF staff either be affirmed or reversed; the pension fund’s Board of Trustees will then vote on the matter, Horrell says.

If the board rules against him, Gianopolus can file an action for administrative review in circuit court, she adds.

The BGA previously reported that Calumet City had quietly adopted a pension sweetener that could have boosted Gianopolus’ retirement benefits by a staggering $2 million – or more – during his lifetime. Calumet City officials insisted the measure was part of an honest effort to lower upfront attorney costs, and wasn’t intended to serve as a favor for Gianopolus, a friend and political supporter of Calumet City Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush.

Gianopolus became Calumet City’s city prosecutor in 2001 and corporation counsel in 2003. At the time, the prosecutor job was a salaried employee position that made him eligible for an IMRF pension. And Gianopolus was classified as an "independent contractor" for the corporation counsel post, which carried an hourly salary and no pension.

But in 2010, Qualkinbush and the City Council made the corporation counsel job a salaried position that paid $240,000 annually, while officials reclassified the city prosecutor as an independent contractor making about the same rate of pay as before: roughly $25,000 a year.

This translated into a potential windfall for the 53-year-old Gianopolus, who also serves as Chicago Heights’ city prosecutor, which pays about $24,000 a year. A person’s earnings are an important factor in determining his or her pension – the more someone earns, the higher their pension. Gianopolus’ benefit would’ve been based on both his Calumet City and Chicago Heights pay.

Thanks to the sweetener, if Gianopolus worked until age 65, his starting IMRF benefit would have been more than $145,000, assuming his pay from both suburbs didn’t change. Over 20 years that total retirement benefit would’ve been more than $2.9 million, according to an analysis by the BGA and IMRF.

But now, if the decision by IMRF stands, Gianopolus won’t collect anything at all, though he likely would be reimbursed for the financial contributions he’s already made to the fund. Gianopolus has been contributing a portion of his earnings to IMRF, the current rate is 4.5 percent of his gross pay, or about $11,800 a year. But taxpayers are on the hook for a lion’s share of the costs, as municipal governments in Calumet City and Chicago Heights this year chipped in a total of about $30,000 on the attorney’s behalf.

Calumet City’s Qualkinbush didn’t return messages. Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez also couldn’t be reached.

One of the BGA’s signature issues has been exposing pension abuses and irregularities in an attempt to make government more efficient, save taxpayers money and thwart inappropriate political influence.

This story was written and reported by the Better Government Association’s Andrew Schroedter. He can be reached at aschroedter@bettergov.org or (312) 821-9035.

PENSION: (Illinois) Does shortened schedule hurt pension-cutting effort?

--What a stupid question.
Of course the shortened schedule will affect the pension issue.
How can you discuss a bill that will affect over 40,000 people, billions of dollars, and a possible court fight in just a day or two?
It is impossible.
Illinois lawmakers are looking to do this as quickly and as painfully as possible to be able to lay blame everywhere but where it belongs....In their laps.--
Duke

Story at Daily Herald

By Mike Riopell

SPRINGFIELD — The cancellation of some of state lawmakers’ upcoming meeting dates could hurt last-minute attempts to get the state’s retirement costs under control.

But top Democrats pushing to cut teachers’ and state workers’ pension benefits say they’re still hopeful a proposal could be approved before new lawmakers take office Jan. 9.

The new schedule would appear to give the Illinois Senate just one day to consider a complex proposal on Jan. 8, and that’s if the Illinois House can approve one in the two days prior.

“I understand that it’s tight,” said state Rep. Daniel Biss, an Evanston Democrat who’s helping lead a push in the coming weeks.

Biss said a recent analysis showing that his proposal could save the state as much as $2 billion next year alone could spur lawmakers to act, despite the tight timetable.

“Everyone I’ve talked to has been pretty pleased with those (numbers),” Biss said.

Lawmakers are trying to get their retirement costs in check as they continue to crowd out spending on other priorities such as schools and care for the disabled.

But union leaders say their members didn’t cause the state’s financial problems and shouldn’t be punished. They’ve threatened a lawsuit if a plan like Biss’, which cuts retirees’ benefits and raises the retirement age, is approved.

Still, Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday echoed Biss’ optimism for a deal. He said bond rating agencies are poised to downgrade Illinois once again if nothing happens. And that move could make borrowing money to build roads and bridges in the future more expensive.

“We want to keep building things in Illinois,” Quinn said.

NEWS: (Suburban) For second time, Robbins police chief arrested for DUI

--Once, anyone can make a mistake.
Twice, you need help.--
Duke

Story at Chicago Tribune

Staff report
4:26 PM CST, December 27, 2012

For the second time in nearly three years, the police chief of south suburban Robbins has been arrested for driving while drunk, officials say.

Police Chief Johnny Holmes was pulled over around 10:30 p.m. last Saturday in nearby Midlothian, according to the police report. The arresting officer said Holmes smelled of alcohol, was carrying a flask of liquor in his jacket and had a blood alcohol level of 0.194, more than twice the legal limit.

Holmes, 66, was charged with two counts of driving under the influence.

The police chief was arrested after someone called 911 and reported that a driver had almost hit her around 147th Street and Pulaski Road, according to the police report. The caller said a GMC Yukon pulled up along side her and then swerved into her lane and continued into the wrong lane, police said.

An officer spotted Holmes' Yukon making an improper turn and tried to stop him at Claire Boulevard and Pulaski Road but Holmes "failed to yield to (the officer's) emergency lights and audible siren," according to the police report. Holmes turned south on Maxey Court and finally stopped, police said.

Officers said Holmes smelled of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot. They asked him if he had been drinking and at first he said no, "then admitted he had been recently drinking at the Posen Pub. Johnny thought he was still in Posen," the police report states. Posen is about two miles east of Midlothian.

The officers then told Holmes he would have to undergo field sobriety tests. "Oh, wow," Holmes replied, according to the police report.

Holmes failed the tests and was taken into custody, the report said. During a search, a flask of liquor was found in the front pocket of Holmes' jacket, according to the report.

In March of 2010, Holmes was also arrested in Midlothian for DUI. He was stopped on Claire Boulevard after an officer saw him swerve into oncoming traffic, police said.

Holmes was suspended with pay pending review by the village, former village trustee Tyrone Haymore said. Village trustees issued a verbal warning to Holmes, but took no other action.

"He had a clean record and it was a first offense," Haymore said. "We considered it a very minor problem actually. Nobody was hurt, and he had a spotless record.

"We didn't see any reason to take any action against him."

A message left for the village administrator was not immediately returned.

Holmes did not return a message left on his phone at the police station today.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Around the Water Cooler (Northlake Edition)

I have been asked a lot of questions regarding certain incidents in Northlake lately.

This is what I know.

** To the best of my knowledge, NO current Northlake police officer has been arrested for DUI or anything else in the City of Chicago or in any other town in the past year.

Rumors and allegations are just that and I will not report on them without corroboration. If you know something, email it me anonymously and I will be happy to look into it and try to verify your information before it gets posted here.

** Northlake P.D. is what is known as a Fair Share Unit. This means that all officers pay dues every month to Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council for legal defense, contract negotiations, grievance representation, etc. Even if you do not want to, by law you must contribute to this because you are entitled to the same coverage as everyone else.

These dues are deducted right from the paycheck twice a month and then paid to the F.O.P. by the city.

Apparently, this money was deducted from the officers pay checks but was not paid to the F.O.P. for a period of time. It was discovered once the labor council called up wondering what was going on.

I was told that after the firing of the useless financial director, Bill Kabler, that some things were overlooked in the following period of time.

** The current collective bargaining agreement between Northlake and its Patrol Officers expires at the end of 2012. (My bad, contract expires at the end of 2013).

The retroactive pay issue from the current contract has still not been resolved and they are going to start negotiating and building up retroactive pay and benefits again?

The retro pay from the current contract was paid out on an estimated basis (great bookkeeping Bill Kabler).

Some officers were over paid and some were under paid. Those that were under paid cannot get anything resolved because the city does not want to have to collect money back from some of the, shall we say, favored ones.

A grievance was filed some time ago but nothing has been fixed as of yet.

** As far as some other matters I have been asked about lately....... Sometimes it is best to defer to other investigative outlets or agencies when asked.

Until the next gathering, STAY SAFE.......


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

NEWS: Northlake parents plead no contest in Kansas to endangering kids

--We all remember following this story as it evolved.
Glad to see it is finally over.--
Duke

Story at Pioneer Press

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Updated: December 21, 2012 8:48PM

Two Northlake parents accused of binding and blindfolding two of their children in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas have pleaded no contest to various charges.

Adolfo Gomez, 52, pleaded no contest Friday to two counts of felony child abuse and three misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, The Lawrence Journal-World reported. His wife, Deborah Gomez, 43, pleaded no contest to three counts of child endangerment Dec. 14.

“I don’t want to put my children through any more,” Adolfo Gomez said at the hearing Friday.

Both parents have been in custody since being arrested June 13 after police were called to a Lawrence, Kan., Walmart by a woman who saw a child bound and blindfolded near the family’s vehicle.

Officers found two children, ages 5 and 7, tied up and blindfolded. Three other children, ages 12, 13 and 15, were inside the family’s SUV unrestrained. The Gomezes told police they were in the parking lot because their vehicle had broken down on Interstate 70 near Lawrence on their way to Arizona.

The children have been placed in protective custody.

Adolfo Gomez is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8. His lawyer and prosecutors said they would recommend he be sentenced to 30 months in prison.

“I think the recommendations that are on the record are a fair and equitable resolution,” Gomez’s attorney, Skip Griffey, said after the hearing.

Prosecutors recommended Deborah Gomez be sentenced to a year of probation. Her lawyer, Angela Keck, said Gomez decided to plead no contest because she did not want her children to have to testify.

“She wanted to make sure her kids didn’t have to go through the trauma” of a trial, Keck said earlier this month.

POLITICS: (Illinois) Illinois lawmakers scale back January schedule

--You know, because our state politicians work so hard at making us the absolute worst state in the nation they need extra time off.
It is very tiring ripping off tax payers and stuffing your pockets.
They will go into session, vote on whatever Madigan wants them to (usually what will make them the most money) and take off before the news hits us tax payers.
In another publication, Governor Bumblin' Stumblin' Quinn said that there was ample time for law makers to address the pension problem in the shortened session.
Yea! Sure! When nothing of importance gets done (except for voting on a bill with votes bought by promises of jobs for outgoing law makers) the reason will given as "We didn't have enough time."
We are a joke and we just keep letting the polidiots in Springfield have their way with us.--
Duke

Story at Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
4:20 PM CST, December 24, 2012

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois lawmakers have scaled back their schedule for January's lame duck session in Springfield.

Both the state Senate and House have cancelled days.

The Senate meets Jan. 2 through Jan. 4. Senate officials announced Monday that they've canceled meeting Jan. 5 through Jan. 7. Senate President John Cullerton's spokeswoman says the Senate may return on Tuesday, Jan. 8, if senators need to respond to any House action.

The House had planned to meet Jan. 3, but a memo from House Speaker Michael Madigan's office says the initial days are cancelled and representatives won't meet until Sunday, Jan. 6. They plan to also meet Jan. 7 and Jan. 8.

Lawmakers could consider legislation on driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, pensions and gay marriage.

New lawmakers will be sworn in Jan. 9.

BREAKING NEWS: Mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. dies in prison

Story at Chicago Tribune

Staff report
12:11 PM CST, December 26, 2012

Convicted mob hitman Frank Calabrese Sr. has died in a federal prison in North Carolina.

Calabrese, serving a life sentence, died on Christmas at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex, according to a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons. He was 75.

Calabrese was one of Chicago’s most feared mobsters. He was convicted during the Family Secrets trial.

Calabrese's body was taken to the medical examiner's office, where it will be examined this afternoon, according to Kevin Gerity, autopsy manager for the office. Gerity said an autopsy or an external examination will be conducted.

Details to come.

R.I.P.: Police Officer Jennifer Lynn Sebena

 OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE

Police Officer Jennifer Lynn Sebena
Wauwatosa Police Department, Wisconsin
End of Watch: Monday, December 24, 2012


Bio & Incident Details

Age: 30

Tour: 2 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 12/24/2012

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect: At large

Police Officer Jennifer Sebena was shot and killed near the intersection of Underwood and Harmonee while on patrol.

Shortly before 5:00 am dispatchers attempted to contact her but failed to received a response. Other officers began searching for her and found her body suffering from several gunshot wounds near the Wauwatosa Fire Department's parking lot.

The suspect(s) remain at large.

Officer Sebena had served with the Wauwatosa Police Department for two years. She is survived by her husband.

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

Chief of Police Barry Weber
Wauwatosa Police Department
1700 N 116 Street
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Phone: (414) 471-8430

R.I.P.: Corporal Jimmie Norman

OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE

Corporal Jimmie Norman
Bellaire Police Department, Texas
End of Watch: Monday, December 24, 2012


Bio & Incident Details

Age: 53

Tour: 20 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 12/24/2012

Weapon: Handgun

Suspect: Shot and wounded

Corporal Jimmie Norman was shot and killed after making a traffic stop near the intersection of Jessamine Street and Mapleridge Street shortly before 9:00 am.

During the stop the subject sped away, leading the officer on a short pursuit. The subject pulled into a service station in the 5600 block of Bellaire Boulevard. As Corporal Norman attempted to remove the subject from the car the man opened fire, fatally wounding him.

The subject then fired at bystanders, killing the service station manager. He then fired on other responding officers, but was wounded by return fire and taken into custody.

Corporal Norman had served with the Bellaire Police Department for 23 years. He is survived by his wife and children.

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

Chief of Police Byron Holloway
Bellaire Police Department
5110 Jessamine Street
Bellaire, TX 77401
Phone: (713) 668-0487

Monday, December 24, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Been extra busy around here getting ready for the holidays.

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Christmas.

If you must work, please be careful and remember to keep the spirit of Christmas within when dealing with morons.

From my family to all of yours, we wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NEWS: (Suburban) Maywood man killed in front of his home

--One more in the 'Woods--
Duke

Story at Chicago Tribune

Staff report
4:33 AM CST, December 20, 2012

A 38-year-old Maywood man was shot to death in front of his home, according to authorities.

Deshafian Pate, of the 1600 block of South 16th Avenue, was pronounced dead at 12:06 a.m. at Loyola Hospital, a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Police in Maywood declined to comment.

Check back for more information.

Around the Water Cooler

I have had a lot of questions asked of me lately. Hopefully I have answered them all.

Melrose Park - I have been asked for some updates on current law suits and the Ron Susek murder investigation.

** Negron v Village of Melrose Park, Sam Pitassi, John Scatchell
Case # 12-cv-3288


A motion was filed on behalf of the defendants to provide confidentiality for some personal and disciplinary action that pertains to the defendants was presented.

The motion was approved and an agreed upon Confidentiality Order was put into place.

The motion is available here>>>>>> DOWNLOAD

The order is available here>>>>>>> DOWNLOAD

No other decisions or filings have been made and it looks as if there will be no further action until after the new year.

** Lavalais v Village of Melrose Park, Sam Pitassi
Case # 12-cv-6921


There have been back and forth motions by both parties relating to the defendants Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim.

No decision has been rendered and it looks like there will be no further action until after the new year.

** Shankle v Village of Melrose Park, Sam Pitassi, Mark Rieger, Steve Rogowski, Michael Sarni
Case # 12-cv-6923


Just as in the Lavalis case there has been back and forth motions relating to the defendants Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim.

No decision has been rendered and it looks like there will be no further action until after the new year.

If there are any changes or actions in any of these cases I will make sure it is posted.

** Ron Susek murder investigation.

There are no updates because there has been no progress.

It has been six months and not one shred of information has been gathered or released.

I was hoping that at least the Village of Melrose Park and the Melrose Park Fraternal Order of Police Lodge would have started a reward fund by now.

I looked into starting one but it is something that must be done officially by a village or other official department.

Someone, somewhere knows something. We just need the right break.

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

Northlake -
I have seen the questions. Yes, I get the message. All I can ask for right now is a little patience. Some things take a little time.

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

Maywood -
As we approach 2013 we enter the seventh year since Police Officer, and friend to many here, Tom Wood was murdered at 6th and Erie in Maywood.

There has also been no progress in a long time on this case.

There is over $100,000.00 in reward money offered for information.

Someone, somewhere knows something. Again, we just need the right break.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Taking my birthday off

Unless anything extraordinary happens I am taking the day to relax.

Be back tomorrow at The Water Cooler with some interesting news.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NEWTOWN TRAGEDY: Rationality is the only answer

I was going to do this by video but the technology gods were against me.

I wish I could say it will be OK.
I wish I could say we will get over it.
I wish I could say it will never happen again.
But I can’t and chances are, it will happen again.

Like everyone I watched in horror and disbelief as the events unfolded on TV from Sunny Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT. I watched all day and into the night. When Saturday came I did not, could not look at a news cast. I didn’t even get on my computer because I knew what would be all over Facebook. I had had enough, for now.

Then all the emotional rhetoric started. Get rid of assault weapons, get rid of all guns, put God back in school, arm the teachers, and my favorite put armed guards in the schools. All understandably made but none that are viable options or solutions to prevent what happened.

I want to look at these options one by one and explain why they are not viable.

I am going to start with putting God back into school. I don’t know how to say this but God never left. As a minister and as a father I believe God is in your heart as he was in all the victims’ hearts. A public school is not the place to educate about God. Your home and your church are for that. As far as the Pledge of Allegiance goes, I agree, it should be said every morning with the words “under God” included. I believe that by saying those words you are saying it to whoever your god is no matter what religion you are. If you are an atheist, well, sorry but just don’t say those two words.

Gun ‘control’ is a tricky subject. People get real emotional when discussing this topic from either side. My view is this. The right to bear arms is guaranteed to all citizens by the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution. Therefore, it should be regulated by the Federal Government and NOT the states. Right now every state has different laws and allows different types of carry. Some allow open carry, some allow concealed. Some states recognize permits from others and some don’t. We need some consistency here folks. We need a law that allows for uniform carry across the country, requires background checks, and mandates a waiting period of at least 3 days for any purchase. The individual state police agencies can do the background checks. A permit to carry a firearm will be good across the country (except to carry onto an airplane, which is still a no-no). Handguns will be the only weapons allowed to be carried. No shotguns or rifles strapped over your shoulder walking down the street. That is just idiotic.

Assault weapons are a can of worms unto themselves. Why do we need them? Why don’t we need them? Assault rifles are military type weapons that do a whole lot of damage to the human body. We definitely do not need to be carrying them on the street as citizens. I am not a hunter but I believe the usual guns of choice are 30-06 rifles, .22 rifles, 12 or 20 gauge shotguns, maybe even a .308 for big game. I don’t recall seeing deer hunters using AR-15’s, M-4’s, or AK47’s. Now that is not to say they are not for home protection. I am just saying that these are weapons that we need to have a meaningful discussion about without everyone calling each other names.

Arming our teachers is not the answer to preventing school shootings. The last thing we need are teachers standing in front of a classroom full of kids with a gun strapped on their hip. Some will say, educate the kids about the guns. NO. As a parent, I will teach my kids what I want them to know about guns when I want them to know it. I send them to school to learn reading, writing, and math. Not how to shoot a gun. As for keeping the gun in a drawer or locked up somewhere, that is just not viable. Will the teacher have time to retrieve the weapon? Will they remember in the panic? There are too many variables to try and think about for this option to work.

There is no way I will agree with turning our schools into armed encampments. They are in school, not prison. They are supposed to feel safe and happy. How do you feel safe seeing a bunch of adults walking the halls with guns? You want a gun in the school? Contact your police department about putting a liaison officer at each school.

All the money the government wants to spend on trying to regulate the citizens should be invested in our mental health system. In Illinois, Governor Quinn has closed mental health facilities and cut off funding to save money in the budget. This is ludicrous. Most incidents of mass human destruction have been caused by people that have had some type of issue that no one saw. Why didn’t anyone see it? Because we don’t have the resources to properly examine and help these people and they just slip right on by until they blow up a building. Schools are getting rid of counselors for budget cuts. Kids do not have access to proper intervention strategies. We need to start watching and taking care of our own citizens. We need to make money available to insure we close as many cracks as possible. Can we close them all? No, but at least we can give as many of our kids a chance at a normal life as possible.

You want to secure the schools? Put in secure vestibules at every entrance. Make the doors steel and the windows shatterproof so that it will slow a person down long enough for a response to be initiated. Put video cameras in all the vestibules and record them daily. This way if someone shows up to cause trouble you have something to identify them with. Put auto locking doors on the class rooms. Once they close, they lock and can’t be opened from the hall without a key. Slow the person down, make them work and waste time so a response can be initiated. Install a panic button where the cameras are monitored. This way no phone calls, no panicky voices, just hit the button and the police will respond and they will call you. Just like a bank response. These are common sense approaches that will not cost millions of dollars.

We will not prevent mass killings at schools, work places, movie theaters, or anywhere else. It is just a fact. If a person wants to commit mayhem, they will. The response is to be ready for anything and to make it as difficult as possible for the person to cause the damage they intend.

I do believe that when these incidents occur and the offender is identified the news outlets should identify the person once and then not mention their names again. This way someone thinking about this kind of crime will know that their name will not be remembered by people once they are dead and gone. They can simply be referred to as ‘the subject’ or some other nondescript term.

What happened in Connecticut is shocking. I can’t even imagine what anyone involved felt or is feeling today. My heartbreaks every time I see a news story or a picture on Facebook. There is nothing to say to make the pain go away. All we can say is that we are with the people of Newtown and that they are in our hearts and prayers.

There is no answer to the question “why did this happen?” There never will be. We can never know what was going through the mind of this disturbed young man that made him commit such an unthinkable crime.

All we can do is hope to learn how to better prepare ourselves for the next time because until we start dealing with the proper issues in our country there will be a next time.

R.I.P.: Police Officer Sean Louis Callahan

OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE

Police Officer Sean Louis Callahan
Clayton County Police Department, Georgia
End of Watch: Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Bio & Incident Details

Age: 24
Tour: 4 months
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 12/17/2012
Weapon: Handgun
Suspect: Not available

Police Officer Sean Callahan succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained the previous day during a foot pursuit in Stockbridge at approximately 2:15 pm.

He and other officers had responded to a domestic disturbance at a motel on Davidson Parkway. As officers attempted to arrest the male subject he began to resist and fled on foot. The officers chased the man around the motel where the subject opened fire, striking Officer Callahan in the head twice. Other officers returned fire, killing the subject.

Officer Callahan was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds the following morning.

Officer Callahan had only served with the Clayton County Police Department for four months.

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

Chief of Police Gregory Porter
Clayton County Police Department
7911 North McDonough Street
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Phone: (770) 477-3747

Monday, December 17, 2012

NEWS: (Northlake) Ex-boyfriend denied bail in Woodridge woman’s slaying

--HOLY CRAP!!!!! This kid literally lives right behind me on Hayes. His backyard and mine touch.
I have known him since he was little. He used to throw things over the fence to irritate Brixx when I had him outside in the kennel.
The victim, Alyssa, was a nice girl. They both worked at O'Hare Towing.
I am really shocked by this.--
Duke

Story at Daily Herald

Adam Belmont

By Josh Stockinger

About a week after their relationship ended, Adam Belmont scaled his ex-girlfriend’s apartment building and fatally stabbed her with a knife engraved with a commemoration of their anniversary, prosecutors said Monday.

DuPage County Judge Alex McGimpsey denied bail for the 23-year-old tow truck driver, who is accused of slaying Alyssa VanMeter, 25, inside her Forest Drive apartment in Woodridge late Saturday.

The killing happened roughly a week after VanMeter and Belmont broke off a long-standing relationship, Assistant State’s Attorney Tim Diamond said. He said the victim sent a text message to her new boyfriend around 9:30 p.m. Saturday saying “Adam just broke into my apartment.”

Woodridge police arrested Belmont at his mother’s Northlake home after the victim’s brother, who lived with her, arrived home and found her body about 11:30 p.m. Belmont confessed he climbed support beams outside the victim’s second-story apartment and then leaned from a balcony to cut a window screen and gain access to her bedroom, Diamond said.

Once inside, Belmont argued with the victim about rekindling their relationship before choking her for 10 to 15 minutes when she rejected his proposal, prosecutors said. When she regained consciousness, he stabbed her once in the chest and then sexually assaulted her body, according to the charges.

Belmont killed VanMeter with a pocket knife engraved with their names and anniversary date, Diamond said. He said Belmont, who previously lived with VanMeter, had visited her apartment the night before and left the weapon behind.

“He plunged it once into Alyssa’s heart, killing her,” Diamond said.

Belmont initially denied any involvement but eventually gave a videotaped confession, Diamond said. The suspect also led investigators to the murder weapon — along with a set of keys to the victim’s apartment — stashed in the rafters of his mother’s garage, according to prosecutors.

McGimpsey cited corroborating evidence including a text message, the murder weapon and incriminating statements made by Belmont in holding him without bail.

Belmont was charged with murder, home invasion and aggravated criminal sexual assault and could face natural life in prison if convicted. He appeared in court wearing a yellow jail uniform indicating he is considered a high-risk inmate. He didn’t speak during the bond hearing but rocked back and forth at times, looking downward as prosecutors outlined the charges.

State’s Attorney Bob Berlin called the case “very disturbing” and credited Woodridge police for “outstanding” work identifying and apprehending the suspect. “On average, more than three women are murdered every day in the United States by an intimate partner,” Berlin said. “The allegations against Mr. Belmont are very disturbing in that he allegedly took the life of his former girlfriend because she began dating someone new and was moving on with her life.”

At no time was public safety at risk, Woodridge Police Chief Ken Boehm added.

“We knew early in the investigation that this was an isolated incident, which led us to the victim’s ex-boyfriend,” he said.

Belmont appears to have no prior criminal record in DuPage, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear Dec. 31 before Judge George Bakalis.

R.I.P.: Corporal David Gogian

OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE

Corporal David Gogian
Topeka Police Department, Kansas
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012


Bio & Incident Details

Age: 50
Tour: 8 years, 3 months
Badge # Not available
Military veteran
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 12/16/2012
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Not available

Corporal David Gogian and Police Officer Jeff Atherly were shot and killed while checking on a suspicious vehicle in a grocery store parking lot, on the 1400 block of SW Huntoon Street, shortly after 6:00 pm.

Several minutes after making contact with the multiple subjects in the vehicle one them opened fire, fatally wounding Officer Atherly and Corporal Gogian. A third officer on the scene was not wounded. The subject who opened fire fled in the vehicle. He was located in a home on Third Street, and shot and wounded after a short standoff.

Corproal Gogian was a U.S. military veteran and had served with the Topeka Police Department for eight years.

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

Police Chief Ronald Miller
Topeka Police Department
320 S Kansas Avenue
Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66603
Phone: (785) 368-9551

Related Line of Duty Deaths

Police Officer Jeff Atherly
Topeka Police Department, Kansas
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Cause: Gunfire

R.I.P.: Police Officer Jeff Atherly

OFFICER DOWN MEMORIAL PAGE

Police Officer Jeff Atherly
Topeka Police Department, Kansas
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 29
Tour: 1 year, 8 months
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 12/16/2012
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect: Shot and wounded

Police Officer Jeff Atherly and Corporal David Gogian were shot and killed while checking on a suspicious vehicle in a grocery store parking lot, on the 1400 block of SW Huntoon Street, shortly after 6:00 pm.

Several minutes after making contact with the multiple subjects in the vehicle one them opened fire, fatally wounding Officer Atherly and Corporal Gogian. A third officer on the scene was not wounded. The subject who opened fire fled in the vehicle. He was located in a home on Third Street, and shot and wounded after a short standoff.

Officer Atherly had served with the Topeka Police Department for just under two years.

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

Police Chief Ronald Miller
Topeka Police Department
320 S Kansas Avenue
Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66603
Phone: (785) 368-9551

Related Line of Duty Deaths

Corporal David Gogian
Topeka Police Department, Kansas
End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012
Cause: Gunfire

Sunday, December 16, 2012

NEWS: (Illinois) Illinois credit outlook drops as talk of business taxes surfaces

--The sooner we get rid of every polidiot in Springfield that is responsible for the financial mess we are in, the better off we will be.
We need to begin with Governor Bumblin' Stumblin' Quinn, Michael Madigan, Tom Cross, and John Cullerton. 
We don't need more taxes.
We need representatives in Springfield that are interested in doing what is right with our money and not just in making as much as they can and damn the rest of us.--
Duke

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Monique Garcia and Ray Long
Clout Street
5:00 PM CST, December 14, 2012

A key rating agency dropped Illinois’ credit outlook from stable to negative Friday, a move that could make it more expensive to pay for an ongoing statewide construction program aimed a building new roads, schools and bridges.

The warning shot from Moody’s Investors Service came as Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday that he and lawmakers were weighing a menu of new taxes to shore up funding for the public works plan that he indicated is running low on funds.

The estimated $250 million to $300 million a year shortfall is due to a lengthy delay in launching video gambling at bars and restaurants across Illinois, as well as a higher than expected number of communities opting to ban the machines. If lawmakers don’t approve new funding methods, Quinn said projects initially slated for completion by 2015 would take longer to finish.

“There is a revenue shortfall,” Quinn said. “We have to address that, there are ways to do that by closing loopholes and I think that’s something that we can do without burdening the public in any serious way and the bottom line is creating jobs. Economic growth, that is what the public wants. I think that’s what everybody wants.”

Details are scarce, but a memo to House Democrats lists ideas such as taxing oil companies that drill out at sea, eliminating tax exemptions for biodiesel and ethanol fuel, adding a new tax for satellite television customers and changing the way taxes are collected when someone trades in an old car for a new vehicle.

Other suggestions include implementing an online sales tax for goods sold online and creating a new fee for digital downloads — an idea the governor first floated in 2010 before abandoning after it received a cold reception.

Quinn said the ideas were a mix of proposals he has long supported as well as new pitches made by lawmakers. A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said it was too soon to tell what kind of traction they might have in Springfield.

The list of potential taxes emerged after Moody’s lowered the state’s credit outlook from stable to negative — a possible indicator that the rating agency soon may be poised to drop Illinois’ credit rating even lower. Moody’s already has pegged Illinois with the worst rating in the country, which Quinn said could make it more expensive for the state to borrow money to pay for construction projects.

Republican Treasurer Dan Rutherford contends taxpayers already are paying for the low rating, saying Illinois has shelled out an extra $70 million in interest on $800 million in borrowing made in recent months.

Reforming the state’s trouble public employee pension system is key to stabilizing Illinois’ credit rating. However, Moody’s expressed concern that legislators may produce changes that yield only a “marginal effect” on a system projected to be $96 billion in debt. The rating service indicated that political pressure may work against a sweeping fix and any new legislation may be tied up in courts for years.

Still, Quinn said he was optimistic lawmakers could pass sweeping changes when they return to Springfield in January.

“Our job is to get it done, and we’re going to do it in the coming several weeks,” Quinn said.

NEWS: (Suburban) Cicero leader, allies tossed off town electoral board

--Look how innocent poor Mr Dominic looks in his picture.
Once again, I ask...
This is Crook County, does any kind of back handed political moves surprise anyone?
A judge finally doing the right thing, like Judge Edmund Ponce de Leon, now that surprises me.--
Duke

Story at Chicago Tribune

Cicero Town President Larry Dominick presiding over a regular board of trustees meeting on Nov. 8, 2011 in Cicero. (Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune / December 14, 2012)
Saying all had conflicts of interest, judge replaces them with 3 attorneys

By Joseph Ruzich
Special to the Tribune
8:02 PM CST, December 14, 2012

Cicero Town President Larry Dominick and three of his political allies will not be allowed to rule on objections filed against candidates in the upcoming town elections, including those they support and oppose, a Cook County judge said Friday.

In a ruling believed to be unprecedented, Judge Edmund Ponce de Leon disqualified the town's electoral board, made up of Dominick, Town Clerk Maria Punzo-Arias and Town Supervisor Joseph Virruso and alternate Dennis Raleigh, a town trustee. He replaced it with three substitutes to ensure fair hearings on any objections.

Dominick, Punzo-Arias and Virruso are candidates for re-election in the Feb. 26 election.

The judge appointed attorneys Adam Lasker, Daniel Bolin and Tiffany Nelson-Jaworski, who do not live in Cicero, to the board.

Courtney Greve, spokeswoman for the Cook County clerk's office, said she did not recall a judge ever tossing out an entire election board and replacing it with substitutes.

Attorneys for town president candidate Juan Ochoa and town collector candidate David Donahue argued in court Friday that it would be a financial conflict of interest for the Dominick-led electoral board to do its duties objectively.

Ponce de Leon agreed, noting that the board members have "a substantive personal and pecuniary interest in the outcome of these cases" even if a member recuses himself or herself if he or she is subject to an objection.

He noted that the three electoral board members and Raleigh belong to Dominick's Cicero Voters Alliance. "All members have vested interest in pay and benefits, including family members on the Cicero payroll, which may be affected by election results" the judge noted.

Petition objections have been filed against Ochoa and most of his slate.

"I feel very strongly that my name will be on the ballot because we now have a fair board," Ochoa said.

Ochoa and Donahue hope the new board will decide to kick Dominick off the ballot. An objection accuses Dominick of owing money to the town.

Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania said Dominick's team doesn't care about the ruling. "The real issue is Ochoa and Donahue have residency and signature problems with their petitions," he said. "I think the (new) board will realize that."

CORRUPTION: (Suburban) Justice police chief fired

--SHOCKING!!!!! Um, not...--
Duke

Story at Chicago Tribune

Village Board terminates Gedville after 3-month investigation of alleged misconduct

By David Kidwell
Chicago Tribune reporter
8:21 PM CST, December 14, 2012

The police chief of the southwest suburb of Justice was fired late Thursday for what the mayor said were lapses in judgment involving a consulting arrangement with the village's red-light camera vendor and a failure to properly discipline an officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a patrol car.

Robert Gedville, 43, a 20-year veteran of the Justice Police Department, was terminated by a unanimous vote of the Village Board after a three-month internal investigation of the allegations. He could not be reached for comment and his attorney did not return telephone calls.

Gedville was suspended Sept. 24, the same day the Tribune reported that he had sent emails to more than 50 suburban police chiefs and municipal leaders with a sales pitch for a red-light camera company that he helped hire to install the cameras in Justice. In the emails, he identified himself as a consultant for the company, SafeSpeed LLC.

Mayor Kris Wasowicz said Friday that he informed Gedville of his decision and took his recommendation to the board for a vote Thursday evening.

"He is in a position to make very serious decisions on behalf of this village," Wasowicz said. "Making bad decisions like this disqualifies him to be our police chief. We expect better."

Wasowicz said the village has referred the chief's actions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that the bureau has begun an investigation.

"They are looking at everything," Wasowicz said, including allegations by the woman who has since filed a federal lawsuit against the village and the officer. "This matter has not yet concluded."

In his emails to other suburban leaders, the chief said: "I recently have been afforded the opportunity to act as a consultant for SafeSpeed LLC. ... The village I serve is a client of SafeSpeed, and I am happy to promote their service."

Gedville told the Tribune in September he never received any payment from SafeSpeed. "I wish I hadn't used the word 'consultant.' It was the wrong verbiage," Gedville said.

A SafeSpeed spokeswoman on Friday reiterated that it has no business relationship with Gedville. Justice began issuing tickets from two red-light cameras Sept. 1.

Wasowicz said the village found no financial arrangement between Gedville and the company.

In November the village was also hit with a federal lawsuit from a 28-year-old Burbank woman. According to the lawsuit, the woman was waiting for a cab outside a Justice apartment building after midnight on May 6 when Officer Carmen Scardine ordered her into his squad car, drove her to a secluded location and forced her to perform oral sex. She reported the incident to Burbank police later that morning.

Scardine could not be reached for comment.

The mayor released a statement Friday that said Gedville opened an internal investigation May 7 and reported the incident to the Cook County sheriff's office for potential criminal charges. The mayor said in the statement that internal charges of misconduct were sustained against the officer, but the woman declined to pursue criminal charges.

According to Wasowicz, Gedville suspended Scardine for 26 days, but most of that suspension was served simultaneous with Scardine's vacation. "The police chief alone made the decision on how the suspension should be served," Wasowicz said in his statement.

The woman's attorney, Scott Kamin, said Friday that his client chose not pursue criminal charges after being assured by the village that the officer would be adequately punished.

"Had she known at the time that punishment would be a paid vacation, she might have reached a different decision," Kamin said. "The termination of the chief is certainly a step in the right direction."

Scardine was placed on administrative leave in November after the village was served with the federal lawsuit.

NEWS: (Chicago) Operation Santa remembers families of Chicago officers killed, seriously injured in line of duty

--Great job!!!! Great program!!!! Thank You for making sure the fallen are remembered.!!!!
Duke

Story at Chicago Tribune

Bethany O'Reilly, widow of Chicago police Sgt. Philip O'Reilly, greets Michael Sweig as Chicago police officers present gifts to the family at their home Saturday as part of the annual Operation Santa event. (Abel Uribe, Chicago Tribune / December 16, 2012)

Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's annual event provides gifts, support, comfort

By Ryan Haggerty
Chicago Tribune reporter
December 16, 2012

The holidays can be difficult for Phil O'Reilly Jr., whose father, Chicago police Sgt. Philip O'Reilly, was killed nearly 10 years ago when a tow truck slammed into his squad car while he was on patrol.

But O'Reilly, 17, was beaming Saturday as he shook hands and traded laughs with dozens of police officers who crowded into his family's home in the West Rogers Park neighborhood, delivering gifts and offering support in an effort to show that his family hasn't been forgotten.

"It kind of brings back the holiday spirit for me," O'Reilly said. " "People showing they care."

The visit was part of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's annual Operation Santa event, in which members of the foundation and officers drop off gifts and visit with the families of officers who have been killed or seriously injured in the line of duty.

Dozens of police vehicles escorted a limo carrying Santa and Mrs. Claus to six homes Saturday. The motorcade plans to stop at 11 more homes Sunday.

The foundation provides $250 worth of gifts to every school-age child, said Phil Cline, a former Chicago police superintendent who heads the foundation.

"The whole point is to show the families that we haven't forgotten them and the Police Department hasn't forgotten them," Cline said. "After the funeral and all the pomp and circumstance, these people have to go on."

At the O'Reilly home,, former co-workers gathered around a piano that displayed photos of him holding his son as a baby and posing in his dress uniform on the day he was promoted to sergeant.

O'Reilly's wife, Bethany, described her husband as a dedicated father to his two children and four stepchildren, and a man who liked to tease his family by opening only one gift an hour on Christmas Day.

"We're doing better, but it takes a long time," she said. "It's almost 10 years, and we're still getting used to it."

O'Reilly said she welcomes the extra support around the holidays, but she can't help thinking about all her husband has missed.

"He was only 41," she said. "It's like an unfinished life. He had a lot of plans."

CHICAGO OUTFIT: Thousands in stolen scrap metal found in mob boss` business: EXCLUSIVE

--An excellent piece by Dane Placko and the BGA.
Let's be real here. If you are buying sewer covers there is a better than 99.99% chance they came from a street somewhere. 
The economic effect is minor compared to the possible damage than can be cause by the unsuspecting motorist driving into an open sewer.
Or worse, if an unsuspecting pedestrian happens over an open sewer while crossing a street.
And as far as the Chicago Outfit goes, the only ones who walk around saying "they are trying to blame this on something that doesn't even exist anymore" are the people that are still involved in the very real and operating Chicago Outfit.--
Duke

Story and Video at MY FOX Chicago 

video



Posted: Dec 13, 2012 8:15 PM CST Updated: Dec 13, 2012 9:31 PM CST

By FOX 32 News Investigative Reporter Dane Placko & the Better Government Association

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - FOX 32 and the Better Government Association have learned that police from several west suburban villages have recovered stolen metal that was sold to a recycler with some notorious connections.

Three years ago, FOX 32 and the BGA watched as John "No Nose" DiFronzo—the reputed head of the Chicago outfit--and his brother, Peter DiFronzo--who is also an alleged made member of the mob--spent hours visiting D & P Construction and JKS Ventures in Melrose Park. The two businesses are owned by Peter Difronzo's wife.

When FOX 32's Dane Placko asked the alleged boss of bosses what he was doing there at the time, DiFronzo responded with, "Me? Nothing. Nothing."

Despite the mob connections, the companies have never run afoul of the law. But, now police from 10 western suburbs are investigating whether JKS Ventures bought stolen metal from sewer cap thieves trying to hustle a fast buck.

Over the weekend, Forest Park police arrested Leon Jackson after they say he was spotted stealing sewer caps and grates. They found eight of the heavy metal covers in the back of his truck. Police say he was heading to JKS Ventures, where they found four more pieces belonging to the village.

Then on Wednesday, acting on a tip, police from Westchester recovered 34 of their sewer caps and grates at JKS Ventures, each valued between $150 and $200.

Westchester Police Chief April Padilak told FOX 32 News that there was still a large pile of stolen metal--as much as 100 pieces--so they've contacted nine nearby communities that have recently suffered a rash of thefts. Those include: Hillside, Broadview, Forest Park, Elmhurst, Northlake, Itasca, Wood Dale, Western Springs and Lagrange Park.

Police from those villages have been visiting JKS looking for their stolen sewer covers.

"These are generally municipally-owned things," explains Bob Herguth of the Better Government Association. "So if somebody's coming to sell them to you and they don't belong to a municipal government, you gotta wonder what's going on here."

A woman working at JKS says they were the ones who called police when someone tried to sell them some stolen sewer covers. But, police say that only happened after the company was warned not to buy any more.

On January 1, a new law goes into effect in Illinois, requiring recyclers to take photographs or video of all sellers and the metal they're selling and there will be increased penalties for recyclers who buy stolen goods.