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

Officer Down

Monday, May 27, 2013

The time has come to say goodbye

 After four great years the time has come for me to put Duke's Daily Blotter to bed.

I have had a great time and think that I have really made a difference for our cause.

My idea was to focus on public pension reform in Illinois and I think I have stayed pretty true to that.

Along the way we got involved in some really interesting issues and stories. Some that I had the pleasure of breaking for the first time.

With my working and becoming involved in some more charitable activities I just do not have the time I once had to devote to the daily work of keeping Duke's as updated as it has been.

I want to thank everyone for their support over the years.

I have made some friends and unfortunately I have lost a few over some of what I have written but I always remained true to myself.

I hope that what I have done has been helpful, entertaining and enlightening to all.

I will be doing one more story in June. I will be publishing it on and probably here as well. It will be a one year follow up story to the unsolved murder of my friend, Retired Sergeant Ron Susek from the Melrose Park Police Department.

I will be keeping the database of Duke's online so everything here will be here for awhile yet for folks that wish to search out any information.

Who knows what the future may hold. Maybe I will find a reason to bring Duke's back.

Every person that has read, commented, mentioned, even razzed Duke's Daily Blotter has made every day worth it and I will never be able to thank you all enough.

If I can ever be of assistance to anyone ro you just wish to chat will always be available.


Earl 'Duke' Filskov

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


 (Post date changed to hold at top of blotter until further notice, Original post on April 08, 2013)

I know I post these notices from time to time but this one....

This one is personal.

Leon is not only a great law enforcement officer, he is my friend.

All I am asking is that if you can help, please help. Please pray. Please do whatever is in your heart to do.

Leon’s family, friends, and colleagues have come together as “TEAM LEON” a benefit event to help defray expenses and allow Leon to beat this disease.

Date:  May 23, 2013

Time: 6pm – 11pm

Location: FOP Lodge 1412 W. Washington Street, Chicago

$30.00 donation

Please call Joy at (708) 609-3833 or Phil at (312) 296-6116 to have your donation/contribution collected or with any questions. 

Checks can be made payable to “Leon Lacey” and sent to
"Team Leon” @ 311 South Wille Street, Mount Prospect, IL 60056.

In early January 2013, Leon thought he pinched a nerve in his upper back after working out. He went to a back specialist who, after an X-ray, couldn't detect any problem. A week later, still having some 
pain, which radiated around to the front of his chest, Leon went to his primary doctor and asked for a chest X-ray. The X-ray revealed a 4.2cm by 4.3cm cancer mass in his left lung. Further testing revealed that the cancer metastasized to his liver, upper spine, lower spine,
chest, ribs, femur, and hip.

 Leon attended Immaculate Conception grammar school in Chicago,  Notre Dame High School (1985-89) in Niles, and Lewis University (1989-93) in Romeoville where he played baseball.

Leon has spent the last 10 years as a Special Agent for the U.S . Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) working six years in Arizona and the last four years in Chicago. Prior to working for the DEA, Leon worked as a patrol officer and later a detective for the Northlake
Police Department.

If you would like to print a copy of the flyer, you can download it.....<<HERE>>

CORRUPTION: Former Elgin deputy police chief charged with identity theft, misconduct

--Affairs, forced resignations, fake names to use NCIC and LEADS. I never knew Elgin PD was such a Peyton Place.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

Robert Beeter (Tribune File Photo)

By Kate Thayer
Tribune reporter
7:02 PM CDT, May 21, 2013

A former high-ranking Elgin police officer and current Stockton police chief was indicted Tuesday on charges he used a law enforcement database to hack into an e-mail account and get personal information, according to Kane County prosecutors.

Robert Beeter, 51, of Elgin, faces felony charges of identity theft and official misconduct, Kane County prosecutors said. He was arrested Tuesday afternoon and released after posting $2,500 bond, according to prosecutors.

Beeter could not immediately be reached for comment.

The indictment alleges that between Aug. 11, 2010 and April 12, 2011, Beeter on several occasions used personal identification information of “someone he knew” to access that person’s personal e-mail account, prosecutors said. In June 2010, Beeter also accessed the Law Enforcement Agencies Data System four times to gain information on someone for his personal use, the indictment charges.

During that time, Beeter was Elgin’s deputy police chief. Beeter also served for a period as acting police chief in Elgin, though not during the time in question. He has since been laid off from the Elgin force and, last June, became the chief of Stockton’s police department.

Prosecutors did not specify whose e-mail account and personal information was at the center of the allegations.

Recently, though, former Elgin Police Lieutenant Greg Welter filed a lawsuit against the city of Elgin, Police Chief Jeff Swoboda and other city officials. In it, Welter, who retired in 2010 after 29 years in the Elgin Police Department, claimed he was forced to retire after an affair between his wife – also a police officer – and Beeter was made public.

The suit alleges that Welter’s wife and Beeter hacked into Welter’s personal e-mail account. The lawsuit further accuses the pair of anonymously tipping department and city officials off to e-mails implying Welter improperly used his role at the department to get vehicle information – something Welter denies.

A judge earlier this year dismissed that lawsuit, agreeing with the city’s stances that Welter was not forced out and that the alleged wrongdoing was reported before Welter retired.

In another federal lawsuit, Welter and a business partner are suing Beeter and Welter’s estranged wife, Tamara Welter. That pending lawsuit claims Beeter and Tamara Welter accessed Greg Welter’s personal e-mail account.

The complaint also reiterates claims they used information they found in the e-mail  to pass along to Elgin police and city officials.

Beeter is due back in court June 12, officials said. If convicted, Beeter faces between 2 and 5 years in prison, or could be placed on probation, according to prosecutors.

Stockton Police Sgt. Don Trost declined to comment Tuesday evening, but said a prepared statement was pending from officials.

Swoboda in Elgin released the following statement: “Whenever an officer is alleged to have abused their authority, no matter what rank and no matter when it occurred, we will investigate it fully and take the appropriate action.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

NEWS: Officials: Man videotaped women in Elmhurst Hospital bathroom

--And another one of our local residents goes down.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

Salvador Perez (DuPage County sheriff's office / May 18, 2013)

By Carlos Sadovi
Tribune reporter
2:36 PM CDT, May 18, 2013

A Franklin Park man has been charged with leaving his cellphone behind to videotape women using a bathroom at Elmhurst Hospital, DuPage County officials said today.

Salvador Perez, 49, was ordered held in lieu of $150,000 bail and charged with unlawful videotaping, a felony, according to DuPage County State's Attorney Robert B. Berlin.

Prosecutors said that on Friday, Perez set up his cell phone under the sink of a uni-sex bathroom at the hospital to record people using the toilet, prosecutors said.

After Perez, of the 2500 block of Sonia Avenue in the west suburb, activated the phone's video recorder, he left the phone behind. Later, a woman who was using the bathroom, discovered the phone after it fell beneath the sink, prosecutors said.

After finding the phone, the woman alerted authorities who tracked down Perez who was subsequently charged.

"The allegations against Mr. Perez Are very disturbing," Berlin said.

Perez's next court appearance is scheduled for June in front of Judge George Bakalis. As an additional condition of bond, Perez will be required to wear a GPS monitoring device should he post bond, Berlin said.

NEWS: NY student was killed by police in split-second decision

--I hope everyone remembers that first and foremost all the blame in this incident sits squarely on Dalton Smith, the offender that started this whole incident.
The stress and the pressure the officer was under at the moment he decided to pull the trigger is unimaginable and cannot be understood by anyone, no matter their training or experience, unless they have ever faced the same situation.
All we can do is hope for the officers full recovery and pray for the victim and her family.--

Story at

A veteran officer was forced to fire when the suspect, who had his hostage in a headlock, aimed his gun at the officer

By Verena Dobnik
Associated Press

NEW YORK — The college student was being held in a headlock by a masked intruder with a loaded gun to her head, police said. Then the gunman took aim at an officer.

A moment later both Hofstra University junior Andrea Rebello and the intruder were dead — killed after a split-second decision that is perhaps the most harrowing in law enforcement: when to pull the trigger.

"The big question is, how do you know, when someone's pointing a gun at you, whether you should keep talking to them, or shoot?" said Michele Galietta, a professor of psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice who helps train police officers. "That's what makes the job of an officer amazingly difficult."

She spoke Sunday as Hofstra University students honored Rebello, a popular 21-year-old public relations major, by wearing white ribbons at their graduation ceremony.

Rebello's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Sleepy Hollow, north of New York City.

The news that she died from a police bullet came as "a second shock" for the already devastated family, said Henry Santos, Rebello's godfather.

Her life ended in the seconds that forced the veteran police officer to make a fatal decision, but the questions surrounding the student's death are just beginning, along with an internal investigation by the Nassau County Police Department.

Rebello and the intruder, Dalton Smith, died early Friday when the officer fired eight shots, hitting him seven times and her once in the head, according to county homicide squad Lt. John Azzata.

With a gun pointed at her, Smith "kept saying, `I'm going to kill her,' and then he pointed the gun at the police officer," according to Azzata.

The officer acted quickly, saying later that he believed his and Rebello's lives were in danger, according to authorities.

No doubt, he was acting to try to save lives — his own and that of the young woman, Galietta said.

"What we're asking the cop to anticipate is, `What is going on in the suspect's mind at the moment?'" she said. "We're always trying to de-escalate, to contain a situation, but the issue of safety comes in first, and that's the evaluation the officer has to make."

Eugene O'Donnell, a former New York City police officer and professor of law and police studies at John Jay College, said the crucial issue may be whether or not police had deemed it a hostage situation. If so, he said, there are protocols police follow to buy time, slow down, isolate and assess.

But O'Donnell said the officers may have had few options because of "an eyeball to eyeball confrontation between the officer and the offender."

"It may have been too fluid to deteriorate for the officers to do anything else," O'Donnell said. "It underscores that there's no two of these that are exactly alike."

Police tactical manuals are meant to assist officers in making the best decision possible, but in the end, "they're not 100 percent foolproof," Galietta said. "In a situation like that, you can follow procedure, and it doesn't mean it comes out perfectly."

Hofstra student John Kourtessis told the New York Post that he'd gone to a bar with Rebello and a few other friends to celebrate the end of school. When they got back to Rebello's house, she asked him to move his car and he went upstairs to get his keys.

When he came back down, he said, Smith was there. He said Smith kept talking about "the Russian guy," insisting the house's residents owed a Russian man money and that he was outside waiting.

"He was saying ... that he just needed us to cooperate. I said, `Listen, we have all this money here.'"

Kourtessis said the students offered Smith computers, jewelry and other items from the house but that Smith kept demanding more money.

The officer who fired the shots is an eight-year NYPD veteran and has been with Nassau County police for 12 years.

He is now out on sick leave, Azzata said.

Procedurally, the Nassau County district attorney would determine whether an officer's use of deadly force was justified, O'Donnell said. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said Monday it is monitoring the ongoing police investigation.

Monday, May 20, 2013

CORRUPTION: Schaumburg police officer suspended for allegedly keeping gun

--I put this under corruption because keeping evidence is exactly that but if I had a STUPIDITY section I would put this there.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Robert McCoppin
Tribune reporter
11:38 AM CDT, May 20, 2013

A Schaumburg police officer has been suspended with pay for allegedly keeping a gun that had been turned in to the department, and the same officer also faces scrutiny for a case involving heroin that allegedly went missing from a crime scene, police said.

On April 23, two people came to the Schaumburg police station to turn in a .22-caliber revolver, according to a department news release. The officer, whom the department did not name, was on front-desk duty, and asked the two to step outside, where he offered to buy the gun. The two declined and said they wanted the gun to be disposed, the news release said.

The officer then accepted the weapon without creating any report or record of the transaction, and kept it illegally in his own possession, according to the release. Three days later, one of the people spoke with Interim Police Chief Ken Bouche to say she was uncomfortable about what happened.

The department conducted an investigation and within five hours recovered the gun and developed “credible information” which led to Bouche placing the officer on administrative leave, the release stated.

The officer was also under investigation for his handling of evidence in a case involving the death of a 19-year-old Schaumburg man from a suspected heroin overdose last September, Sgt. John Nebl said.

Eleven small bags of heroin were reported at the scene, but only nine were entered into evidence.

The officer was placed on desk duty after that incident, and the Illinois State Police has completed their investigation into the matter.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office is reviewing both cases, Nebl said, to see whether criminal charges should be filed.

Both cases are unrelated to charges filed in January against three Schaumburg police officers accused of stealing from drug dealers and selling drugs themselves, police said. Those three officers have all pleaded not guilty and await trial.

PENSION: State workers anxious as lawmakers debate pensions

--It is truly sad that employees that have worked their whole adult lives to make it to retirement find that they have nothing to retire on or that it may be taken away.
The true culprits in this pension debacle, politicians and their buddies they cut sweet deals with, should be stripped of their pensions and that money should be put into the fund for the employees.
These reform proposals do nothing but take the mess away from the culprits and put into the laps of the victims.--

Story at State Journal-Register

By Regina Garcia Cano
The State Journal-Register

 An Illinois agency manager might have to delay retirement. A former university secretary wonders if she'll have to cancel vacations. A state office assistant fears he won't be able to afford the medical care his wife needs.

Anxiety and anger are growing among state employees and retirees who wonder what will happen to their pocketbooks if lawmakers make expected changes to the state's pension systems that could require workers to pay even more toward retirement, increase the retirement age and cut annual increases in benefits.

Workers spent their careers paying into their pension funds what the law told them to pay while, for decades, Legislatures and governors shorted and even skipped the state's required payments. Now the General Assembly is scrambling to solve a Goliath-size fiscal problem: a $97 billion shortfall in the money needed to cover promised payouts to current and former employees who belong to five state pension systems, including public school teachers, judges and legislators themselves.

"It's legalized robbery," said Paul Morton, an office assistant for the Illinois Department of Health care and Family Services who fears he won't be able to afford his health care costs if his pension is significantly reduced or if he's forced to drop his health insurance. Morton, 47, says his wife has diabetes, and he estimates half of his annual retirement would have to go toward insurance costs — a benefit the state had promised to fully fund after 20 years of service.

Two proposals, each sponsored by the head of each chamber, are competing for votes among lawmakers who want a deal before the Legislature adjourns May 31.

A plan sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton gives workers and retirees a choice of benefit packages, including the option of forgoing health insurance in retirement in exchange for 3 percent cost-of-living increases compounded annually.

Legislation proposed by powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan requires employees to contribute 2 percent more of their earnings to their pensions, delay retirement and accept less-generous annual cost-of-living increases.

Public employees and retirees say they feel betrayed, and forced into righting a wrong they didn't cause — although some critics say public service unions also played a role in letting the dilemma grow because they consistently rejected many proposed solutions, such as 401(k)-type retirement packages.

But fearing that the state's problem could get even worse, some have come to terms with the idea that it's time for everyone who receives or will receive a public pension to sacrifice and help make the pension systems solvent.

"I think pension reform is necessary, but it has to be spread across the board so that everybody gives a little," said Duane Brusnighan, 64, a grants manager at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

He said he would be willing to collect a smaller pension as long as lawmakers come up with a plan that doesn't leave retirees as the only ones paying for the solution.

"No one plan is exceptional. There isn't one that's good for everybody," said Brusnighan, who might delay his retirement a few years. "But something has to get done."

The uncertainty of which plan, if any, wins lawmakers' approval is prompting some public employees to retire early in hopes of keeping some of the benefits that may be gutted from retirement packages if comprehensive pension changes are approved.

"I think it's kind of a shame that so many teachers feel like they should go as soon as possible," said Tom Heintzelman, reading and literature teacher at Virginia Junior High School in central Illinois. "It's sad there are good teachers that will be leaving the profession as a result of this."

Heintzelman, who has taught for 28 years at public schools, had planned to retire by the end of next academic year. But the 55-year-old has set June 7 as his last school day.

Barbara Franklin, who retired in 2000 after 37 years as a secretary at the University of Illinois, believes that if lawmakers truly cared about those who will be affected by the potential reforms, they would find other sources of revenue to cover the unfunded liability "instead of trying to solve the problem off the backs of retirees."

Franklin's pension is $28,000 — $9,000 more than when she retired, because of cost-of-living adjustments. Depending on lawmakers' final decision, she said she may have to adjust her month-to-month budgeting.

"Some set aside their COLA increases to get the vacations or visiting their children who are in other parts of the country," Franklin said. "Groceries go up, utilizes go up... Most of us are really looking at these (reform plans) as the best of two evils."

R.I.P.: Special Agent Christopher Lorek


Special Agent Christopher Lorek
United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Government
End of Watch: Friday, May 17, 2013

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 41
Tour: 17 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Training accident
Location: Virginia
Incident Date: 5/17/2013
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Special Agent Christopher Lorek and Special Agent Stephen Shaw were killed in a training accident off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Both agents were participating in a training exercise as part of the agency's Hostage Rescue Team, based out of Quantico, Virginia.

Special Agent Lorek had served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 17 years. He is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

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

Director Robert Mueller
United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington, DC 20535
Phone: (202) 324-3000

Related Line of Duty Deaths

Special Agent Stephen Shaw
United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Government
End of Watch: Friday, May 17, 2013
Cause: Training accident

R.I.P.: Special Agent Stephen Shaw


Special Agent Stephen Shaw
United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Government
End of Watch: Friday, May 17, 2013

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 40
Tour: 8 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Training accident
Location: Virginia
Incident Date: 5/17/2013
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Special Agent Stephen Shaw and Special Agent Christopher Lorek were killed in a training accident off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Both agents were participating in a training exercise as part of the agency's Hostage Rescue Team, based out of Quantico, Virginia.

Special Agent Shaw had served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for eight years. He is survived by his wife, 3-year-old daughter, and 1-year-old son.

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

Director Robert Mueller
United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
J. Edgar Hoover Building
Washington, DC 20535
Phone: (202) 324-3000

Related Line of Duty Deaths

Special Agent Christopher Lorek
United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Government
End of Watch: Friday, May 17, 2013
Cause: Training accident

R.I.P.: Deputy Sheriff Tim Causey


Deputy Sheriff Tim Causey
Horry County Sheriff's Office, South Carolina
End of Watch: Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available
Tour: 25 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Fire
Incident Date: 3/16/2013
Weapon: Not available
Suspect: Not available

Deputy Sheriff Tim Causey died as the result of smoke inhalation he suffered on March 16th, 2013, after responding to a massive fire in the Windsor Green area.

The fire destroyed 26 different condominium buildings. Deputy Causey responded to assist with securing the scene the night of the fire and for several days following the fire. After becoming ill in the following days, he was diagnosed with smoke inhalation and acute respiratory failure. He was subsequently flown to the Medical University of South Carolina where he remained until passing away on May 19th, 2013.

Deputy Causey had served with the Horry County Sheriff's Office for 25 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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

Sheriff Phillip Thompson
Horry County Sheriff's Office
1301 Second Avenue
Conway, SC 29526
Phone: (843) 915-5450

R.I.P.: Police Officer Daryl Raetz


Police Officer Daryl Raetz
Phoenix Police Department, Arizona
End of Watch: Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 29
Tour: 6 years
Badge # 8899
Military veteran
Cause: Struck by vehicle
Incident Date: 5/19/2013
Weapon: Automobile
Suspect: At large

Police Officer Daryl Raetz was struck and killed by an SUV while making an arrest for DUI.

At approximately 3:30 am Officer Raetz, along with several other officers, was processing a DUI suspect on the side of road when a passing SUV struck Officer Raetz. He was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital where he died.

The driver of the SUV fled the scene and remains at large.

Officer Raetz was a veteran of the Iraq war and had served with the Phoenix Police Department for six years. He is survived by his wife and child.

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

Phoenix Police Department
620 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: (602) 262-7626

Friday, May 17, 2013


This past Wednesday night (May 15, 2013) my daughter was involved in a 6 car accident on the Kennedy Expressway (I-90) at Cumberland at about 11:20 pm.

It was bad enough that the entire W/B side had to be closed so the cars could be moved to safety and then two lanes were closed for the investigation.

The Illinois State Police had several units on scene and it was necessary for my daughter to be transported to Resurrection Hospital for her injuries.

ISP Unit C-280 handled the accident report and was extremely professional and helpful with all of our questions. (As a concerned parent, I had numerous questions).

Chicago Fire Department Ambulance 39 treated and transported my daughter and they were also extremely helpful.

I just want to say THANK YOU to all the police, fire and IDOT personnel that were on scene to handle everything.

Here are a couple pictures of her car.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Proclamation 3537 - Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week

With my working now I have not been able to keep up on the importance of this week or this day. 
I am sorry for that. It has not been lost on me.

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
Whereas, from the beginning of this Nation, law enforcement officers have played an important role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms which are guaranteed by the Constitution and in protecting the lives and property of our citizens; and

Whereas, through constant application of new procedures and techniques, such officers are becoming more efficient in their enforcement of our laws; and

Whereas it is important that our people know and understand the problems, duties, and responsibilities of their police departments and the necessity for cooperating with them in maintaining law and order; and

Whereas it is fitting and proper that we express our gratitude for the dedicated service and courageous deeds of law enforcement officers and for the contributions they have made to the security and well-being of all our people; and

Whereas, by a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962 (76 Stat. 676), the Congress has requested the President to designate May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week during which such May 15 occurs as Police Week:

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate May 15, 1963, and May 15 of each succeeding year, as Peace Officers Memorial Day, in honor of those peace officers who, through their courageous deeds, have lost their lives or have become disabled in the performance of duty. 

I also designate the week of May 12 through May 18, 1963, and the calendar week during which May 15 occurs of each succeeding year, as Police Week, in recognition of the service given by the men and women who, night and day, protect us through enforcement of our laws. 

I invite State and local governments, patriotic, civic, and educational organizations, and the people of the United States generally, to observe Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week in this year and each succeeding year with appropriate ceremonies in which all our people may join in commemorating law enforcement officers, past and present, who by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities have rendered a dedicated service to their communities, and, in so doing, have established for themselves an enviable and enduring reputation for preserving the rights and security of all citizens.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this fourth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-seventh.

By the President:
Acting Secretary of State

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PENSION: Momentum for SB 2404 Builds in Media

--Unfortunately the theatrics that is Springfield will NEVER end and we will not get a fair deal.--


May 14, 2013

In recent days, the We Are One Illinois union coalition has aggressively promoted in the media SB 2404 -- the agreement between the coalition and Senate President John Cullerton. Below are excerpts from op-eds authored by coalition leaders as well as a positive editorial from Springfield's State Journal-Register.

Cinda Klickna, president of the Illinois Education Association, wrote a May 12 op-ed published in the Daily Herald after participating in a forum hosted by the Chicagoland paper. An excerpt:

    To move toward a better Illinois, the state Senate must reject House Speaker Michael Madigan's pension bill, SB 1. In addition, both the Illinois Senate and House must pass, and Gov. Pat Quinn must sign, SB 2404. ...

    SB 1 imposes drastic benefit cuts on the pensions of current retirees and active employees....While the backers of SB 1 are promising billions of dollars in savings, in truth there will be no savings at all. That's because SB 1 blatantly violates the Illinois Constitution's pension protection clause, which states that pension benefits "shall not be diminished or impaired."

    Interestingly, even SB 1's backers don't claim it will survive a court challenge. Their reaction is, "Let's find out."

    That irresponsible approach to public policy caused the mess that Illinois is dealing with now. We have to be smart and pass constitutional bills....

    The alternative to unconstitutional SB 1 is SB 2404, the product of months of intense negotiations between Senate President Cullerton and the unions comprising the We Are One Illinois labor coalition (including the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, SEIU and the AFL-CIO).

    A key element in SB 2404 is the language that guarantees pension funding. This will help guard against a repeat of the mistakes made by politicians of the past.

    While both bills employ a "choice" concept to meet the constitutional challenge, only the Cullerton-Coalition bill provides something of value in exchange for a participant agreeing to a benefit change.

    The unions believe SB 2404 is constitutional, and we urge that it be passed.

Michael T. Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, responded to several misrepresentations in a Chicago Sun-Times editorial. Carrigan's letter-to-the-editor was published on May 12. An excerpt:

    [W]e need to work with facts, not misrepresentations....[T]he “behavior” that “got us into trouble” was politicians’ failure to make required contributions year after year, even as employees faithfully made theirs. SB 2404 contains the most iron-clad guarantee anyone has been able to devise to compel politicians to pay.

    The Sun-Times claim that the bill would “backload payments over a 30-year schedule” is also misleading. Any attempt to deal with the mountain of pension debt must be spread over the coming decades or Illinois will not be able to meet other obligations to creditors or citizens. You call the savings from SB 2404 “relatively little.” That’s a strange way to describe $46 billion — especially since every penny comes from teachers, nurses, correctional officers and other public employees and retirees who have already paid their share.

    This is not a competition to save the most and in turn hurt working families. SB 2404 is a more moral approach to fixing Illinois’ fiscal problems. Pensions are a promise made to employees and given protection by our state’s constitution. Yet for decades the political leadership borrowed from public employees’ pension funds to pay for other programs — education, public safety, environmental protection and more. Why should public employees and retirees now be expected to bear the burden of paying back the money? The Sun-Times isn’t calling on bondholders or state vendors to forgo the state’s obligations to them. Why would you try to compel teachers, nurses and state police to do something you wouldn’t consider asking others to do?

    Our unions came only reluctantly to support SB 2404. We have done so because the alternative proposals before the General Assembly would make much harsher cuts to benefits that employees have already earned and paid for. SB 2404 is the best opportunity before us to bring fiscal stability to the state’s pension funds, and the state budget in a fair and responsible manner.

Our efforts helped to yield a positive editorial on SB 2404 from the State Journal-Register, Springfield's paper of record. An excerpt:

    There’s an important distinction between the two plans. Madigan’s reforms save more money but probably do not pass constitutional muster. While Cullerton’s plan saves less, its virtue is that it was carefully crafted with an eye toward surviving a legal challenge. ... [T]he Illinois Constitution is not like those of other states where lawmakers can simply snap their fingers, change benefits and wash away a tide of red ink.

    Some people expect the legislature to lob a solution at the state Supreme Court and see what sticks. But the delay that would cause could worsen the fiscal problems they profess to want to solve.

    If lawmakers approve [SB 1] and Gov. Pat Quinn signs it, the unions will be waiting at the courthouse to file an immediate lawsuit. And they will have an excellent case because of the Constitution’s mandate that pension benefits are a contractual relationship that cannot be diminished. ...

    If Madigan’s plan is shot down by the courts, the savings to Illinoisans is not $140 billion. It’s $0. Then the legislature would have to begin the debate all over again, and members of this community would have to worry anew about their retirement security.

PAROLE ALERT: Cop Killer David Smith


I ask that you DENY PAROLE to David Smith, inmate #82471. This inmate's violent murder of Sergeant Rickey Simmons, of the Jackson Police Department, in 1992 should preclude any consideration for parole.

Sergeant Simmons was devoted to helping people and saving lives, but he was brutally attacked and murdered with his own service weapon while attempting to keep the citizens of Jackson safe.

Violence against law enforcement officers is on the rise and many officers have lost their lives to parolees. Inmates who have taken the life of an officer should be subject to serve their full sentence, without any possibility of parole. 

Should he be released, inmate #82471 would pose a clear and present danger to all citizens and law enforcement officers in Mississippi. It is imperative that he be kept behind bars for his full and complete sentence.



Sergeant Rickey Joe Simmons
Jackson Police Department, Mississippi
End of Watch: Tuesday, February 4, 1992

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 46
Tour: 25 years
Badge # 516
Cause: Gunfire
Incident Date: 2/4/1992
Weapon: Officer's handgun
Suspect: In custody

Sergeant Rickey Simmons was shot and killed with his own weapon while struggling with a mental patient. He had responded to an initial report of a burglary in progress but discovered that the call was actually a domestic dispute.

Sergeant Simmons was attempting to arrest the male subject when a struggle ensued. The subject was able to gain control of Sergeant Simmons .357 caliber revolver and fatally shot him. The man fled but was apprehended a short time later.

The man was apprehended subsequently sentenced to life plus 15 years in prison for murder and burglary.

Sergeant Simmons had served with the Jackson Police Department for just under 25 years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.

NEWS: Northlake police launch “most wanted” section on city website

 --Now this, I think is a great idea.--

Story at Pioneer Press

May 14, 2013


NORTHLAKE — Last week the Northlake Police Department went live with a Most Wanted list on the city website.

As of earlier this week, it featured photos and information of two people wanted on murder charges, one for concealing a homicide, one for dangerous drugs, one for the delivery of dangerous drugs, one for aggravated driving under the influence, two for forgery, one for identity theft plus one missing person.

The city website has been getting more attention since it was upgraded earlier this year, Police Chief Dennis Koletsos said.

“Based on the amount of hits the website is getting, it would be a good idea to have information out there on people we have outstanding warrants on,” Koletsos said. “We’ll see if it reaps any benefit for us.”

The people currently listed are wanted for crimes that happened at least a year ago.

“Their trail has gone a bit cool for us,” Koletsos said. “If we can get that information back into the public, maybe someone can give us a call and we can pick up their trail again.”

And he does mean to give them a call; the website urges people to contact police if they know anything but also warns them to not take any action against the individuals themselves.

“Some of these individuals may be wanted on other criminal charges and should be apprehended by law enforcement personnel only,” the site cautions.

Police will accept anonymous tips at (708) 531-5755 or at Readers can view the Most Wanted list under the police section of the city of Northlake website at

Friday, May 10, 2013

STRANGE: Police: Roselle man sexually abused peacock

--Every so often you come across one that just makes you shake your head in wonderment--

Story at Daily Herald

By Robert Sanchez

DuPage County authorities say a Roselle man sexually abused his pet peacock, which later was found dead in his garage.

David Beckmann, 64, of 645 E. Devon Ave., was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after Roselle police said they learned about the abuse and subsequent death of the bird, named Phyl, while investigating another crime.

On Wednesday, Beckmann was booked at the DuPage County jail on separate misdemeanor charges of battery and attempted indecent solicitation of a child. Both of those charges stem from a Tuesday night case in Roselle involving a child between the ages of 13 and 17, court records show.

Roselle police on Friday declined to talk about the animal cruelty charge because they said it’s part of the case with the child.

But a spokesman with the state’s attorney’s office confirmed Beckmann is accused of sexually abusing the peacock.

When and how Phyl died is unclear. But Roselle police indicated they saw the bird’s body in the garage of Beckmann’s home on the night of April 28, according to court records. Police had seen the bird alive at the home before that date.

Beckmann was being held Friday at the county jail on $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on June 12.

PENSION: Senate passes union-backed pension bill despite GOP opposition

--There will not be any real pension reform in Illinois until they pass a bill that redefines "Act of Duty" so no one gets shafted in the future like me or many other public safety employees.
They also must include wording that prohibits the polidiots from spending the pension money on anything else but pensions.
And there must be a rule that the employer must pay their share on time every year.--

Story at Chicago Sun-Times

Springfield Bureau Chief

 SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate put itself on a collision course with the House on Thursday by approving a Democratic pension-reform package favored by unions despite opposition from Republicans and a clear signal from Gov. Pat Quinn that it wasn’t his preferred pension fix.

“This is not a bill that just helps us this year or next year. This will help us for the next 30 years, and we have to be practical. We have to pass a bill. This is the best chance to do so,” said Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), the measure’s chief Senate sponsor.

His legislation, which passed the Senate 40-16 and moves to the House, would wipe away about $11.5 billion of the state’s nearly $100 billion pension shortfall — savings that are barely a third of a competing alternative from House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and now in the Senate’s lap.

“The big problem with this bill is that it doesn’t solve the problem,” said Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), who like most Republicans voted against the plan.

The vote came after Quinn made clear that his loyalties lie with the Madigan version of pension reform, not the bill the Senate voted on Thursday.

The only Republicans to back Cullerton’s effort were Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet); Sen. Pam Althoff (R-McHenry); Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Lisle), and Sen. Sam McCann (R-Carlinville).

The lone Democratic no votes belonged to Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), who helped author legislation similar to Madigan’s, and Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago).

At its core, Cullerton’s plan gives existing government workers and Downstate and suburban teachers and retirees different options that, in varying degrees, involve voluntarily giving up or delaying annual, compounding 3 percent cost-of-living increases in retirement in exchange for continued access to state-subsidized health care.

The proposal has the backing of the We Are One Illinois coalition of labor unions, which includes the Illinois AFL-CIO; AFSCME Council 31; the Illinois Education Association, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. That support means they won’t wage a legal fight to torpedo the legislation on constitutional grounds, Cullerton said.

CORRUPTION: Chicago police officer convicted in tow truck payoffs

--This has been the longest running case I have ever seen.
It just never stops.--

Story at Chicago Tribune

Staff report
1:42 PM CDT
May 10, 2013

A federal jury today convicted a veteran Chicago police officer of extorting payoffs from a tow truck driver in return for steering business to him at accident scenes.

The jury deliberated a little more than two hours before finding Deavalin Page, an officer since 1995, guilty of two counts of attempted extortion.

Page becomes the eighth Chicago police officer to be convicted in connection with the undercover FBI Operation Tow Scam probe. Four others, including three tow truck drivers, also have been convicted. Two additional police officers await trial.

U.S. District Judge John Darrah scheduled sentencing for Page, 46, for Oct. 23.

Evidence at the week-long trial at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse showed that Page accepted two payoffs totaling $3,200 from Brian Chandler, a tow truck driver who was working undercover for the FBI as part of the sting operation. Chandler awaits sentencing for wire fraud and bank larceny.

Prosecutors said videotapes provided key evidence. Page accepted $2,000 in the bathroom of a South Side coffee shop in November 2007 and $1,200 in the parking lot of a bank in January 2008.

Prosecutors said the second payoff was in return for steering three tows to Page – including one vehicle that didn’t even need to be towed.

Page, who was assigned to the South Chicago police district at the time, has been stripped of his police powers and assigned to desk duty since early 2008.