Ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s testimony in Koschman case stays secret: high court
Whatever former Mayor Richard M. Daley and his family told the special prosecutor during the investigation that sent Daley nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko to jail for killing David Koschman will stay secret, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Friday. | AP
By Tim Novak
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Friday against releasing statements former Mayor Richard M. Daley and his family gave a special prosecutor during the investigation that sent Daley’s nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko to jail for killing David Koschman.
The court rejected arguments by the Better Government Association that it was in the public interest to reveal what the former mayor and his family told Dan K. Webb, the court-appointed special prosecutor in the Koschman case.
It also said no to making public any emails that Webb exchanged with the Daley family, a list of witnesses interviewed by the special prosecutor’s office and subpoenas issued to City Hall.
All of the records, which the BGA sued to get, were sealed, at Webb’s request, by Cook County
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Pension funds lost millions on deals with Daley nephew, Obama pal
WRITTEN BY TIM NOVAK POSTED: 02/27/2016, 11:30PM
Robert G. Vanecko, left, and Allison S. Davis, right. File photos
A real estate venture created by President Barack Obama’s onetime boss and a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley squandered $68 million it was given to invest on behalf of pension plans for Chicago teachers, cops, city employees and transit workers, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.
The five public pension funds haven’t made a dime on the investments they made nearly a decade ago with DV Urban Realty Partners, a company created by Obama’s ex-boss Allison S. Davis and Daley nephew Robert G. Vanecko, records show.
In fact, the financially troubled pension plans have lost most of the money they gave DV Urban, which used the money to invest in risky real estate deals, primarily in neglected neighborhoods.
It invested in eight real estate deals that, for the most part, had gone belly up by Dec. 31, 2015, when the investment deals with the Chicago pension plans expired.
Though the pension funds lost out, DV Urban and its affiliated companies got about $9 million of the pension money for management fees. And they were in line for more until pension officials, facing losses, got a court order in 2012 to remove Davis and Vanecko from managing the retirement investments.
Following the sale of two properties last year, the pension funds recovered $6 million of their original investments — but $293,716 of that
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Preckwinkle is the choice mainly because she can be controlled. An added benefit is that her election will open up the presidency of Cook County for the nicest guy in politics, John Daley.
Tom Dart was also in the running but shot himself in the foot by constantly promoting himself by being on TV talking about puppies, corruption in Harvey and John Wayne Gacy. All of it is nonsense when considering the out of control violence in Chicago, for which he has remained silent. The thinking is that perhaps he is not stable enough for the 5th floor, at this time. Preckwinkle's term will be last four years (when she will be 72). Dart may be reconsidered then but being named to the appellate court before that may be a better ending for him.
The battle is being spearheaded by the Chicago Tribune with their biweekly negative reports about Rahm. After Labor Day, expect a full frontal assault. Rahm, knowing he is outgunned and not able to afford a loss, may decide to just take that offer of Ambassador to wherever they have a quick flight.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
What's this? The County is good enough for the Blacks but not good enough for a Daley? Cook County jobs are good enough for the Daleys'. Hundreds of them. What's wrong with the jail? If you commit a crime, you should do the time where you did your misdeed. Putting this guy in McHenry Jail is an incredible display of raw power and arrogance. I'm sorry Daleys' but you are looking more and more like the Kennedy's every day. I am so damn disappointed by the Daley's refusal to do the right thing.
By BECKY SCHLIKERMAN
Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko wants to serve his 60-day jail sentence at the McHenry County Jail rather than the Cook County Jail, citing “security reasons.”
He even agreed to pay, if need be.
The Cook County Jail’s capacity is nearly 17 times that of the McHenry County facility.
As many as 650 inmates can be held in McHenry County — including the federal detainees that jail holds.
The Cook County Jail — one of the largest jail facilities in the country — can hold about 11,000 inmates, according to Cara Smith, the jail’s executive director. On Friday, Cook County had just over 9,000 inmates in custody. McHenry County had nearly 400.
In McHenry County, most inmates share a cell with one other person. Cells have bunk beds, a desk, a toilet and a sink. There’s one basic level of security, unless an inmate doesn’t behave, McHenry County Jail Sgt. Patrick Grisolia said.
Inmates “get out, they eat, they’re in a regular day room” where they watch TV and read, Grisolia said. “We’re known for being very clean. Our facility is definitely very clean.”
In Cook County, inmates are housed in a variety of ways. Those include dorm settings in which up to 48 inmates share one large room with rows of bunk beds and their own recreational area. That’s where they sleep, eat and spend much of their time. There also are cells shared by just two inmates who eat their meals there and get out of their cell for just an hour each day, Smith said.
She said inmates can request protective custody if they fear for their safety. Those people are held one to a cell. The jail also has certain tiers intended to be gang-free.
“We have, on a daily basis, high-profile and/or vulnerable inmates in our custody, and our first priority is to keep every single one of them safe and secure,” Smith said.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Does this make any sense? 17 months for what? What about the culprits?
By Mitch SmithTribune reporter
By Mitch SmithTribune reporter
9:42 p.m. CDT, October 30, 2013
A onetime business partner of former Mayor Richard M. Daley's son was sentenced Wednesday to 17 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme that used a minority-owned company as a front to fraudulently secure millions of dollars in Chicago city contracts.
Anthony Duffy, who pleaded guilty last year to making a false statement to FBI agents, was president of a firm that performed sewer work for the city under contracts that were awarded to a minority-owned business. Duffy is white.
Duffy lied to federal investigators about why he didn't reveal on economic disclosure statements that two of the former mayor's relatives, son Patrick Daley and nephew Robert Vanecko, were investors in the sewer company. Neither Daley nor Vanecko was charged with any wrongdoing
Prosecutors said Duffy did not want the Daley family connection known for fear it would draw attention to the minority fraud, but he told investigators their names had been left off the paperwork because of a careless oversight by him.
The minority-owned business run by co-defendant Jesse Brunt operated as a "pass-through" to obtain the sewer-cleaning contracts, but Duffy's company did the actual work. Brunt, who also pleaded guilty, is awaiting sentencing.
Duffy, 49, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur to surrender to prison in January. Duffy, a citizen of the United Kingdom, could be deported after he finishes prison. Duffy's attorney had asked for probation.
A contrite Duffy said he was "embarrassed and humiliated and disgraced" to be standing in front of a federal judge. He said he cared deeply about his family, including his pregnant wife and a son whose team he couldn't coach because he is a felon.
"I never intended to hurt anybody," Duffy said.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Thursday, September 19, 2013
MORE BAD NEWS FOR CHICAGO
By Alison Acosta Fraser, The Heritage Foundation -
Friday the 13th brought more bad news for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago. Standard and Poor’s (S&P) revised the city’s bond outlook from stable to negative. Negative is… well… bad. But certainly this wasn’t a surprise. After all, Moody’s took even stronger action and actually downgraded the city’s bondrating in July. And it’s well known that the city has a couple of huge pension payment tabs coming due soon.
For anyone who isn’t following this troubling situation, here are the stark facts:
- Chicago citizens are on the hook for $19.4 billion for the city’s four retirement plans.
- Bad enough, this unfunded liability has grown by 63 percent in just three years!
- In fact, the plans are only 35 percent funded. This is vastly under the 80 percent considered “healthy” by industry standards, including S&P’s.
That the city of Chicago would promise billions in benefits to its firefighters, police, teachers, sewer workers and bureaucrats but then only fund these promises by 35 cents on the dollar is unconscionable. Yet that’s exactly what city leaders have done through the years. With the full cooperation of the labor unions, too!
But, according to S&P, the news is not all bad. Chicago enjoys a vibrant and diverse economy and enjoys “status as a major regional economic center”. They have “strong management conditions with good financial policies and practices in place.” The city also has strong cash reserves so it can cover debt payments and expenses. For a while…
As S&P points out that the city is very weak in the budget department, noting its recent deficits. Plus, they’ve been relying on those reserves to balance the budget and deal with other challenges.Of course Chicago is not alone. Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing was brought on by similar massive pension and retirement health benefit excesses. And closer to home, the state of Illinois is even worse shape considering the $100 billion owed for their own pension mess, one of the very worst in the nation!
But under state law, Chicago has to make a massive payment in 2015 to police and firefighters’ retirement funds under state law, reportedly topping $1 billion, more than double the $483 million due in 2014. This is to make up for years of chronic underfunding. And those massive payments are only supposed to increase in coming years as pension costs keep mounting.And according to a new report by the Illinois Policy Institute, total debt in Chicago is closer to $63 billion when you figure in a more realistic assessment of pension debt plus all the city’s other obligations. So every citizen in Chicago is on the hook for $32,000.
Chicago is now wrestling with operating deficits and has cut spending; school districts are closing schools to eliminate their own shortfall. S&P gives Chicago high ratings because they enjoy “home rule” status, meaning they can raise taxes and borrowing. But S&P seems to treat tax hikes as just a simple bookkeeping entry, noting “the city’s reluctance to raise taxes.” They do not mention how higher taxes might hurt Chicago business, jobs and of course taxpayers.
Emanuel knows that Chicago must be competitive. Indiana and Wisconsin both are actively out to attract businesses out of Illinois and what better place to start.
So, what’s a Mayor to do? The state of Illinois holds the strings over how its cities and municipalities can restructure their pension plans. Indeed, Emanuel looked to Springfield for some relief to solve Chicago’s massive pension problem. But rather than progress, the state house and governor simply ended their session in squabbles and non-action.
Springfield needs to give Chicago some flexibility and freedom to redesign their pension systems and the labor unions need to come to the table ready and willing to work. They are a far, far cry from Detroit. But unless action is taken soon, many Chicagoans will be hurt.
As a frustrated Emanuel noted to city employees, “If we follow along the current path, we know we will confront two stark choices: Either the city’s pension payments will squeeze its ability to offer the essential services that you provide, or each of our pension funds will go bankrupt, leaving you and your families without retirement security.”