Showing posts with label Daley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daley. Show all posts

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Why the secrecy? I don't get it.

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

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Is this true? Does anyone know if Bill Daley is on the board at Blue Cross?

Keeping retirement weird. Rahm screws city retirees on their health care.


A note from Jack Retired Water:
Fred, very sorry to hear about your friend. Speaking to that matter of health insurance the city of Chicago is dropping all retirees at end of year. They are offering a private bc/bs policy for a non medicare annuitant and spouse at 2600 a month. For some this could be entire paycheck.
Here is the skinny.
The City of Chicago is offering exactly zero dollars to city retirees to help subsidize health care.
Zero.
Members of all four retirement plans will have to come up with $1400 for single coverage, $2600 for couples and $3600 for family coverage.
A month.
No subsidies.
I am told that the city never shopped it around to any other providers other than Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Why should it?
Bill Daley sits on the board of Blue Cross/Blue shield which is the only provider the city is offering retirees. (Note: I cannot confirm that Daley sits on the BCBS board).
Rahm’s folks will send out letters to city retirees saying they are canceling their insurance and then will send out another letter saying they can OPT in for this insurance at those rates.
 At rates no typical retired city employee can afford.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Some people would say this is criminal

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

Our Next Mayor, BUMPED UP

DONE DEAL
The Daley's have decided to run Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for mayor next year. The reasons are multiple but start off with Rahm being rammed down their throats and the way he unnecessarily insulted Mayor Daley at the inaugural. Combine that with Rahm terminating Daley inspired contracts, the loss of patronage jobs, etc., and you have an incumbent that is intolerable. 

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.  

Politics

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tough guy afraid to go to the County

WIMP
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
Staff Reporter
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.
Email: bschlikerman@suntimes.com

Friday, November 1, 2013

What really happened here?


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.
mitsmith@tribune.com

Friday, September 20, 2013

Daley's are in the news again. Starting to sound like the Kennedy's





These Daley people are turning out to be bigger jerks than we suspected.  And we are the chumps.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 10:15 PM

The Daley Double

The politician-grandson of late Mayor Richard J. Daley now owns the family’s iconic South Side bungalow. Why has he been collecting tax breaks on that home and another?
By Patrick Rehkamp/BGA 

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Patrick Daley Thompson + public domain
Patrick Daley Thompson

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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Patrick Daley Thompson – the grandson of late Mayor Richard J. Daley and a nephew of retired Mayor Richard M. Daley – has owned his family’s ancestral Bridgeport home for a decade, since his beloved grandmother Eleanor "Sis" Daley died there in 2003.
The tidy bungalow at 3536 S. Lowe was the center of Chicago’s political universe for years before – as the place where the first Mayor Daley lived and raised his clan.
3536 S  Lowe + CBS 2
Thompson home at 3536 S. Lowe / CBS2
Now the building is the center of a controversy, amid findings from the Better Government Association and CBS2 that Thompson benefitted from property tax breaks on that home and another property when only one tax break was legally allowed.
Thompson, the only member of the family’s third generation to enter electoral politics, said he only learned about the dual "home owner exemptions" after inquiries from a reporter to the Cook County treasurer’s office.
He portrayed the double tax breaks as an honest mistake, although he indicated he’s not sure how the mistake happened. Thompson, 44, said he never filed for or even knew about the erroneous exemptions until now, and that his lender handles his property taxes. Either way, Thompson quickly cut a check for roughly $11,600 – the amount in property taxes he improperly saved over the last decade.
"I’m a little baffled," Thompson said. "Sometimes there’s a clerical error."
A home owner exemption is designed to ease the property tax burden on a primary residence and by law can’t be used on rental or investment property.
Patrick Daley Thompson check + public domain 
A check Thompson wrote to cover his erroneous home owner exemption for the 2004 tax year.
But Thompson had two exemptions dating to 2002, according to Cook County property records. At that time he owned a home on the 3800 block of South Parnell and a two-flat on the 3500 block of South Lowe, records show. Both were getting tax breaks.
Then in 2003, he bought his grandparents’ house on Lowe, sold the Parnell property and kept the Lowe two-flat. Since then, he’s gotten a tax break on both Lowe properties, Thompson confirmed.
Over the past year, the BGA has reported that several politicians and employees of the Cook County assessor’s office – which issues property tax exemptions – were improperly receiving more than one tax break. They include Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappasstate Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) and former Sauk Village Mayor (and current assessor employee) Lewis Towers.
In July, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill that allows Assessor Joe Berrios’ office to start pursuing anyone receiving erroneous exemptions and collect back taxes. In the past the assessor only had the power to cancel improper exemptions. An amnesty period runs through the end of the year for those with two or fewer improper exemptions.
The assessor’s office estimates that improper tax breaks – received accidentally or otherwise – total roughly $65 million a year, a cost that’s ultimately covered by other taxpayers.
The average Cook County home owner exemption this year is worth about $450, according to Berrios’ office.
This story was written and reported by the Better Government Association's Patrick Rehkamp, and CBS2’s Pam Zekman and Dan Blom. They can be reached at (312) 386-9201 or prehkamp@bettergov.org. Rehkamp's Twitter handle is @patrickrehkamp.

Grand jury ends investigation into Koschman death



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New developments in involuntary manslaughter case
The special prosecutor who brought involuntary manslaughter charges against former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew after a Rush Street confrontation led to the death of David Koschman concluded Thursday that he will not bring charges against the Chicago police or Cook County prosecutors who initially handled the case.
Former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb, who was appointed a special prosecutor in the case, said a three-year statute of limitations on the initial investigation in 2004 barred charges of official misconduct. He said evidentiary issues surrounding a 2011 reinvestigation of the case kept him from charging police or prosecutors.
Webb was granted permission by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin to file his 162-page report under seal because of potentially explosive details about the investigations that, he said, could impair Daley nephew Richard J. Vanecko's right to a fair trial. But with the report under wraps until after Vanecko's trial, scheduled for next year, attorneys involved in the case attempted to parse Webb's filing and a public statement.
The report, built around 146 witnesses and a review of more than 22,000 documents at a cost to Cook County taxpayers of about $1.1 million, drew a particular distinction between the actions of police and prosecutors in the 2011 reinvestigation. Webb said in a court filing that there was "insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that Chicago police had violated state law. He said in his statement, however, that there was "no evidence of any kind suggesting any violations of Illinois criminal law" by Cook County prosecutors in the reinvestigation.
For the attorneys representing Koschman's mother, Nanci, who had petitioned for the appointment of a special prosecutor, Webb's filing indicated that he found criminal conduct by the authorities in their investigation in 2004 — in spite of the fact that Webb made no such statement.
"We read between the lines in this report, and what seems very clear to us is that the special prosecutor, in effect, is saying that in 2004 there was criminal misconduct," attorney Locke Bowman of the MacArthur Justice Center at the Northwestern University law school said at a news conference. "This is not a surprise. It was clear (when Vanecko was indicted in 2012) that something had gone terribly wrong in the investigation into David's death."
"Nanci Koschman ... very much needs to know what happened in this investigation and why things went awry," he added. "She urgently looks forward to the release of this report."
Chicago police did not respond to requests for comment. Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, said the only thing that was certain from Webb's filing was that his report cleared prosecutors for how they handled the 2011 reinvestigation.
"We're not willing to speculate and read between the lines here," said Daly, who added that the state's attorney's office had cooperated completely with the special prosecutor's investigation.
Koschman, 21, of Mount Prospect, had been drinking in the Rush Street night life district in April 2004 when he and friends got into an altercation with a group that included Vanecko. During the drunken confrontation, Koschman was knocked to the ground, hitting the back of his head.
He died 11 days later.
The initial investigation ended without any charges being filed by then-State's Attorney Richard Devine. But the police investigation was sluggish, files went missing and a mysterious notation written on the back of one police report appears to reference Vanecko's relationship to Daley. The case was reopened in 2011 after a Chicago Sun-Times series of stories raised questions about whether authorities intentionally hid evidence or failed to aggressively investigate Vanecko because of his ties to Daley.
Toomin took the rare step of appointing Webb as a special prosecutor last year after concluding there were "troubling questions" about the investigations by Chicago police and county prosecutors, including what the judge called "mixed signals emanating from this troubling case."
Toomin said, in particular, that he was troubled by allegations that police deliberately falsified reports to make it appear that Koschman, who was 5-foot-5 and 140 pounds, was the aggressor during the confrontation with the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Vanecko. The judge also criticized police and prosecutors for concluding that Vanecko had been acting in self-defense even though they had never interviewed him.
The report will not be turned over to Vanecko's attorneys, Toomin ordered.
Vanecko's attorneys could not be reached.
Vanecko, who lives in California, is expected to go on trial early next year before McHenry County Judge Maureen McIntyre, who will travel to the Rolling Meadows courthouse to hear the politically charged case. After Webb asked that an outside judge preside over the case, the Illinois Supreme Court ordered McHenry County's chief judge to assign someone from that circuit to hear it.
Vanecko faces anywhere from probation to five years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What happened to Chicago?

MORE BAD NEWS FOR CHICAGO

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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.”