Showing posts with label Dart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dart. Show all posts

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Why is the sheriff negotiating $3.25 million settlements?

Sheriff Tom Dart wants to fire 9 employees after inmate assaulted at courthouse and pay out $3.25 million. 

Shouldn't the States Attorney be the one negotiating with litigants? Pre-litigation settlement? What does that mean? Is Dart using county money or his own money? Are any other county officials aware of this "settlement"?

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart wants to fire nine sheriff’s office employees he claims allowed a female detainee to be sexually assaulted by two male detainees in a holding cell at the Markham Courthouse.
In an apparent breach of protocol, the female inmate ended up in a cell with the two men on May 2. The male inmates later told guards they had been placed in the holding area and the female inmate threatened them with a syringe and demanded sex; the female inmate claimed the men instigated the sexual encounter, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times.
No syringe was found, and the Markham Courthouse does not have surveillance cameras.
The sheriff’s office asked Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to investigate the what happened in the holding area just outside a courtroom. Prosecutors later charged the male detainees, Hamidullah Tribble, 21, and Nelon Drake, 29, with criminal sexual assault.
Dart also launched an internal investigation, and five employees–two deputies, two sergeants and a lieutenant who were on duty in the courtroom at the time–were reassigned to new posts while the Office of Professional Review investigated, Smith said.
“The question that is subject of our investigation: Where were the people that were supposed to be there, and what were they doing?” Smith said.
Dart on Friday announced he wants the nine employees terminated, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office also announced it has “reached, in principle, a pre-litigation settlement of all claims with the victim for $3.25 million.”
A series of reforms has also been implemented “to ensure the protection of all detainees, including mandating deputies assigned to any area of a courthouse without fixed cameras wear body-worn cameras, assigning additional trained supervisors to the Markham Courthouse, and comprehensive unannounced security audits of all court facilities,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff’s officials are looking to add security cameras in the courtroom lockups.
“Ideally, there are cameras on every corner of our whole system, but we’re not there yet,” Smith said, noting deputies should have been just a few feet away from the holding cell at all times. “(But) cameras don’t take the place of highly trained staff doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
There are some 2,400 cameras throughout the main Cook County Jail complex, as well as cameras in lockup in the basement of each district courthouse, but none in the tiny holding cells in individual courtrooms at the branch court house, Smith said.
Tribble was being held on a $100,000 bond on charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and unlawful restraint, according to prosecutors. Drake was being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge, and a separate case in which he was charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful restraint.

Friday, December 2, 2016

After 30 days of silence, he speaks

Mayor Dart
SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - Residents who have experienced hate crimes or been discriminated against can now call a hotline at the Cook County sheriff’s office to report the incident.

Anyone who feels they are being threatened or targeted as a result of their religion, race, nationality or sexual orientation should use the hotline, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. The number for the hotline is (773) 674-4357.

The 24/7 hotline will receive a direct response from the sheriff’s office staff that will be able to connect callers to other helpful agencies or legal assistance, the sheriff’s office said.

“With the FBI reporting spikes in hate crimes nationwide, this will act as a pro-active resource,” Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said. “Hate crimes should not be dismissed as a fleeting issue or only a problem outside of Cook County.”

The idea for a dedicated hotline came after Dart heard of increasing fear and intimidation in the county’s minority communities, especially the Muslim American community, according to the sheriff’s office.

“To protect the real strength of our community, our diversity, we must stand up for these good people,” Dart said.

He has some real concerns!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dart for Mayor!!!!!

UPDATE: According to a guy I regard as a 19th ward insider, this is the way it's going to play out. This was mapped out this past Saturday night at the Parade Fundraiser Party. I was told that this is a done deal. 

When Dart is elected Mayor, Matt O'Shea will immediately take over the Sheriff's Office. The post of Alderman will be filled by Willie Winters.
Next Mayor

Next Sheriff
Next Alderman

Sneed: Dart targeting City Hall as it's now or never.


Tom Dart speaking to the City Club of Chicago at Maggiano's Little Italy last year. File Photo by Brian Jackson

The Dart board . . .

Sneed hears rumbles Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is kicking the tires for a possible bid for mayor.

Word is Dart, who is now serving his third term as sheriff, is getting antsy; starting to refill his campaign coffers; revamping his website; and conducting a fundraiser Monday in Springfield — his old stomping grounds as a former state legislator.

“Tom didn’t do fundraisers last year,” a top Dart source said.

“But there is a lot of volatility going on, and he is in the process of making a decision of what to do next,” the source said. “Tom has five children and raising a big family makes Chicago an easier base.”

A history note amidst the current disenchantment amongst many black voters: In 1992, Dart won the 28th House District seat, which was 64 percent black, beating black incumbent Rep. Nelson Rice, who was backed by heavyweight African- American politicos Lemuel Austin and Bill Shaw.

• Smote the remote! If Dart wants attention at his Springfield fundraiser, he’ll get it: the site he’s chosen, the Celtic Mist, is the only pub in town that doesn’t sport a TV set!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Tell everyone what you think of Dart's performance

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart
He has all the trappings of being a connected hack. A lifelong 19th Warder, son of a ward healer, nephew of a bookie, brother of a lobbyist, tax consultant and tax appraiser; he held a number of political jobs until he was appointed to his first political office. 

On the other hand, since being slid into the sheriff's office seven years ago, he has focused all of his energy and time on issues

Saturday, December 12, 2015

News Flash

Tom Dart is rapidly positioning himself to run for mayor in the special election to be held after Rahm resigns. His platform will refer to the special needs of blacks, blacks, gays, latinos, puppies, prostitutes, liberals and more blacks. 

19th ward hacks are now lining up to kiss his ass. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dart for Mayor?

Hey Tom Dart. It's now or never. Make the run. The city needs you. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tom Dart (repost)

Is Tom Dart getting in position to make a big announcement? "Leaks" from high up in his administration indicate that something big is coming. 

During the past 6 months, he has purged his cabinet of everyone that had the slightest hint of disloyalty and he has stepped up the fundraising. The source says he has also cut his hair and has begun taking daily showers. 

Expect something in September. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dart must be thinking…….THIS JOB IS GETTING OLD

A man who came to visit his son was accidentally trapped inside an empty maximum security visiting area of Cook County Jail for about 30 hours over the weekend, authorities said on Tuesday.
He was rescued when he broke a sprinkler head, alerting Chicago Fire Department firefighters who found him about 1 a.m. Monday, said Cara Smith, the jail's executive director.
“We’re tremendously sorry for what this man went through,’’ Smith said.
His ordeal started Saturday about 6 p.m. when he was on his way to his weekly visit with his son, who is in sheriff’s custody awaiting a trial on a drug case.  His son, who has been there for about 13 months, had been moved to a different area, a tier for “workers” that the man wasn’t familiar with.
“He was told to proceed ahead and stay to the right to go to the visitor area,’’ Smith said. “He encountered a door that was propped open and he went in and the door shut behind him.’’
He was locked in the room, where people visit the “highest classification,’’ super-maximum security prisoners for 31 hours.
“There’s no reason to check on that room because it’s not used on the weekends,’’ Smith said.  He was pounding on the concrete door but no one could hear him, she said.  No prisoners were in the room or anywhere near him.
The room is a visiting area that contractors were working on, installing cameras, “incredibly, for better security, ‘’ Smith said.   
The room contains three stools, and three glass partitions separating visitors from the prisoners.
“Brilliantly, he broke the sprinkler head off which alerted the fire department so they were able to identify where it was coming from and they went in and found him,’’ Smith said.
“He was incredibly, obviously, relieved and couldn’t have been more gracious,’’ when they found him after about 30 hours, she said.
 The man, who is middle-aged, had to have a “couple of stitches” on one of his thumbs from breaking the sprinkler and was taken to Rush University Medical Center.  Smith said she met with the man early Monday about 3 a.m. and he was taken back to the jail after he was treated to pick up his car, she said. 
“Anything like this is unacceptable,’’ she said. “We are very grateful that he is OK,’’ she said.
“We’re been looking at how and why and what went wrong,’’ Smith said. “Multiple things obviously failed including a contractor leaving a door open while they did work in our jail. It was a perfect storm of circumstances that led to this horrible incident.’’ 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Our Next Mayor, BUMPED UP

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.  


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The timing of this. Right before the election?

Sheriff Dart retaliation lawsuit to cost $2.4 million.

By Hal Dardick
Clout Street
7:15 AM CST, February 14, 2014

The Cook County Board next week is expected to approve spending $2.4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that Sheriff Tom Dart retaliated against deputies who backed his political opponent when he first sought the job eight years ago.

Dart has objected to the settlement, believing he could ultimately win the case, but it was mediated under the auspices of the federal courts, endorsed by the state’s attorney’s office and recommended by the Cook County Litigation Subcommittee, making a rejection by county commissioners highly unlikely.

Lurking behind the machinations of the lawsuit is a complex tale of Chicago politics, alleged jail abuse and public images.
The original case was filed by 21 sheriff’s deputies who alleged that Dart and his subordinates were responsible for the disbanding of their elite Special Operations Response Team at the County Jail. The unit was disbanded weeks after Dart won the November 2006 general election, but before he took office shortly after. During that time, Dart was chief of staff in the sheriff’s office.

The deputies alleged the unit was disbanded to punish them for backing Richard Remus, their former commander, in the three-candidate March 2006 primary election. The deputies contended that the alleged retaliation was a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech and said it resulted in lower wages, lost overtime pay and unrealized future promotions.

In late 2012, a jury awarded nearly $1.6 million to the deputies. A judge later reduced that to less than $1.4 million. Dart continued to deny the team’s disbandment was an act of retaliation and vowed to appeal.

But the case was not appealed, said Commissioner Peter Silvestri, R-Elmwood Park, chairman of the Litigation Subcommittee. Instead, it went to arbitration, resulting in the proposed settlement.
There will be no admission of any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, Silvestri said. Instead, making the payment is a way to avoid potentially higher costs, both for any future settlement and legal fees, if the appellate court were to side with the deputies, he said.

“It was our intention to appeal the jury’s verdict,” said Cara Smith, Dart’s chief of policy and communications. “We objected to the settlement, and it was agreed to over our strong objections.”
Dart has maintained that the special guard unit was disbanded and replaced with the Emergency Response Team as part of an overall effort to clean up jail operations. Of the 21 deputies who brought the suit, six were accepted on the new team, six didn’t apply and the rest didn’t qualify, according to the sheriff’s office.
The events that form the backdrop to the lawsuit stretch back 15 years.

Although Dart has fashioned himself as a reformer and won accolades in many quarters for working to clean up the jail and root out illegal patronage hiring, he came up through the powerful 19th Ward Democratic organization that for decades has controlled the sheriff’s office and the thousands of jobs it controls.

An attorney and former state legislator, Dart was chief of staff to former Sheriff Michael Sheahan of the 19th Ward. When Sheahan did not seek reelection in 2006, Dart ran to replace his boss — with the backing of Democratic power brokers, including Sheahan and then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

Remus, who also hailed from the 19th Ward, had split from Sheahan after Remus resigned from the sheriff’s office in 2003 following a series of Tribune stories that detailed how guards assigned to his team invaded a maximum-security cell block at the jail in 1999, beat inmates and then filed false reports to cover up the misconduct.

A month before the 2006 primary, a jail guard with alleged ties to Remus was accused by Sheahan of plotting to help six inmates escape to muddy up Sheahan and Dart before the election. The guard was later convicted and sent to prison, and six other guards with alleged ties to Remus were later suspended.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Our Man Dart


You may not agree with everything he does or says but guess what? He is the best that we have right now. 

He is our guy.


            In the past 68 years, since 1946, Cook County has had nine sheriffs, all of them ostensibly devoid of moral turpitude, reasonably competent, generally resistant to temptation to indulge in graft and favoritism, able to sublimate the duress and stress of sitting on a timebomb – and almost all eminently forgettable.

            That’s Sheriff Tom Dart’s problem. He’s forgotten. The 51-year old lawyer from Chicago’s clout-heavy 19th Ward craves a promotion – to Chicago mayor, U.S. Attorney, county board president, state’s attorney, or even a high-level job in the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice.

            “I love my job,” he said. “I work 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I get calls at 3:00 AM. I’m making a difference.”

            Get me out of here, he really means. Dart sits atop a timebomb. The sheriff’s responsibilities include courthouse and courtroom security, operation of the County Jail and House of Corrections, and patrol of the county’s unincorporated areas. A possible courtroom shooting, a jail break, a drug dealing or gun-toting deputy, a Juvenile Court incident – all have political repercussions.

            During his 8-year term, Dart said, there have been no jail breaks, only several “walk-aways,” due to tangled paperwork. The Jail houses 12,500 inmates daily, of which half are accused felons awaiting trial, and the remainder convicted felons serving their sentence. Over 3,000 are housed in four segregated buildings, and Cermak Hospital, while being given meds, and therapeutic and psychological treatment for “mental health” problems. Another 3,000 convicts or detainees are on electronic monitoring.

            Welcome to “New Age” law enforcement. In the days of yore, the criminal justice system was intended to be punitive. Jail was a place of misery and suffering,  to deter ex-cons from crime and re-incarceration. That philosophy “is not working,” said Dart. Now the focus is curative: Criminals are not predators, they’re victims. Instead of spending their squalid life shuttling in and out of prison, they get a lifetime of Medicaid-paid meds and therapy, a Link card, Section 8 housing subsidies, and public aid. It used to be: Don’t commit a crime if you can’t do the (jail) time. The new jingle is: If you don’t commit another crime, the taxpayers will make sure you live real fine.  

            I asked Dart: Is the sheriff’s office is now a social service agency? A veritable half-way house? “If I can prevent one in 20 (ex-cons) from coming back (to jail), I’m satisfied,” said Dart, a Democrat first elected in 2006. “We need a thoughtful strategy to fight crime.”

            According to Dart, his two-term “accomplishments” include: Shakman compliance; a crackdown on sex trafficking; inmate “mental health” programs and screening; banning evictions on apartment tenants in foreclosures; monitoring gang activity; requiring rape kits; and employing social workers to intervene in inmate, evictee and child matters.

Here’s a tricky multiple-choice question: Who will be the next county sheriff?

            (a) Tom Dart; (b) Ted Palka; (c) Sylvester Baker; (d) Bill Evans; (e) Ed Burke Jr.; or (f) Chuck Norris.

            If you answered (a), then you didn’t read the question. Dart is the sheriff, and he will easily beat Palka, Baker and Evans in the March 18 Democratic primary. If you answered (f), then you’ve been watching too many “Walker, Texas Ranger” reruns. If you picked (e), then you have phenomenal insight into the way Chicago and Cook County politics operates. DNA and geography control. The South Side 19th Ward, which has controlled the sheriff’s office since 1990, will be superseded by the South Side 14th Ward.

            Count on this: Ed Burke Jr. will be sheriff sometime soon. The son of 48-year Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, the council’s Finance committee chairman, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, young Burke is one of the sheriff’s 210 “exempt” hires, out of 6,640 employees. Non-exempts are hired through civil service exams, not political clout. Burke is presently an assistant chief deputy sheriff, in charge of child support enforcement, earning $85,667. His dad has $8.2 million in his campaign account – more than enough to spend (or is it buy?) sonny’s way into the sheriff’s job.

            As for 19th Ward Alderman Matt O’Shea, who covets Dart’s job, one word: Foggataboutit.

            According to Palka, a deputy sheriff and inspector in the sheriff’s office for 30 years, the “culture of corruption and favoritism has not changed” under Dart. What has also not changed is the office’s reputation as a political career capstone, not a steppingstone.

            Under the 1871 Illinois Constitution, a sheriff was limited to one four-year term. The 1969 Constitutional Convention removed that term limit, the rationale being that graft was less endemic.

            In the past 17 sheriff’s elections, the luckiest guy was Richard J. Daley: He lost the 1946 election to Republican Elmer Walsh by 978,011-1,044,294 (48.4 percent). Had Daley won, he would have been termed-out in 1950, might not have been slated for county clerk in 1950, and would not have been on the mayoral track. Surprisingly, a Republican won five times (1946, 1950, 1962, 1966 and 1986). Not surprisingly, the job is usually a dead end. Only a few have advanced.

            Joseph Lohman (D), elected sheriff in 1954, won the state treasurer’s post in 1958, but lost the 1960 governor primary. Dick Ogilvie (R), a former assistant U.S. Attorney, elected sheriff in 1962 in an upset (951,647-921,605), won the county board presidency in 1966 and was elected Illinois’ governor in 1968. Ogilvie had designs on the presidency in 1976, but lost re-election in 1972. Ex-FBI agent Joe Woods (R), whose sister was President Richard Nixon’s secretary, won the job in another upset (961,848-945,728) in 1966, crafted a “law-and-order” image, but got trounced by George Dunne (D) for county board president in 1970; he then spent the next 18 years as an obscure and irrelevant county commissioner.

            1970 produced a sea change. The legendary Shakman decision precluded hiring or firing on a political basis. Prior thereto, the 3,000-plus court bailiffs, process servers, and Jail officers were just a bunch of grunts: They worked precincts, donated to their party and committeeman, and were on the street if their party lost. Shakman “professionalized.” Once on the job, no coercion or compulsion could be exerted. .

            Dick Elrod, now a Circuit Court judge, was an obscure Chicago corporation counsel when assigned to monitor a 1969 “Days of Rage” anti-war protest. He tried to tackle a protester, missed, collided with a post, and was partially paralyzed. In a stroke of genius, Daley ran the “heroic” Elrod for sheriff in 1970, against Bernie Carey (R), another ex-FBI agent. Elrod won by a narrow 887,026-876,549 (50.3 percent). Carey became state’s attorney in 1972.

            Able to seek re-election, Elrod won with ever-increasing majorities: In 1974 he got 53.7 percent; in 1978 he got 56.3 percent; in 1982 he got 69.5 percent. 

            But then, after 16 years, “Elrod fatigue,” including a string of mini-timebombs, proved insurmountable. Ex-Chicago police superintendent Jim O’Grady switched parties to run as a Vrdolyak Republican, whipped Elrod 706,659-673,233 (51.2 percent), and proceeded to a swift demise. Harold Washington died in 1987, eliminating the “race factor,” and Undersheriff Jim Dvorak got enmeshed in controversy.

            In 1990, Alderman Mike Sheahan (19th) ran for sheriff, aided by the clout of Assessor Tom Hynes, the 19th Ward Democratic Committeeman. In a humiliating meltdown, O’Grady got just 369,631 votes (28.5 percent), to Sheahan’s 719,489 (55.4 percent), and black independent Tommy Brewer’s 191,101 (14.7 percent). Thereafter, Republicans imploded. Sheahan won with 65.2 percent in 1994, 71.1 percent against the son of a black former Chicago police superintendent in 1998, and 76.9 percent in 2002. In 2006, Sheahan pulled a “switcheroo” – announcing for re-election, getting slated, but then withdrawing on the last day of filing, with the 19th Ward and Hynes’ allies submitting petitions for Dart, a 10-year state representative and 2002 loser for state treasurer.

            Dart won the 2006 election with 74.9 percent, and was re-elected in 2010 with 77.2 percent. No Republican is on the 2014 ballot. ADD HERE         

            The primary is dispositive. Palka is appealing to ethnic voters, particularly Poles. “I am campaigning at all the Catholic churches,” he said, “People want change. I will hire more deputies and police. I will stop the endless stream of civil rights and harassment lawsuits.” Baker, a black 22-year retired sheriff’s police sergeant, lost to Dart twice. Evans is a 23-year sheriff’s police lieutenant.

            In 2006, Dart got 331,318 votes (61.9 percent), beating Baker (133,944 votes) and Rich Remus (69,899 votes), in a 535,161 turnout. Baker carried four black wards, and Dart got over 80 percent in his Southwest Side base. In 2010, Dart trounced Baker with 76.3 percent, getting 397,844 votes to Baker’s 123,096, in a 520,940 turnout. Baker won one ward, while Dart got over 80 percent in the Northwest Side 33rd, 36th, 39th and 47th wards, and over 90 percent in the 11th Ward.

            Turnout in 2014 will barely exceed 500,000. Palka projects Baker near 150,000 votes, and Evans at 50,000. That leaves 300,000 for Dart and Palka to split.

            No polls have been taken, but the “money race” is an accurate gauge. Dart had $310,211 on-hand as of Jan. 1, and raised $127,430 after April 1, 2013. Palka’s numbers, respectively, were $44,279 and $52,390; Baker’s were $22,639 and $27,113; and Evans’ were $2,595 and $31,366.

            Dart may be forgettable and/or forgotten, but he still has enough juice to get renominated. He’ll win with 55 percent.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Draft Dart for Governor?

Reading all of the emails from the last 24 hours, there seems to be a movement developing to get Tom Dart to run for governor against Quinn. With Daley out, the path is pretty clear.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Professional Politicians

Is it just me? Looking around at all these governmental problems and I start thinking, do we need some new blood? Is it really a positive thing to having the same people returning to the same public office, year after year? What's their motivation to try to do a better job? If it's so good, why doesn't private industry do it?

Look at Sen Dick Durbin, 3 terms now and aiming for another. Tom Dart, 2 terms already and planning to run again. Richie, 22 years.... By the time he left, he was so burned out he didn't care what happened. Locally, we are coming off a twenty year plus alderman. Is any of this good? 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tom Dart sued personally

Cares about puppies
The plaintiff was mobilized while an employee of the sheriff. He comes back from active duty and is put through the mill. This case promises some good reading about the internal workings of the sheriff's office.
John N Maher
Thomas J. Dart, Cook County, Cook County Sheriff and Cook County Sheriff's Office

Case Number:
May 18, 2012

Illinois Northern District Court
Chicago Office

Nature of Suit:
Other Statutes - Other Statutory Actions
28:1331 Fed. Question: Employment Discrimination
Federal Question
Jury Demanded By: