ILETSB: The most cruel and callous agency in the State of Illinois –

Illinois (EWCd)

In January of 2014, ECW uncovered documents from Governor Pat Quinn’s Neighborhood Initiative Program.  One such document warned Chicago Youth to comply with City of Chicago curfew laws or risk being shot and killed by members of the Chicago Police Department (CPD).  LINK Directly to the Document Here.  This document provided to ECW was so shocking in its substantive message to Chicago children, that it was automatically presumed to contain demonstrably false/fake news.   As a result, NO ONE IN ILLINOIS LISTENED.

While Illinois officials turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to the alarming document that Chicago youth frequently get shot and killed by CPD officers for merely breaking curfew laws (as well as myriad other reports of unlawful conduct by CPD officers), the USDOJ and the FBI took the citizen warnings and criticism of police misconduct to heart but only after questionable shootings became public. USDOJ initiated a comprehensive investigation into unlawful and unconstitutional patterns and practices within the Chicago Police Department.

Friday the 13th, 2017, the US Department of Justice released a scathing report that should alarm every Illinois resident and taxpayer.   The report was on the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and can be viewed here. Although the Chicago Police Department was the primary target of USDOJ’s stinging criticism,  the State of Illinois shares much of the blame, and in particular the pathetic work of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB), the official state agency that is charged with certifying and  monitoring all law enforcement training academies in the State of Illinois, including CPD’s training facility.

The USDOJ Report noted that CPD uses a 35-year-old videotape (see page 98), to train new recruits on the use of lethal/deadly force.   According to the USDOJ, this videotape contained outdated standards and conditions for when police officers can justifiably use lethal force.  The USDOJ report noted that key aspects of the 35-year-old CPD training tape are unlawful and were overruled by the US Supreme Court.  Sadly, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board was asleep at the switch; they failed to stop the CPD from using this outdated video that taught unconstitutional methods on the use of lethal and deadly force. Sadly, Illinois citizens were then shot and killed by CPD police officers because the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board failed to do its job.  In this regard, this state board failed to protect the public and the citizens of Chicago.

The USDOJ further observed that only 1 out of 6 CPD police recruits could properly articulate the correct legal standard for when lethal/deadly force can be used.  Shockingly, this means that 5 out of 6  (or 83.3%) of CPD cadets got that life and death question wrong.  Think about that statistic–83.3% of CPD cadets don’t know that law when it comes to the use of lethal force.  That is a chilling and truly scary statistic.

USDOJ investigators also found current CPD law enforcement cadets were asleep in class when the topic of the proper use of lethal force was addressed in the classroom.

You would think that an out of date training tape covering the topic of lethal force, or a CPD cadet failure rate of 83.3% on a question involving life and death of Illinois citizens, might cause the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to take every means possible to yank the accreditation of the CPD training facility.  But sadly, that has not happened.

Senior Leadership of the ILETSB were put on this important state board for one reason: to serve and protect the Illinois public.     Inexcusably, this State Board violated that sacred public trust and I contend they have violated the law.  They failed to take their jobs seriously. They allowed CPD’s training facility to remain accredited.  As a watchdog, they sat on their hands and let the USDOJ do the job they were incapable or too cowardly to do.  So yes, this state board’s character, integrity, and conduct deserve harsh and unrelenting public criticism.

As clear evidence of their failings, one only needs to look at the statutory appointments to that board and review the minutes to find that more often than not, those appointed members, with one exception, don’t even attend the meetings but instead send their proxy to do their job for them, an action we contend is not permitted by law.  A concern which I raised with their board counsel back in the early fall of 2016.  No one listened. (Click here for the compiled attendance record of the statutorily appointed members)

Lisa Madigan, the Illinois Attorney General, is one of those members and of the minutes available, we have been unable to find a single meeting that she has attended, which is not much different than her avoiding her obligations on the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority board which we wrote about in July of 2014, and no one listened.

However, the failures don’t stop with the top cop Lisa Madigan’s failure to perform her duties as appointed by statute.  Since January of 2014 and up through the last set of approved minutes of September 2016, the following statutorily appointed members have NEVER attended one of the quarterly board meetings according to the minutes recording the attendance. (Click here for all the approved minutes since 2014)

Attorney General, Superintendent of Chicago Police Department, Director of the Department of Corrections, and the Cook County Sheriff have never attended a single meeting according to the records.

The minutes reflect 4 of the 7 statutory appointees have failed to attend a single meeting.  Micheal Schlosser, Director of the Police Training Institute in Champaign, who has only missed 2 meetings out of the eleven held since 2014 outshines the attendance of those listed above and the other two statutory appointments, the Director of the State Police and Cook County Circuit Clerk, whom both managed to attend a whopping three meetings each during this same time frame.

Many people died on the streets of Chicago because the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board failed in its core mission of overseeing the training of our police. Those people died while certain people, appointed by statute to do a job, failed to attend meetings and perform their duties as an appointed board member. People died while others members of this board failed to provide proper oversite.

Accordingly, we request that all senior leadership of the Illinois Law Enforcement  Training and Standards Board resign from public office immediately, including the statutorily appointed members of this State Board, including:   The Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department; the  Illinois Attorney General;  the Cook County Sheriff; the Cook County Clerk of the Court; the Director of the Illinois State Police; the Director of the Police Training Institute; the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

How ironic and tragic, that many of these statutory appointees to the ILETSB live and work in the City of Chicago.  This is their home too.  But sadly, they let their own family, friends, and neighbors down and now share in the blame for that scathing and damning USDOJ Report on the CPD (because much of that stink and blame originates from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board).

Even more ironic, the US Department of Justice made no mention of the ILETSB and the attendance record of the very members appointed to those positions.  Does this point to yet another government agency that is incapable of properly investigating and evaluating where a bigger problem lies, those responsible for the training of our law enforcement personnel?  Are the ILETSB failures linked to law enforcement issues statewide?

As if we should be surprised, the ILETSB just happened to have adopted new guidelines in October of 2016.  How interesting to find the issues they have adopted have parallel ties to the US DOJ report findings.  Is this an indication that they knew this was coming?

We have been compiling information on the ILETSB since we broke the story of the College of DuPage two years ago regarding their improper awarding of credits to the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy (SLEA).  Now with the DOJ report released, we will continue to roll out our findings that may well expose even larger problems as it relates to training of our police and oversite of those academies as well as a total disregard for certain people to follow the law.

In closing, we contend such disregard for attendance and participation of meetings by members of the ILETSB is cruel and callous to the citizens of this state.

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Chicago Senior Lawyer concealed evidence in police shooting – Resigned after Judges opinion released.

Cook Co. (ECWd) –

Within minutes of our reporting on the Federal Judges opinion released today, we find that the Chicago Tribune ran their story confirming the Senior Corporation Counsel Jordan Marsh named in that opinion has resigned.

“There’s just a total disregard for the truth, and it runs to the highest levels,” Greenberg said. “There is a culture to cover up and win at all costs.”  Chicago Tribune quote

Page 51 of the opinion the Judge states: “Attorneys who might be tempted to bury late-surfacing information need to know that, if discovered, any verdict they win will be forfeit and their clients will pay the price. They need to know it is not worth it.”

It is good to see a person in a position of power speak out against this type of behavior and set down the gauntlet.  Break the law and you will pay the price.

If others in a position of power such as our States Attorney’s, Attorney General, and Governor would echo the same thing regarding public corruption and abuse of the tax payer we might just fix some of the problems we find in this state.

Nothing would make us happier than to see those in power wipe out corruption in our local government and deem us no longer needed.

OK, wishful thinking. We are in Illinois!

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City of Chicago Police Department slammed in Judges opinion!

Cook Co. (ECWd) –

Although I disagreed with the method of teaching being used to curb violence in the city, as outlined in my July 2014 article, it does appear that the counselor may have very well spoken some serious truth in light of all the cop shootings being exposed in Chicago recently.

An opinion from the US District Court today appears to confirm, the Chicago Police have a serious problem on their hands and by all indications they have created it!

  • Mosqueda claims he heard the description of the Aurora over his police-car radio
  • At various times before and during this litigation, Mosqueda has claimed that the OEMC call, which he heard over the police-car’s “Zone” radio, warned that the Aurora was wanted for a shooting or that there might have been a gun in the car

“The officers opened fire, killing Pinex”

  • A recording was available. But Plaintiffs did not get it.
  • Documents identifying the location of the recording were also available. But Plaintiffs did not get those either.
  • The discovery responses that they did get led them to believe that no recording of the call or documents were available.

“Plaintiffs reasonably concluded that Mosqueda was lying—that is, he actually had heard nothing, and the officers executed an overly aggressive traffic stop for their own reasons or no reason at all.”

  • The actual recording did not mention that the Aurora had a gun or that the car was wanted for a shooting
  • First, it has shown that Jordan Marsh, one of the City Law Department lawyers representing the officers and the City of Chicago, learned about the OEMC record before trial and knew that the recording might still be available
  • The Court has no choice but to conclude, based on the record evidence, that Marsh intentionally withheld this information from the Court, from Plaintiffs, and even from his own co-counsel
  • Second, post-trial discovery has shown that, in response to Plaintiffs’ discovery request seeking the recording and related documents, Thomas Aumann, another Law Department lawyer for the officers and the City of Chicago, failed to make a reasonable inquiry, as required by the discovery rules, to  search for the recording and responsive documents.

“Because of the recording’s untimely disclosure, the first trial was unfair and Plaintiffs’ trial presentation was hurt beyond repair by the surprise.”

“And because Marsh’s and Aumann’s misconduct thwarted Plaintiffs’ trial preparation and trial efforts, Plaintiffs are awarded their attorneys’ fees and costs expended on preparing for the first trial, conducting the trial itself, and conducting the post-trial discovery and briefing.”

If the details in this Federal Judge’s opinion does not end up with city officials facing criminal charges then there is little hope of ever fixing the wrongs citizens of Chicago are facing in my opinion.

The people of Chicago deserve better!

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College of DuPage – Glaser & O’Rourke – Grant riddled with problems – Part II

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

Two words that appear to be evading key people working with or for the College of DuPage.

  • Truth“that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.”
  • Honestyfreedom from deceit or fraud.”

James O’Rourke might have some explaining to do when it comes to applying those two basic words.  The reason being, when you sign your name on a letter with claims you are going to do certain things, one expects such claims to be true and honest.  Sadly, in this case we find that Mr. O’Rourke’s written words are neither truthful nor honest and such a determination can be made by his own writings.

O’Rourke’s claim from his December 2013 letter to COD: I will provide you or your designee monthly reports regarding the progress of the project and a final wrap up report by April 15, 2014.”  (Click here for copy of the letter)

O’Rourke’s attempt at providing cover for not having any work product from either Grant project was exposed in our last article at this link.  Note that he now claims his reports are “informal verbal reports”: “it was decided to render informal verbal reports periodically to Bauer and COD.Who made that decision?

Giving him the benefit of doubt we will use his words and prove that they were neither true or honest.  He claimed he would provide monthly reports and a final wrap up report by April 15th.  Since he has acknowledged such reports were “informal verbal reports”, let’s look at his “Close out Report” letter he sent to COD after being put on notice that such a document “MUST” be filed for these projects.  (Click here for the close-out letter)

He now has a new spin!

“As stated in my June 15, 2015 letter only verbal reports and updates were used in the $25,000 grant. Neither the COD nor Bauer commented upon this reporting methodology. This rep0rting will not change the reporting protocol. However, the narrative to follow will provide a concise account of the excellent outcome actually achieved in the $25,000 grant and in the first phase of the now terminated $57,000 grant.”

He now justifies not providing written reports with a claim that since neither COD or Bauer commented upon verbal reporting it is somehow justified to not provide a written report. Forget the fact he assured COD that he would provide monthly reports and a final report to this project.  To date, no monthly reports or final report of any kind have been found, which means Mr. O’Rourke was neither truthful nor honest in his letter to COD.

One major problem Mr. O’Rourke has in this paper trail is a letter from Glaser to the Foundation wanting O’Rourke hired for this grant.  That letter outlines a most interesting claim. “Mr. O‘Routke has indicated that he will work to include 1-2 College of  DuPage students in the study, as well as share the results of the study with our faculty so that it could be used in their classes if desired”.  (Click here for copy of the letter)

How do you share the results of a study with faculty that could be used in their classes if such reports are informal verbal reports?

The close out report does not reflect a single report of any kind for the first $25,000.00 Grant.  In fact, I challenge anyone to find evidence to support his claim that “the narrative to follow will provide a concise account of the excellent outcome actually achieved in the $25,000 grant”. (Click here for the close-out letter)

Everything referenced in the close out letter applies to the second grant, and as you can see, there is nothing in his letter that provides a concise account of the outcome achieved for either grant. In fact, it fails to make a single reference to any achievement, unless getting to meet with Chief Judge Evans constitutes an achievement.

 Need more convincing? 

“In this regard, several meetings were scheduled and held with Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans. These meetings were attended by Bauer Foundation representatives and myself.”  (Click here for the close-out letter)

Several – “more than two but not many.”

On June 9th, 2014, O’Rourke claimed he met with Chief Judge Evans.  Over a year later, June 15th, 2015, he reports to have met with Chief Judge Evans.

O’Rourke’s own close out letter confirms there were only two meetings with Chief Judge Evans, thus there were not several meetings with the Chief Judge.

Another disturbing aspect of his comments in the close out letter is the claim the meetings he had with the Chief Judge were attended by him and Bauer Foundation Representatives.  I find that odd that there was no mention of any COD students involved in those meetings but even more concerning is why the Bauer Foundation was at those meetings considering they said they could not hire Mr. O’Rourke because of the type of Foundation they operate.  They cannot hire him, but they can work with him on the project?  Does that make any sense to anyone?

Was this entire Grant scheme simply a method for O’Rourke to find himself a job in the Court system? 

  • “The proposal, now endorsed by Judge Evans, is essentially to work directly with Judge Evans to recreate and staff the Cook County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council model including the critical operation of the Principals Committee.”
  • “The June 16, 2014 Proposal calls for a one year commitment after which the court would assume funding responsibility.”
  • I would be available to serve as staff to the Coordinating Council for at least the first year of operation, provided my services would prove useful to the Court.”

(Click here for documents pointing to employment hopes by O’Rourke)

By all indications to date, claims made by Mr. O’Rourke have been less than truthful and lack the honesty that most would expect from a practicing attorney.

Part III to be presented shortly.

 




Chicago still hiding Rahm Emanuel’s records from public –

Chicago, IL. (ECWd) –

We posted an article a few weeks ago (here) detailing how the City of Chicago had taken steps to hide, and lie about hiding, records related to potential debts owed to the city by Mayor Emanuel.

Now, another person has been attempting to get copies of document related to the mayor, and it is evident the City is still trying to hide those records from the public.

First, they extend the response time by 5 additional days claiming they need to consult with other departments within the city, and then when those additional 5 days have passed they claim there are no records responsive to the request for copies of payments of the mayor’s utility bills and traffic fines. Amazing isn’t it? Consulting with other departments on records that do not exist? Simply amazing…

“If there is nothing to hide, why hide it?”

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City of Chicago thumbs nose at FOIA – lies to keep Rahm’s records secret –

Chicago, IL. (ECWd) –

For the past couple of months several people have attempted to gain access to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s records as it relates to bills payable and due to the City of Chicago.

In this most recent request, which was forwarded to me this afternoon, Adam Andrzejewski was attempting to get copies of those records and it has become apparent by now that this is nothing more than an attempt at keeping those records from the public – at least until after the election. First they claim they didn’t understand the original FOIA request, then when it is further explained they treat it as a new request that basically restarts the five day response time. Next they ask for an extension with the promise that a response would be received by April 6th at the latest. That date has come and gone.

Finally, the FOIA Officer, Mr. Carl Gutierrez (Carl.Gutierrez@cityofchicago.org) just simply ignores the emails sent to him.

I had requested these records a few months ago, and the same FOIA Officer responded after the mandatory five day response time, and told me over the phone that he would treat it as “unduly burdensome”. I asked him to confirm that in writing over email, but when the email arrived it stated that there were no responsive records – probably because he found out the city cannot claim unduly burdensome after the violate the mandated response time.

So now we have two instances of the City of Chicago FOIA Officer lying to the public about public records – AND we suspect the real bottom line as to why, is that he might be “in arrears of a debt to the municipality” which would violate the Illinois Municipal Code and disqualify him from office. But we have no way to verify that since the city will not produce the records.

It might be time to file a civil suit to obtain the requested records – because we know they have them, and we know they are public records.




City of Chicago – Keeping Records Secret for Election Protection? –

CHICAGO, IL. (ECWd) –

With the upcoming Mayoral and Aldermanic elections for the City of Chicago, the city has apparently decided to keep requested public records a secret. The records requested are such that they could point to disqualification for office if revealed.

On January 31, 2015, I requested records relating to nearly every elected official in the City of Chicago government. The records I was seeking pertain to debts owed to the city, which included the time-frame for election petition filing. (read it below)

On February 2, 2015, I received an email extending the deadline by an additional five working days, and it stated the records would be provided on or before February 18, 2015.

On February 19, after receiving no response, I emailed asking the FOIA officer if the records had be sent yet. I received no response.

On February 20, I sent another email asking the FOIA Officer to provide the requested records. I received no response as of the date of this publishing.

The records requested were for: Copy of all bills / invoices / statements / other letters of indebtedness for water, electricity, trash pick up, parking tickets, traffic tickets, car stickers, pet licenses, library fines, and any other municipal fee imposed since January 1, 2014 for the following city officials:

Rahm Israel Emanuel, Joe Moreno, Robert Fioretti, Pat Dowell, William Burns, Leslie Hairston, Roderick Sawyer, Natashia Holmes, Michelle Harris, Anthony Beale, John Pope, James Balcer, George A. Cardenas, Marty Quinn, Ed Burke, Toni Foulkes, JoAnn Thompson, Latasha Thomas, Lona Lane, Matthew O’Shea, Willie B. Cochran, Howard Brookins Jr., Ricardo Munoz, Michael Zalewski, Michael Chandler, Daniel Solis, Roberto Maldonado, Walter Burnett, Jr., Jason Ervin, Deborah Graham, Ariel E. Reboyras, Ray Suarez, Scott Waguespack, Carrie Austin, Rey Colon, Nicholas Sposato, Emma Mitts, Timothy M. Cullerton, Margaret Laurino, Patrick J. O’Connor, Mary O’Connor, Brendan Reill, Michele Smith, Thomas M. Tunney, John Arena, James Cappleman, Ameya Pawar, Harry Osterman, Debra Silverstein, and Joseph A. Moore.

Why this is important, is that the Illinois Municipal Code [Sec. 3.1-10-5. Qualifications; elective office.] specifically disqualifies people from office who are in arrears of a debt to the municipality they are seeking office in, or currently hold. This includes qualifications to file a petition, to take the oath of office, and to continue to serve a term, and if found in arrears of a debt at the time petitions were filed, could keep them from taking office even if they receive the majority vote totals since they would not have been qualified to even run for office.

This lack of response to a FOIA request clearly indicates to me that this is simply a stall tactic to keep potentially embarrassing information from becoming public in the days prior to an election.

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