suntimes
SOGGY 
Weather Updates

Sneed: Mell delivers inaccurate cheap shot at Byrne

Mayor Rahm Emanuel brought three jerseys belonging injured veterans back Chicago from WashingtD.C. be signed by Chicago Blackhawks.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel brought three jerseys belonging to injured veterans back to Chicago from Washington, D.C. to be signed by the Chicago Blackhawks.

storyidforme: 51727997
tmspicid: 19209607
fileheaderid: 8714971
Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: August 8, 2013 6:59AM



The Mell man . . .

Memo to retiring Ald. Dick Mell, who lobbed an insensitive shot of booze on Friday at ailing former Mayor Jane Byrne:

Ending one’s career is hard; but slithering out of it is sad.

Let’s set the record straight.

Mell, who has been known to throw ashtrays, jump on desks and run amok during a long political career, announced his retirement last week.

Leaving no chance to rant behind, Mell then held a press “conference” rambling on about his footsteps on Chicago’s political map, leaving behind proof he has few boundaries.

◆ Translation: During one tirade, in true Mell maniacal fashion, he patted Byrne on the back for her “genius” move years ago into the tortured Cabrini-Green housing projects — and then he gave her a whack.

◆ The punch: Mell posited that Byrne’s “genius” Cabrini move was probably due to her penchant for “Jack.” (Translation: Jack Daniel’s whiskey.)

How beneath you, Dick!

Sneed suspects your beloved, late wife, Marge, would give you a thwack for such a comment.

◆ Explanation: I was present when the Cabrini move was suggested to Byrne; an off-the-cuff comment made to her via a phone conversation with one of her former top aides.

◆ Backstory: Shortly after Sneed left a brief-tenure job as Byrne’s press secretary, Byrne asked one of her bodyguards to drive her through Cabrini-Green one night to get a first-hand look at the crime devastating the projects.

◆ Copshot: During that frightening foray, Byrne spotted police interviewing a rape victim and was upset at the way the woman was being handled at such a horrific time.

◆ Backshot: The next day, Byrne called the former mayoral aide seeking his advice on how best to deal with what she had seen.

◆ His advice: “If you are so concerned, why not move into Cabrini-Green? Where the mayor goes, goods and services follow!”

◆ That was it. The former aide was stunned when she actually did it. The rest is history. Goods and city services did follow. So did national headlines. Baseball diamonds and basketball courts went up in the newly renamed “Cabrini-O’Green.”

Cheers to Byrne for having the courage to make the move. Only not with a glass of Jack Daniel’s.

Cop shop . . .

Don’t invite ’em item: There seems to be no love lost between Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and the city’s former top cop Jody Weis.

It did not sit well when Weis was hired by ABC7 news to comment on the city’s crime spree. But Weis’ recent comments in the Sun-Times criticizing the hiring of young cops, which is part of McCarthy’s plan going forward, reportedly took the irritation to a new level.

Sneed is told both men have discussed the propriety of not criticizing each other. Oh, well.

Rahm ’em . . .

The jersey boys: A casual comment to Mayor Rahm Emanuel during a recent visit to the U.S. Department of Defense resulted in two young soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital — who lost their legs during a tour of duty in the Middle East — receiving two Blackhawks camouflage jerseys, imprinted with the personal signature of every player on the Stanley Cup-winning team.

Swift gift . . .

Singer Taylor Swift has erected a “No Trespassing” sign with a musical flourish outside her $17-million-dollar Rhode Island beachfront home.

◆ To wit: The singer references a line from her 2012 dubstep track: “I knew you were trouble when you walked in,” before stating ‘NO TRESPASSING’ in bold letters.

Sneedlings . . .

Saturday’s birthdays: Nancy Reagan, 92; Sylvester Stallone, 67, and Greg Blanford, 53 . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Ringo Starr, 73; Jessica Hahn, 54, and Michelle Kwan, 33.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.