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Editorial: Things don’t look right in Cicero

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



Jeff Pesek, president of Morton High School District 201, which includes Cicero and neighboring suburbs, is pals with a trusted associate of the Chicago mob.

That doesn’t look right.

Pesek and his brother, Craig, hired the mob associate, who also is treasurer of the notorious Outlaws motorcycle gang, to work at their Chicago nightclub, Ontourage.

That doesn’t look right.

A onetime silent partner in the brothers’ nightclub, Enrique Rendon, is a confessed drug dealer who faces 10 to 13 years in prison.

That doesn’t look right.

The school board president and the drug dealer, according to court testimony, owned a liquor store together.

That doesn’t look right.

The school board president’s brother and the drug dealer shared a lease for an oil-change shop.

That doesn’t look right.

The school board president bought at least eight television sets at bargain prices from his pal in the motorcycle gang, who ran a pawn shop where he sold stolen merchandise.

That doesn’t look right.

The school board president admitted to buying the TVs when he testified under oath at his pal’s trial — after getting a grant of immunity from prosecution himself.

That doesn’t look right.

The school board president’s brother, Craig, a high school graduate who previously worked at his family’s hot dog restaurant, was hired by Cicero Town President Larry Dominick in 2005 to be a town “project manager” at an annual salary of $72,000.

That doesn’t look right.

The school board president was hired by Dominick to be the town’s director of services and recreation and also the town’s safety director, at an annual salary of $94,322.

That doesn’t look right.

Between the two of them, the Pesek brothers have been paid a whopping $850,000 in consultant fees from Cicero.

That doesn’t look right.

Craig Pesek also gets his health insurance through the town because Dominick appointed him to a committee.

That doesn’t look right.

The Pesek brothers’ mother, Elaine, was appointed by Dominick to the town’s literacy office, where she has been paid $38,000 since 2006.

That doesn’t look right.

But let us not forget that the Pesek family contributed or loaned $100,000 to Dominick’s two campaigns for mayor.

That doesn’t look right, but might explain a few things.

All this dirty laundry — all this stuff that doesn’t look right — was revealed by Chicago Sun-Times reporter Steve Warmbir in a story in Monday’s paper. Cicero, the town that hasn’t walked straight since Al Capone set up headquarters there in the 1920s, once again is looking mighty hinky.

We honestly thought Cicero might do better with Dominick, who was elected president in 2005 as a reformer. But his free way of throwing the town’s money at questionable and underqualified “consultants” like the Pesek brothers, frankly, reminds us of his corrupt predecessor, Betty Loren-Maltese.

It’s the same old Cicero.

Sadder still is the example set for students in District 201 by Jeff Pesek. What message does it send young people when the president of the school board consorts with mob associates, scoops up possibly hot merchandise and goes into business with drug dealers?

Nothing here looks right.

Even for Cicero.



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