Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ The Watchdogs: Big profits for Pritzkers, Daley pal Jack Higgins on costly Chicago FBI deal ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: When the government was seeking a new Chicago FBI headquarters, it gave the deal to Jack Higgins — a friend of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley. Higgins brought in Penny Pritzker, who would go on to be a top campaign fund-raiser for President Barack Obama and is now his secretary of commerce. The $125 million FBI complex turned out to be a profitable venture for the Pritzker family and Higgins but not as good a deal for taxpayers. ]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:17:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fioretti’s old campaign records ‘incomplete and disorganized’ ]]> Lead story image

DAN MIHALOPOULOS: As one of 50 aldermen, Bob Fioretti could rail against Mayor Rahm Emanuel and pretty much avoid intense scrutiny. Now, as the first potentially serious challenger to the mayor’s re-election, Fioretti also must account for the baggage he’s brought to the February 2015 election campaign. ]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:25:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Daley sought deal that went to developers who hired his nephew ]]>

THE WATCHDOGS: Former Mayor Richard M. Daley went after a government contract in Chicago, records show. But Daley’s Tur Partners was part of a group that withdrew from consideration for the deal to develop 9.5 acres of government land, leaving only two bidders. The winning bidder hired Daley nephew Patrick Daley Thompson. ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:57:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ald. Pope fires aide he hired after $99,000 sex harassment deal ]]> Lead story image

A WATCHDOGS FOLLOW-UP: Thomas J. Sadzak is out of a job with the city of Chicago — again — as the result of allegations leveled by a city worker who won a $99,000 settlement from City Hall after accusing Sadzak of sexually harassing her and threatening to rape her when she complained about him. The firing followed a report Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times detailing the case against Sadzak and reporting that Ald. John Pope (10th) had put Sadzak back on the city payroll even though he’d been placed on the city’s “do not hire” list. ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 09:17:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Gov OKs liquor sales at West Side grocery store owned by Ald. Edward Burke ally: A Watchdogs follow-up report ]]> Lead story image

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing Pete’s Fresh Market to continue selling beer, wine and spirits at its new West Side store, though a church next door to the grocery had objected to liquor sales there and urged him to veto the measure. Pete’s has made tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), a top Quinn supporter whose brother, state Rep. Daniel Burke, D-Chicago, pushed through an exemption allowing the Pete’s store to keep selling liquor. ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 02:28:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ UNO charter schools now target of IRS audit over bonds ]]> Lead story image

The United Neighborhood Organization’s charter-school network is facing possible new legal troubles, with an IRS audit of bonds issued for its Chicago schools. The Internal Revenue Service audit involves nearly $37 million in bonds issued in 2011 for the UNO Charter School Network Inc. ]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 09:25:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ald. Pope rehired worker who quit after harassment allegations ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Ald. John Pope (10th) hired a man who had quit his job at the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation; he was about to be fired over sexual harassment allegations leveled by a female laborer. The woman got a $99,000 settlement from the city. ]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 12:48:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Judge rips defendants but dismisses 'cover-up' suit in Koschman case  ]]> Lead story image

A federal judge blasted the Chicago Police Department and Cook County state’s attorney’s office but dismissed a lawsuit that accused police, prosecutors and City Hall of an “official cover-up” to keep former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko from being charged in the death of David Koschman. ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 02:20:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lewis’ first donor: head of agency that gives grants to CPS teachers ]]> Lead story image

The head of a not-for-profit organization that awards grants to Chicago public school teachers is the first contributor to Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis’ potential mayoral campaign. ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:33:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ CPS scraps South Side campus plan for controversial charter school operator ]]> Lead story image

Chicago Public Schools officials are not allowing a beleaguered charter school operator to open a planned South Side campus next month, a CPS source has confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times. ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:31:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ National school union would put $1 million into Karen Lewis mayoral campaign ]]> Lead story image

The head of the American Federation of Teachers says the national union is ready to spend $1 million to help Karen Lewis unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel if the Chicago Teachers Union president decides to run. Emanuel “has shown a deep disrespect for what public education is all about,” AFT leader Randi Weingarten told the Chicago Sun-Times. ]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 06:21:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ $1 million pledge changes Lewis’ ‘calculus’ — but not her timeline ]]> Lead story image

Karen Lewis said Tuesday that a $1 million pledge of support from the American Federation of Teachers “automatically changes the calculus” of a potential mayoral campaign. But apparently not enough to push the Chicago Teachers Union president any closer to deciding whether she’ll challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I want to run things on my timeline,” Lewis told a capacity crowd of union members at Morgan Park’s Beverly Woods Banquet Hall. It was her third “conversation” with Chicagoans. And she’s got 74 more to go. ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:16:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Nearly $1 million from charters went to firms identified in FBI probe ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Contractors facing scrutiny in an ongoing investigation of Concept Schools have been paid nearly $1 million over the past three years for work at three Chicago Public Schools-funded campuses run by the charter operator, records show. ]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:09:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rauner company facing fines for illegal sign in West Rogers Park ]]> Lead story image

A Cook County judge will decide whether Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, and his business partners must pay fines for illegally erecting a digital billboard on a building in West Rogers Park. ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:21:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ Watchdogs: 3 homes, over $200K in pay for CTU boss Lewis, who may challenge ‘Mayor 1%’ ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Chicago Teachers Union boss and potential mayoral challenger Karen Lewis, who has railed against the influence of the wealthy and called Mayor Rahm Emanuel “Mayor 1%,” has three homes, including a condo in Hawaii, and is paid more than $200,000 a year in union salaries, records show. ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 06:04:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Taxpayers' millions lure conventions to McCormick Place, Rosemont ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: When conventions and trade shows threaten to leave McCormick Place or Rosemont for Orlando, Las Vegas or elsewhere, convention center officials sweeten the pot, tapping a pool of taxpayer money they guard so tightly they’ve tried to keep secret how it’s spent, the Chicago Sun-Times has found. ]]> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 06:02:50 -0500