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[ 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[ 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. ]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:16:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ Key CPD lieutenant had secret meeting with Koschman detective ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: As the Chicago Police Department began re-investigating a homicide involving a nephew of Mayor Richard M. Daley, a high-ranking cop met secretly with the retired detective who hadn't solved the case seven years earlier, according to records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. The meeting was in January 2011 — the same month the original police file on the David Koschman case was reported missing. ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:44:24 -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. ]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:25:03 -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[ 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 <![CDATA[ The Watchdogs: Rauner splashing cash around to help fellow Republicans ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Even as he has poured $9.6 million of his own money into his campaign, Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, also has been dippping more heavily into his personal wealth to help finance GOP candidates and groups, records show. ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 06:04:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ The Watchdogs: Chicago Board of Ed President David Vitale’s bank would benefit from charter-school deal ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: David Vitale, the president of the Chicago Board of Education, runs a bank that stands to benefit from a proposal for a new charter school on the South Side that’s set to come before the school board for approval later this month. ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:34:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cop fired over 2009 death sues to get his job back ]]> Lead story image

A Chicago police sergeant fired this month over the 2009 death of a woman he says shot herself with his gun while the two drank together sued the city Monday to try to get his job back. Steven E. Lesner, 48, said the Chicago Police Board’s July 17 decision to fire him was “clearly erroneous.” ]]> Sat, 30 Aug 2014 06:25:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Legislative I.G. has financial ties to Madigan, other lawmakers ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: J. William Roberts' mix of political and prosecutorial experience was key to getting the job of legislative inspector general. But it could raise questions about his ability to impartially investigate lawmakers, including Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 06:08:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Daley will not be called to testify in Park Grill trial ]]> Lead story image

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley won't have to testify in City Hall’s lawsuit to break a contract the Park Grill restaurant in Millennium Park was awarded under Daley. ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:38:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ City Hall fighting cop ex-Supt. Cline refused to punish ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: In one of his last acts before retiring from the Chicago Police Department, Supt. Phil Cline refused to discipline a detective who had submitted fraudulent documents to City Hall so he could operate a valet company, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show. ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:07:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Police Board: Fired cop’s ‘reprehensible’ conduct led to woman’s death ]]> Lead story image

Calling his conduct “reprehensible,” the Chicago Police Board fired Sgt. Steven Lesner because his failure to secure his gun “led directly” to the death of a Northwest Side woman, the board said in a ruling Friday. Read More ]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:52:42 -0500