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: Rahm Emanuel’s silent partner in mayoral campaign: Mike Madigan ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: After staying neutral in the last race for Chicago mayor, Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan has provided major support to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election campaign, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows. ]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 09:08:30 -0600 <![CDATA[ The Watchdogs: Rauner adviser Poshard's pension bonanza ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: One of the big problems Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner will face is what to do about the state’s public pension crisis. He doesn’t need to go any farther than a member of his own transition team, Glenn Poshard, to get a close-up look at some of the factors fueling the crisis. ]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:45:36 -0600 <![CDATA[ Fire Chicago cop with rap sheet, Supt. Garry McCarthy urges ]]>

THE WATCHDOGS: Officer Richard A. Rizzo, a subject of the Chicago Sun-Times’ “Tarnished Badges” investigation last year who’s been arrested four times by his own department during 17 years as a Chicago cop, should be fired, Supt. Garry McCarthy says. ]]> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 02:15:16 -0600 <![CDATA[ While some Koschman cops await fate, many get big pensions ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Nine months after a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, not one cop has been disciplined for letting Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko get away for nearly 10 years with killing David Koschman. Many can’t be punished because they no longer work for the city. ]]> Tue, 11 Nov 2014 11:12:03 -0600 <![CDATA[ Obama pal Eric Whitaker stonewalls feds on sex question in grant-fraud case ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, one of President Barack Obama’s closest friends, has refused to answer federal prosecutors’ questions about whether he had a “sexual relationship” with a former aide who has pleaded guilty to stealing taxpayers’ money, court records show. ]]> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 08:49:14 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago’s schools have paid $31 million to 3 clout consultants since 2012 ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Though strapped for cash, the Chicago Board of Education has paid three politically connected contractors nearly $31 million since 2012 to oversee renovation work at the city’s schools, including $338,000 a year paid to one employee. That’s $88,000 more than Barbara Byrd-Bennett makes as the school system’s chief executive officer. ]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 15:19:47 -0600 <![CDATA[ The most dangerous block in Chicago? A stretch of South King Drive where a young Michelle Obama once lived ]]> Lead story image

They call it “O Block.” It’s a notorious stretch of South Side real estate, including the sprawling Parkway Gardens apartment complex, known for violence. Nineteen people were shot on O Block — the 6400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive — between June 2011 and June 2014, making it the most dangerous block in Chicago over that period, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis found. ]]> Wed, 05 Nov 2014 16:03:28 -0600 <![CDATA[ 3 Daley scandals cost Chicago taxpayers over $6 million ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Chicago taxpayers have paid more than $6 million to private lawyers hired to fight three City Hall scandals that benefited family and friends of former Mayor Richard M. Daley. And the legal bills keep mounting. ]]> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 10:45:31 -0600 <![CDATA[ Clout contractor got $3.1M in CPS work after City Hall ban ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Two years ago, the city banned Windy City Electric Co. from getting any more business over allegations it fraudulently landed millions in contracts set aside for companies owned by women. But the ban didn’t keep the politically connected contractor from getting more than $3 million in new work from the Chicago Public Schools. ]]> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 06:03:24 -0600 <![CDATA[ Judge in Pakistan recommends former city comptroller be extradited ]]> Lead story image

Amer Ahmad was arrested in Lahore, Pakistan in late April with a fake Mexican passport, a forged Pakistani visa and thousands of dollars. ]]> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:08:53 -0600 <![CDATA[ Quinn weatherization, jobs program falling short of goals ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Illinois legislators created the Urban Weatherization Initiative in 2009, promising that as much as $425 million in taxpayer money would go to train workers in predominantly African-American neighborhoods to identify and fix energy-efficiency problems in homes. Five years later, the program has fallen far short of its goals, records and interviews show. ]]> Fri, 14 Nov 2014 06:03:25 -0600 <![CDATA[ Madigan’s machine: How government workers help speaker keep grip on state ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: A Chicago Sun-Times examination of campaign-finance records, hiring records, nominating petitions and formerly secret “clout lists” offers a peek inside the political machine that’s made Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan a power beyond Springfield and his Southwest Side base. ]]> Thu, 13 Nov 2014 06:05:05 -0600 <![CDATA[ How a white police attorney got a West Side judge seat ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: In 17 years on the board of the Jesse White Tumblers, attorney Robert Kuzas made some powerful allies in Chicago’s black community. Now, those friends have helped Kuzas secure a Cook County judgeship from a district created to help get more African-Americans elected to the bench. ]]> Fri, 07 Nov 2014 06:06:53 -0600 <![CDATA[ Rauner’s sign biz thrives under Rahm City Hall's rules ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: Nearly two dozen brightly lit signs barrage people from Bridgeport to Lake View with a 24/7 rotation of digital ads featuring attacks on Gov. Pat Quinn and praise for his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner, an owner of the business that got city approval to put up the signs. ]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 06:06:47 -0600 <![CDATA[ Troubled UNO asks former Emanuel aides for help ]]> Lead story image

THE WATCHDOGS: The clout-heavy United Neighborhood Organization — facing federal scrutiny and a power struggle that threatens its funding — has brought in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former communications director and two lawyers who helped keep Emanuel on the ballot in 2011. ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:09:47 -0600 <![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. ]]> Thu, 16 Oct 2014 06:04:26 -0600 <![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. ]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:03:35 -0600 <![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. ]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 06:08:00 -0600