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City Hall fighting cop ex-Supt. Cline refused to punish

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.

  • Police Board: Fired cop’s ‘reprehensible’ conduct led to woman’s death

    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

  • The Watchdogs: West Side liquor-license flap a study in clout

    The new Pete’s Fresh Market on the West Side sells liquor — even though it’s next door to a church, and state law bans liquor sales within 100 feet of churches and schools. So how can Pete’s sell beer, wine and spirits? With a little help from influential friends including Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), who’s gotten tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the grocer in the past two years.

    Insider in Park Grill deal didn’t reveal baby’s father

    Laura Foxgrover, a Chicago Park District official who oversaw concessions, testified Thursday that “I never put it in writing that I was having a baby with Matthew O’Malley,” who was then negotiating the biggest concession deal in park district history, the Park Grill restaurant’s 30-year lease at Millennium Park.

    Judge to Daley lawyers: Show me why former mayor shouldn’t testify in Park Grill case

    A Cook County judge told lawyers for former Mayor Richard M. Daley on Tuesday they need to show a medical reason why Daley shouldn’t be required to testify in the city’s case that seeks to break a sweetheart deal the Park Grill restaurant got under the former mayor to operate at Millennium Park.

    Exclusive: City Hall’s financial time bomb

    Already facing a host of financial worries, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration could be stuck with a nearly $200 million tab as a result of betting heavily on risky interest-rate “swaps” under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

    FBI raids on Concept Schools included Rogers Park school, Des Plaines offices

    FBI raids targeting Concept Schools included the national charter-school operator’s Des Plaines headquarters and a school in Rogers Park.

    Sun-Times takes top honors in 2 news contests

    Chicago Sun-Times staffers have taken top honors in two statewide journalism competitions.

    Chicago police sergeant says ‘I feel terrible’ about woman’s death involving his gun

    A Chicago police sergeant facing a suspension or firing testified Friday he feels “terrible” about the death of a Northwest Side woman he said used his gun to shoot herself in the head while he was in her bathroom. “I feel terrible for my mistake,” Sgt. Steven Lesner told a Chicago Police Board hearing officer reviewing his conduct regarding the 2009 death of Catherine Weiland. “I feel terrible that her life was ended.”

    28 percent of IHSA staff getting $110,000-plus in salary, benefits

    THE WATCHDOGS: More than one of every four employees of the Illinois High School Association — the governing body for high school sports in Illinois — gets more than $110,000 a year in pay and benefits, according to Internal Revenue Service records. It’s an issue that’s expected to come up as state legislators convene a hearing Tuesday in Springfield on how the IHSA is run.

    UNO charter schools paid fired teacher $150K to settle case, records show

    THE WATCHDOGS: The taxpayer-funded charter-school network run by the clout-heavy United Neighborhood Organization paid a fired physical education teacher $150,000 to settle a lawsuit that claimed he was wrongly fired for reporting the assault of a student at UNO’s Major Hector P. Garcia M.D. High School on Chicago’s Southwest Side, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

    Daley testimony on hold

    Because of delays, it will be at least two months before former Mayor Richard M. Daley testifies in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s court fight to break an exclusive deal that clout-heavy investors got under the Daley administration to operate a restaurant on Michigan Avenue in Millennium Park.

    Clout-heavy contractor to pay $12 million in fraud settlement

    A clout-heavy Chicago construction company has agreed to pay $12 million in fines to resolve a case involving alleged fraud on government programs intended to benefit women and minority-owned subcontractors, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s law firm losing its City Hall grip under Emanuel

    THE WATCHDOGS: Under former Mayor Richard M. Daley, City Hall paid millions of dollars in legal fees to Katten Muchin Rosenman, the law firm where Daley now works. The firm has seen its City Hall business fall sharply under Daley’s successor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, records show.

    Lights, cameras but no action on video in Cook County courtrooms

    THE WATCHDOGS: It’s been more than two years since Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans asked the Illinois Supreme Court to allow cameras in Cook County courtrooms, but the state’s high court has indefinitely put off a decision, even as it’s approved all of the other requests it’s gotten for video and audio recording in courts across the state, including DuPage County’s courts.

    17 months in prison for businessman in Daley kin sewer scam: Watchdogs

    A former Mississippi sharecropper who landed millions of dollars in contracts from the city of Chicago was sentenced Thursday to 17 months in prison for his role in a minority-contracting scandal that involved sewer deals held by a company whose investors secretly included then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s son and nephew.

    DCFS chief Arthur Bishop steps down after Sun-Times, WBEZ reports

    Arthur D. Bishop, who was appointed last month to run the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, stepped down Wednesday following a series of Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ reports that revealed a theft conviction and paternity case in his past.