Seriously, is it something in the water? Inquiring minds want to know.
You really have to wonder what's going on in Chicago police department these days. I mean, there's this:
He wanted one more drink. And when Karolina the bartender refused, the off-duty Chicago cop punched and kicked the 115-pound woman in a sickening display of violence caught on videotape, prosecutors say. "Nobody tells me what to do," the 25-year-old bartender recalled Officer Anthony G. Abbate telling her before the attack at Jesse's Shortstop Inn at 5425 W. Belmont on Feb. 19. Video of the vicious beating was played on newscasts across the nation Wednesday as Abbate, 38, dressed in an orange Bears sweat shirt, appeared in court on an aggravated battery charge.
Abbate -- the son of a retired Chicago cop -- also is suspected of trying to bribe and threaten Karolina to keep her quiet, sources said. A friend of Abbate allegedly warned the owner of Jesse's that police might find drugs in his car and Karolina's car if they spoke to authorities about the beating, sources said. "Another individual came in moments after the attack and attempted to offer the victim money in order for her not to prosecute the defendant," Assistant Cook County State's Attorney David Navarro said in court. Still, Karolina reported the crime to police two days after the attack, authorities said...
Considering the size difference between them, she's lucky that she wasn't really badly hurt.
And then there's this:
A federal judge has blocked the city from suspending two police supervisors who won a discrimination lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department.
In April 2006, a federal jury awarded Sgt. Nancy Lipman $250,000 and Lt. Diane B. O'Sullivan $50,000. About two months later, Lipman and O'Sullivan were notified of one-day unpaid suspensions, which they contested in court, claiming retaliation. "By attempting to follow through with suspensions against the plaintiffs despite the jury's verdict, the city has conclusively made the case against itself that its retaliatory conduct is likely to persist in the future," Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole wrote in a stinging opinion signed last Thursday.
The trouble for Lipman and O'Sullivan began in 2000 when they filed a grievance against their commander, Marienne Perry, saying she removed white officers systematically and replaced them with black officers. Perry is black, and Lipman and O'Sullivan are white. A month later, a police Internal Affairs agent filed disciplinary charges against Lipman and O'Sullivan for failing to immediately provide him with thorough, written reports to back up their grievance.
In 2001, Lipman and O'Sullivan sued the city, claiming the police department was retaliating against them for filing their grievance. After a trial in Cole's courtroom, a jury agreed that the city retaliated against Lipman and O'Sullivan, but the jury exonerated Perry, who is now retired. Then last year, the city tried to suspend Lipman and O'Sullivan based on the Internal Affairs complaints against them, leading to last week's injunction by Cole.
To be sure, the jury finding is moderately baffling. The city retaliated against the officers, but the person who actually initiated the retaliation is not herself guilty of retaliation .... All-righty, then!
That aside ... Seriously, how stupid do you have to be to try to follow through on an enforcement action when a judge and jury have already found that the base for that action was clearly retaliation? I'd imagine that the department is trying to drive them out in retaliation at this point, but succeeding would be horrendously expensive. (Actually, I'd think that not succeeding in this particular way will also be very expensive at some point.)
And just to complete the corruption and serious brain damage perfecta -- albeit without any active duty police -- we have these tidbits:
A federal grand jury has indicted Al Sanchez, a former top aide to Mayor Daley who also was a key leader of the mayor's Hispanic Democratic Organization, authorities said. Sanchez, 59, of Chicago, was charged with nine counts of mail fraud. He's accused of taking part in a systematic fraud scheme to provide city jobs, promotions and other employment benefits to reward them for doing political work. The charges against Sanchez, who was the city's Streets and Sanitation commissioner from 1999 until 2005, come as prosecutors continue to probe promotion and hiring practices at City Hall.
Indicted with Sanchez was Aaron del Valle, 34, who recently mounted an unsuccessful campaign for 25th ward alderman against incumbent Daniel Solis. Del Valle — who finished fifth out of seven candidates in the Feb. 27 election — was charged with perjury. He also worked for HDO and in the Department of Streets and Sanitation and is a former Chicago cop. During Sanchez's tenure in the city agency, hundreds of members of HDO, which was a key source of political workers for the mayor, got jobs there and in other city departments....
City will pay for clout hiring: $12 million fund set up for victims
March 22, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN AND STEVE WARMBIR Staff Reporters
Mayor Daley agreed Wednesday to establish a $12 million fund to compensate victims of City Hall’s rigged hiring system and abandon his five-year-old effort to vacate the federal Shakman decree banning political hiring. “I don’t believe this is the cost of corruption…This settlement is illustrative of the city’s desire to move forward with its reform efforts…It’s a new day…We are going to have no tolerance for anyone gaming the system,” said Chief of Staff Ron Huberman.
Plaintiff Michael Shakman said the city “should have fixed its hiring system a long time ago” — long before Daley’s patronage chief was convicted of rigging city hiring. “The mayor has an opportunity. He’s either going to be remembered by history as the mayor who presided over the last big-city hiring machine or the mayor who fixed it,” said Shakman, whose 1969 lawsuit triggered the long-running dispute over political hiring and firing in Chicago...
Yeah ... Call me crazy, but somehow, I just can't believe that the mayor whose administration seems to be thoroughly riddled with corruption, who was fighting to allow it to become even more pervasive ... I just can't see that mayor being the man who fixes it. It may get much more subtle -- it'll have to be, after all -- but at this stage, the machine is far too entrenched. Unless you sweep the counter clean -- and by that I mean not only elect a new mayor but an entirely new and unconnected city council, purge the upper levels of every city department, and then suffer through the waste and inefficiency that would be sure to follow with so many new people coming in all at once -- unless you do all that, you can't get rid of the machine. To be sure, it's not quite what it once was. That said ... when you have a mayor who has reigned so long that some new voters can't remember there ever having been another one, you're going to have so many entrenched interests that it's going to take years to clear them all out, if you ever can. Even if it doesn't look like the old machine, there's still some life left in the old beast.
Unfortunately.Posted by iain at March 22, 2007 03:41 PM