News RoundUp • Burge Reparations, CPD Scandals & City Hall's Woes Continue

Gov. Rauner Endorses Emanuel Recall Election

A theme you'll find throughout this round-up is that the L's just keep falling Rahm Emanuel's way. Tuesday it was announced that Gov. Bruce Rauner, a longtime friends of Emanuel's told reporters that he would sign a bill calling for a recall election.

Adding that he was "very disappointed" in Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez over their handling of recent cases of police misconduct which have severely undercut the public's trust in their elected leaders.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, "Rauner reiterated that he will stand firm against providing increased financial assistance to Chicago Public Schools until Emanuel and Chicago Democrats help him achieve his legislative goals, even as he predicted that financial “disaster” at CPS is now only months away."

For his part, Rauner was arriving home from a luxury vacation in Morrocco riding camels with his children, Emanuel cut his trip to Cuba short when CPD officers gunned down an innocent woman in her front door on Christmas night. Both obviously have the right priorities in mind.

The world turns and Chicago continues finding lower places to operate from. We'll keep you updated as this develops. 

City Of Chicago Awards $5.5 Million In Reparations In Burge Case

The City of Chicago awarded $5.5 million dollars to victims and relatives of police misconduct Tuesday in response to the actions of former CPD Commander Jon Burge. The approval by a City Council committee for the reparations came ahead of a vote from the full council. 

The reparations come in response to the terrible reign of Burge, who oversaw a particularly gruesome and backwards team of detectives that got confessions out of scores of mostly South Side African-American men through "torture that included electric shocks, beatings, smotherings and simulated Russian roulette." Each victim is due up to $100,000. All victims received the full amount, except those who received earlier settlements, they were awarded the difference.

While the reparations are one way for cash-strapped Chicago to put this behind them, I'm sure many of the victims would have also like to have seen justice served. After torturing hundreds of citizens into confessions over forty years and ruining and altering more lives than is possible to count, Burge received only four and a half years in prison and was released in 2014. Reparations are nice, but the city has also been paying Burge his pension while he vacations in Florida. 

And so the issues between citizens and police here locally continue.

Senior Emanuel Lawyer Steps Down After Hiding Evidence

It really just doesn't end for City Hall lately. Right behind news of a series of resignations and dismissals around Mayor Rahm Emanuel and amidst whispers of a possible Recall Election, Jordan Marsh, Senior Corporation Counsel to the mayor suddenly stepped down. The resignation comes in response to allegations by U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang that he concealed evidence in a murder trial.

Marsh, who has worked for the city since 1997 also lied about his actions, further digging his hole.

“Attorneys who might be tempted to bury late-surfacing information need to know that, if discovered, any verdict they win will be forfeit and their clients will pay the price,” Chang wrote in his 72-page opinion. “They need to know it is not worth it.”
— --Judge Chang (Chicago Tribune)

The resignation is only the latest negative to hit the Mayor's office in the months since public approval took a nose dive after the video of Laquan McDonald being shot sixteen times by CPD officer Jason Van Dyke was released. At this point, they just need to do a clean sweep of all these crooks, beggars and bullshitters, definitely time for some change.

The Western-Belmont Overpass Will Be Gone By 2017

Winter & construction is how many locals describe the seasons in Chicago and it appears 2016 will be no different. While we were blessed with a mild winter, the construction continues on as plans were announced for the second consecutive year to take down the overpass at Western Avenue and Belmont. 

 

While it seems like there couldn't possibly be anymore roadwork in and around the city, plans are to take down the overpass this year after a proposal to do so last year was defeated. While the elevated street is a true novelty that allows drivers not interested in Belmont Avenue to bypass is completely, it is a bit of an eye-sore that has fallen into disrepair in recent years. Anyone who's driven over it in March after the snow melts can attest. 

Plans are to remove it and create a five-lane ground-level street that will have to deal with the traffic lights once again. The viaduct opened in 1962 as a way to ease congestion around the now defunct Riverview Amusement Park.

Jake Krez

Side By Side PR, 2248 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL, 60616, United States