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Crime and punishment

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011

* A few weeks ago, an Arlington Heights man received worldwide attention for being a Good Samaritan

A 54-year-old Chicago-area man who found and returned more than $17,000 in cash credits his deceased parents for teaching him right from wrong.

Robert Adams of Arlington Heights says he was waiting to use an ATM in Rolling Meadows when he noticed a clear plastic bag containing mostly $20 and $100 bills.

Adams tried to return the bag with “Chase” written on it to a nearby bank branch, but employees said it didn’t belong to them. Police determined it was under the care of Loomis, an armored truck company.

Alas

A man who told Rolling Meadows police he found $17,000 cash outside a bank ATM was arrested Wednesday for allegedly lying about where he found the loot.

Authorities say Robert J. Adams found the bag of cash near an ATM in a Walgreens store in Midlothian.

On June 6, police responded to 2641 Kirchoff Road in Rolling Meadows, where Adams told them he found about $17,000 outside the Chase Bank ATM, Rolling Meadows police said.

Oops

The truth — ferreted out after an investigation that took hours of police work (“Too many,” Chief Scanlan says) and a security camera recording from the Midlothian Walgreens — is that Adams took that bag of money in Midlothian.

“I see it. I picked it up. I walk out in the parking lot,” Adams says. “It’s pretty obvious I’m on security cameras. … Of course, 20-20 hindsight, I should have gone back into Walgreens and turned it in.”

Instead, “I started thinking like the 54-year-old man I am,” Adams says, explaining how, even though he is single, he didn’t want to explain that he had taken half a day off work in a failed hope to visit a much younger woman in Midlothian. “As to why I didn’t just go back in and turn it in, I don’t have the answer for that.”

He blames the heat, the traffic, his poor judgment and “the one side of my brain” that’s “a little Blagojevich-like.”

He may have a Blagojevich-like brain, but at least he wasn’t charged with multiple felony counts. He wound up paying a $500 fine, which is half what a former Gov. Pat Quinn employee was hit with

A state ethics panel slapped a former top aide to Gov. Pat Quinn with a $1,000 fine for doing campaign work for the governor while on state time.

The Executive Ethics Commission posted its sanction this week against Carolyn Brown Hodge, a former deputy chief of staff in Quinn’s office who resigned after the Chicago Sun-Times brought her potential ethics violations to light in 2009.

Between January and June 2009, Hodge “on multiple occasions … used her state-issued computer to send a series of emails of a political nature, either from her state email account or from her private email account,” the ethics panel noted.

Hodge’s correspondences occurred during the state work day and were sent to a top operative in the Quinn campaign and to an official in the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association.

* Speaking of discipline

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford said today that he is reviewing possible disciplinary action against an employee who sent an email to fellow workers giving early notice about a contribution-matching program for the Bright Start college savings program.

Rutherford said it was “inappropriate” and “wrong” for the employee to tell colleagues about the promotion before there was time for the general public to receive notice about the program, which quickly ran out of funds.

“It was a mistake. I’ve taken responsibility for it,” Rutherford said following an appearance before the City Club of Chicago. “We are going through the disciplinary actions and hopefully we can have this thing rectified the way it should be.” […]

Rutherford said he has not yet met with the employee who sent the email, but said he believes the intention was not to give insiders an unfair advantage but rather spread the word about the promotion. Rutherford would not discuss specifics about potential disciplinary action, saying he is reviewing options with attorneys and the agency’s ethics officer.

* Back to Blagojevich for a moment. Patrick Collins is now counting on the public to clean things up

“I don’t think you can indict your way to reform,” said Patrick M. Collins, a former federal prosecutor who was appointed by the current governor to lead an Illinois Reform Commission soon after Mr. Blagojevich’s career began to unravel. “There still is a structural ethics deficit in Illinois that won’t be cured by indictment or legislation. Ultimately, the long-term solution for Illinois is a more engaged public who steps up and demands better government before the next scandal develops.”

* And this is rich

A Rod Blagojevich spokesman says a Florida-based airline’s new ad that pokes fun at the impeached Illinois governor’s convictions is “in poor taste.” Low-budget carrier Spirit Airlines’ website ad touts “F-ing golden” low fares.

Poor taste? Rod Blagojevich’s PR guy actually claims that something is in poor taste? I have no words for this.

* Related…

* Illinois likely to see fierce battle over gun control

* Registry of freed killers proposed for Illinois - Legislation to list murderers for 10 years after their release goes to Quinn

* Editorial: Make DCFS follow the law: Is the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services going to be allowed to brazenly disregard the law? In 2007 state legislators passed a bill that required DCFS to make public its files if a child under its care died. So when 3-year-old Joseph Schoolfield died in 2009, DCFS should have released his entire case file except for some exempt items such as medical reports. Instead it recently released a report that condensed hundreds of pages of records into an 11-page summary.

* Dana-Thomas House targeted by copper thief

* UIS spends $31,000 to fight SJ-R lawsuit

* City gives rationale for not disclosing Cahnman report

- Posted by Rich Miller        


38 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 9:55 am:

    It’s in poor taste since Rod would have been happy to let them use his actual head for a fee….


  2. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:22 am:

    I don’t want to make light of it, but if this is the sort of “corruption” IGs need to spend their time investigating under PQ, we have come a very long way in a very short time.


  3. - just sayin' - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:22 am:

    Maybe Rutherford should spend less time promoting himself and bragging about his vacations in exotic locations, and spend more time doing the job we pay him to do.

    Pretty lame how he throws his underlings under the bus.

    Next he’ll have his car taking the rap on Pongee’s Facebook wall. Seriously, what public official has a Facebook account for his car?


  4. - OneMan - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:24 am:

    Seriously, what public official has a Facebook account for his car?

    One that obviously gets under your skin?


  5. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:27 am:

    I am now convinced that there are people who post on here who, when asked their profession on their census questionnaire, answer “Professional Critic”.


  6. - yinn - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:30 am:

    While I agree we cannot simply indict our way to reform, there are some downstate areas where one or two indictments would make a huge difference in conjunction with other reform efforts. Seems like Chicago gets all the attention but there are communities elsewhere that could use some help with the enforcement piece.


  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:30 am:

    Chase Bank or Walgreen’s should pay his fine and the Governor should immediately expunge his record.

    As to why he was prosecuted by Cook County, I don’t have a good answer for that.

    He may have told a white lie, but he turned the money in, and that should be what counts.

    This guy’s going to have to tell prospective employers he’s got a conviction. Foolishness.


  8. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:31 am:

    - but if this is the sort of “corruption” IGs need to spend their time investigating under PQ, we have come a very long way in a very short time. -

    Well said, Mr. Schnorf.


  9. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:32 am:

    Patrick Collins is running for something.

    Anybody know what?


  10. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:34 am:

    Is Lord of the Starchamber on the ballot next year?


  11. - Meanderthal - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 10:51 am:

    Patrick Collins is right. But average citizens don’t stand a chance against a system where a handful of leaders can so stack the deck against
    meaningful reform.


  12. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:13 am:

    Meanderthal,
    Yes, I can count the times I saw MJM running around the state tripping up petition passers so the League of Women voters could get the redistricting amendment on the ballot.
    It’s not that average citizens don’t stand a chance, it’s that too many average citizens don’t take a stand.


  13. - Liberty First - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:20 am:

    When are people going to learn to never talk to the police without a lawyer?


  14. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:24 am:

    Rod says its in poor taste? Now I know what F-ing golden really means.


  15. - Anon - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:27 am:

    I thought the man was broke. How does he have a spokesperson?


  16. - Vote Quimby! - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 11:53 am:

    ==in poor taste==
    I’m surprised Rod hasn’t trademarked it yet…


  17. - OneMan - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:17 pm:

    I have got this thing and it’s F**ing Golden is now the 5th most popular pickup line at some colleges.

    Money to be made there Rod


  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:25 pm:

    Yellow, there is the possibility that the second story also is a lie and the authorities don’t buy it. What if he was debating keeping the money, ultimately decided not to, but then didn’t want to drive back to Midlothian or didn’t want to admit that he kept it so long?


  19. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    Now that the #Blagojevich trial is over, Quinn’s hoping the followers will jump to his Twitter account.


  20. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    Whoops, wrong post, sorry.


  21. - Skeeter - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:42 pm:

    Seems like it would be relatively easy to track it down. Does $17,000 go missing that often? If it took “too many” hours to sort that one out, the Chief needs to get some new investigators.


  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:45 pm:

    @Anonymous - I don’t really care if he drove to Joliet, gambled $17,000 down to his last C-note on poker, and then won it all back on the roulette table.

    He returned the money. That should be the end of it.

    @Schnorf -

    Good one. Actually, you might not be far off. I can see Collins running for AG if Lisa Madigan decides to take a stab at governor.


  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:47 pm:

    “There still is a structural ethics deficit in Illinois that won’t be cured by indictment or legislation. Ultimately, the long-term solution for Illinois is a more engaged public who steps up and demands better government before the next scandal develops.”

    Amen. We get the government that we deserve. If people are not smart enough to become informed voters, than they have no one but themselves to blame. Makes the call for term limits even funnier. We already have them - they are called “elections”.


  24. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 12:50 pm:

    –“I don’t think you can indict your way to reform,” said Patrick M. Collins,–

    I’ll second that. We should also take care not to allow all-powerful federal prosecutors to remain in one place too long. That’s a threat to democracy as well.


  25. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 1:18 pm:

    Carolyn is taking the punishment for a relatively minor infraction of ethics…she was a workhorse for Quinn and a class act… I wish her the best …if there were more public servants like her, the state would be better off…


  26. - Hattie - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 1:20 pm:

    Patrick Collins is a grandstanding. The Feds spent $27 million in taxpayer cash to take down Blagojevich. A COMPETENT third grader could have done it with a thousand bucks.


  27. - Loving It - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 1:34 pm:

    What-a-ya smoking Hattie? And where did get your numbers?
    It could of been 50 mil and it would of been worth every penny to take Blagojevich down!


  28. - Slick Willy - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 1:39 pm:

    —A COMPETENT third grader could have done it with a thousand bucks.—

    How? By giving to the infamous lone juror?


  29. - siriusly - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 1:46 pm:

    To the Blago-advisor crowd, it’s all fun and games until someone actually has to do time.


  30. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 2:15 pm:

    I also think it’s in poor taste for Robert Blagojevich to complain about Chicago Tribune columnists Zorn and Kass, when his brother and Patti were taped swearing over comments demanding the Trib’s editorial board be fired.


  31. - soccermom - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 2:23 pm:

    That Dana Thomas House story is disturbing. It’s a national treasure.


  32. - Irish - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 3:07 pm:

    Speaking of Ethics - Is there any truth to the fact that all Congresspersons have ordered and are wearing t-shirts that show forest animals around a fire with roasting sticks w/ hot dogs and marshmallows and a caption that reads, (wait for it)……………………… - ” It’s all fun and games until some one loses a Weiner”


  33. - Ghost - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 3:15 pm:

    Wait wait wait, there are critically important points being glossed over here…My car can have its own facebook page? I wonder if the Obama cadillac will accepts its friend invite….


  34. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 3:20 pm:

    RE: Dana Thomas House … at least this time it was only some easily replaced copper pipe, not the irreplaceable copper gutters / downspouts taken the last time (which were recovered / confiscated by the local recycling facilities who recognized them on sight).


  35. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 4:34 pm:

    @Anonymous -

    1. Blaming the public is not a solution.

    2. Even if you want to blame “the public” for Rod’s ‘06 Election, you better throw in every single newspaper that endorsed him in the primary or general.

    3. Add to that every single newspaper that repackaged Rod’s meglomania as a fight against the Evil Lord Madigan.

    4. Oh yeah, and add Pat Collins. Who did nothing to help elect another candidate that I’m aware of.


  36. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 8:01 pm:

    Yellow, so if someone steals your car you’re okay with it as long as he returns it?


  37. - wishbone - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 8:54 pm:

    When will my fellow Democrats figure out how many voters who are their natural allies vote Republican because of the gun control issue. It is time for Illinois to join the rest of the nation and allow concealed carry by responsible citizens.


  38. - Smitty Irving - Thursday, Jun 30, 11 @ 9:48 pm:

    The best way to stop future shenanigans like Blagojevich is to indict the future Sorichs. If the Feds go after the actual employees operating these schemes - the worker drones - and send a few to jail, there will be less people in the future who will be willing to do these illegal things. And if it’s not considered over the top by Rich, I’ll post the specific names of who I consider to be the Sorichs of the Blagojevich Administration … and the Thompson Administration.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Afternoon updates
* Hospitals back removal of income tax sunsets
* The other strategy
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Quinn onboard; Rauner latches onto term limits proposal
* Because Illinois is a real battleground state
* Quinn dodges Rahm question on "Morning Joe"
* Morning Shorts
* Yesterday's blog posts

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