* The governor’s move…
Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is taking on a new role as a University of Illinois trustee.
Gov. Pat Quinn announced Friday that he appointed Chicago’s former top federal prosecutor and corruption buster to the university’s board that oversees the three-campus university system.
* Behind the move, however, was the reappointment of Trustee James Montgomery, who defied Quinn in 2009 by refusing to resign from the board after the university’s “admissions scandal.” From the Mikva Commission Report, which investigated the affair…
In an email to (UIUC Chancellor Richard) Herman dated April 16, 2009, Trustee James Montgomery advocated for a rejected applicant. Montgomery explained that he emailed Herman at the behest of his daughter, who was dating a relative of the applicant. Montgomery stated that he emailed Herman because he wanted to determine if it was “too late” for the applicant, whom he acknowledged had been rejected, to be accepted by the University….
An April 1, 2009 email to (Chancellor Richard Herman’s secretary Phyllis) Mischo, (Associate Provost Keith) Marshall indicated the University will admit a substandard student sponsored by Trustee Carroll as late as possible because she has terrible credentials at a “good school.”
* Montgomery adamantly refused to step down back then. From Chicago Tonight…
I think what has happened here is that both the governor and the commission has painted all the trustees with one broad brush of taint and that isn’t fair. And I don’t intend of course to submit a resignation under the assumption that I have done something inappropriate on a personal basis. ..(If I am fired I will) fight like hell. whatever is necessary to defend any action that they seek to take to prove me in any way guilty of malfeasance of office or any other alleged offense I don’t think they have a prayer…. There is no legal basis for me to be fired. I don’t want to put anybody down but I was appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate and Governor Quinn is a governor largely by happenstance, not a governor who’s been elected by the people. And to be very candid with you I’m not inclined to agree with his notion that he should follow the so-called public opinion as he reads it in the Tribune and other media
Montgomery was close to former Senate President Emil Jones. Quinn eventually backed off, and then reappointed Montgomery last week while burying it under the Fitzgerald move.
* The Ricketts family has made a new move on renovating Wrigley Field…
Taxpayers haven’t warmed to the idea of helping to pay for the improvements, though. The Ricketts family, which bought the team in 2009, now says it is prepared to pay for the renovations — if the city will get out of the way.
To make the investment work, the owners say they need some flexibility on zoning and landmark restrictions. They want to be able to close streets on game days and to have more night games, including some on Saturdays. They’d like to hold more concerts and special events at the stadium. And they want to install more and bigger signs in the outfield.
“Just give us some relief on some of these restrictions and then we’ll take care of Wrigley Field,” owner Tom Ricketts said.
The project includes a structural overhaul of the 99-year-old stadium, including new restaurants, expanded concourses and a left field fan deck. Players would get a new clubhouse and underground batting cages. The owners also plan to build a boutique hotel across the street, where a McDonald’s now stands.
* Behind the move…
The team’s only requirement is that the city lift restrictions on outfield signs and night games and open Sheffield for street fairs on game days. […]
[Ald. Tom Tunney] said he’s willing to help the Cubs with additional night games “sooner than required,” noting that an agreement that caps the number of night games at 30-per-season expires in 2016. He refused to offer a specific number.
But, he said, “I’m not a supporter of putting up signs that block the view of rooftops into the ballpark.” […]
Tunney drew the line on the illuminated Toyota sign in left field that obscured the view of a Horseshoe Casino sign on the rooftop of a building owned by Tom Gramatis.
Tunney initially argued that the see-through sign was “not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood or the spirit of the landmarks” designation, then agreed to it in exchange for a four-year moratorium on additional outfield signs that expires in 2014.
Opposition from Tunney and area merchants also blocked the Cubs’ plan to close down a blocklong stretch of Sheffield for nine days to make way for street fairs during sold-out series against the Yankees, Cardinals and White Sox.
It’s always about those rooftop guys. Always.
* Odds and ends…
* Illinois sets $500 mln bond sale for Jan. 30
* Clerk Dorothy Brown chaired fund-raiser cited in Nagin corruption case
* BuzzFeed’s Michael Hastings: Rahm Emanuel Physically Assaulted Me
* VIDEO: Illinois Inaugural Gala with Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn
* VIDEO: Amtrak ‘Chicago Style’ Parody