Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Waste, fraud, ineptitude and abuse *** UPDATED x1 ***
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Waste, fraud, ineptitude and abuse *** UPDATED x1 ***

Monday, Sep 29, 2008

* Considering all the recent reports that Tony Rezko is talking, possibly related to some of Ali Ata’s stories about alleged corruption involving the governor, the timing of this story seems like a bit of a coinkydink

Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration has canceled a lucrative office lease with a convicted former state agency director who testified in the corruption trial of Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

The decision, announced Friday, came four months after the Tribune reported that Ali Ata had failed to disclose the names of his partners in that lease and three old leases, as required by law.

Ata was in line to receive up to $13 million under a contract extending to 2018 for a South Side office building used by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Ata was a onetime associate of Rezko, the Blagojevich fundraiser convicted on federal charges that he used his political clout to orchestrate a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme.

* This next one just doesn’t surprise me. Another splashy gubernatorial press conference to announce a sexy initiative that has a totally bungled follow-through

With deaths on the rise in highway construction zones, the state cracked down four years ago by mandating stiff fines for motorists caught speeding by high-tech photo enforcement.

Yet so far this year, Cook County has not recorded a single conviction carrying the hefty fines and court costs, a Tribune analysis of court records has found. The vast majority of offenders saw the charges dismissed outright or reduced to a regular speeding ticket with much smaller fines and penalties.

Enforcement of the law appears spotty in DuPage County as well.

The supervising judge over Traffic Court in Chicago expressed surprise at the results, while Cook County prosecutors blamed poor photo quality for many of the cases being thrown out by judges or passed over for prosecution.

* The Post-Dispatch runs a very well-researched story today about alleged spending abuses in the Illinois Capital Litigation Trust Fund…

— The fund has become a magnet for investigators and experts who travel to Illinois from all over the country to participate in trials, and a full-time income source for area professionals. One Springfield investigator’s website states that the fund “created an opening … to go into business” for himself.

— Defense professionals routinely charge private-sector rates to the tax-funded system, sometimes billing hundreds of dollars an hour for making phone calls, driving, flying — even packing suitcases. Many have earned six figures from the fund; a couple have approached the $1 million mark.

— Prosecutors, too, have been allowed to bill the state fund for death penalty trials, a fact that some critics believe encourages them to seek the death penalty in murder trials, pushing costs onto the state instead of their home counties. Records show some prosecutors used death penalty trials as justification to bill the state for office equipment, computers and inmate medical care, all normally county expenses.

— Three years after the Legislature revised the fund’s rules in response to reported abuses, there remain few limitations on how much can be billed, and for what. Cost control rests with presiding judges who, swamped with stacks of bills and hesitant to taint their trials, are under pressure to approve just about any voucher that’s put in front of them.

* An accompanying article takes a closer look at one beneficiary…

A Metro East private investigator has been the biggest beneficiary of the state’s death penalty fund.

Alva Busch, a retired Illinois State Police crime scene technician prone to wearing an Indiana Jones-style hat and suspenders, has billed the Illinois death penalty fund more than $920,000 over about five years through his company, Metro Investigations.

A Post-Dispatch review of records show Busch, 60, has worked on more than 20 death penalty cases from Belleville to Chicago.

His billing hours range from as many as 49 hours (a total of $3,185.00) billed on one day to a quarter of an hour ($18) to send an e-mail.

On a Cook County death penalty case, he billed 1.5 hours — the time it took him to prepare billing statements for the previous two years. On April 16, 2007, he billed $65 — or one hour —to send trial exhibits through UPS. […]

Busch was allowed to bill for hundreds of dollars in “out of pocket” expenses, but rules governing the fund don’t require itemized receipts.

Oy.

* And check this out

$88,000 - Charge for bringing in Harvard psychiatrist as a witness
$10,000 - Cost to build mock-up of crime scene that was never used
$9,500 - Bills for “attempts to locate witness,” at $75 per hour
$360 - Charge for 80 minutes it took expert witness to pack for flight
$97 - Bill for 90 minutes spent making $17 in copies at Kinko’s
$18 - Investigator’s bill for sending an e-mail

Go read the whole thing.

*** UPDATE *** Oops. Forgot to add the “somewhat related” links…

* Illinois’ Human Services Network Anticipating Layoffs

* Budget issues far from decided

* State budget mess far from fixed

* Lawmakers: Budget revolt aimed at governor, not laws

* Lawmakers continue tussle with Blagojevich

* Blagojevich’s ‘double dippers’ law just might be unconstitutional

- Posted by Rich Miller        

6 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 29, 08 @ 10:03 am:

    What a great story by the Post-Dispatch. Shine a light in a dark corner and let everybody have a good look.


  2. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, Sep 29, 08 @ 10:20 am:

    Where’s Cassandra on this one? Running late, I bet.
    So this happened AFTER the legislature got involved? I say this is another argument to permanently ban the death penalty–greedy folks have no business in this field.


  3. - Dan S. a Voter and Cubs Fan - Monday, Sep 29, 08 @ 10:44 am:

    RE: The “double dippers law”, what did Blagoof get for a grade on constitutional law again?


  4. - Vote Quimby! - Monday, Sep 29, 08 @ 12:42 pm:

    Dan–I believe that was a hard-fought “C” from the hallowed halls of Pepperdine Law U. I hear prisons have large legal libraries….


  5. - Dan S. a Voter and Cubs Fan - Monday, Sep 29, 08 @ 1:46 pm:

    VQ, maybe he could get a C+ this time, nah he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes.


  6. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Sep 29, 08 @ 7:20 pm:

    good piece by the P-D.

    Busch had a rep as a straight shooting, stand up guy who was screwed out of his badge and into retirement by the ISP.

    This story paints a much different picture.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Dunn out at SIU
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* This won't show up in a TV ad. No way. Not a chance
* Unsurprisingly, Raoul and Harold differ on suing the Trump administration
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - This just in...
* Question of the day
* Eight days of intense and comical weirdness
* Cook: Rodney Davis "remains the favorite," but chances improve for Dem
* Did AFSCME gain members here after Janus?
* *** UPDATED x3 - ISBE "very likely" the hacked board described in indictment *** 12 Russian military officers indicted for elections interference, including at least one Illinois angle
* "There is a greater racial gap in infant mortality rates today than there was during slavery in America"
* A "revolving door of failure" at DCFS
* Live radio ain't easy
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner taking heat for introducing VP Pence, will face DPI protest led by Rep. Mitchell
* AP fact-checks Pritzker's new TV ad as the candidate triples-down
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* OUR VIEW: Streator celebration inspires hope fo.....
* Illinois Governor's Mansion has reopened to.....
* Fact-check: Pritzker camp wrong on Rauner and j.....
* How Rahm Emanuel and Groupon “disrupted” me int.....
* Police reports: Vehicle parked in Elmwood Park .....
* Champaign News-Gazette: In Illinois, ethics rul.....
* Editorial | Time for details on Discovery Partn.....
* Jim Dey | In Illinois, ethics rules are written.....
* A Foot in the Door for the Next Generation..
* Walter Jacobson's Perspective 07/15/18: .....


* The Latest: Video: Chicago man ran away, reached to waist
* CVS apologizes after managers call cops on black customer
* Injuries at poultry processing plants often underreported
* Woman fatally shot in Chicago during attempted carjacking
* New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
* U of Illinois names alum, 1st woman to head computer science
* State to offer funds to spark Lake Shelbyville resort bids
* The Latest: Overwhelmed poker champ: $8.8M ‘life-changing’
* The Latest: Police say 4 protesters arrested after shooting
* The Latest: Nielsen downplays 2018 Russia election threat

* Durbin not confident Illinois election systems are secure
* New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
* Illinois Governor's Mansion reopens to public
* State agency director Mays has spent $66K on travel
* Governor's Mansion reopens to public on Saturday
* State officials: Illinois was Russian hackers' target
* McDonald's removing salads from 3,000 stores after illness
* Woman berated for Puerto Rico shirt says officer 'blatantly ignored' her
* Board to state: Figure out how to pay step increases
* State has to explain what it's doing to make good on step increases

* DTF? The Chicago Transit Authority isn't
* To sue Trump or not to sue Trump: That's the question in Illinois AG race
* Correction
* Citadel hedge funds extend hot streak
* U of I President urges 'big-picture' education reform


* Woman, 65, shot in Morgan Park
* Police: Suspect killed after wounding 3 Kansas City officers
* Here’s what Trump and Putin hope to achieve at Helsinki summit
* Singh edges Maggert in playoff at Senior Players
* Person shot to death in Grand Crossing
* Man shot in Grand Crossing drives self to gas station before dying
* 2017 first-rounder Henri Jokiharju aiming for a Blackhawks roster spot at 19
* Neighborhood recalls ‘quiet’ South Shore barber who died in police shooting
* White Sox prospects Luis Basabe, Dylan Cease shine in All-Star Futures Game
* Violent protest over police-involved shooting a warning shot


* In exodus from Fulton Market, surviving meatpackers scatter and adapt
* Chicago police release body camera footage of fatal officer-involved shooting that prompted protests
* Former Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery drowns in swimming accident in Ontario
* Suspect in shooting of 3 Kansas City cops dies in standoff
* Sunday's 'Cher Show' in Chicago is cancelled
* Cubs beat Padres 7-4, finish first half with 2 1/2-game lead in NL Central
* Prospects Luis Basabe and Dylan Cease provide glimpses of the White Sox's future
* Cubs 7, Padres 4
* One thing stopped Loyola guard Bruno Skokna's World Cup dream: laundry
* The Midwest eases its Trump swoon and flirts again with Democratic candidates


» Angry Crowd Protests After Chicago Police Fatally Shoot Man
» Chicago Police: Man Killed By Police Appeared To Be Armed
» State Week: SCOTUS Nominee, Dan Ryan Protest, Misleading Ads
» Controversy Over Firing Of Popular Chicago Public Schools Principal
» Russia Indictments Likely Cover Illinois Hack, State Official Says
» Science Heroes In Children’s Books; Creating Manufacturing Jobs; The Miller Park Zoo
» WBEZ’s Chicago And Illinois News Roundup: July 13, 2018
» The Week in Review: Hate Crime Charges Follow Forest Preserve Rant
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: What Viral Videos Tell us
» #659 Buried Treasures & MSNBC's Ari Melber


* George Will: Don't fix baseball, even if it may be broken
* Durbin not confident Illinois election systems are secure
* New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
* Illinois Governor's Mansion reopens to public
* Our View: A year after the impasse, all is not well
* UIS perspectives: UIS campus stays busy in summer
* State agency director Mays has spent $66K on travel
* Statehouse Insider: Try, try, try, try again
* Thumbs up to the gift of a renovated Governor's Mansion
* Governor's Mansion reopens to public on Saturday


* Random Acts of Kindness: Lost billfold turned in
* Ice cream or frozen fish ice cubes, it was all happening at Scovill Zoo
* Overheating device sets carpeting on fire in Decatur home
* Teens hospitalized after ‘jokingly’ swerving into each other on Southern Illinois highway
* 2018 Champaign County Fair Pageant
* Kim receives 'best birthday present' winning JDC
* Prizes awarded to artists at Sugar Creek Arts Fest
* Mr. Lewis: 'Things have gotten worse for me'
* Police investigate fatal stabbing of East St. Louis man
* TOGETHER DECATUR: On Lake Decatur, a lesson in standing tall


* Morgan Tuck scores 15, Sun beat Lynx 83-64
* Cubs sweep Padres with 7-4 win
* Dozier's grand slam in 10th gives Twins 11-7 win over Rays
* Robertson's NBA title ring, other items being auctioned
* Small cools off, finishes tied for 10th at Senior Players Championship

* Thousands try to catch 'em all at '...
* We need to hear more about anti-Trump bias...
* 'Just a dumb move': Democrats dism...
* Rep. Meadows: Strzok Bias Should Have Led ...
* Nearly 100 Indian American candidates runn...
* FBI agent defiant as Republicans claim bia...
* Ex-FBI Lawyer Testifies to House Panels on...
* Republicans praise Page's testimony on...
* Rod Rosenstein Calls for United Front Agai...
* Russia probe: Guccifer 2.0 dumped stolen d...

* Durbin: More work needed to make sure Russ......
* Democratic Voters Want To See A Fight Agai......
* Dems reveal plan of attack; focus on impos......
* Have Democrats forgotten their manners?...
* ACLU finds inspiration from the NRA for a ......

* Trump tells CBS' Glor that the EU is a......
* ACLU finds inspiration from the NRA for a ......
* Tammy meyers 2020...
* Good luck to first lady in battling bullies...
* tammy duckworth...

* Why Online?
* How the Blockchain Can Transform Government
* A college program that ‘never ends’
* For refugees in Kenya, an education in hope
* Serving and learning: MSL student takes classes while stationed in Kuwait
* Skills gap could have alarming consequences
* No freeloaders.
* As States Legalize Sports Betting, Will Sports Media Go All In?
* Snoop, the barber.
* A Little Girl's Daddy Is Never Coming Home


* Gov. Rauner meets one of oldest living WWII veterans
* IDOT reopening lanes where possible for July 4 travel
* Bellock named DHFS director
* Follow-Up Samples from the Illinois River Show No Microcystins
* Illinois Department of Public Health Heat Safety Tips

  
* EFF blasts Japan over piracy website blocking proposal
* ​ACCC on keeping the data 'genie' in check for Australian consumers
* Samsung stresses 5G equipment trust with telcos over Huawei
* Microsoft will revamp Andromeda entirely for 2019
* Sony quietly updates last year's RX100 V with a faster processor
* FCC votes to stop ruling on informal complaints, setting up $225 barrier
* Blockchain and bluster: Why politicians always get tech wrong

* Basabe blasts 102.3-mph pitch for World Team
* Chicago White Sox, Charlotte Knights fans await the next big...
* Slumping Abreu still the right choice to represent White Sox...
* Abreu leads White Sox into second half vs. M's
* White Sox prospects Luis Basabe, Dylan Cease shine in All-St...
* Young Sox lead charge in big win over Royals
* Moncada, Palka spark White Sox to 10-1 rout of Royals


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller