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Morning Shorts

Tuesday, Jun 29, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Jurors convict Burge of perjury, obstruction

Burge, 62, showed no emotion, his hands folded, when a federal jury found him guilty Monday afternoon of lying under oath about torturing African-American criminal suspects at the Area 2 police headquarters. The perjury was part of a 2003 civil lawsuit filed by former Death Row inmate Madison Hobley. Burge was found guilty of two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of perjury and could face up to 45 years in prison when he sentenced in November.

There was silence in the courtroom — as U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow ordered — when the jury’s decision was read.

But outside, there were high-fives, celebratory hugs and even tears.

* Burge found guilty

For years it looked as if Burge would escape criminal charges altogether. He was fired from the Police Department in 1993 for torturing a cop killer, but a four-year investigation by special Cook County prosecutors concluded in 2006 that the statute of limitations on the claims of abuse had long passed. It wasn’t until 2008 that federal prosecutors figured out a clever way to indict him — not for the tortures themselves, but lying about them.

* Detective’s testimony swayed jury in Burge case

* Sun-Times: Long-awaited Burge verdict sends message

* Mitchell: Chicagoans have paid dearly for police brutality

* Good news for job-seekers? Local jobless rate reduced

* Schools boss: Some class sizes won’t go up

Plans to add five kids to the typical CPS high school classroom come as city high school test scores have stagnated, and concerns about student deaths due to violence have triggered a two-year, $60 million anti-violence campaign.

Kelvyn Park High English and social studies teacher Liz Brown said the number of essays she will have to grade would soar from 130 or 140 to 165 under the plan. Writing conferences and classroom discussions will suffer, and violence might well increase, Brown said.[…]

Huberman said the state Board of Education’s decision last week to restore some “categorical” funding in such areas as special education had brought the district an extra $57 million. That, combined with $18 million in new district cuts, was allowing CPS to cancel plans to raise the typical class size to 35, he said.

* Huberman Still Wants Union Concessions, Despite Better CPS Budget Outlook

* Brookfield tax talk brings out zoo’s allies

* CLC accepts $1 million in grants

* Pekin Council OKs Dragon’s Dome loan

* County mulls rules to address funding shortages from the state

* Marion looks at city problems

* Illinois birds at risk from oil spill?

By some estimates, 60 species of birds travel from Illinois to or through the Gulf of Mexico when colder weather arrives.


  1. - Levois - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:21 am:

    Bad link for that second CPS article

  2. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:28 am:

    2 counts of obstruction and one count of perjury and now Burge is looking at 45 years if he gets the maximum sentence?

    I wonder if he might get some leniency from the judge if he comes clean now and reveals who else knew of his torture and who might have turned a blind eye on what his crew was up to back in the day?

    Let’s face it, don’t we all want to know if the then Cook County State’s Attorney knew about Burge and how he was getting confessions?

  3. - Pat collins - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:30 am:

    not for the tortures themselves, but lying about them.

    How many people would have avoided jail and prosecution, if they had only taken the 5th????

    One wonders why the guilty dont?

  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:35 am:

    I’m very surprised that Brookfield doesn’t get some sort of cut from the zoo.

    A buck or half a buck a head seems eminently reasonable for Brookfield hosting this grand attraction. They can’t grow or expand because of the zoo, but are on the hook for a lot of services.

  5. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    47th Ward,

    Hard to imagine that Daley knew nothing about Burge’s deeds. Too bad we won’t ever learn the truth on that. Daley seems to command so much loyalty from those around him (remember Sorich) that I doubt Burge will talk. He’ll be quietly offered some family support, he’ll do his time and will end up selling used cars with Loren-Maltese.

  6. - wizard - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    47th-I think the time he gets will amount to a life sentence.

  7. - Pat collins - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    the time he gets will amount to a life sentence

    Don’t be so sure. Remember the judge who was convicted of letting killers off? The prosecutor described his sentence as “essentially life” but that guy got out. I saw a story on him on parole, going out once a day for a walk, and once on Sunday to church. Other times he had a ankle monitor on and was stuck at home.

    Better than jail, though.

  8. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    how many personnel layers were there between Burge and his midnight crew? One. they worked for him at his direction.

    now, how many were there between Burge and then State’s Attorney Daley? technically none, since they were not
    in the same organiztion. an appropriate analogy would
    be who was the police superintendent under then mayors
    Byrne, and Washington, as in the black mayor under whose
    watch some black men were tortured, per this verdict. so those mayors, one of whom is still alive, should be included in this discussion.

    but, since under some circumstances Assistant State’s Attorneys
    come into felony charge discussions with police, the number
    of layers between those attorneys, often attorneys who are not
    yet felony trial attorneys, their supervisors, more
    supervisors above that and the State’s
    Attorney is, oh, something like 10 layers.

    and what about the defense attorneys? Larry Suffredin, on the
    stand, said he did not report any torture regarding his client.

    Mr. Fitzgerald describes this result as fact that torture
    existed. in some respects I agree. but it seems pretty murky
    in some regards, and if a defense attorney who is a public
    official now saw nothing and said nothing, what are we
    to say of any public official who was multiple layers
    above the person defending someone?

  9. - Mr. Ethics - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:54 am:

    General admission to Brookfield Zoo is 13.50. Add more tax and you begin to price people out. Its a great attraction that needs to stay affordable for families.

  10. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    You can get a family pass for $99, good for admission and parking 365 days a year. Most public libraries also let you “check out” free family passes to the zoo as well as most Chicago museums.

  11. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 11:05 am:

    ===They can’t grow or expand because of the zoo, but are on the hook for a lot of services. ===

    Brookfield is boxed-in by the Forest Preserves, on whose land the Zoo sits. And the Zoo provides its own electricity, sewage treatment and security. Brookfield isn’t on the hook for much (even 1st Avenue is maintained by the County), and yet Brookfield gets lots of indirect revenue from the Zoo, and lots of part time jobs for kids from the area.

    I think Brookfield annexed the Zoo too, years ago. Prior to that, the Zoo was in unincorporated Cook County. The County, btw, imposes a parking tax on the Zoo too.

    I think Brookfield is looking for easy money. No such thing exists. They should tax Zoo admissions at their own peril, risking killing the goose that lays their golden eggs.

  12. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 11:25 am:

    47, I don’t know. As my kids have grown up, I’ve gone to the zoo hundreds of times. I don’t think I’ve ever stopped in a Brookfield business before or after. I have used Brookfield streets, and I have seen when Brookfield police and fire have been called to the zoo.

  13. - cookie - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 11:55 am:

    wordslinger - the Zoo alrelady provides the Village with $200,000 in sales tax and water tax revenue a year in addition to all of the ancillary economic benefits of having the state’s most popular outdoor cultural attraction in their backyard.

  14. - cookie - Tuesday, Jun 29, 10 @ 2:07 pm:

    wordslinger - also, the Zoo has its own fully-accredited / cross-trained EMT police officers. they respond to Zoo calls and handle ambulance transports from the Zoo.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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