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Morning Shorts

Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010

* Ryan’s son calls judge’s ruling ‘heartless and cruel’

Longtime friend and lawyer, the former Gov. James Thompson, said if an appeal fails, he would make a plea with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to place Ryan on supervised release and allow him to tend to his ill wife.

“The BOP policy would be a last resort if he has no judicial relief,” Thompson said on a phone interview from Paris. He said the Ryan family never held their hopes high.

* Sneed: Dressed in the clothes she was to wear to a Kankakee hospital, she said she talked to George after learning he wouldn’t be released. “He seemed upbeat. He said it wasn’t over. We still had hope.”

* Judge refuses to release George Ryan

* Prison for Will County senior?: Judge Daniel J. Rozak said he will make a decision Dec. 30 on whether 69-year-old Charles Clements should be placed on probation or sentenced to time in prison for killing Joshua Funches during a spat over Clements’ lawn in May.

* Another Cook County Probationer Goes “Off Leash”: Antonio Glasper, of 14437 South Halsted, and five accomplices were charged with armed robbery and other crimes after police say they burst into the business armed with handguns and left with several hundred dollars. Unlike his companions, Glasper was on probation with the Cook County Adult Probation Department.

* Needle Exchange Site Might lose Its Special Use Permit: The zoning board of appeals is looking into whether the needle exchange program should be allowed to operate out of its downtown location. But with a 400-percent increase in direct care services this year alone, the director for total health awareness fears it could put Rockford citizens in danger.

* Equality Illinois to begin search for new public policy director - Rick Garcia fired from state’s largest gay rights group

* Cherkasov: focus not on the personalities, but on full equality

* Amtrak arrival part of broader plan for Tutty’s Crossing, downtown

* Canadian National fined $250,000 - Regulators say railway underreported Chicago-area crossing delays

* Meals on wheels: Chicago City Council should ease limits on food trucks

* Chicago adding in-school health centers: The center, which opened in October and is operated by the nonprofit Heartland International Health Center, serves students at Hibbard and two nearby CPS schools, Albany Park Multicultural Academy and Thomas Edison Regional Gifted Center. It offers comprehensive health services and dental care to students at no cost to families. Next semester it will begin offering mental health services.

* Memorial marks 100-year-old tragedy of Stock Yards disaster

* Madigan: Chicago Man Sentenced for Securities Fraud, Theft

* 6 Businesses Busted For Smoking: The Macon County Health Department issued citations to the following establishments: AIW Hall, Bud’s on Green, Elmer’s O’le Time Inn, Ken’s A-Frame, Rocco’s and the Sundown Lounge.

* Kunz withdraws from interim mayor contest, endorses Mahoney

Ward 3 Ald. Frank Kunz Tuesday night withdrew from the running to be interim [Springfield] mayor and endorsed Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney.

Some aldermen have expressed concern about him finishing the late Mayor Tim Davlin’s term while also running for mayor in the spring, Kunz said. […]

Aldermen took no action on replacing Davlin Tuesday.

Kunz said Mahoney would be the best choice to get the city through the next four months.

Asked if he was interested, Mahoney, who has a full-time job as clerk of the Illinois House, said that is a decision for the rest of the city council.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 7:36 am:

    If Ryan’s family wants to feel better about this ruling, tell them to get in touch with the Willis family…Lura may be terminally ill, and if she is she and the family has my sympathy and prayers, but 5 years for the deaths of six innocent kids is not reasonable in my opinion…


  2. - Returning dog - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 8:02 am:

    He wasn’t convicted of _murdering_ (or even manslaughter of) the Willis children. The Willis family canard is really getting tired.

  3. - Canned Yard - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 8:20 am:

    It may get tiresome for you, RD, but not for those who really knew how the Ryan operation worked and how much pressure existed to meet fundraising quotas. George didn’t kill the Willis family any more than Execs at Union Carbide poured chemicals down the throats of more than 3,000 Indians in Bopal. But like those same Execs, he was responsible for fostering an environment where it could and DID happen.

  4. - Returning dog - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 8:31 am:

    It happened because a trucker was lax on his vehicle inspection. That could have happened completely absent the fundraising machine - to a trucker who was legally licensed, properly trained, routinely inspected and just lax on one specific day.
    Are all the big rig accidents involving IL CDL drivers over the last 10-12 years Jesse White’s fault?

  5. - pingu - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 8:43 am:

    Actually, RD, the trucker in question spoke no English (a CDL requirement), and thus was unable to understand the dangerous equipment warnings voiced to him by other truckers over the CB prior to the accident occurring. Had the driver been “legally licensed, properly trained” the accident would have been avoided. Sorry, this one is on Ryan and the environment that he created.

  6. - Logical Thinker - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 8:52 am:

    I’m sick of the whining from the Ryan family. He did the crime (regardless of whether it was tied to the Willis family or not). Now he must do the time. I’m sure Blago is licking his chops at the spectacle so when he goes away, he too can get out early.

    I also think Jim Thompson feels guilty that he avoided jail and therefore is working so hard to free Ryan. I wish he would put a sock in it as well. SHUT UP!

  7. - Beowulf - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 9:14 am:

    Pallmeyer knew that if she gave in to the Ryan family’s request, that Judge Pallmeyer would then be viewed as favoring the “Elite and Entitled” in Illinois. How many other Illinois prisoners have loved ones that are dying or are desperately in need of their being released and sent back home to be with loved ones? George Ryan brought this cruel fate down upon himself and his own family. He knew at the time that what he was doing was wrong and illegal. Yet, he was willing to view his wife and his family’s future well-being as simply a potential risk or potential “collateral damage “. Laura Ryan chose to marry this crook. It happens. And, she chose to “stay married” to him even after seeing the kind of man that he really was. Get this woman a pair of glasses (or a seeing-eye dog).She obviously prefers to live on “Fantasy Island”. She is no more “special” or “entitled” than any other wife of a convicted felon. Neither Laura nor George Ryan are royalty. Sorry but Big Jim Thompson simply needs to realize that his friends in high and “low” places are not always to the manor born.

  8. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 9:18 am:

    Re the question of how responsible Ryan was for the deaths of the Willis children: I’d think it would be about equivalent to the responsibility that a bartender or bar owner bears for a drunk-driving death caused by a bar patron.

    In the Willis case I think the PRIMARY responsibility rests upon the trucking firm which chose to neglect safety inspections and to obtain an illegal license for an unqualified driver. No one forced the trucking firm to do these things, any more than a bar owner “forces” anyone to get drunk. However, if the bar owner enables the patron to get drunk and then drive drunk — especially if he actively encourages employees to overlook intoxicated or underage patrons — he is legally liable. Why wouldn’t the same principle apply to Ryan’s SOS?

  9. - Returning dog - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 9:35 am:

    “this one is on Ryan and the environment that he created.”

    Then you agree that all the big rig accidents involving IL CDL drivers over the last 10-12 years are Jesse White’s fault?

  10. - pingu - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 9:44 am:

    No, not at all. I’ve not heard of any instances where an unqualified individual was sold a CDL under Jesse White, much less anyone that was sold such a license and then caused an accident because he was inherently unqualified. That, of course, was the exact situation with the Willis accident. Do you have facts to the contrary, or are you just making it up as you go along?

  11. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 9:48 am:

    to the case at hand, that Judge Rebecca P. sure fleshed things out for all to read. The legal arguments were detailed and diced, and the Ryan family is certainly disappointed but they are not alone.

    Perhaps, if they truly had the welfare of others in mind, they could call for all prisoners who had a family member about to die, to get out of prison. Maybe they could have Sneed write a whole column about it. gag.

    Heard a George Ryan story last night. A lobbyist offers to buy George a bottle of wine with his dinner. George picks the most expensive bottle on the wine list. Live and learn, George.

  12. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 9:57 am:

    Probation for murder really? Let’s see the victim’s dog urinates on Mr. Clement’s yard, so he confronts the victim, then fears for his life and shoots him? Who carries a gun around all the time? If he was afraid of the victim, why did he confront him?

    Sorry, 2nd degree murder should carry a little more than probation, I don’t care how old the perp is.

  13. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    “That could have happened completely absent the fundraising machine - to a trucker who was legally licensed, properly trained, routinely inspected and just lax on one specific day.”

    Well, a bar owner being sued under the dramshop laws could argue that the person who left their bar drunk and caused a fatal accident could have caused the accident without being drunk at all — by speeding or changing lanes or driving too fast for conditions just that one time. Think any court is going to buy that argument — especially if the bar owner had a history of encouraging employees to break the law, or look the other way when the law was broken?

  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    Maybe the S-T could just change the byline on a certain column to:
    “By Big Jim and Fast Eddie.”

  15. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 12:17 pm:

    re flap with Garcia, Cherkasov….the name has possibilities for super snark.

  16. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 1:56 pm:

    ya know Returning Dog, maybe folks are a little tired of Big Jim wielding his clout to no avail for a man convicted by a jury of his peers to the charges filed against him, and paying the penalty thereof.
    I have had the unpleasant experience of working in the past with Ryan family members in state government (still) who felt entitled to special treatment before and after he was convicted. Their uppity and entitled attitude
    made me ill, and the incessant pandering by Republican elites on behalf of this corrupt old man is so tiresome…now please go away and worry about the truly innocent in our penal system instead of this loser of a human being…

  17. - Christine Kaplan - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 3:23 pm:

    I don’t think that RD is saying that Ryan should receive special treatment, he was emphasizing that Ryan was not charge with, convicted of, or sentenced because of the Willis family. It had no bearing on his trial. I agree with him, I am tired of hearing people lay the moniker of “Murderer” at the feet of Ryan.

    Let me be clear here, I am not a Republican shill and am not by any definition a “Ryan Supporter”, I really do not care if he spends one day or 5,000 days in prison.

  18. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 3:27 pm:

    The Ryans still consider themselves royalty of this state and are affronted that the LAW not only put George in prison, they’re offended that nobody sees this man has the right to be released on any reason they can drum up from week to week. I’m so tired of the ‘what I did wasn’t wrong, it was just business as usual’ and as the elite office holders in the state, how dare anyone accuse or punish them.

    Just once, I would like to hear a convicted former governor say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry for the harm caused by my illegal actions.” Instead of this barrage of abuse by family members unwilling to concede they shouldn’t expect special treatment or favors.

  19. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    It has been said here many times that GR shouldn’t be labled as a murderer for the Willis tragedy. That he wasn’t charged regarding that incident. However, he was charged with the cover up that occured once the whole thing was exposed. And he was convicted for that, along w/the bribery charges. In one of the appeals, the judges said that the evidence of GRs guilt was “overwhelming”. Those kinds of actions, in my opinion, are the acts of a guilty conscience. So, you can say he wasn’t charged with a crime related to that incident but GR certainly felt that there was a problem with the sequence of events. Hence his actions.

    The appeals courts held that the evidence of his guilt is OVERWHELMING. Yet, not one statement of remorse or contrition outside of the general “I made mistakes” statement long after the guilty verdict was rendered. Why should we feel any compassion towards a person who appears to have such contempt for us?

  20. - T.J. - Wednesday, Dec 22, 10 @ 4:19 pm:

    “He wasn’t convicted of _murdering_ (or even manslaughter of) the Willis children. The Willis family canard is really getting tired.”

    This reminds me of the moaning that some people “still haven’t gotten over” the Mary Jo Kopechne murder. I guess the Willises should go get some replacement children and forget about it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
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