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State of confusion

Monday, Dec 12, 2011

* A new investigative report by the John Howard Association has some pretty creepy revelations

According to the report, prison guards hoping to be more efficient in moving prisoners around the antiquated facility near Joliet adopted the “appalling” practice of showering two inmates at a time under one showerhead.

This practice, which has since been stopped by prison administrators, comes as inmates complain about squalid living conditions.

* Not much of a demotion

The warden of the Menard Correctional Center, whose fishing trip while out of work on temporary total disability prompted a state investigation, has been transferred to an assistant warden’s job at a smaller prison.

Dave Rednour is now the assistant warden for programs at the medium security Pinckneyville Correctional Center, said Stacey Solano, communications manager for the Illinois Department of Corrections. He has asked not to be contacted.

Solano declined to comment as to whether Rednour’s transfer to an assistant’s job at a smaller prison was connected to controversy caused by a front page photo that ran earlier this year in the Belleville News-Democrat. It showed the warden on a 2009 fishing trip with then-state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate at the time.

In the photo, which originally ran in a weekly newspaper, Rednour can be seen holding a fishing pole and wearing a cast on his right forearm connected to surgery that 11 months later led to a tax-free, taxpayer-funded $75,678 workers’ compensation settlement. Workers on temporary total disability are supposed to refrain from strenuous activity.

After the BND’s story this March, the Illinois Attorney General and IDOC asked the state Department of Insurance to investigate circumstances surrounding Rednour’s claim and settlement. That investigation is ongoing.

* This is kinda hilarious, in a pox on all your houses sort of way

Three of the four candidates for state representative in the 108th Illinois House District have ties to the General Assembly scholarship program. […]

The scholarship issue first surfaced in the 108th District race during a recent candidate forum, where the [appointed] incumbent, Rep. Paul Evans, R-O’Fallon, challenged his fellow candidates, also all Republicans, to sign a pledge stating they’ll work to abolish the program. The pledge also stated that “if I or any family member received a scholarship, I will repay it to the taxpayers of Illinois with interest.” […]

The son of candidate Steve Klingbeil, of Highland, received tuition waivers for 2008, 2009 and 2010 for Eastern Illinois University from former state Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Greenville. Klingbeil was Stephens’ campaign fundraiser, and his wife was employed as a legislative assistant to Stephens.

Another candidate, Charlie Meier, of Okawville, has a nephew who received a legislative scholarship in 2006 to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

And it turns out that Evans has his own, less-direct connection to the program. A son of his campaign chairman, John West, of O’Fallon, received a tuition waiver in 2004 for Illinois State University. That scholarship was granted by Stephens, who, throughout the years, received at least $1,800 in political donations from West.

That’s pretty darned direct, if you ask me. Ron Stephens was apparently quite generous with scholarships for political types in his neck of the woods.

Then again, most everybody has been overly generous with those scholarships. They need to go away.

* And a roundup…

* Another Sears showdown getting underway: Even if the full House approves the deal today, the Senate, which has scheduled a one-day session for Tuesday, will have to approve it. The Senate in November approved an approach to the tax breaks that the House soundly rejected, so its acceptance of a House approach that, among other differences, divides the agreement into two separate pieces of legislation is by no means certain.

* Klein Tools closing 2 subuurban plants: Tax policies in Illinois have drawn heavy attention and some have argued the state has developed a business climate that’s chasing away companies. But Beebe said Klein’s shift to Texas is no political statement. “We have no bad feelings about the tax climate,” he said, noting that the company will continue in Lincolnshire and also has a location in Elk Grove Village.

* Kadner: Law ends elections for township school board

* St. Clair County hires Clayborne to negotiate more prisoners for overcrowded jail

* No mercy: Guilty of 18 counts of corruption, Rod Blagojevich sought mercy at last week’s sentencing hearing in Chicago federal court, admitting that he made “terrible mistakes.” But Blagojevich, during his six years as Illinois governor, meted out very little mercy when presented with petitions for clemency — pardons, paroles and commutations of sentences. The ex-governor entered office in 2003 with 10 clemency petitions awaiting review. He left office in 2009 (impeached, convicted and expelled by the Legislature) with a backlog of 2,500 clemency petitions.

* DNA might clear man’s name, but authorities refuse to try it: No one has ever fought longer or harder for DNA than Savory. He was one of the first to seek testing after Illinois passed a law in 1998 making DNA testing available to defendants. At that time, he asked to test bloodstains on pants that prosecutors had argued he had worn during the crime. The adult-sized pants actually belonged to Savory’s father, and Savory wanted to show that the blood was his father’s, not the victims’. But the Illinois Supreme Court did not allow that testing, finding that the results — which could not have identified the true killer — would not be significant enough to raise reasonable doubt.

* Court Reverses Conviction of Man Jailed for 19 Years in Rape and Murder: In an opinion that harshly criticizes the tactics of the police and prosecutors, an Illinois appellate court on Friday night reversed the conviction of Juan Rivera, who has spent 19 years in jail for the 1992 rape and murder of an 11-year-old baby sitter in a suburb of Chicago.

* St. Louis Post-Dispatch Publisher Lee Enterprises Files For Bankruptcy

* Restoring blown levee in southeast Missouri is slow going

* State Rep. Sommer opposes free tuition program

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 10:34 am:

    Absolutely get rid of the waivers.

    And lets start electing legislators who see the value of properly funding universities and increasing access to them for all citizens, rather then constantly cutting them and putting in their cronies’ kids for nothing.


  2. - Aldyth - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 10:42 am:

    Pinckneyville is much nicer than Siberia.


  3. - shore - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 10:49 am:

    As nasty as politics are these days I am kind of surprised we don’t see prison scandals/mishandling used more in political ads.


  4. - Just Observing - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 11:07 am:

    Shore, the reason we don’t see prison scandals in political ads is because a good chunk of the public does not care how prisoners are treated. Sad but true.


  5. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 11:19 am:

    ==Workers on temporary total disability are supposed to refrain from strenuous activity.==

    Need more info on the warden. If he was sitting in a boat, drink beer, watching a bobber, I wouldn’t call that strenuous. If he was fly fishing in the Rockies, that’s another story.


  6. - Dirty Red - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 11:23 am:

    Good to see Keith Sommer giving thought to SOMETHING.


  7. - Anon - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==As nasty as politics are these days I am kind of surprised we don’t see prison scandals/mishandling used more in political ads. ==

    Exactly. As far as the public is concerned, DOC is saving water & more effeciently spending their tax dollars.


  8. - Cal Skinner - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 12:30 pm:

    Perhaps Klein made the decision before the Democrats hiked income taxes on us individuals by 67%.


  9. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 1:42 pm:

    ==Good to see Keith Sommer giving thought to SOMETHING.==

    Perhaps selecting recipients took too much of his time.


  10. - mokenavince - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 2:18 pm:

    The waivers make it to easy for our legislators to give away taxpayers money. I would bet if they actualy used their own money they woluld’nt be so quik to thow it around.


  11. - wishbone - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 2:31 pm:

    Those Joliet guards just wanted to give Jerry Sandusky something to look forward to. Maybe PA would do a prisioner swap.


  12. - mokenavince - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 2:57 pm:

    To see a company like Klein tools closing 2 plants
    in Illinois is truly sad for whatever the reason.
    To any tradesman Klein always ment quality.Lets hope they don’t offshore their tools,


  13. - Bruno Behrend - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 11:53 pm:

    The idea that Klein shuttering two plants has nothing to do with business climate is beyond credibility.

    Sure they would rather keep doing business where they already are, but the fact is that sooner or later the margins shrink to the point where you have no choice.

    Workers Comp, income taxes, property taxes, and poor regulatory climate, all add up eventually. The fact that they don’t say so openly probably has more to do with still having some presence here.

    By being nice, maybe they can get in on the tax bribe slouching toward the governor’s desk, waiting to be signed.


  14. - Bruno Behrend - Monday, Dec 12, 11 @ 11:57 pm:

    Wordslinger,

    If we “properly funded” universities, we’d close 1 or 2 of them and send the over-staffed to the unemployment line.

    When higher ed employment jumps from around 48K in 2000 to around 83K in 10 years (2000 to 2010), it becomes clear that it’s nothing more than public employee gravy train.

    Sell one or two to Phoenix or DeVry. If they don’t buy, we don’t need it.


  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 13, 11 @ 9:06 am:

    –The idea that Klein shuttering two plants has nothing to do with business climate is beyond credibility.–

    So the good folks from Klein are lying? Why would they do that? To help you with your self-flagellation?

    Why don’t you join up with GG and seek greener pastures? I hear Somalia is low-tax and has little regulation. It sounds like a Utopia for a entrepreneur like you.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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