* 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