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Quinn wins a round in prison closure dispute

Monday, Oct 29, 2012

* This is just one round and we are not near the end

Gov. Pat Quinn has won the latest round in his bid to close two state prisons and a handful of other facilities, but the legal wrangling over his controversial move will keep them open for now.

An arbitrator ruled Friday that the state had acted reasonably when it began taking steps to close the Tamms Correctional Center, the all-female prison in Dwight, a youth lock-up in Murphysboro and halfway houses in Decatur and Carbondale. […]

In response to the decision, the Quinn administration Monday asked a Cook County judge to lift an order that has kept the prisons open two months longer than the governor had originally.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees responded to the decision on Monday by asking a judge in Alexander County to keep in place the injunction preventing the closures. The union also asked the court to vacate Bierig’s decision.

Notice how the union is using a judge from a tiny county in southern Illinois which houses the Tamms super max. That judge knows what’ll happen if he rules against the union. Not saying he’s biased. Just saying.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - lincolnlover - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    Gosh, Quinn wouldn’t have done that if it benefitted him, would he?

  2. - train111 - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    Given that until quite recently Alexander County had more registered voters than actual residents, I’d have given that judge a pretty fair chance of getting re-elected :->


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    –An arbitrator ruled Friday–

    Pet peeve:

    If an arbitrator doesn’t have the final say, then they’re just another opinion.

    ar·bi·tra·tor (ärb-trtr)
    1. A person chosen to settle the issue between parties engaged in a dispute. See Synonyms at judge.
    2. One having the ability or power to make authoritative decisions; an arbiter.

  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    maybe Quinn can send Sen. Sandoval down to Alexander County, the Senator seems to be a real Clarence Darrow these days………….

  5. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    Even if he rules against the union, haven’t you posted here in the past that there is only one judge that has not been retained in the last 20 years? Cynthia Brim will be retained, JJJ will be re-elected, Rep. Smith will be on the floor in Jan…..and this guy will stay on the bench.

  6. - Rusty618 - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 1:05 pm:

    Why is Quinn using judges from Cook County to ask for lift of the injunction? Does he know where Alexander County is? And Quinn hasn’t followed an arbitrator’s ruling on his failure to honor the last AFSCME contract, so why should this mean anything.

  7. - wishbone - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 1:18 pm:

    Government can’t shut down one of its own facilities without a union’s permission. I am a liberal, but this is a prescription for total gridlock.

  8. - the Patriot - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 1:22 pm:

    Rich your bias is inappropriate, uneducated, and very disappointing. The judge hearing this case is not an elected offical. He is an appointed associate judge and has the same authority as a big time Chicago judge, just not subject to the machine. The union had no way to know who the judge was when they filed the action and the State had a right to request a new judge which they did not do.

    You should try a little research and quite all these people posting that the judges ruling is about getting re-electe when it is just a fasle statement. But if you cared about integrity and truth, you would also point out this was a deal the Governor Cut to get the union to back him to get re-elected, but since you did not cover the back room deal that won him the election that was a pure quid pro quo illegal bribe, I don’t expect you to cover how it is a disaster for him now.

    Delete this, but your investigative reporting on this matter is embarassing!

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===but since you did not cover the back room deal that won him the election that was a pure quid pro quo illegal bribe, I don’t expect you to cover how it is a disaster for him now. ===

    You’re insane. I was one of the first, if not the first, to report on the deal, which was legal or there’d have been indictments by now. So, calm down, take a breath and walk away from the computer.

  10. - bourbonrich - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    I think the court case should be either in Springfield, Chicago or whatever city has the main AFSCME office.

  11. - Endangered Moderate Species - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 1:46 pm:

    If a Governor can no longer make budget decisions in a department that falls under his branch, then we are in trouble. This decision could tie the hands of future Governor’s regardless of the circumstance or their party affiliation.

  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 1:53 pm:

    ===He cut a stupid deal to get re-elected and now wants out of it. ===

    The contract has expired.

  13. - Loop Lady - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 1:59 pm:

    Alot of issues are at play here, but closing Dwight has always seemed just wrong to me. Where will the female inmates be housed? The unions and Quinn need to jointly plan for closures. Where is the overall plan for closures? Quinn needs to be more transparent.
    As far as the arbitrators decision, he did his job and is accountable for his decision…

  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 2:25 pm:

    –Rich your bias is inappropriate, uneducated, and very disappointing. He is an appointed associate judge and has the same authority as a big time Chicago judge, just not subject to the machine–

    Another victim heard from.

    What Machine is that? Is that part of the Combine? Is it in Madigastan, where Princess Lisa was anointed by Boss Madigan?

    Dude, don’t rely on John Kass or Pat Brady for your perspective of Illinois politics. Things have changed a wee bit since the days of Richard J., Tom Keane and the boys.

    If there had been a Machine in the last 35 years, there never would have been a Jane Byrne, a Harold Washington, a Pat Quinn, a Dick Phelan (should have stuck with Richard), a Toni Preckwinkle, a Rahm Emanuel or a Barack Obama.

    The idea that there’s some monolithic organization pulling the strings in Cook County or Illinois is absurd. That’s victim, don’t-want-to-hustle talk.

    At best, there are a few strong political Dem organizations in Cook County and the state. Very few.

    What has been absent in Cook County and Illinois for many years is a GOP organization.

    Bill Brady got 29% in Cook against Pat Quinn. Are you kidding me? Cook County has 40% of the state’s population! This ain’t Marin County — it’s Reagan Democrat country.

    By the way, for the 98 County Romantics, more GOP votes are cast in Cook County than any other in the state.

    Think there’s some room for growth, if you bought some shoes and knocked on some doors?

    Check out the Cook County GOP website: Under categories such as “About” and “Leadership” and “Candidates” you get messages such as “Coming Soon!” and “Server Error.”

    Did you know there’s a Cook County State’s Attorney’s race this year? Do you know who the GOP nominee is?

    No you don’t. And that’s funny, because I do a lot of work on LaSalle Street, and I haven’t noticed any lack of big-time GOP lawyers with a lot of money.

    You would think some of them would have the testicular virility to give it a go, for party-building purposes if nothing else.

    No. They’re just more victims.

    There’s no crying when you get out-hustled.

  15. - cassandra - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    I am 100 percent behind Quinn on all of these institutional closures and I hope he is 100 percent successful. People, and most especially kids, shouldn’t live in institutions unless there is absolutely no alternative. For many individuals now in Illinois adult or kid jails, there are alternatives and historically this state has been very slow to adopt them.

    The resistance from public employee unions is predictable. Did the administration bungle the implementation by failing to “negotiate the impact,” and meet other contractual requirements for change in a timely manner. I can’t tell. But they can learn from their mistakes and I sure hope Quinn doesn’t lose his nerve now. The quality of a lot of people’s lives depends on it.

  16. - capncrunch - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 4:18 pm:

    “The unions and Quinn need to jointly plan for closures.”
    Why are the unions entitled to participate in the decision process any more than the rest of us voters? If they are unhappy with our elected leaders, vote them out of office.

  17. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 7:15 pm:

    Yes Rich, you are calling the Judge from Alexander County biased.

  18. - Robie - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 8:31 pm:

    Let one of th these juvenile crimminals commit a violent crime on one of your loved ones them see if you support closing juvenile prisons. On no…we’ll put them in a halfway house right in your neighborhood. That’ll rehabilitate him!

  19. - Robie - Monday, Oct 29, 12 @ 9:51 pm:

    Quinn has yet to visit IYC Joliet dispite countless invitations. He is clueless as to who is housed in this prison let alone how it is run!

  20. - SO IL M - Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 6:25 am:

    wordslinger—You are right. An abscence of Republicn Leadership can not be blamed on Democrats. The time has come to stop blaming a machine that has broken down and put into retirement. Until Republicans put together a strong ticket with a strong message to people things will not change. And the biggest thing is reliable, knowledgeable candidates from the top of the ticket to the bottom. They cant continue to blame Democrats for shooting them in the foot when that is self inflicted. Not sure if this link will work or not, but there is a story on Breitbart this morning that shows this.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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