Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Corruption roundup
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Corruption roundup

Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

* The Sun-Times interviewed Chicago’s new FBI chief Emmerson Buie

Now Buie, the onetime youth from Englewood, will play a key role in what appears to be multiple, ongoing federal public corruption investigations that have so far led to charges against three politicians — Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), state Sen. Thomas Cullerton and former state Rep. Luis Arroyo. Two other politicians have been outed this year as FBI cooperators. And several more appear to be in federal crosshairs.

“Public corruption has been a cornerstone of my career,” Buie told the Sun-Times Tuesday. And, he added, it “will continue to be, in the Chicago division.”

Still, Buie declined to get into the details of the aggressive work being done by the FBI in Chicago. He started his new job Oct. 15. In his second week, a federal jury convicted two Chicago police officers on corruption charges. Three days later, Arroyo was arrested on a federal bribery charge.

“The American public as well as the city of Chicago has a right that their public officials and their law enforcement officials are upholding a certain standard,” Buie said. “Therefore, as we investigate those matters, we try to do them as respectfully and professionally as possible.”

* Robert Herguth and Mark Brown

In September 2015, shortly before Oak Lawn’s red-light cameras from SafeSpeed, LLC, went live at two busy intersections, a company official wrote the south suburb’s village manager about a new marketing campaign with the slogan: “Choose safety, stop on red.”

Soon after, SafeSpeed and Oak Lawn officials engaged in a behind-the-scenes dispute over how many red-light tickets were being issued, with the company pushing Oak Lawn for more, records and interviews show.

More tickets would bring more revenue to Oak Lawn, SafeSpeed and its commissioned sales consultants.

Leading the push for more aggressive ticketing were two former legislators from Oak Lawn: Michael Carberry and John O’Sullivan, according to records and interviews.

At the time, Carberry was on the village board, and O’Sullivan was Worth Township’s Democratic committeeman and a sales consultant for SafeSpeed who appeared to be overseeing Oak Lawn’s account.

There’s lots more to this, so go read the whole thing before commenting.

* Also by Robert Herguth and Mark Brown

When drivers get red-light camera tickets in Matteson, a portion of their fines has been going to a recently retired deputy Chicago city aviation commissioner who’s at the center of a political corruption investigation, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

Bill Helm — a $125,000-a-year deputy aviation commissioner overseeing airfield maintenance at O’Hare Airport until he quit in August — also was a paid sales representative for SafeSpeed, LLC, while on the city payroll, the records show.

SafeSpeed paid Helm, who’d held the city aviation post since 2014, a commission on red-light tickets written in Matteson and also Glendale Heights, the records show. Glendale Heights ended its affiliation with the red-light camera operator in 2018, officials said.

Matteson and Glendale Heights officials said they hadn’t heard of Helm and were unaware he was being paid under their contracts with SafeSpeed.

Helm didn’t disclose the outside work to City Hall, as required for any “secondary employment,” a spokesman said. Nor did he inform the Chicago Board of Ethics of outside income.

* Related…

* Illinois House GOP pushes once again for ‘urgent’ ethics overhauls: “We acknowledge that there’s a longer, more ongoing conversation about the culture that’s tolerated some of these ethical lapses in Springfield,” Deputy Minority Leader Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said. “But it’s very important that we, as elected officials, acknowledge that every day the people of Illinois are waking up and seeing in the newspaper, hearing on the radio or TV, that there’s additional issues that are ethical challenges and problems that are enacted by their representatives in Springfield. We need to do something to take advantage of this opportunity to reform our laws, so … the people of Illinois have better confidence in their elected officials.”

* Firms owned by Hazel Crest woman with criminal past collected $1.8 million consulting for suburbs, even while she faced federal indictment

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments
  1. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 9:40 am:

    With all this corruption everywhere lawmakers should put a hold on all tax increases of any kind. There is no faith that attempts to take more money out of our wallets are being done for the right reasons.

    Tell the unions and all the other voracious tax eaters to tighten their belt just like the taxpayers have been forced to do for once.


  2. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 9:42 am:

    Either ban the cameras or make it illegal to take a percentage based on the number of tickets. They should be used to enforce the law fairly, not to write as many tickets as possible.


  3. - Pundent - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    =With all this corruption everywhere lawmakers should put a hold on all tax increases of any kind.=

    Right. Let’s ignore the glaring problem even longer so the inevitable tax increase is only greater. It’s also worth noting that if you use the roads in this state or any of the services the state is responsible for delivering you are by definition a “tax eater.”


  4. - Responsa - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 9:53 am:

    Paying “commissions” to sales reps based on camera ticketing revenue is hideous. It immediately makes suspect the idea that red light cameras are placed there at intersections for public safety reasons.


  5. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 9:57 am:

    Maybe we need another lockbox amendment to require that fine, fee, and permit revenue only be used for the purpose it was collected (e.g., enforcement of the law that was violated).

    Alternatively, fine revenue could go to a non-profit. No matter how it happens, we need to remove the perverse incentive (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverse_incentive) of enforcement, because that promotes revenue generation over public safety at the expense of people just trying to live their lives. Same goes for civil asset forfeiture.


  6. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    Corruption Roundup. I appreciate the news collection. Thank you, Rich. I’m sad that there is so much of this news to collect. Do better, elected and appointed officials and lobbyists. Public service is honorable and the public sector is responsible for so much in our lives. Stop screwing this up.


  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 10:01 am:

    ===With all this corruption everywhere lawmakers should put a hold on all tax increases of any kind===

    Yeah, because total government inaction worked so well under Rauner.


  8. - Keyrock - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    That Holloway story is wild. It’s good that some of the suburbs are getting the attention they deserve. Not all of the corruption is in the city.


  9. - former southerner - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 10:07 am:

    Red light cameras are just one more example of the problems that follow when governmental functions are outsourced to for-profit firms. Incarceration and primary education are other areas where this sort of cancerous capitalism has reared its ugly head with regrettable results from attempting to extract profits from necessary societal functions while those who believe that any government cut or outsourcing plan is a good approach keep their neo-con heads firmly buried in the sand. I hope that those who have been complaining about waste and fraud in government operations are equally rabid in their criticism of these private firms and their shenanigans but I am not holding my breath.


  10. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    Thanks for starting this corruption roundup feature, Rich, although it’s disappointing that Illinoisans have to put up with bad government.

    We need more photos of Oscar to balance this news out.


  11. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    I am also for more Oscar photos.
    This corruption stuff day after day is depressing, but I must admit I read the Corruption Round Up every day.


  12. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    ===I am also for more Oscar photos===

    Done https://capitolfax.com/2019/11/13/your-moment-of-zen-13/


  13. - Sox Fan - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    As an Oak Lawn resident, i commend the OLPD in showing at least some common sense in issuing tickets. I also commend the majority of the Board and the mayor for not chasing every last penny and deferring to the OLPD’s discretion. I am against red light cameras in general but at least it looks like the village is trying to be somewhat fair.


  14. - Law Man - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    Isn’t Oak Lawn the same place where the Village Manager was taken into custody after leaving the scene of an accident. A guy was seriously injured. Whatever happened to that?


  15. - Bruce - Wednesday, Nov 13, 19 @ 6:29 pm:

    It’s funny that OL administration would cite Streit’s integrity after unseating him with the last of a long line of recriuted challengers over 30 years. Was he standing in the way of something?


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Report: "One source close to the matter says federal officials are believed to be looking into" annual ComEd fundraisers for Madigan
* ISP arrests state trooper accused of sexual assault and abuse during prior job at high school
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Three prison guards indicted on charges related to inmate death
* Doherty out at City Club, may have been conduit for 100 ComEd jobs
* Roundup and open thread
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller