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The [Monday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on July 21, 2014

"In one of his last acts before retiring from the Chicago Police Department, Supt. Phil Cline refused to discipline a detective who had submitted fraudulent documents to City Hall so he could operate a valet company that parked cars at Rush Street nightspots, newly obtained records show," the Sun-Times reports.

"Detective Frank S. Esposito 'committed acts of consumer fraud and deceptive practices,' an investigation by the police Internal Affairs Division found. Internal affairs recommended Cline suspend Esposito for 30 days.

"Instead, Cline decided not to punish Esposito at all. Cline and Esposito are friends, and Cline was in Esposito's wedding party."

*

Don't forget: Richard M. Daley also had a police chief forced to resign because he was pals with a convicted felon and mobbed-up murder suspect.

*

Back to Cline and the Sun-Times:

"Cline won't comment on the case, saying: 'Since leaving public service approximately seven years ago, I have declined to discuss the specifics of disciplinary cases I reviewed, many of which are more than a decade old . . . I no longer have access to the files and am unable to reconstruct exactly what I reviewed at the time. As a result, it would be improper for me to comment on a specific case now.'"

Horse hockey.

I'm sure Cline remembers every last detail of the Esposito case. And the only thing improper about commenting on it now would be whatever cockamamie explanation he'd come up with.

"Cline, 64, gets an annual police pension of $158,932 - the richest retirement deal of any Chicago cop.

"He also is the executive director of The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, a job that paid him $115,707 in 2012, according to the not-for-profit organization's most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service. The foundation provides financial assistance to families of slain and injured officers."

*

"Esposito is also involved in a separate Internal Affairs Division investigation, involving missing files in the death of Jason Stangeland, a case originally assigned to Esposito. Stangeland, 30, of Des Plaines, died in 2010 from injuries suffered in an altercation at a Rush Street bar two years earlier."

That sounds too familiar for comfort.

Crystal Ball Unit
"It was an unusual encounter from the start," Mark Guarino reports for the Christian Science Monitor

On a cold evening in February, Chicago police officer Maria Peña knocked on the door of a house in one of the city's most crime-ridden neighborhoods. She wanted to talk to a leader of the Latin Kings, a gang on the city's South Side, as well as his mother. Ms. Peña was not there to question or arrest the man. She wanted to save his life.

The gang leader opened the door. "He was a little wary to see me," says Peña, commander of the Chicago Police Department's 10th District. Nevertheless, his mother welcomed Peña and several other local officials. She invited them to sit around the kitchen table with her son, his girlfriend, and a 6-year-old niece. The kitchen was tidy, the atmosphere cordial. But the talk turned blunt quickly.

"I looked at the mom and said, 'Honestly, do you want to bury your son?'" And, she told her, it might not be just him. Peña recounted a recent retaliation shooting in the neighborhood in which an innocent bystander - a 10-month-old girl - fell victim.

"Do you want your little granddaughter being the next victim?"

She urged the son to jettison his gang-related activities and offered a variety of social services to help him do it.

Since then, Peña is not sure if the gang leader changed his ways or whom he associates with. What she does know is that he's still alive - and shootings related to the Latin Kings have stopped, at least temporarily, in her district.

Peña was basing her warnings in part on intelligence the police had gleaned from computer algorithms. Her visit on that raw night was part of a pioneering attempt by the Chicago Police Department to harness the power of Big Data to stop crime before it happens."

These "home visits" are a decent idea, and I suspect it may have some short-term value in a few individual cases. But I'm not sure about the execution. Did you spot the problem?

Since then, Peña is not sure if the gang leader changed his ways or whom he associates with.

Find out! Jesus! Is that how the program works - one and done? If you just disappear with no follow-up, I doubt you're gonna have much success.

Also:

[S]hootings related to the Latin Kings have stopped, at least temporarily, in her district.

Because of that one visit? Laughably doubtful.

Red Light Rahmpage
"[Ald. Scott] Waguespack recalled that when he and a handful of aldermen began asking questions about the red light program, the mayor's aides didn't like being asked," John Kass writes for the Tribune.

"And they wouldn't give any answers. Who was in control? What's the policy need for the red light program? They refused to tell us," Waguespack told me.

"And then I said, 'For all we know there's some guy sitting in his underwear at a table, looking at the red light tape, picking cars to ticket, saying, 'This one looks good, that one looks good.'

Hey, Waguespack, quit giving a bad name to everyone who works in their underwear.

*

And from the Tribune proper:

Waguespack, a member of the City Council Progressive Caucus that often calls on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to move slower on enacting initiatives so aldermen can better get a handle on the financial impact to Chicagoans, said he and others have been complaining to city transportation officials for some time about the short length of the yellow lights at some camera-controlled intersections.

"We've already asked CDOT about the yellow lights and they were like 'Don't worry about it, everything is cool,' " Waguespack said. "Well, clearly it wasn't."

No, it wasn't. To wit:

"Red light camera vendor uses a spreadsheet to calculate profit based on engineering deficiencies such as short yellow time."

They don't warn the authorities of such engineering deficiencies, mind you; that would demonstrate a concern for public safety. They exploit engineering deficiencies. For profit.

Just like the city does for revenue.

-

The Week in Juvenile Justice
Including: Chicago Market Bust, DeKalb Assessment Tool, San Diego Son, Michigan Girls, Pre-K Justice, Juneau Rock Throwing, Australian Art Apologies & Iranian Executions.

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The Beachwood Radio Hour: Preckwinkle's Guts, Rahm's Cheesecakes & The Navy Pier Polka
Listen now!

The Cub Factor: Minor Threat
What up, Daytona? Are those tons of Cubs prospects in your pocket or are you just glad to see us? Cubs on the grift.

The White Sox Report: Beyond The Cell
Are Sox fans in all these houses?

SportsMonday: Offseason City
Because baseball is meaningless on the South Side, hopeless on the North.

Chicagoetry: Little Wing
An Eden of scrub.

The [Monster] Weekend In Chicago Rock
And this is just the non-Pitchfork edition.

-

BeachBook
* Chicago Ex-Pat Finds Booming Minneapolis Economy.

* Obama Says He Ended The War On Drugs. Don't Believe Him.

* Bruce Rauner Ad Found To Be Utterly False.

* Obama Aides Were Warned Of Brewing Border Crisis.

Considered it a local problem.

* U.S. 'Suspected Terrorist' Database Added 1.5 Million Names In Last 5 Years.

Can't blame Bush!

* Tinley Park Police Reports: Mother-In-Law Brawl, Pool Thefts.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Ain't easy being cheesy.

Permalink


MUSIC - The [Monster] Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Tribune To Arsenio, Cubs: Drop Dead.
POLITICS - The Beachwood Radio Hour: Preckwinkle's Guts, Rahm's Cheesecakes & The Navy Pier Polka.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Offseason City. White Sox Report: Beyond The Cell. Cub Factor: Minor Threat.

BOOKS - CPS Chief Caught In Librarian Lie.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: Little Wing.


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