Statewide update—June 21, 2011


Daily HeraldMetra directors exiting gradually under compromise, “There won’t be resignations en masse, but the majority of Metra board directors who served during former Executive Director Phil Pagano’s tenure are expected to be gone within a year. State senators who had pushed for sweeping out the entire board have reached a compromise with the county chairmen, Chicago mayor, and Cook County commissioners who have authority to appoint them.”

  • Chicago TribuneSome small taxing districts have little to do, “Taxpayer advocates for decades have tried to consolidate the state’s ballooning government, calling for counties and towns to absorb smaller units. Watchdog groups say the grim economy and shrinking revenues might have finally sparked some movement.”
  • Chicago Sun-TimesJody Weis received $76,308 for unused vacation when he resigned, “Former Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis walked out with a $76,308 check for accrued vacation days when he resigned his $310,000-a-year job on March 1 — a lump-sum payment for 64 unused days that’s raising eyebrows at City Hall.”
  • Peoria Journal StarToulon city worker in spat with mayor could lose job, “[Mayor] Collins, 63, insisted Monday that the planned change in Gerard’s status had “nothing whatsoever” to do with the past incident…[B]ut Collins acknowledged that Gerard is the only full-time person affected. The mayor maintained that the step is being taken strictly for budget reasons. But he had no estimate of what savings would result. Former longtime Toulon police Chief Bob Taylor was forced out of his full-time position by a similar step last year. He later became a Stark County deputy, and the city has relied on part-time police staffing since then.”
  • (AP) SouthtownStar—Post-Blagojevich scandal reforms are a mixed bag, “The reform campaign has had mixed results. Illinois imposed caps on political donations and fines for violating the Freedom of Information Act. Voters approved a constitutional amendment that allows them to recall a governor, though the process is complicated.”
  • Chicago Sun-TimesEditorial: Don’t ignore DNA that might tell the truth, “Sometimes, law officers act as though DNA stands for ‘Don’t Notice the Alternatives.’ If they already have someone behind bars, authorities too often don’t want to consider new evidence pointing to someone else. Even if the new evidence is based on DNA, they often will just try to explain it away.”

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