Statewide Update—May 1, 2012

Richard Daley

Former Mayor Richard Daley

Chicago TribunePension Games: Chicago aldermen to reap millions from inflated pensions, “When Chicago aldermen floated a proposal in 1987 to boost their city pensions dramatically, Mayor Harold Washington’s administration dismissed it as an arrogant ploy that lacked even a cursory cost analysis. Three years later, the proposal still didn’t have a price tag. But records show that the new mayor, Richard M. Daley, helped push it through the state Legislature anyway. Now a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation reveals how much those lucrative pensions could end up costing taxpayers.”

Chicago Sun-TimesEmanuel: I’ll get to promised ethics fixes, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday embraced a proposed overhaul of Chicago’s anemic ethics ordinance, then struggled to explain why he has failed to deliver on a promise to give the city’s corruption-fighting inspector general broader powers and more resources. For all his efforts to draw the curtain on the scandal-scarred years of former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, Emanuel hasn’t given Inspector General Joe Ferguson the authority he’s promised to investigate the City Council, the Chicago Park District or Public Building Commission. Nor has the mayor guaranteed the office one-tenth of one percent of the city’s annual budget. “

Chicago TribuneLawmaker pleads not guilty to bribery: ‘I will not cower’, “State Rep. Derrick Smith pleaded not guilty today to federal bribery charges and issued his first public comments after his court appearance. Smith, under pressure to resign his position, accused the FBI of engaging in ‘shenanigans’ during the investigation and said agents pressured people to ‘say bad things about me.’… Smith also suggested he will remain in office while he fights the charges.”

Daily HeraldPreckwinkle: Towns should annex unincorporated Cook County, “A task force empaneled by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is calling for municipalities to annex all unincorporated areas of Cook County to save the county money. Preckwinkle offered no timeline to eliminate the unincorporated areas where roughly 98,000 of the county’s 5.2 million residents live. Nor did she estimate what the county would save by no longer having to provide sheriff’s patrols and other services to those areas.”

Chicago Sun-TimesFormer Daley aide Teele now lobbying Chicago tourism agency, “Terry Teele — a trusted adviser to former Mayor Richard M. Daley forced out in a 2000 ethics scandal — has landed a lucrative lobbying contract with the mega-agency charged with promoting Chicago as a site for conventions and tourism.  Don Welsh, CEO of the agency now known as Choose Chicago, was tight-lipped when asked why he chose Teele.”

Chicago Sun-TimesEditorial: Unwise rush to judgment on victims’ rights amendment, “Nothing that goes on in Springfield should surprise us. Yet we confess we’re scratching our heads over the Legislature’s rush to approve a victims’ rights constitutional amendment without first addressing potential pitfalls.”

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