Stroger's ratings tank, and the new Steele rift

Even though Todd Stroger has a lower rating than Rod Blagojevich ever had, Todd may still be a force to be reckoned with the next Cook County Presidential Election.
OK, I have to give Todd credit for going to Stroger hospital when he injured his head during a basketball game. At least it shows that he is not to be a patient at one of the medical facilities under his jurisdiction.
Robert Steele did not go with the Stroger flow, as his mother, Bobbie Steele who anointed him the position did. Bobbie Steele for the most part supported Todd, as well has his father John Stroger before him.
When Robert Steeles' brother, Byron Steele lost his job, and was told it was due to a higher up decision, that did not set well with the Steele family. I am sure this will affect how Robert Steele supports issues. If this was, and many think it was, of Todd Stroger's doing, then this was not a good move for Todd Stroger.

Byron Steele believes it was revenge. His brother, Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele, had voted twice against County Board President Todd Stroger’s veto of a sales tax repeal.

Today’s firing does not sit well with the politically prominent Steele family.

Bryon’s mother is Bobbie Steele, Todd Stroger’s immediate predecessor in the president’s post, who served as interim head of the Cook County Board after his father, then-President John Stroger was felled by a massive stroke in 2006. Though she considered seeking the nomination herself, Bobbie Steele retired and threw her support behind Todd Stroger.

Reached at home this afternoon, she told NBC5 and the Sun-Times, “I’m angry, I don’t believe in revenge to anybody.”

Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele expressed his own outrage.

“Politics are being played...It’s a terrible thing,” he said by phone, adding, “I’ve stood by Todd on everything. The sales tax veto was the only issue on which we disagreed.”

Commissioner Steele said he called the president, “But Todd is not returning my phone calls.” Commissioner Steele said he believes others are also in the process of being terminated but declined to provide details.

Byron Steele’s $100,000 a year job has been to manage the 5 million square foot physical plant for the Cook County Department of Corrections, supervising the maintenence of the entire jail compound including 180 tradesmen and engineers.

Called in by his boss, James D’Amico, Byron Steele said he was told, “‘This is a decision from the president, it comes from on high.”

From the Conservative paper in town

I was surprised that the Conservative paper had this article. It was in the Sunday, September 27th edition of the Chicago Tribune. Author Don Wycliff calling Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity the goon squad without one fuctional brain together with no guts and zero decency.

Wow...that is really slamming the self proclaimed voices of the GOP, good. I am unable to turn Fox news on because of these guys, along with Bill O'Reilly. Fox News Network, has become the Faux Nutwork. Fox has so many hosts on that are so far off to the right angry side, with such extreme one sided views, that they are not even in the realm of being considered a news source.
Any time these angry hosts have a guest on with an opposing view, they talk over them, they rant, they rave, and they don't let that guest get a word in edgewise.

It's no wonder President Obama will not be a guest on their show. Will they let him speak? Or will they rant and rave over him while he talks. Beck has lost many sponsors because of his off color remarks, and rightly so, why would a sponsor want to be associated with Beck? This is 2009 not 1909.

Hopefully we will see the end of Faux Nutwork as we know it now. Maybe someone will wake up and get rid of the trash that pollutes the airways, revamp it to real news, not a forum of the angry rabid right wing.

Big relief for Kelly's family

Charges dropped against Chris Kelly's company

At least this should help Kelly's young daughters out. I am sure they could not collect any insurance money due to the fact their Dad's cause of death was suicide
September 25, 2009 12:09 PM
Federal prosecutors dropped criminal charges today against the roofing company of Christopher Kelly, who died of an apparent suicide about two weeks ago.

The firm, BCI, had been charged with Kelly in a kickback scheme for roofing contracts at O'Hare International Airport.

Kelly pleaded guilty in that case earlier this month, days before his death. Kelly died of an apparent drug overdose Sept. 12.

All charges against Kelly in the case against former Gov. Rod Blagojevich were dropped the week after his death.

A lawyer for Kelly and BCI, Thomas Leinenweber, applauded the decision to drop the case against the roofing company. Leinenweber said the government chose to end the matter regarding Kelly and the firm instead of pursuing fines or other penalties.

The company's assets will support his family, the attorney said, including his three daughters.

"This was a compassionate and just thing for them to do," he said.

DuPage County has the Cook County fugitive

Let's hope they can hang on to this guy in Du Page County now that they have him. Hopefully they will have extra guards around him. This was the big story in Northern Illinois, you could not turn on a TV or radio without hearing all kinds of tidbits, constantly updated on it. The press conferences on this were nothing compared to the Mayor Welch way of conferences. These conferences were short, and without blow by blow details.

A crowd of about 80 spectators at Route 59 and James Avenue clapped and cheered as Maday was driven away in an ambulance

Robert Maday, the career criminal who was the subject of a massive manhunt in the west and northwest suburbs after escaping from custody Thursday, was apprehended Friday after a police chase ended in a crash in West Chicago.

Maday crashed the stolen Volkswagen Jetta he was driving at James Avenue and Route 59, according to Bloomingdale police.
Robert Maday was caught in West Chicago on Friday after he crashed the stolen Volkswagen Jetta he was driving.

"I couldn't be happier," said Bloomingdale Police Chief Tim Goergen. "I'm glad it's over."

A crowd of about 80 spectators at Route 59 and James Avenue clapped and cheered as Maday was driven away in an ambulance.

Nicole Bratko, 29, of St. Charles, was driving home on Route 59, about to turn onto James Avenue when she saw squad cars with flashing lights coming toward her.

Then she saw the Jetta coming up behind her.

She said the Jetta clipped the back of a black Jeep, smashed into a traffic light and then went through some bushes and into a yard on James Avenue.

"It was like a movie when the cops came out," she said. "He clipped the Jeep and then he hit the pole. The pole flipped up like a toy. Then he went through the bushes, then all of a sudden, the cops cam with their guns drawn."

She credited officers for their quick action.

"I have to say the cops were right on top of it," she said. "I'm still shaking. I was afraid we were going to get shot."

Bratko said the driver of the Jeep was injured, too. Both he and Maday were taken on stretchers to waiting ambulances.

Goergen said West Chicago police officers spotted the Volkswagen and gave chase.

"Mr. Maday is in custody. He was involved in a chase, a pursuit, with West Chicago police who did a fine job spotting the vehicle," he said.

The West Chicago police officer initially pulled Maday over into the parking lot of a Taco Bell on Route 59 near West Chicago's downtown, said West Chicago Deputy Chief Bruce Malkin.

His gun drawn, the officer approached Maday, who bolted north of Route 59 in the Jetta before eventually crashing. He was taken to Central Dupage Hospital and is expected to be released today.

"He will not get away," said Kim Widup, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Illinois.

Both stolen weapons were recovered, including one from Maday's waist band, Widup said.

On Friday, Maday also allegedly included hijacking the Jetta from a woman in Hoffman Estates and robbing a bank in west suburban Bloomingdale, a bank the FBI said he robbed in 2008.

"I'm the guy that's been on the news -- give me the money," Paul Bock, supervisory agent for the FBI, quoted Maday as telling an employee at The First American Bank, 80 Stratford Drive, around 9 a.m. Friday, according to the FBI's Chicago office.

Earlier Friday morning, Hoffman Estates Sgt. Greg Poulos said a woman was driving to her job in a business complex in the 2000 block of Hassel Road at 6:45 a.m. and saw a man sitting on the curb.

As she opened the door, the man approached her, showed her a gun and she gave him her car, Poulos said.

She later identified the carjacker as Maday, Poulos said. He was last seen driving the Jetta west on Hassel Road toward Barrington Road.

The witness told police he was wearing blue jeans, a green T-shirt and a white baseball cap with lettering.

Schools throughout the west and northwest suburbs were on lockdown Friday morning, according to information on the district Web sites.

Sally Daly, spokeswoman for the Cook County State's Attorney's office, said police spent the night and morning combing the suburbs for any sign of Maday, following up on tips pouring in to local police stations.

"We want to bring an end to the disruption that has occurred in the northwest suburban communities," she said. "Understandably

How? What? And other confusion.

Yesterday I heard on two different news radio stations that an inmate being transferred to court by two armed correctional officers, overtook the officers while in handcuffs. This was hard to believe. Both news stations said they posted his picture on their websites and needed the public help if they saw him. They also said he was 5'6" and 150 pounds. Hm, he does not sound like a guy big enough to overcome two correctional officers.
Many different reports throughout the day. When I turned on the local evening news they said Robert Maday the fugitive, was not only handcuffed but shackled. Some news stations report that he took the pants of one officer, also drove to a store bought things? New reports are out each hour, now they say he has hijacked another car, and robbed a bank.

Yesterday as news was breaking the local reporters were saying it was wall to wall police in armored gear. some reports said he had family at the Apartment complex, some say it was his previous residence. Then other reports said no he just had handcuffs, then some said he did not even have handcuff. Whatever the case is I hope someone can find this guy, he has supposedly hijacked a few cars, robbed a bank, caused lock downs of schools, and cost enormous amounts of law enforcement resources.

He must be a pretty smart guy to outsmart so many and still be on the Liam.

And there were pictures on every local news website and local broadcast news of the Cook County Officer in the orange prison pants. This must of been quite embarrassing for this guy.

The U.S. Marshal's office said Thursday night it considers Maday "extremely, extremely dangerous" and says it is offering a "substantial award for information leading to his capture. Their tip line is (888) 869-4590.

Because of the situation, many suburban school districts are on a precautionary or "soft" lock down. This means students are not allowed outside for gym or recess and, in many cases, volunteers and part-timers are told to go home. Among those include schools in District U-46, District 220, District 211, District 54, and District 13.

Maday was released from a Pennsylvania prison in 2003 after 12 years and was expected to be given 13 years Thursday for local bank robberies which he committed with a toy gun.

Instead, he disarmed the officers, shed his shackles and escaped into Rolling Meadows, leaving the officers handcuffed in their squad car and triggering a manhunt that involved at least a dozen agencies.

Maday then pulled a gun on a woman in a Meijer parking lot in Rolling Meadows, who surrendered her car. When he couldn't get the car started, he ordered the woman back inside to start it for him, Rolling Meadows Deputy Police Chief Dave Scanlan said.

Police say Maday abandoned the car on the 300 block of Algonquin Road in Arlington Heights and from that point moved on foot, as far as they know.

Police from all around the suburbs came to Arlington Heights, making the Wellington Restaurant their staging area. By mid afternoon they narrowed their focus to one apartment building on the 2300 block of Goebbert Road.

But shortly after 5 p.m. police determined he was not inside.

Maday is described as about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, white, bald, with a slender build.

Police are continuing to urge public caution as Maday is thought to have the two handguns still in his possession.

A SWAT team was called in, and several area schools were put on lockdown.
Maday was expected to be sentenced to 13 years for previous crimes.

Maday is white and bald and stands about 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-9 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds, the Tribune reported
Thursday morning, Maday, 39, overpowered two Cook County state's attorney's investigators in a sedan while being transported to the courthouse near Arlington Heights and Central Roads

Fox news had commissioner Deborah Sims on after she decided to change her vote to keep Todd Stroger's sales tax intact. Now they have been following her around and watching how her $95,000 a year staff member is driving her around in her red Cadillac, which by the way the County is also making payments on. They are following her to church where, yep, her $95,000 a year staff member is driving her on Sunday in the Red Cadillac. Yes, Deborah Sims put up with an unhappy constituent Caller wishing bad things for Sims, Deborah Sims because of her change of vote now is in the spotlight.

Cook County Democrat endorsements Todd Stroger did not get the Cook County Democrat endorsement, but Pat Quinn did, and so did Alexi Giannoulias. Surprisingly US Rep Danny Davis, also running for Cook County President, had a vote as a Democratic Committeeman and could not resist pointing out that this is the first time he can remember the incumbent not getting endorsed.

There are a lot of holes in the Chris Kelly story. Since the story broke we heard he was found unresponsive in his home found by his wife. Lately we have been hearing it was his girlfriend that picked him up at his lumberyard on the far South Side and brought him to a hospital. This story has been all over local news radio and TV, and just when I thought I could turn CNN on for some other news, they are covering it too. We had stations have the video of Blagojevich's response which also had him say he felt bad for Kelly's wife, and daughters. Obviously making things worse that Kelly's last moments were with his girlfriend.

Just this morning I heard on WGN news radio that they had to break into Kelly's Cadillac because there were no keys to be found, and also his cell phone is missing.

There will be a news conference on Wednesday about all of this. Obviously there is a lot to sort out.

Chris Kelly no longer with us
Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch did his best Sunday morning to unfurl a murky chain of events that led to the death of one of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's top aides early Saturday morning.

Christopher Kelly, of Burr Ridge and formerly of Frankfort, died at 10:46 a.m. Saturday at Stroger Hospital in Chicago from an apparent self-induced drug overdose after being taken by ambulance from Oak Forest Hospital. He was just a few days from reporting to federal prison to serve an eight-year sentence for a scheme to get his roofing company to win bids for work at O'Hare International Airport and for hiding $1.3 million in income.

When he pleaded guilty to the O'Hare scheme Tuesday, Kelly spoke of feeling intense pressure by prosecutors to abandon his loyalty to Blagojevich and cooperate with the feds.

His girlfriend, identified by Welch as Clarissa I. Flores-Buhelos, drove Kelly to Oak Forest Hospital in his black Cadillac Escalade after he sent her for help from the parking lot of Forest Lumber in the 17200 block of Cicero Avenue in Country Club Hills.

A Country Club Hills police officer spoke to Kelly, who was sitting up and alert in his room at Oak Forest Hospital.

"Kelly was very hesitant," Welch said. "He was very ill and not feeling well. And he was defensive."

Welch refused to say what they discussed, except to reveal Kelly told the officer he had recently undergone surgery to his genitals. That was about 3:30 a.m. At 4:15 a.m., Kelly, 51, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he later died.

"At this point, we're thinking it's a suicide investigation. But we're treating it like we would a homicide because it's such a high-profile case," Welch said at a news conference Sunday. "Cook County Hospital (Stroger Hospital) is one of the finest hospitals in the nation. So for someone to die after going through those doors is very irregular."

The Coook County medical examiner's office performed an autopsy Sunday but has yet to release its findings. Country Club Hills police continue to investigate the incident, with help from Chicago area detectives and the FBI, an agency close to the case through its investigation of Blagojevich.

While at Oak Forest Hospital, officers also questioned Flores-Buhelos, who has since "lawyered up," as Welch put it, and won't talk to police. Her wallet was found in the Escalade, which officers searched in the hospital parking lot. They also found drugs, though Welch would not comment on whether they were illegal, over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

"Flores told us she moved (Kelly) to the other seat and drove him from the lumberyard to Oak Forest Hospital," Welch said. "She drove a car to (the lumberyard) or got a ride. So there has to be a third party here. There has to be a second car."

A white man with gray hair was with Flores-Buhelos in the hospital waiting room while officers talked with her. A white man with gray hair - possibly the same man, Welch said - approached officers at the Escalade with the intention of driving it away. He had keys, but officers would not allow him to take the sport utility vehicle. Officers did not get the name of the man, or men, in question. Welch said they're looking for him now.

At the scene, officers found vomit in the parking lot, as they did on the Escalade. Kelly's clothing, now in evidence, was also "soaked in vomit," according to Welch. The Escalade had been in the parking lot of the lumberyard, outside an area secured by a locked gate and adjacent to a storage facility. Welch said police are looking into whether Kellly had a vehicle - possibly a boat - or other belongings stored at the site.

Welch showed reporters at the news conference Flores-Buhelos' driver's license. The 30-year-old lives in a downtown Chicago apartment on Columbus Drive. "I'm giving you all this because we're not getting cooperation," he said.

Welch said he'll update the case at a news conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"He has three daughters, too, so say prayers for them because this is just awful," Welch said.

On Sims:
"Sims' staff played the voicemails at a news conference Thursday.

"I'm very disappointed in your vote. You flip-flopped, actually lied, and I hope you get f - - - - - - AIDS and die," the unidentified caller said in one message.

The messages were left by the same caller at her downtown office about 7:10 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sims' staff said. She also was repeatedly called a racial epithet, "fat" and a "bitch."

"I feel like it was a threat," Sims said.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office is investigating

Once again, Todd is all over the Chicago Papers

Introducing Edward Reyes, and goodbye Jim and Jose

What a news day, first off the White Sox traded Thome and Contreras. I am glad to have been at games where Jose pitched and Thome hit home runs for the Sox.
Edward Reyes is now the 8th District Commissioner, replacing Roberto Maldonado now 26th Ward Alderman. Reyes is a former bodyguard to Blagojevich, and recently current Governor Quinn. Reyes joins the board just in time for the repeal vote of the Todd Stroger sales tax hike.
Today we now have higher sales tax in Illinois. This is probably the most confusing tax hike. Candy, liquor, toiletries are among some of the new higher taxed items. Some things that are considered candy aren't because of flour content, some things that weren't considered candy are now.New higher taxed items in Illinois starting September 1
The Chicago City Council will have a finance meeting today, most importantly on the Olympics.Chicago City Council meet today
And finally Blagojevich has a new tell all book out today. Rod Blagojevich, the author

Thome and Contreras headed out west

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the S.S. South Sider in full-fledge sink mode, Captain Ken Williams was frantically trying to lighten the load with anything that wasn't nailed down.

A big piece of cargo was tossed overboard Monday night after yet another embarrassing loss to the Minnesota Twins, this time 4-1, on a road trip filled with embarrassments.

The White Sox have dealt veterans Jim Thome and Jose Contreras.

With an 11 p.m. deadline for players to be moved and be playoff-eligible for their new team, an ESPN report had White Sox general manager Williams sending out a list of players that were available, including Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, Scott Linebrink, Scott Podsednik, Jose Contreras and Octavio Dotel.

By the time the deadline passed, Thome was sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Contreras to the Colorado Rockies.

But that wasn't the only news the team received after dropping to 1-7 on this dismal road trip. The MRI exam of Jake Peavy's elbow showed no structural damage, but there was fluid in the elbow after it was hit by a comebacker in a rehab start Aug. 24 for Class AAA Charlotte.

It sounds like good news, but considering the Sox are 64-68 and six games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers in the American League Central, there might not be a reason to pitch Peavy this season.

It was just Sunday that manager Ozzie Guillen insisted of the series against the Twins, ''The next three games, win or we're out. If we don't win this series in Minnesota, I don't think this ballclub is going to be as high as it can be.''

New Cook County commissioner appointed
May give board 14 votes needed to kill sales-tax hike

September 1, 2009

BY ABDON B. PALLASCH, Sun-Times News Group
Just in time for a critical vote on repealing Cook County's higher sales tax, a new commissioner has been appointed to the 17-member board.

Democratic committeemen on Chicago's Northwest Side on Monday chose Illinois State Trooper Edwin Reyes to replace Commissioner Roberto Maldonado, who resigned recently to become Chicago's 26th Ward alderman.

County board President Todd Stroger has vetoed the board's rollback of the controversial sales-tax increase, which took effect July 1, 2008 and boosted the county share of the tax by one percentage point to 1.75 percent. Commissioners have been trying to muster the 14 votes needed to override Stroger's veto.

That looked unlikely after Maldonaldo resigned. But Commissioner John Daley (D-Chicago), chairman of the board's finance committee, said that with Reyes' appointment the board now has the 14 votes to rescind the tax hike in a vote scheduled for today.

Meanwhile, Maldonado complained Monday that even though his county board seat has been a Hispanic seat, Chicago Ald. Dick Mell (33rd) got his way in picking a replacement other than the candidate that Maldonado preferred.

"I think was a battle between a group of Latino committeemen and possibly Mell and others," Maldonado said. "Mell thinks he still needs to control the future fate of the Latino politics on the North Side."

Mell denied that, saying "it's very difficult to deny the ethnic background of Ed Reyes."

Reyes, 46, was born in Chicago to Puerto Rican parents and for 18 months ran a Puerto Rican restaurant called Isabel's.

For the past three years, he has served as a state police bodyguard for Gov. Patrick Quinn and for indicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

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