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.
"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