Category: Cook County

County Board Twits Can Continue to Tweet

With all due respect and apologies to the Cook County Board for the title, I think it’s just too funny that this even came up for discussion. I would have loved to have been at the meeting only to hear Elizabeth Gorman call Tony Peraica a twit.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The electronic chirping can continue during Cook County Board meetings, as commissioners shot down a plan today to ban members from Tweeting during meetings.

Several members of the board’s Rules Committee expressed frustration with the messages Commissioner Tony Peraica sends out to followers of his Twitter account as debates rage. In the end, however, only Commissioner Joseph Moreno, D-Chicago, voted to prohibit the practice.

Commissioner Larry Suffredin, D-Evanston, said silencing the Tweets would infringe on board members’ freedom of speech. "In this situation, we are trying to limit First Amendment access — which has been guaranteed by both the federal and state constitution — between the elected officials and their constituents, and more importantly, between the constituents and the elected officials," Suffredin said.

Peraica, R-Riverside, was not on hand for the meeting, but his presence was felt throughout the debate.

"I’ll chime in, since I’ve been the target of erroneous tweets by the twit in question," said Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman, R-Orland Park.

Gorman said Peraica has inaccurately Tweeted about her positions on county issues, but she acknowledged it’s a "behavioral issue" that shouldn’t be outlawed.

Yes, there was actually action taken by the Cook County Board regarding Twitter.

I think I’ll have to Tweet this.

Former Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese May Lose Home

Maltese home
(Photo: Cook County Public Auction Notice)

Betty Loren-Maltese may lose her home, but right now the auction is on hold.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

An attorney for former Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese persuaded a federal judge today to postpone the auction of her Cicero home until she can challenge her 2002 corruption conviction.

The government was scheduled to auction her one-story brick home Thursday to recoup a portion of the $8.3 million in restitution that she owes.

But Judge John Grady granted a stay of the auction until Loren-Maltese can challenge her conviction based on the so-called "Skilling" defense, said her lawyer, Leonard C. Goodman.

"It’s been hard for her," Goodman said of his high-profile client, who was sentenced to a 97-month prison term in 2003 and was released to a halfway house in February. "She’s been trying to get steady work." Since her release to a halfway house, Loren-Maltese has worked as a restaurant hostess and written a blog.

Her attorneys are seeking to have her conviction thrown out based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s conviction for theft of honest services.

The high court found the honest-services fraud law was unconstitutionally vague and that violations must include acts of bribery or kickbacks.

I certainly don’t want to see anyone lose a home, but Betty was convicted. There’s no reason to say "alleged" here.

There was no minimum price set for the home, according to the notice.

Yes, Mayor Daley Is Right to Move 200 Cops to the Streets

Mayor Daley

Look: Yes, crime is a problem in Chicago.

No, it is not the fault of Mayor Daley.

No politician should have to deal with this much madness.

It is the fault of Chicago’s gangs.

So, I don’t quite understand the "controversy" in this story from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Mayor Daley said Thursday he wants to take the police out of community policing to put 200 more officers on the street.

Daley said Chicago’s Alternative Policing Strategy, known as CAPS, was conceived as a civilian-run program in the 1990s but now involves many more uniformed officers than was originally intended.

“Over 200 police officers or more were assigned to CAPS over years — lieutenants and sergeants and patrolmen. In some districts, they had 8 to 10 or 12 people assigned to CAPS. . . . All the sudden, a civilian thing  . . . went to a Police Department [program]. That was not the concept,” the mayor said.

The decision to yank the officers out of community policing comes three months after Daley asked Ron Holt, the police officer father of a 16-year-old gunned down on a CTA bus, to breathe new life into the CAPS program.

“When Ron took it over, he couldn’t believe how many police officers were assigned and transferred over many years into it. It became a huge amount of police officers,” the mayor said.

Good for "Da Mayor." This is a good move on his part.

Motion Filed Accusing Todd Stroger of Political Hiring and Firing

For a while, I was actually feeling sorry for Todd Stroger. I was concerned he might lose his home, and, much as I disagree with the manner with which he has conducted himself while in office, those differences are political. Then he paid his taxes.

Now, however, we hear disturbing allegations of political hiring and firing based on political considerations:

An attorney who has battled political hiring and firing in government claims Cook County Board President Todd Stroger violated political hiring more than 150 times since the start of 2008.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court, Michael Shakman said the Stroger administration altered the list of jobs not covered by a ban on hiring and firing based on political considerations.

Shakman alleges the Stroger administration has been hiring people and putting them in so-called exempt jobs, even though the positions do not appear on the court list.

Todd Stroger Pays His Taxes

I really don’t want to comment on Todd Stroger any more. He will not be re-elected as President of the Cook County Board, and I’m happy with that. Some local pols are still fuming over that, angry at people like me who took Todd to task. However, from his first few weeks on the job when he fell more for the trappings of the office – remember the roped-off elevator? – it was apparent that Stroger was not ready for the big chair once occupied by his father.

That being said, I haven’t really paid much attention to President Stroger recently, but, sometimes, I feel like the Prophet Jeremiah:

I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it. Jeremiah 20:9

So I have to write.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Outgoing Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has paid his $11,668 federal tax debt.

The Internal Revenue Service recently filed a “certificate of release of federal tax lien” with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds that shows Stroger and his wife, Jeanine, paid the debt as of July 7. The payment settles what the Strogers owed the government since May 19, 2008, records show.

The IRS filed a lien on the Strogers’ South Side house in March 2009 — a move that usually follows multiple attempts to collect tax debts. The Chicago Sun-Times found the lien about two months later, and Stroger initially refused to discuss it, other than to say through a spokesman he’d worked out a payment plan to settle the debt.

I’m happy for Todd and his family. I don’t want to see anyone lose a home in this economy, and I certainly understand economic struggles.

Why Was This Dude (Now Deceased) Riding a Bike On The Dan Ryan At Night?

So what was this dude doing on the Dan Ryan, on a bicycle, at 9:15 p.m.?

We’ll never know, because he’s dead.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A male victim on a bicycle died after he was struck by a vehicle on the Dan Ryan Expressway tonight, officials said.

The accident happened at about 9:15 p.m. on the northbound lanes of the express lanes near 55th Street, said Illinois State Police Trooper S. Matias.

Police did not have any information about the victim and did not know why he was riding a bicycle on the Dan Ryan.

Too bad for him. And too bad even more for the driver of the vehicle that hit him.

Park Forest Prepares for 2010 Scenic 5 and More

Scenic 5 and More

Runners begin the Park Forest Scenic 5 and More. (Photo: Wendy Heise)

This Labor Day, plan on joining the fun in Park Forest during the 2nd Annual running of the Park Forest Scenic 5 and More. The race has been reconstituted onto a 5 mile course and augmented with a 5 mile family bike ride
on the same course, a 5K nature walk around the Central Park Wetlands and include a
variety of other activities at the Park Forest Aqua Center. Check out the course and invite
your friends to come out and cheer on the runners and bikers, or better yet, join in the fun
and fitness of the event.

Click here to register on-line through and receive a $2 discount.

Scenic 5 Mile and more…Race Brochure/Registration Form

Race features:

  • 5 mile family bike ride on the same course,
  • 5K nature walk around the Central Park Wetlands, and
  • A variety of other activities at the Park Forest Aqua Center, 30 N. Orchard, Park Forest.

Events begin on Monday, September 6 at 8 a.m. and include:

  • Beautiful Scenic 5 Mile Route (USATF #IL08085 certified course)
  • Musical Entertainment
  • Children’s Fun Run
  • CARA Runners’ Choice Series
  • Free T-shirt and refreshments
  • Prize money and awards
  • Post race Food Fest/Pool Party (bring the family)
  • Shower facilities
  • Marks and splits every mile
  • Aid stations at the Start, Finish and along the route
  • Marshals along the route

Click here to register on-line through and receive a $2 discount.

Scenic 5 Mile and more…Race Brochure/Registration Form

The race is a fast and flat picturesque run beginning Downtown (Orchard & Main St)
and cruising past the 90 acre Central Park/Wetlands. At 1.5 miles, runners
will dive onto the straight, flat and shaded Old Plank Road Bike Trail for
another 1.5 miles then onto the curving streets of Park Forest.

The home stretch will be Orchard Dr, passing under the Trail (only
significant hills on the course) and finish at Central Park and home
of the Village’s 4-Pool Aquatics Complex (feel free to jump in). Along the
way, townspeople are out in crowds encouraging you, giving water and
cheers. You will discover musical surprises all along the route. This
picturesque course is a CARA Runners’ Choice Series, and certified by
USATF #IL08085.

Check out the course and invite your friends to come out and cheer on the runners and bikers or better yet join in the fun and fitness of the event. For additional information, visit the Village’s website at:

Click here to register on-line through and receive a $2 discount.

Scenic 5 Mile and more…Race Brochure/Registration Form

Elvis Remains In The Building: Blagojevich Takes to TV

The mouth that won’t stop gabbing is starting another media blitz as the Summer of Blagojevich continues.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Beginning a weekend media blitz, Rod Blagojevich said this morning he will not take any plea deal from prosecutors, accused them of trying to criminalize political horse-trading and emphasized repeatedly that he had not been convicted of any of the corruption charges against him.

And he said the lone jury holdout against convicting him on major corruption counts confirmed his faith in God.

"I’ve always had a deep and abiding faith in God," he said on the "Today" show. "And when I look at that, it just confirms ‘Praise God.’ And I certainly thank her for her good judgment.

"If we put on a defense, I think we probably would have been acquitted" on every count, he  added.
He continued to insist he had done nothing wrong, saying prosecutors had captured him on tape only discussing "possibilities" with lawyers and political advisers. "Political horse-trading …. this is what they are trying to criminalize," he said.

He accused prosecutors of hypocrisy, saying they frequently make deals with convicted felons. "The very thing they charge me with, they should charge themselves with," he said.

Chiacgo’s ShoreBank Fails but Will Reopen as Urban Partnership Bank

From the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago-based ShoreBank, which for more than three decades made loans to South and West siders who might not have gotten financing elsewhere to buy homes, apartment buildings and start businesses, failed Friday. It had struggled for months to raise sufficient funds to stay afloat.

Its deposits and most of its assets were acquired by a consortium of major U.S. financial institutions and philanthropic groups and will reopen under the name Urban Partnership Bank.

ShoreBank was the 15th Illinois bank to fail this year and the 118th to be seized by federal and state regulators nationally. Its failure is expected to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $367.7 million. The FDIC, which is funded by the banking industry, said it received only one bid for the bank.

The beat goes on.

We’re Going to Bat For This One: Can You Locate Phoenix Peraza?

Phoenix Peraza

Phoenix Peraza, age 5. (Photos: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)

According to ENEWSPF, Phoenix Peraza is safely in the custody of Park Forest Police.


Park Forest Police confirm that they have arrested Daaiyah Manning, sought in connection with the abduction of a 5-year-old child from Arizona, Phoenix Peraza.

Mr. Emiliano Peraza, who has legal custody of the child, says in an email, "The police said they got a tip that is how they found her." However, Mr. Peraza adds, while Mrs. Manning has been arrested, "Phoenix was not with her and is still missing."

Park Forest Police confirm this.

If anyone does know the whereabouts of 5-year-old Phoenix Peraza, or if they have him in their care, Park Forest Police have told ENEWSPF that they can "turn him over to any manned Fire Department, hospital or church, and they will not be sought or arrested."

ENEWSPF will continue to update this story.

Related: Warrant Issued for Park Forest Woman In Connection With Abduction of 5-Year-Old Arizona Boy

We are simply reporting what is in the public record.