Letters: Laughing at taxpayers

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Excellent editorial on high school sports money. You are so right when you stated that these ‘private’ enterprises spend money as they see fit in quasi-secrecy. They do,while laughing at the taxpayer who is funding these so-called ‘private not-for-profit’ entities. Taxpayers are struggling tomaking ends meet while these shysters live in luxury. To give [IHSA Executive Director] Marty Hickman a24 percent raise is absolutely ridiculous and insulting to taxpayers. It’s way past time the mayor and governor put a stop to these “private non-profits’ who are living off the taxpayers dime!

Ann Gutierrez,Tinley Park

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What exactly did Hastert do wrong?I find the whole Dennis Hastert trial a sham and a shame on our country.Dennis Hastert is a flawed man. But he is not on trial for his flaws.Dennis Hastert behaved inappropriately a long time ago, but he is not on trial for behaving inappropriately. And, apparently, nobody brought charges against him in the last 30-40 years for this behavior.

Dennis Hastert made a lot of money, and a lot of people are wondering how he got all that money. But he is not on trial for how he made his money.Dennis Hastert used his money to pay somebody not to talk about his misconduct in the past, but he is not on trial for paying somebody not to talk.

He is on trial for taking his own money out of the bank. The government wants to know if you take a lot of your own money out of the bank, because some people who take a lot of money out of the bank are crooks. But he is not on trial for how he used his money, but just for the fact that he took it out of the bank.

He is also on trial for lying to the FBI. That never would have even happened if the government minded its own business about what people do with their money. If Hastert did something illegal with his money, then charge him for that. But his crime was just taking his own money, and then essentially telling the FBI that it is none of their business what he does with his own money.

Doesn’t the FBI have more important things to do?

Larry Craig,Wilmette

No excuse for outrageous police photoWhen I first saw the photo in the Sun-Times of two Chicago Police officers with rifles posing over a prone black man wearing antlers I must say that I was not only outraged but embarrassed for myself and all of my brothers and sisters who are sworn to “Serve and Protect the people of this City.”

I truly believe that Judge Thomas R. Allen made the correct decision in denying officer Tim McDermott’s plea to get his star back and rejoin the ranks of the Chicago police department he so tarnished on a worldwide level. His defense was he was a young impressionable officer just trying to fit in with the crowd. There in lies my anger, the crowd being who? Who was supervising those officers? Who took that photo? How did that photo make it past the others that are always present in a police facility? Was there any attempt by the department to identify who took the photo? Why were the supervisors given a pass for not doing what they were promoted and paid to do?

Perhaps a telling part of this is officer McDermott’s initial defense was that past Supt. Phil Cline and another past high ranking department member who went on to be the head of streets and sanitation giving testimony as character witnesses. Really! After spending 33 years as a Chicago police officer with almost 20 years as a front-line supervisor I can tell you this case cries out for more. Leadership starts at the top, and in my opinion that leadership has failed miserably if they think a brother in blue that would pose for that despicable photo did not have a serious character flaw.

Our profession is at a crossroads and we are being judged for every single confrontation, every arrest, every street stop. We are investigated by our internal affairs division, by the state’s attorney, by the news media, by the federal government, and there is simply no room for leniency or any type of “blue wall” bad behavior by those we entrust to serve and protect us simply cannot be tolerated.

Bob Angone, retired Chicago police lieutenant,South Loop

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