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Sneed: Former deputy chief seeks to become top cop

Tina Skahill, a decades long police veteran, seeks to be the next Chicago Police superintendent. | Brian Jackson/Sun-Times

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The police blotter . . .


Sneed is told Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now the city’s top cop and he has told at least one top police chieftain that he absolutely wants an African-American to be the next top cop. Case closed.

“Rahm is running the shop,” a top police source said. “He shouts. He points. He appoints. Case closed.”

Over and out.

Listen up!

Sneed is told former Chicago Deputy Chief Tina Skahill, 56, a lawyer and decades long CPD veteran who was once the highest-ranking black female officer in the Chicago Police Department, has applied to replace ousted Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

• Buckshot: Joining dozens of others applying for the top cop spot, Skahill was once commander of the violence-ridden Englewood district before she butted heads with a contingent of black ministers.

• Kick shot: Skahill, who also headed the CPD’s Risk Management Section charged with developing strategy to reduce liability due to use of force, left office when McCarthy got rid of what was considered “legacy” top brass.

• Back shot: It’s the second time Skahill has applied for the top job. Once acting Chief of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategies Project Office as well as a former deputy chief of patrol, she also applied for the top cop spot when Police Supt. Phil Cline left office.


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Lease up!

$$$: Let’s check in on how the Cook County Department of Homeland Security is spending state grant money these days, shall we?

• Well, I’ll be darned: They just dispatched $24,854 to fund a new canine unit for the Prospect Heights Police Department to “improve community relations” and “enhance officer safety.”

Now aren’t you glad Sneed keeps her eye on things?

$$$ . . .

He’s such a cutie pie.

Ka-Ching: GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush bet reporters covering the Iowa caucuses $20 bucks his nemesis Donald Trump would change his mind and appear in the televised Fox Network debate — despite the Donald’s decision to cancel due to his pity party pout session with Fox star Megyn Kelly.

Oh oh Oprah . . .

Sneed wonders whether candles will be on Oprah’s cake . . . or a loaf of bread . . . when the TV titan and Twitter queen celebrates her birthday Friday?

• Translation: If you haven’t already heard, Winfrey, a major shareholder in Weight Watchers, earned $12 million in an hour Wednesday after an “Eat Bread. Lose weight” commercial she cut was dispatched to her 31 million Twitter followers.

• The lesson: Yeast is never least.

A new job for Schock?

The saga continues: Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, who is still the subject of a federal grand jury inquiry stemming from campaign and office expenditures, has apparently got a new job.

• Translation: Sneed hears reports Schock may now be working for a real estate development firm based in California.

A New job for Desiree?

Late, but never too late.

Neither confirm, nor deny: Choose Chicago Board Chairman Desiree Rogers sent this response to Sneed’s column tip Wednesday that Emanuel may be teeing up to make her the new face of Chicago tourism — replacing Don Welsh, who abruptly resigned recently as the city’s convention and tourism chief:

“We are moving forward with our search,” said Rogers. “Thank you.”

• Backstory: Rogers, who is CEO of the Johnson Publishing Co., is the Obamas’ former White House social secretary who garnered national headlines for running afoul of first lady Michelle Obama for getting too much press attention.

Sources also claim Welsh kept periodically asking Rogers about his contract renewal for the $580,000 per annum job for the past 18 months, but never got any firm answers. His contract was due to expire in June.

The Foxx hunt . . .

Sneed hears the Chicago chapter of NOW, the National Organization for Women, is planning to endorse attorney Kim Foxx, who is running against incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.


A spigot tip: As the devastating Flint, Mich., water crisis continues to flow, Chicago’s water wizards are lending a hand.

• To wit: Mariyana Spyropoulos, president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and Water Commissioner Kari Steele are organizing a delivery of 36,000 bottles of water to Flint, Michigan, next week.

• Tap tip: Not only is the water funded by donations from water district commissioners and employees due to arrive in Flint Saturday, Feb. 6, but Spyropoulos and Steele will be on the ground in Flint to help distribute the water in coordination with local relief efforts.

Sneedlings . . .

Today’s birthdays: Oprah Winfrey, 62; Tom Selleck, 71, and Jose Abreu, 29.