Our Pledge To You

Columnists

Tiffany Van Dyke speaks to husband for first time since prison beating

Jason Van Dyke and wife Tiffany leave the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in September. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Van Dyke file . . . 

Tiffany Van Dyke — who tells Sneed she hadn’t talked to her husband, former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, since his transfer to a medium-security New York correctional facility — finally talked to him Thursday.

“He’s OK,” said Tiffany, who was unsure when her husband was actually moved since being attacked last month by prisoners at a federal facility in Connecticut, where he was first sent after leaving Illinois.

She now plans to gather all the frequent flyer miles she’s been sent by well-wishers to visit her husband, who is serving a 6-year, 9-month prison sentence for the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, whom he shot 16 times.

Van Dyke is now being held in isolation at the medium-security federal prison in Otisville, N.Y.

In a message forwarded to Sneed, Tiffany stated: “I heard the news about the Illinois Supreme Court ruling [rejecting a bid from prosecutors to re-sentence her husband to what could have been a harsher prison term], from a friend who had seen it on Twitter.”

“I am very grateful to the Illinois Supreme Court for not increasing Jason’s prison sentence and looking at this case objectively and without bias,” she said. “This has been devastating for our family, especially so for our two daughters. Now we can try to move on. I want to thank our lawyers, Dan Herbert, Tammy Wendt, and Randy Rueckert for all that they have done for my husband and our family, both in the courtroom and in our daily lives.”

RELATED
Supreme Court denies bid to resentence Jason Van Dyke in Laquan McDonald murder
Ex-Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke beaten in prison in Connecticut, his wife says
Van Dyke gets 81 months for McDonald murder, sparking praise, condemnation

Trumping Trump . . .

Sneed has learned Mayor Rahm Emanuel took time out while recovering from torn-meniscus surgery late last week to send a few texts to Cindy McCain, widow of the late, great U.S. Sen. John McCain, following President Donald Trump’s newest attacks on her husband’s legacy.

“I never was a fan of John McCain, and I never will be,” Trump told reporters Tuesday while also mocking the late senator on Twitter for being “last in his class” at the U.S. Naval Academy.

• Texted Emanuel to McCain: “Just letting you know Amy and I are thinking of you.”

• Texted McCain to Emanuel: “Thank, you, Rahm. We are strong nevertheless. This is ridiculous. I appreciate you reaching out.”

• Texted Emanuel to McCain: “Well, I will say it because you are a perfect lady. HE’S AN A–HOLE!!!”

The mayor didn’t divulge McCain’s text back.

“Let’s put it this way,” he said. “I’m not going to repeat her exact response. Let’s just say she didn’t disagree!”

• Backshot: On a quiet afternoon last June, Emanuel and wife, Amy Rule, paid what became a farewell visit to the ailing senator, who was dying of brain cancer, at his ranch in southern Arizona — where he had been saying a final goodbye to old friends.

RELATED

Trump escalates attacks on John McCain
Nation ‘deserves better’ than Trump disparaging McCain, senator says
John McCain’s heroism was lost on Donald Trump, but clear to the rest of us
Mayor Emanuel sends special honor to ailing Sen. John McCain

Ms. Almighty! 

Don’t diss this miss!

Legendary feminist Gloria Steinem celebrates her 85th birthday Monday. 

Remember when Steinem famously said: “This is what 40 looks like,” when she turned 50?

Sneed covered Steinem’s 50th birthday party in New York in 1984 with 750 well-wishers including Bette Midler, Phil Donahue and the late Bella “The Hat” Abzug.  

What a night!

Begorrah!

Is this a case of the Billy Goat’s gruff?

In case you didn’t know, the Daley boys canceled their annual St. Patrick’s Day party last Saturday, which was scheduled once again at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.

“The Daley brothers are not happy campers since Bill Daley’s mayoral loss and the lack of overwhelming union support,” said a top Sneed source.

“And in the loyalty versus royalty department, the fact that Jerry Joyce — the son of an old Daley family stalwart — also was in the race and cut into Bill’s territory — has caused a lot of rancor,” said a second source.

Instead, the Bears celebrated St. Pat’s at the Cut outdoors with quarterback Mitch Trubisky acting as the meet-and-greet guy for players and Soldier Field suite owners.

Mountain Maddon . . . 

Hey! Hey!

Cubs manager Joe Maddon seems to have unlimited energy.

The 65-year-old was spotted leaving Sloan Park following a game with the Milwaukee Brewers this month in Mesa, Arizona, jumping onto his mountain bike and heading into the nearby hills for a one-hour ride at 6 p.m.

“All the players had gone home and he’s on a bike, no doubt getting ready to win the World Series,” chirped an observer.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: Meow! Award-winning singer/actress/Chicago native Jennifer Hudson recently spotted with family and friends at TAO hosting her own wrap party for the film “Cats,” where she stars as Grizabella the Glamor Cat. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Kyrie Irving, 27; Ayesha Curry, 30; and Brett Eldredge, 33. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Jim Parsons, 46; Chris Bosh, 35; and Tommy Hilfiger, 68.