The Watchdogs

Investigations of government, politicians, education, business and issues affecting taxpayers and consumers.

The mayor calls HUD’s accusations that City Hall has engaged in environmental racism “preposterous.” The funding that’s threatened by the dispute includes money that keeps 650 people with HIV or AIDS from living on the street.
Rev. Luis Andrade, originally ordained a Roman Catholic priest in Ecuador, recently moved on to be a priest in a small, independent Catholic denomination.
After Sun-Times reports exposed questionable tax breaks, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi tells four people to pay a total of $254,298 for years of tax breaks they shouldn’t have gotten.
The document charging Lavdim “Deme” Memisovski was signed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet S. Bhachu, who is prosecuting cases against former House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and Ald. Edward M. Burke.
The sentencing capped a stunning, mad-dash of a federal court case that in 14 months cost Thompson his 11th Ward seat on the City Council, his law license and his freedom. It likely ended his political career and marred not only his reputation, but his famous family’s.
“Everything we have worked for our entire lives has been depleted — financially, reputationally and even what we thought were solid friendships,” Thompson’s wife, Katie, wrote to the judge.
How much insurance companies collected — and how much more they could have given back to drivers.
The privately operated, publicly funded school has used cash advances and “predatory loans” for funding, city school officials say. Urban Prep leaders say its financial issues are resolved.
U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr. has asked lawyers in a Chicago gun-rights suit to weigh in on whether Justice Clarence Thomas’s majority opinion affects the city’s ban.
Smith says the cameras, which parks employees rarely monitor, aren’t of high enough resolution to be tied into city Office of Emergency Management and Communication systems.
The Cook County Land Bank Authority is barred from putting in a claim on occupied property, but it did so for Josephine’s Cooking and held onto it as the restaurant kept operating and its unpaid taxes kept piling up.
With Chicago Public Schools enrollment falling, the Chicago Board of Education is about to take up plans to build a new high school near Chinatown.
County Republican Chairman Sean Morrison, a vocal critic of the ruling Democrats, has benefited for years — since soon after he became a county commissioner — from “extra patrols” given to his home by Palos Park police.
Thomas Maillard, running in the June 28 primary for a legislative seat in Lake County, used to work for a video gaming company run by ex-state Sen. Michael Bond.
Also among those who’ve helped his campaign in the contested June 28 Democratic primary: a lawyer who was a campaign fundraiser for ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Boguslaw Kasprowicz pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the failure of Washington Federal Bank for Savings — the investigation that also ensnared ex-Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson.
Chicago police officials say they ‘anticipate’ acquiring two helicopters and might use private donations to help pay for them. Sheriff Tom Dart hopes to get a helicopter, too.
Travelers have been reporting that their cellphone carriers have hit them with multiple, mysterious, $10-a-day international data charges even after they turned off their cellular data and used only Wi-Fi for calls and texts.
Three years ago, a teacher and her sixth-graders found levels hundreds of times what would be considered safe for house paint. But city health officials downplay any health threat.
Voters dumped Jackie Portman-Brown after video showed her locking up her 6-year-old grandniece to teach her a lesson. “Would I do this again?” Portman-Brown says. “Probably not. But her behavior has been improved since this incident.”
Thompson asked the judge to give him probation instead. The two sides made their recommendations Monday ahead of Thompson’s sentencing before U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama, which is set for July 6.