The Watchdogs

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

A Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ investigation found school officials failed to protect these welcoming schools and the $155 million invested in them over time.
Dismissal is considered the “appropriate disciplinary penalty” for violating the rule, but the city’s watchdog said it is not consistently enforced, undermining police integrity.
A Sun-Times and WBEZ analysis shows the 2013 school closings “didn’t do anything to fix all the structural inequalities that are leading to lower outcomes in the first place.”
Little Village residents, already exposed to high levels of air pollution, fear that a legislative plan that would add lanes, paid for with private funding, would worsen health risks.
Defense attorney Scott Lassar told the Chicago Sun-Times he was referring to possible rulings by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, or even the U.S. Supreme Court.
Professional Law Enforcement Training has been paid more than $1.3 million and is owned by a colleague of former Chicago Police Supt. David Brown.
Homicide rates plummeted in those cities over the past 30 years. “We haven’t seen that same success in Chicago, where murder rates have remained stagnant for 30 years. That needs to change,” said Kristen Mahoney, director of the new academy.
The sheriff points to 129 rearrests of people on “essential movement” furloughs since the reform took effect Jan. 1, 2022. The public defender’s office says the laws rightly lets people go to the doctor, do laundry and shop.
For at least three years, a data error has caused chaos in the lives of people who were promised a clean record if they served probation.
The failure of Washington Federal Bank for Savings has led to criminal charges against 16 people. Among them: former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, who was convicted last year of lying to regulators and filing false income-tax returns.
He lived the high life in the West Loop but now has pleaded guilty to fraud. Investor John Stafford III and real estate exec Patrick Buck are among those who say they were victims of his schemes.
The company will not say how much it has paid to attorneys representing ex-CEO Anne Pramaggiore and VP John Hooker, but a rep says ratepayer funds are not used.
The Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism given by the Chicago affiliate of the Society of Professional Journalists recognized a wide range of work.
City departments, including those involved with planning and zoning, will be required to produce an “environmental justice action plan” by Sept. 1.
Ex-state Sen. Thomas Cullerton pleaded guilty last summer to embezzling funds from a labor union and was sentenced to more than a year in prison. But he was released early — and 11 days later, he registered as a lobbyist with a public relations and government affairs firm.
Brian Fong is cooperating with prosecutors. Fifteen bank officials, workers and borrowers have been charged, and a Daley family member was convicted of cheating on his taxes in a related case.
“This pipeline is too dangerous,” says a homeowner who could lose part of her land. “Solar and wind projects are so much safer. Why aren’t we investing all that money into that?”