Cook County Government
County Board President
* Todd H. Stroger, President
* Earlean Collins, 1st District
* Robert Steele, 2nd District
* Jerry “Iceman” Butler, 3rd District
* William M. Beavers, 4th District
* Deborah Sims, 5th District
* Joan Patricia Murphy, 6th District
* Joseph Mario Moreno, 7th District
* Roberto Maldonado, 8th District
* Peter N. Silvestri, 9th District
* Mike Quigley, 10th District
* John P. Daley, 11th District
* Forrest Claypool, 12th District
* Larry Suffredin, 13th District
* Gregg Goslin, 14th District
* Timothy O. Schneider, 15th District
* Anthony J. Peraica, 16th District
* Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman, 17th District
County Elected Officials
* James M. Houlihan, Assessor
* Joseph Berrios, Commissioner Board of Review
* Brendan F. Houlihan, Commissioner Board of Review
* Larry R. Rogers, Jr., Commissioner Board of Review
* David Orr, County Clerk
* Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court
* Eugene Moore, Recorder of Deeds
* Thomas Dart, Sheriff
* Anita Alvarez, State’s Attorney
* Maria Pappas, Treasurer
Cook County Commissioners are paid $85,000 per year in taxpayer-funded salary. But they also receive more than $1,200 a month in no-strings-attached “contingency checks,” Fox Chicago’s Dane Placko reports.
The money from these checks, intended for auxiliary expenses like office supplies, does not have to be itemized in the lean, single-page expense reports Commissioners file with the County. Commissioner William Beavers admits taking the entire contingency fund as personal income, a practice fellow Commissioner Larry Suffredin says could be a violation of state law.
**Chicago Ward & Aldermen = 50
Aldermen must disclose any source of employment income that paid them more than $2,500
besides their $104,101-a-year city salaries.
The Chicago City Council spends more on its own salaries than most other cities, according to an analysis of salary figures.
This year Chicago will spend nearly $5 million of taxpayers? money paying 48 of its 50 aldermen $98,125 a year (two others receive $85,000), according to the 2006 city budget. Aldermen’s jobs include everything from arranging for garbage pickup to voting on citywide legislation.
Chicago’s 50 aldermanic wards rank second only to New York?s 51, even though New York has slightly more than 5 million more people.
The expensive salaries have caused some in Chicago think condensing the number of wards would combat government overspending.
Los Angeles gets by fine with 15 council members, Stewart said. Granted, they pay them more, but their overall council budget is still less than Chicago’s.
With nearly 800,000 more citizens than Chicago, Los Angles spends slightly more than $2 million on its council members salaries, and in Houston, a city with 1 million fewer people than Chicago, the city spends $739,970 on its 14-person council.
Alderman Burton Natarus of the 42nd Ward in the central loop said if Chicago reduced the number of wards the city would not be able to work as effectively as it currently does.
Council members list their side jobs
Many aldermen worked as consultants, lawyers
By Dan Mihalopoulos and Hal Dardick
May 03, 2008
Chicago aldermen made extra money last year through lawyering, politicalconsulting and public relations work, among other side jobs listed in economicdisclosure statements released Friday.
Ald. Edward Burke (14th), an attorney and City Council veteran of almostfour decades, earned more than $5,000 from each of 38 legal clients that do business with the city or other local government agencies, including American Airlines, Walgreens, Walsh Construction Co., Palumbo Bros. and the now-defunctAmerican Trans Air Inc., which once dominated Midway Airport.
Burke, whose wife is state Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, also listedcapital gains of more than $5,000 from each of 34 companies, including Starbucks Corp.
Ald. William J.P. Banks (36th), chairman of the Zoning Committee, earnedat least $2,500 from working for the law firm of his brother, Samuel V.P.Banks, according to the disclosure.
The firm represents developers seeking zoning changes before the CityCouncil. Ald. Banks habitually abstains from voting on zoning changesaffecting his brothers clients.
Aldermen must disclose any source of employment income that paid them morethan $2,500 besides their $104,101-a-year city salaries.
They also must reveal profits topping $5,000 from investments. And if theyor their spouses earn $5,000 or more from any company doing business withlocal government including the city, CTA, Chicago Public Schools, ChicagoPark District and other agencies that, too, must be disclosed.
Long before Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) was elected last year, her solely owned consulting firm J. Donatella & Associates ran several Democratic campaigns, including that of her husband, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.(D-Ill.). Shes still active in that arena, the congressman said Friday.
Another freshman alderman, Brendan Reilly (42nd), disclosed he works part-time for the Dewey Square Group, a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm.
My contract specifically excludes work in Illinois, Reilly said. I did that so there wouldnt even be the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd), a seasoned civil litigator in his first council term, disclosed that he has earned money working under appointment to the Cook and Will County states attorneys offices. Its work he said he haslittle time to do today.
The accounting firm that employs Rose Doherty, the wife of Ald. Brian Doherty (41st), has done work for the Firemans Annuity and Benefit Fund and the citys Public Employee Deferred Compensation Plan.
The alderman said his wife now focuses mostly on work for non-profitcompanies, and hes not sure whether shes involved with work for the entities he listed.
Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. (21st), said he didnt think he was required to disclose that his wife, Ebonie, sells real estate for MGM Terrell Group, a developer in a tax increment finance district enacted by the city in his ward.
But after the issue was raised in his unsuccessful campaign for states attorney, he said he decided to report it in the interest of full transparency.
**New York City:
# of City Councilmen = 51
# of Burough Presidents = 5
***New York City Population = 8+ million
# of Chicago Alderman + Cook County Commissioners = 74
**Chicago Population = nearly 3 milliion
Stolen...It’s the Chicago way....Pleads quilty/No discovery
Feel free to connect dots and add any material you find.
Ald. Carothers pleads guilty to corruption, resigns [Name that party Alert]
Chicago Breaking News ^ | 02/01/10 | Jeff Coen and Todd Lighty
Posted on Monday, February 01, 2010 10:13:55 PM by freespirited
Ald. Carothers pleads guilty to corruption, resigns February 1, 2010 6:48 PM | 44 Comments | UPDATED STORY
Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers pleaded guilty today to federal corruption charges in a deal with prosecutors that calls for him to be sentenced to 28 months in prison.
Hours after entering the plea, Carothers resigned from the City Council in a letter to Mayor Richard Daley. “Please keep me and my family in your prayers,” Carothers wrote.
In admitting he accepted $40,000 in improvements to his home for supporting a developer’s controversial project in his ward, Carothers joins a long list of crooked aldermen who have helped cement Chicago’s reputation for political corruption.
The 29th Ward alderman pleaded guilty to one count of failing to report the home improvements on his income taxes and to one count of corruptly accepting items of value for supporting a zoning change for the project.
The plea deal calls for prosecutors to drop four more serious wire and mail fraud charges that carried stiffer penalties.
Under state law, the guilty plea requires that Carothers’ City Council seat be vacated immediately.
“”I want to personally thank you for your deeply appreciated expressions of support during this very difficult time,” Carothers wrote in his resignation letter, addressed to Daley who will appoint a replacement. “It has indeed been a pleasure serving with you and other members of the Chicago City Council.”
Carothers’ attorney, Jeffrey Steinback, was asked why Carothers accepted a bribe in return for supporting the zoning change.
Steinback said the situation was not something Carothers initiated or demanded, and that Carothers already supported the change for Galewood Yards because it was good for his ward.
The home improvements he accepted were a reward for doing so, Steinback said, and Carothers first asked the developer, Calvin Boender whether an invoice for the work would be forthcoming.
“What was good for his ward was good for his ward, regardless of these additional benefits, which he should not have received,” Steinback said. “That is the crime.”
Carothers knew he should not have been accepting such things from someone doing business with the city, the lawyer said. The alderman is not denying that what he did was illegal, Steinback said.
“I haven’t yet met a perfect human being. I doubt in my lifetime that I will,” he said. “People engage in activities that they regret. I know that this is something that Ike regrets deeply. That’s why he has come in and pled guilty. That’s why he’s agreed to cooperate with the government — in an attempt to try to make things right.”
For months, Carothers has been cooperating with federal authorities and working undercover secretly recording other public officials and businessmen. He would be the government’s star witness at separate trials of the developer and of a businessman accused of bribing alderman for favors at Chicago’s two airports.
Carothers’ conviction brings to 28 the number of alderman found guilty of wrongdoing since 1972. One of those was Carothers’ father, William, who was accused of similar wrongdoing as his son. The elder Carothers was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison in 1983 for extorting remodeling work for his ward office.
Ike Carothers, 55, has been an alderman since 1999 and is one of Daley’s staunchest allies on the City Council. Aldermen are paid $110,560-a-year.
When Carothers was indicted last May, Daley said he was surprised by the charges and called the alderman a “hardworking, dedicated public servant.”
Carothers’ co-defendant, Boender, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial in March. Ten current or former aldermen are fighting subpoenas for their testimony sought by Boender.
Boender allegedly bribed Carothers to win his support for a zoning change for Galewood Yards, a controversial commercial and residential project in the alderman’s ward.
The Tribune in 2008 chronicled how Boender overrode the opposition of city planners to Galewood Yards after enlisting the support of Carothers and U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Chicago). Boender and his associates had donated about $55,000 to Carothers’ re-election campaigns and $41,000 to Gutierrez.
Gutierrez has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
The indictment also alleged the Carothers asked Boender to donate to a relative who was running for Congress in 2004 and that Boender enlisted two others to give contributions on his behalf. Carothers’ aunt, Anita Rivkin-Carothers, ran unsuccessfully in 2004 for Congress.
Carothers has cooperated with the FBI beginning in 2008 and has recorded others with a hidden microphone and a video camera. Carothers is at the center of the federal bribery case of businessman Wafeek “Wally” Aiyash, who he secretly recorded.
According to court records, Aiyash allegedly offered a $100,000 bribe to Carothers to help him open seven restaurants at O’Hare International and Midway airports. Carothers was a member of the council’s Aviation Committee, whose duties include approving contracts at the airports.
Aiyash, like Boender, donated to the alderman’s political campaigns and did business in his West Side ward. Aiyash’s lawyer declined to comment