Courthouse Scandal Circa 1968

My first car was a hand-me-down from my father.

It was a Mercedes diesel, bought in 1964.

1964 Mercedes Disel

My father’s 1964 Mercedes Diesel looked like this.

When he showed up at my Oberlin College in it in my senior year, I wondered how he had been able to afford it with two kids in college.

It wasn’t very stylish.

Mercedes had put little fins on it that almost looked silly.

Anyway, when I came back from my first job–Budget Examiner in the United States Bureau of the Budget–to run for McHenry County Treasurer that was the car I got to drive.

Great mileage and I later discovered on trips to Springfield, it would run very fast for a very long time.  Not must pickup though.

There was a problem during very cold times, however.

The car wouldn’t start if the fluids were very cold.

So, Mercedes had included a place to plug in the car.

My parking spot was behind the Old Woodstock Courthouse from 1966-70.

The bottom floor right in front of my parking space was where the County Treasurer’s Personal Property Division was located.

The Personal Property Tax was a hated tax amounting to under $100 a year.  It was levied on cars and furniture.

We now pay more in state license plates fees each year.

I ran an extension cord through the window to my car.

One week I opened the Crystal Lake News, a tabloid run by Marge Rom, and found a photo of my car plugged into county electricity to heat the block.

Scandal at the Courthouse.

Now I see the push to provide free electricity to charge electric cars.
Electric car chargersAlthough such a proposal was rejected by the McHenry County College Board when the south parking lot was repaved, there are two spots there today.

MCC’s Christina Haggerty found

“the money for the charging stations came from award money from the American Association of Community Colleges. SEED stands for sustainability, education, and economic development. The College won an award for community engagement in January 2015.”

[I wish someone would pay for the fuel to run my car.]

McHenry County Salaries – Q

It’s time to take a look at what McHenry County employees will earn during Fiscal Year 2016.

Since the Fiscal Year starts in December, the numbers below reflect compensation from December, 2015, through December, 2016.

The official title of the report is

Salary Compensation Report Pursuant to Section 120/7.3 of the Open Meetings Act For Fiscal Year 2015-2016

Sheriff’s employees receive clothing allowances ranging from $125 for Court Security Officers to $950 for Detectives and highest ranking Officers.

A couple of high administrators receive a automobile allowance, which I’ll try to note when I get to their names.

      CO SHARE CO SHARE  
NAME JOB TITLE SALARY HEALTH INS DENTAL INS TOTAL
Qazi,Fouzia Public Health Nurse IBCCP 55,768.68 16,155.36 1,230.24 73,154.28
Quance,Brandy S Attorney, Senior 74,202.99 6,904.08 647.04 81,754.11
Quick II,Michael E. Detective – Union 84,296.21 11,805.36 647.04 97,698.61
Quinn,Cara L Cook 26,681.37 16,544.40 1,230.24 44,456.01

In accordance with PA 97-609, and certain requirements within this act, a government entity is required to list on its website the total compensation package for every IMRF covered employee earning a total compensation package in excess of $75,000. Salary and benefit information for IMRF employees are for salaries on FY 2015-16 as it represents numbers that are projected to be earned at the completion of the fiscal year. Numbers do not become actual until the completion of the fiscal year. This information is offered to provide transparency.

Jack Franks Still Running for State Rep. – Part 36

This billboard showed up during the Jack Franks-Steve Reick campaign in 2014.

This billboard showed up during the Jack Franks-Steve Reick campaign in 2014.

House Speaker Mike Madigan dropped off the fundraising invitations sent out by State Rep. Jack Franks in 2015.

My guess is that Franks understood the negative aspect of being associated with the House Speaker for whom he voted nine times.

Even before that, in 2015, Franks was trying to disassociate himself from Madigan.

Now Franks is running for McHenry County Board Chairman…and State Representative.

Why both?

Reporter Pete Gonigam found out when he asked Franks right after local Democrats slated him:

“Franks qualified that saying he’d give up the Rep. race if the Committee can pick another candidate who’s both ‘electable’ and holds a political outlook consistent with his own.”

You will remember that Gonigam was the only reporter in the room when the local Democratic Party slated Franks for the county office.

So far Franks hasn’t pulled out of the race.

Has Jack Franks filed a Withdrawal of Candidacy statement yet?

Check whether Franks has filed the form yet, by clicking here.

In June of 2014, publicity about Jack Franks’ latest “headline bill” did not win rave reviews.

Capitol Fax headlined its article,

Voted “least likely to succeed”

"Term Limits for Legislative Leaders, 1800-SHAKE-UP"reads the sign used in Cal Skinner's 2002 Libertarian Party campaign for Governor.

“Term Limits for Legislative Leaders, 1800-SHAKE-UP”reads the sign used in Cal Skinner’s 2002 Libertarian Party campaign for Governor.

It was a proposal to ask voters in the 2015 non-partisan elections if term limits should be imposed on leaders in the state Legislature.

It sounded a lot like my 2002 proposal for a constitutional amendment to impose Term Limits for Legislative Leaders.

Franks’ proposal was but a poor imitation of my constitutional amendment idea.

But it turned into a big page 3 article in the Northwest Herald.

Rich Miller, who writes Capitol Fax Blog, concluded,

But, c’mon, unless he’s willing to say he’d vote against MJM for Speaker next year, this ain’t exactly a serious proposal.”

Here are some of the comments:
Franks Reick sign anit Franks + Madigan

“Jack Franks is among the most shameless grandstanders of the caucus.”

“How many members of Illinois General Assembly would grandstand as much as Jack Franks if they were as good at it as Franks?”
“Jack is more interested in making headlines than he is in making good policy. Im not sure he has ever enacted any meaningful legislation that would call for real media press.”
“For all the political criticisms remember we all get the government we deserve.”

“And while we are on the topic of who is brave and who is not…

Jack Franks at Milk Day Parade.

Jack Franks at a Milk Day Parade.

“Bravery is voting for things like pension reform and the tax increase…Jack likes to rail and rail against ideas supported by a majority of his party and then enjoy the benefits of his colleagues work when the lights go down.

“He is the least bravest in that caucus.”

“People should stop defending Jack as some knight of courage when he is the exact opposite.”

“Is this the same Jack Franks who pledged to serve only three terms when he was running in 1998?”

“I doubt if Madigan cares, because Franks will still vote for him.”

“I had to laugh when Jack got himself in all the papers railing on about how seats on boards and commissions shouldn’t be paid because they’re part time jobs… without seeing the hypocrisy that he isn’t giving up *his* salary for *his* part time job.”

Steve Reick sign says, "A vote for Jack Franks is a vote for Mike Madigan."

Steve Reick sign correctly predicts, “A vote for Jack Franks is a vote for Mike Madigan.”

“This is typical Jack Franks grandstanding.”

“If he could combine the bill with yet another Franks Fundraiser, that would be perfect.”

“If Jack Franks had any testicular fortitude, he would have ran against Randy Hultgren in 2012. He would have won with the Obama wave.”

= = = = =

See related articles:

The Cost of Replacing the Brick Crosswalks Along Route 14

The Lottery might help taxpayers recoup the $16,000 spent on each TIF monument...when the budget is passed and advertising money is again available.

Advertising by the Lottery might help taxpayers recoup the $16,000 spent on each TIF monument.

A pretty long time ago I saw workers replacing brick crosswalks along the Virginia Street Tax Increment Financing District with asphalt.

How does one know where the TIF Districts starts and stops?

Just look for the pillars.

Two on one end in front of 5th Third Bank and Pizza Hut.

Two on the other end near the Crystal Lake Motel and Kwik Kopy.

Cost of $16,000 each.

$64,000 total.

Some seems to have been done at night, probably to inconvenience local drivers the least.

Stopping to talk to the workmen, I discovered they did not know about Tax Increment Financing Districts are.

Stopping to talk to the workmen, I discovered they did not know about Tax Increment Financing Districts are.

Night work prohibited local taxpayers from seeing the admission of a design mistake.

I guess I should say “another design mistake,” because all of the decorative lights had to be exchanged for ones that would not fall down.

In any event, I asked the City of Crystal Lake how much it cost to replace the bricks with asphalt.

Here’s the answer:

The brick crosswalks were a

The brick crosswalks were a $23,523.60 mistake.


Long-time readers know that I am not a fan of TIF Districts.

The reasons include their causing taxes of everyone outside of the TIF District to increase and the fact that hardly anyone can figure that out.

The second reason is that it provides a slush fund for municipal officials.

How many signs have been purchased for the failed restaurants across from 1776, for example?

Kim Zinke Indicted on Three Counts of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance

Kane County Deputy Sheriff Kim Zinke has been indicted on three counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Kim Zinke

Kim Zinke

The indictment was filed yesterday in the McHenry County Circuit Clerk’s Office.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi, who strongly supported Bill Prim in his campaign to win the Republican nomination for Sheriff over Andy Zinke, did not think it proper for his office to handle the investigation of Kim Zinke.

His Lake County counterpart agreed to handle the investigation and prosecution, which will take place in Woodstock, where the Zinke’s reside.

Kim Zinke has been on paid leave from the Kane County Sheriff’s Department since the investigation began over a year ago.

The charges are Class 4 felonies carrying possible sentences of 1 to 3 years in state prison.

Prior to working for the Kane County Sheriff’s Department, Kim Zinke worked for the McHenry County Sheriff.

Rating Restaurants at the Front Door

This may be the northernmost Waffle House. It is in a suburb west of Paducah..

This may be the northernmost Waffle House. It is in the suburb of Lone Oak, west of Paducah..

We returned from vacation through Paducah, Kentucky, on Interstate 24 for the second year in a row.

Health Dept restaurant rating KY Waffle HouseBesides trying to buy a wine glass at the Purple Toad Winery (maybe some wine, too), which was closed because it was Sunday, we stopped to see how the local health department had rated the Lone Oak Waffle House.

Last year the restaurant earned an “A” rating for sanitation.

The sign was right next to the front door.

This year, it had dropped to a “B,” according to the Purchase District Health Department.

Looking at the report, however, the score is 99.  The previous score was 83.

Waffle House B 6-15 Last summer I asked,

Why doesn’t the McHenry County Health Department follow a similar policy of public disclosure?

The numbers were available, if one went searching with a Freedom of Information Act request, but they were not available to the general public.

Under the leadership of newly-appointed McHenry County Health Department Director Michael Hill, the Board of Health voted to make the information more available.  (Most of the links in my original article don’t work anymore.  Strange.)

Publishing the restaurant ratings on the internet happened last April.

Andy Andrewsky, co-owner of 1776 in Crystal Lake, made the motion on the Board of Health.

When I looked up his rating, I found it was 96.

The report is posted somewhere on the premises, but not near the front door as in the Kentucky county where the Waffle House is located.

McHenry County Salaries – P

It’s time to take a look at what McHenry County employees will earn during Fiscal Year 2016.

Since the Fiscal Year starts in December, the numbers below reflect compensation from December, 2015, through December, 2016.

The official title of the report is

Salary Compensation Report Pursuant to Section 120/7.3 of the Open Meetings Act For Fiscal Year 2015-2016

Sheriff’s employees receive clothing allowances ranging from $125 for Court Security Officers to $950 for Detectives and highest ranking Officers.

A couple of high administrators receive a automobile allowance, which I’ll try to note when I get to their names.

Pam Palmer has a $6,500 “stipend” from State tax dollars.  *With the exception of $4,000, the County Sheriff’s stipend of $10,500 is reimbursed by the State of Illinois.

      CO SHARE CO SHARE  
NAME JOB TITLE SALARY HEALTH INS DENTAL INS TOTAL
Pagan,Ricardo Chief of Operations 128,834.90     129,784.90
Pagett,Neil W. Correctional Officer – Union 71,809.45 7,060.56 647.04 80,067.05
Palek,Jennifer L Activity Assistant 12,259.00     12,259.00
Palmer,Pamela K County Auditor 104,750.00 20,164.44 908.64 132,323.08
Parisek,Katherine Court/Courtroom Spec II 37,285.46 11,149.68 647.04 49,082.18
Partridge,Beth A Patient Care Planning Coord 69,078.46 16,155.36 1,230.24 86,464.06
Patenaude,Daniel J. Deputy Sheriff SGT 99,259.16 20,164.44 908.64 120,832.24
Patenaude,Julie E. Court/Courtroom Spec III 40,615.23 11,149.68 647.04 52,411.95
Paterek,Kristofer Correctional Officer – Union 83,872.93 16,544.40 1,230.24 102,197.57
Paulish,Linda S Certified Nursing Asst I 23,897.90 16,544.40 1,230.24 41,672.54
Paulson,Daniel J Probation Off II 42,290.09   647.04 42,937.13
Paulson,Jeffrey C. Correctional Officer – Union 83,872.93 16,544.40 1,230.24 102,197.57
Pawlik,John J Deputy – Union 90,243.30 26,023.92 1,230.24 117,997.46
Payton,Karyn A Legal Admin Spec Felony 32,320.71 6,904.08 647.04 39,871.83
Payton,Sarah M Mental Health Court Clinician 47,564.02 11,149.68 647.04 59,360.74
Payton,Susan I Court Services Office Manager 49,888.88 20,164.44 908.64 70,961.96
Peacock,Amber R Front Desk Associate 14,905.07     14,905.07
Pechous,Thomas F Correctional Officer – Union 83,872.93 16,544.40 1,230.24 102,197.57
Peckham,Amy L Court/Courtroom Spec I 28,971.00 20,164.44 908.64 50,044.08
Pellegrino,Denise M Radio Dispchr – Union 63,336.00 20,164.44 908.64 84,909.08
Penna,Anthony T Deputy Sheriff SGT 99,259.16 26,023.92 1,230.24 127,463.32
Perciabosco,David Marine Patrol I 9,963.20     9,963.20
Perez,Ana Marie L Registry – RN 15,600.00     15,600.00
Perez,Angelica Office Assistant II 33,118.26 16,155.36 1,230.24 50,503.86
Perkins,Kathryn A Correctional Officer – Union 83,872.93     84,422.93
Perkins,Marianne Administrative Specialist II 36,527.79 6,904.08 647.04 44,078.91
Pesterfield,Walt J Court Services Probation Dir 120,407.45 16,155.36 1,230.24 137,793.05
Peter,Jennifer L LPN 41,080.00 16,544.40 1,230.24 58,854.64
Peters,Raymond B Court Security – Non Union 3,380.00     3,505.00
Peterson,Morgan M Probation Off I 38,023.20 11,149.68 647.04 49,819.92
Peterson,Patricia R Exec Admin Assistant 48,132.14 26,023.92 1,230.24 75,386.30
Peterson,Wileen IT Departmental Business Analy 59,257.97 20,164.44 908.64 80,331.05
Pfeiffer,Ronald M Maintenance Tech III 62,545.60 26,023.92 1,230.24 89,799.76
Pickens,William L. Probation Off III 69,386.85 6,904.08 647.04 76,937.97
Pietrowski,Randall M Court Security – Non Union 3,380.00     3,380.00
Pigoni,Theresa M Court/Courtroom Spec I 28,971.00 6,904.08 647.04 36,522.12
Pina,Maria E. Health Program Dental 36,986.38 16,155.36 1,230.24 54,371.98
Plonczynski,Kara M Volunteer Coord/Health Edu 42,369.84 6,904.08 647.04 49,920.96
Poli,Diane R Office Assistant II 13,638.11     13,638.11
Pollet,Gene J Custodian – Union 37,264.50 11,805.36 647.04 49,716.90
Polnicka,Wieslawa E Housekeeper 21,099.00 12,960.48   34,059.48
Polnow,Mary M. Administrative Specialist III 39,119.83 11,149.68 647.04 50,916.55
Polston,Robert H Marine Patrol I 9,954.55     9,954.55
Pond,Betty A Self Help Center Navigator 12,601.29     12,601.29
Popovits,James D Deputy Sheriff LT 109,206.24 26,023.92 1,230.24 137,410.40
Poynter,Jeffery J Dir Workforce Investment 65,156.91 6,904.08 1,230.24 73,291.23
Predni,Robert J Marine Patrol II 10,576.71     10,576.71
Prichard,Katie A Probation Off I 39,239.46 11,149.68 647.04 51,036.18
Prigge,Shannon Probation Off II 44,303.90 26,023.92 1,230.24 71,558.06
Prim,William P Sheriff 149,390.80 26,023.92 1,230.24 188,094.96
Provenzano,Dominic A County Board Member 21,000.00 16,155.36 1,230.24 38,385.60

In accordance with PA 97-609, and certain requirements within this act, a government entity is required to list on its website the total compensation package for every IMRF covered employee earning a total compensation package in excess of $75,000. Salary and benefit information for IMRF employees are for salaries on FY 2015-16 as it represents numbers that are projected to be earned at the completion of the fiscal year. Numbers do not become actual until the completion of the fiscal year. This information is offered to provide transparency.

Kohl’s Computerized Standard Operating Procedures Cost Company $25

This card gives my wife $25 more in merchandise credit than what she paid.

This card gives my wife $25 more in merchandise credit than what she paid.

My wife bought me some slippers for Christmas.

Cost:  $12.79, plus tax.

The pre-Christmas price was marked down from $36.

They were too big.

I didn’t return them in a timely fashion.

When I did this month, the slipper receipt didn’t match the one on the box.

So, the customer service lady processed the return from the identification on the box.

I ended up with a refund of $36, plus tax of $2.79.

“But that’s a lot more than we paid for them,” I observed.

She agreed, but told me with returns not having a receipt, the computer program forces her to refund the lowest price over the last three months.

So much for not trusting the employees on the floor.

 

Jack Franks Still Running for State Rep. – Part 35

A colorful "Defend Marriage Illinois" sign can be seen here.

A colorful “Defend Marriage Illinois” sign can be seen here in front of Jack Franks’ Woodstock office.  Jack Franks voted for gay marriage.

Sunday, May 15th, Gonigam reported,

“Franks qualified that saying he’d give up the Rep. race if the Committee can pick another candidate who’s both ‘electable’ and holds a political outlook consistent with his own.”

But Franks hasn’t pulled out of the race.

Here is the form that Franks has to file with the State Board of Elections to withdraw from the race:

Withdrawal of candidacy form Jack Franks has to file to get off the ballot for State Representative

Withdrawal of candidacy form Jack Franks has to file to get off the ballot for State Representative

Jack Franks Walk Piece Riddled With Inaccuracies

Jack Franks has sent a volunteer who identified themselves as a Republican and left this walk piece at the door.  Jack Franks continues to twist reality to meet his personal desires.

JFF

Franks claims he will lower property taxes as the county board chair but what he fails to mention is that the county board has lowered taxes.

JFB

Franks fails to mention that he will be collecting a pension valued at over $58,000 per year.

Franks fails to mention that he promised to run for only three terms but ended up running for nine.

Franks fails to mention that he voted for Mike Madigan for speaker nine times which greatly increased waste and corruption in Illinois.

Franks fails to mention Illinois is losing jobs despite the policies he is responsible for enacting.

 

McHenry County Salaries – O

It’s time to take a look at what McHenry County employees will earn during Fiscal Year 2016.

Since the Fiscal Year starts in December, the numbers below reflect compensation from December, 2015, through December, 2016.

The official title of the report is

Salary Compensation Report Pursuant to Section 120/7.3 of the Open Meetings Act For Fiscal Year 2015-2016

Sheriff’s employees receive clothing allowances ranging from $125 for Court Security Officers to $950 for Detectives and highest ranking Officers.

A couple of high administrators receive a automobile allowance, which I’ll try to note when I get to their names.

      CO SHARE CO SHARE  
NAME JOB TITLE SALARY HEALTH INS DENTAL INS TOTAL
Oakley,Roberta S. Front Desk Associate 8,616.14     8,616.14
Oates,Donald R DOT Maint Worker 43,990.75 20,400.00   64,390.75
Obermann,Margaret Public Health Nurse Clinic 15,680.36     15,680.36
O’Brien,Loreen A Workforce Development Spec 42,616.55 11,149.68 647.04 54,413.27
Odean,Leslie R WIC Nutritionist 39,837.62     39,837.62
O’Donnell,Karen R Registry – LPN 11,960.00     11,960.00
Oelert,Deborah L Legal Admin Spec II 34,833.00 11,149.68 908.64 46,891.32
Oligney,Kyle W Deputy – Union 76,423.20 12,960.48 908.64 90,792.32
Olsen,Ermila Office Assistant II 19,713.31     19,713.31
Olson,Connie L. Administrative Specialist III 35,770.12 20,164.44 908.64 56,843.20
Olson,Gary T Sr. Network Engineer 96,399.34 16,155.36 1,230.24 113,784.94
Ornelas,Gisela Office Assistant II 14,555.29     14,555.29
Ortiz,Rosemary Office Assistant II 29,768.55 20,164.44 908.64 50,841.63
Os,William M Correctional Officer – Union 83,872.93 26,023.92 1,230.24 111,677.09
Osborne,Lynnsey J Administrative Specialist II 24,641.64 16,155.36 1,230.24 42,027.24
Osterhout,Anne E Registered Nurse 11,024.00     11,024.00
Otterson,LeRoy H Network Engineer 51,184.10 16,155.36 1,230.24 68,569.70
Ottlinger,Daniel A Correctional Officer – Union 83,872.93 16,544.40 1,230.24 102,197.57
Overlee,Renee M. Circuit Clerk Div Supervisor 43,446.54 11,149.68 1,230.24 55,826.46
Ozegbe,Victor O Certified Nursing Asst I 24,421.80 7,060.56 647.04 32,129.40

* With the exception of $4,000, the County Sheriff’s stipend is reimbursed by the State of Illinois. Remaining stipends are reimbursed by the State of Illinois.

In accordance with PA 97-609, and certain requirements within this act, a government entity is required to list on its website the total compensation package for every IMRF covered employee earning a total compensation package in excess of $75,000. Salary and benefit information for IMRF employees are for salaries on FY 2015-16 as it represents numbers that are projected to be earned at the completion of the fiscal year. Numbers do not become actual until the completion of the fiscal year. This information is offered to provide transparency.

Images of Illinois

When I saw the illustration with Chicago Tribune Eric Zorn’s June 3rd column, I thought of two more.

Illinois in the toilet is the message this Tribune illustration evokes.

Illinois in the toilet is the message this Tribune illustration evokes.

It reminded me to two other images that characterize where Illinois is.

The first was found in a Springfield hotel hot tube early one morning.

If Illinois is this black hole, where are we on the way down?

If Illinois is this black hole, where are we on the way down?

The final image I got sometime in the middle of the first decade of this century.

It was a dead pigeon in a gutter across the street from the Renaissance Hotel (now the Abraham Lincoln) in Springfield.

I have looked and looked for this oh so appropriate photo, but can’t find it.

Or perhaps a more important image is the one below of a couple of teens looking through the door of the State Museum:

The Illinois State Museum was closed.

The Illinois State Museum was closed.

Maybe the tattered Illinois flag outside the State Museum is most appropriate:

Tattered Illinois flag outside the Illinois State Museum.

Tattered Illinois flag outside the Illinois State Museum.

Jack Franks Still Running for State Rep. – Part 34

Since this 2010 billboard, the numbers have undoubtedly increased.

Since this 2010 billboard, the numbers have undoubtedly increased.

Here we are on almost the longest day of the year and State Rep. Jack Franks is still on the ballot for his 10th election.

Sunday, May 15th, Pete Gonigam reported,

“Franks qualified that saying he’d give up the Rep. race if the Committee can pick another candidate who’s both ‘electable’ and holds a political outlook consistent with his own.”

But Franks hasn’t pulled out of the race.

Franks could accurately be described as a “union Democrat.”

This post details the $25,100 he has received from Fire Fighters PAC (IAFF union) to Illinois State Representative Jack D Franks PACs.

Franks Firefighters PAC contributions
IAFF = International Association of Fire Fighters, state affiliate is Association Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI).
Fire Fighters PAC name on ISBE website: Associated Fire Fighters of IL PAC

Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) Committee ID: 1107
www.elections.state.il.us > Search Options > Committee Search > Search

Jack Franks PAC #2 (active): Committee Name – Supporters of Jack D Franks, Committee ID 19464

Jack Franks PAC #1 (inactive): Committee Name – Citizens For Jack D Franks, Committee ID 13681

= = = = =
Has Jack Franks filed a Withdrawal of Candidacy statement yet?

Check whether Franks has filed the form yet, by clicking here.

FOI Request for Abortion Clinic Safety Data Denial Being Appealed

A press release from the Thomas More Society tells of an attempt to obtain records about the safety of abortion clinics.  One of the plaintiffs is retired nurse Jean Crocco of McHenry County.

City of Chicago and Illinois Department of Public Health Risk Women’s Health and Safety

The ThoChicago logomas More Society filed complaints against the City of the Chicago and the Illinois Department of Public Health for refusing to release information that is rightfully available under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, known as FOIA.

The actions arise from requests by the Pro-Life Action League and private citizens for records that were legitimately requested in accordance with FOIA and have not been fulfilled. Both FOIAs were filed regarding matters involving the health and safety of women at abortion clinics.

Thomas Olp, attorney with the Thomas More Society, explained,

“Both the City of Chicago and the Illinois Department of Public Health have acted unreasonably and unlawfully in withholding the requested public records.

“These FOIAs were filed seeking information regarding abortion clinics at which women’s health and safety may be at risk.  In both cases, the legitimate public interest in seeking the records is provable and compelling.

“Yet neither the city nor the health department has complied with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act which declares the public policy of the State of Illinois to be that ‘all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government.’”

He added that the Illinois FOIA law raises a presumption that “all records in the custody or possession of a public body are …open to inspection or copying.

”While private information may be exempt from public disclosure (if it is “highly personal or objectionable to a reasonable person and in which the subject’s right to privacy outweighs any legitimate public interest in obtaining the information”), the burden of proving the exemption rests squarely on the agency asserting the exemption. In neither case,” Olp maintained, “has the city or health department met the burden of proving that its refusal to disclose public records was justified.”

Pro-Life Action League & Jansen v. City of ChicagoIL dept of public health

The Pro-Life Action League employs John Jansen to monitor abortion clinics.

In this capacity Jansen submits FOIA requests for information related to 911 emergency calls pertaining to patients at abortion clinics who may be transported to hospitals due to health complications arising during an abortion procedure.

The purpose is to alert women to clinic safety issues and to protect them from clinics which may be unsanitary, dangerous or use unsafe practices.

Jansen is not interested in the identity of any patient but is seeking the patients’ medical conditions as described in the 911 data and patients’ ages.

A request made July 2, 2014, sought “records and audio recordings of any and all 911 calls originating from 2744 N. Western Avenue.”

Another made on October 13, 2014, asked for “all audio recordings, transcriptions, notes, logs, reports, memoranda and all other files” related to any 911 calls that brought Chicago Fire Department personnel to Family Planning Associates, 659 W. Washington, on the morning of October 11, 2014.

The city refused to disclose the information requested on the grounds that the federal HIPAA law prohibits its disclosure and that it is exempt from disclosure because it contains private and personal information.

Jansen appealed to the Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Office of the Attorney General, who found that there was no “clear and convincing evidence” for exemption and that the requested information should be disclosed. Still, the City of Chicago declined to comply, requiring the filing of the suit.

Pro-Life Action League & Crocco v. Illinois Department of Public Health

Jean Crocco is a retired nurse who investigates the safety of abortion procedures and cleanliness of abortion clinics across the country.

Her FOIA requests in Illinois and other states are filed to gather information about clinics which have failed to satisfy safety standards as disclosed in inspection reports, and to identify clinics which employ unlicensed workers or have staff under investigation.

Crocco’s end goal is to protect women from clinics which may be dangerous or unsanitary.

In responding to Crocco’s August 26, 2015, and subsequent FOIA requests, the Illinois Department of Public Health departed from longstanding practice and redacted from the disclosed public records the names and professional license numbers of clinic professional employees, something it had not done in the past.

Its refusal also flies in the face of settled Illinois FOIA precedent holding that such public information (names and professional license numbers) are not exempt and must be disclosed.

Read the complaints filed in Pro-Life Action League & Jansen v. City of Chicago and Pro-Life Action League & Crocco v. Illinois Department of Public Health.

McHenry County Salaries – N

It’s time to take a look at what McHenry County employees will earn during Fiscal Year 2016.

Since the Fiscal Year starts in December, the numbers below reflect compensation from December, 2015, through December, 2016.

The official title of the report is

Salary Compensation Report Pursuant to Section 120/7.3 of the Open Meetings Act For Fiscal Year 2015-2016

Sheriff’s employees receive clothing allowances ranging from $125 for Court Security Officers to $950 for Detectives and highest ranking Officers.

A couple of high administrators receive a automobile allowance, which I’ll try to note when I get to their names.

      CO SHARE CO SHARE  
NAME JOB TITLE SALARY HEALTH INS DENTAL INS TOTAL
Nabanakulya,Aida K Certified Nursing Asst I 4,594.20     4,594.20
Nassolo,Jovita Z Registry – RN 15,600.00     15,600.00
Nauert,Mary Lou VR Elections Clerk 26,199.52 20,164.44 1,230.24 47,594.20
Nay,Sherril A Certified Nursing Asst I 25,489.75 7,060.56 647.04 33,197.35
Neilsen,Kenneth S Deputy Sheriff LT 109,206.24 26,023.92 1,230.24 136,960.40
Nejdl,Christine Asst. Director 61,575.91 20,164.44 908.64 82,648.99
Nelson,Kent E Corrections SGT 92,253.88 26,023.92 1,230.24 120,058.04
Nesbit,Taylor A Attorney, Assistant 58,653.69 11,149.68 647.04 70,450.41
Nevitt,Cheryl A Radio Dispchr – Union 53,289.60 20,164.44 908.64 74,862.68
New,Lisa W Certified Nursing Asst I 24,421.80 12,960.48 908.64 38,290.92
Newbold,Bryan E Correctional Officer – Union 60,148.09 16,544.40 1,230.24 78,472.73
Newby,Joshua A DBA//Developer 71,135.88 16,155.36 1,230.24 88,521.48
Newcomb,Brian L DOT Maint Worker 43,990.75 8,400.00   52,390.75
Nicholson,Suzan L Radio Dispchr – Union 60,278.40 11,805.36 647.04 73,230.80
Nickels,Ronald H Transportation Spec 10,524.06     10,524.06
Nicolosi,Matthew J DOT Maint Worker 39,390.00 20,400.00   59,790.00
Noah,Yele D Correctional Officer – Union 56,126.93 16,544.40 1,230.24 74,451.57
Nomm,Patricia M Dir Environmental Health 93,010.81 26,023.92 1,230.24 120,264.97
Novak,Jason M Deputy – Union 84,296.21 16,544.40 1,230.24 102,570.85
Nowak,Robert C County Board Member 21,000.00 6,904.08 647.04 28,551.12
Noworolnik,Rachel L Registry – CNA 7,142.85     7,142.85
Nulle,Steven E Deputy – Union 80,253.89 16,544.40 1,230.24 98,528.53

* With the exception of $4,000, the County Sheriff’s stipend is reimbursed by the State of Illinois. Remaining stipends are reimbursed by the State of Illinois.

In accordance with PA 97-609, and certain requirements within this act, a government entity is required to list on its website the total compensation package for every IMRF covered employee earning a total compensation package in excess of $75,000. Salary and benefit information for IMRF employees are for salaries on FY 2015-16 as it represents numbers that are projected to be earned at the completion of the fiscal year. Numbers do not become actual until the completion of the fiscal year. This information is offered to provide transparency.

Jack Franks Still Running for State Rep. – Part 33

Since moving to Illinois in 1958, I’ve been following Chicago schools.

The first reason was because Benjamin Willis, my mother’s Queen Anne’s County School Superintendent, was then in charge of the Chicago Schools.

Those were the days when trailers were brought in to house students in overflowing schools.

Critics named them “Willis Wagons.”

Over the years the school system always seem to be serving the poor poorly.

While I was in Springfield during the 1970’s, one could almost count on a request to bail out the schools by sending an extra $20 to $40 million.

James Meeks

James Meeks

Mayor Daley even came down once for a Committee of the Whole.

If the educational situation has improved over the decades, it’s hard to notice.

(Hard to believe that electing the Chicago School Board will make any difference other than giving the teachers union total control of everything.)

So, when the Rev. and State Senator James Meeks came up with a bill to help poor kids in Chicago by giving them vouchers and even got it passed over to the Illinois House, I was optimistic that Illinois might finally on the way to improving Chicago kids chances of getting a decent education significantly.

As a bonus, the program, according to calculations by then-Huntley School Board member Larry Snow, would save taxpayers about $280 million a year.

A “no-brainer,” wouldn’t you think?

But with sixty votes needed to pass the House, the bill came up 12 votes short.

Jack Franks was one of those voting, “No.”

The first vote on James Meek's voucher bill to allow Chicago public school strudents in the worst and most crowded schools to obtain vouchers to attend the private schools their parents select.

The first vote on James Meek’s voucher bill to allow Chicago public school strudents in the worst and most crowded schools to obtain vouchers to attend the private schools their parents select.

Republicans in the suburbs were willing to help inner city kids, but McHenry County’s Democrat was not.

He was representing the Chicago Teachers Union, which was adamantly opposed to the program to allow kids’ parents to pick the school of their choice.

How liberals can condone his “No” vote, which would have saved the state $280 million a year, is beyond me.

After you look at the campaign contributions that Jack Franks has received through 2009, you might want to ask him why he voted to poor mainly black and brown students in the Chicago school system to a continuing subpar education when he could have done something about it that would have saved $200 million a year and not hurt anyone in his legislative district.

$78,150 from the IFT and its local affiliates.

So, maybe getting Jack Franks out of the Illinois House would be a good thing.

The problem is that he has not withdrawn his candidacy for his tenth term.

Sunday, May 15th, Gonigam reported this about Franks not running for both offices:

“Franks qualified that saying he’d give up the Rep. race if the Committee can pick another candidate who’s both ‘electable’ and holds a political outlook consistent with his own.”

Has Jack Franks filed a Withdrawal of Candidacy statement yet?

Check whether Franks has filed the form yet, by clicking here.