11Apr/120

Editorial: U.S. Attorney sits on accusations detailing McMahon games with city contracts

Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois Pay-to-Play

The lead attorney for Eric Holder’s Department of Selective Justice in the Northeastern District of Northern Illinois has, for years, been sitting on taped conversations that outline how the McMahon companies in Chicago have long played games with city contracts.

Recently, the Sun Times put the McMahon’s in their journalistic crosshairs by citing a Daniel T. Frawley “Whistleblower” lawsuit that we, at IP2P, don’t believe exists.  Now why would they do that?

Because these days the Times gets its marching orders from His Honor Mayor Emanuel, who is out to destroy the myth of the Daley Machine as a regime that made Chicago “the City that works”.  (Meanwhile, the snoring Trib takes it's orders from Rip van Winkle.)  Rahm aims to be heralded as the man who cleaned-up Chicago by revealing the true Daley image as having facilitated “the City that cheats”.

And cheat it does.  The whole nation knows that.  But the nation also assumes that its local branch of the U.S. Department of Justice is working hard to hinder the cheating.  After all, aren’t the crooks of Cook County continually hunted by those intrepid FBI agents of Patrick “Elliott Ness” Fitz’s office, ever alert to the opportunity to stop crime sprees, a la Blago’s.  That’s the meme anyway.

IP2P has recently received summaries of federally monitored conversations from years past that suggest a more accurate image of the local office of Holder’s Department of Selective Justice.  This one suggests an investigative organization on a long voyeuristic trek when it comes to Chicago corruption.  It hides in the shadows, listens in on conversations, and watches criminal activities for years as it waits for…waits for what?

It waits for a green light from incumbent politicos to signal when it’s politically expedient to take out a crooked politician, or a bent real estate speculator?  Or, in the David Koschman case, it sits on evidence of a crooked police official who hindered the murder investigation, and thereby it, too, becomes complicit in the long denial of justice to Mrs. Nancy Koschman for the murder of her son. That’s not Ness-like behavior.

On several occasions, Fitzgerald has said that corruption can only stop when citizens come forward to report what they know.  So should we at IP2P be good citizens and send what we’ve been given to Fitz for further, extensive, thorough, professional “investigation”?   Why bother - they already have it, and have had it for years.

What about the U.S. Attorney’s office enforcing the law based on what they already know?

If not now – then when? When a politician says it’s “OK”?

1Apr/120

The Sun Times cries Crocodile Tears for Mrs. Koschman

 Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic

Crocodile tears (or superficial sympathy) are a false or insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grid 

In a March 30, 2012 article entitled “Nanci Koschman fights for her boy,” Sun Times reporter Carol Marin wrote:

“What Nanci Koschman is doing takes courage.

She sat, quietly crying at times, in the first row of Courtroom 606 at the Cook County Criminal Courts on Thurs­day as her attorneys asked Judge Michael Toomin to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the events surrounding her son’s death.

{snip}

When David Koschman’s head hit the curb that awful night, he never woke up. Eleven days later, he was taken off life support at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. And died in his mother’s arms.

{snip}

She and David were a mother-son team. She watched over him. He looked after her. She worked multiple jobs, as a school secretary, at Carson’s, in a doctor’s office and as a restaurant hostess to keep them afloat.

{snip}

She kissed him good night that evening, told him she loved him and sent him off to the city she had taught him to love.”

So the article went, exploiting the saga of sadness through which the mother of murdered David Koschman has suffered for eight, terrible years.

If you’re reading Marin’s piece on Mars, you might think – “Well, thank goodness a newspaper there is keeping alive this story of political favoritism shown to the nephew of a powerful politician – favoritism to the point of apparently letting him avoid, at minimum, charges of involuntary manslaughter.  Ah, the free and independent press on planet Earth at its best.”

Think that and you’d be wrong on Mars.

The Sun Times sat on the story for most of those eight years – essentially muted.  Rendered silent from what? Fear of retribution from a powerful political regime and its many influencial backers?  Fear of being shunned in the crony bars and press clubs where the Second City movers-n’-shakers hobnob? Exchange gossip. Get the inside scoop.

Maybe fear of being labeled muckrakers and naysayers.  Or, some combination of all of the above, and more.

(Never mind the Chicago Tribune. They didn’t have to check out of the story. They never checked in.) 

It doesn’t matter why the Sun Times ignored the story. What does matter is this:

Early on, the paper did a flyby, reported basic facts, and stopped digging for the truth – if it ever started.  Oh sure, the truth was buried deep by officialdom.  But, then that almost always happens when the truth is inconvenient.  That’s why investigative reporters have to investigate.

So, when the story broke, the paper did a flyby, and moved on.  And there it sat for seven years.

Then the political trade winds shifted in the Windy City and a new regime moved into City Hall.

Suddenly the paper had the green light to engage the truth of David Koschman’s death. Now comes this last piece on March 30, where we find the reporter…

Crying crocodile tears for Mrs. Koschman.