19Apr/120

Sun Times’ report on Frawley sentencing in error

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter, Illinois PayToPlay

In an April 19, 2012 Sun Times article entitled “Rezko’s business partner, who wore wire, gets one-year prison sentence,Times reporter Natasha Korecki wrote this:

“The Sun-Times has previously reported that Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to Companion Security in 2005 to train Iraqi security guards. That deal soon fizzled after a regime change.”

Really? If that’s so then why did Colonel David Hunt (US Army, Ret.) of FOX news fame, according to a confidential informant, send this email to Dan Frawley on June 9, 2007?

From: DHunt12xxx@(Address withheld)

To: dtfcompanion@(Address withheld)

Subject: Dan Call Me Great News

Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2007 20:50:56 EDT

Dan, Dewey, just called. Our guy just got back and is going back again on the 23 of this month. Here is what he learned. The Iraq Government considers your contract valid. Your contract is sitting on the Oil Ministers desk to be discussed and implemented by the Oil Committee. We have a guy on the staff of the committee it turns out a Kurd.

The bad news is that the Oil Committee has not acted on anything in two years....typical for Iraq.

Our guy is going back to try to get the committee to get this started.

I am very surprised and happy for you. I would have thought it was dead in the water.

David

The “Dewey” mentioned in the email is probably Duane R. Clarridge, who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for over two decades.  Read about him in the New York Times here.

Both Hunt and Clarridge were contacted by email in mid-March for comment, but have not responded.

Doesn’t sound like the deal “fizzled” in 2005, as the Sun Times reported.  According to the email above, as of June 9 2007 the Iraqi government considered the contract, all 17 pages of it, signed on April 18, 2005 by Frawley, “Chief Executive Officer Operations” for Companion Security, and Faris Al-Bayati, “Security Consultant for the [Iraqi] Ministry of Electricity,” still “valid”.

Also, the Sun Times reported that:

“’It’s not clear to me why this took such a long time,’ {Judge] Guzman said. He called it ‘fundamentally unfair’ to charge someone, give time to rehabilitate, then have them serve their punishment. Guzman ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation and to serve time in a facility that has mental health services.”

Guzman is a judge in the federal court that repeatedly postponed Frawley’s sentencing, dealt with him, according to Guzman, in a “fundamentally unfair” manner, and now the judge says he doesn’t understand how that happened! Really?

It’s as though you go to a fine restaurant – your meal comes late, cold, and bad tasting – and the top chef comes out of the kitchen wearing his tall white hat and says, “Gee, it’s just not clear to me how this happened.”

Lastly, there’s that nagging question of how the Sun Times got access to a sealed law suit allegedly filed by Frawley against the McMahons.  Who leaked it, and why?  And what are the consequences for leaking a sealed court document?

At Illinois PayToPlay, we’re guessing there are no consequences.

 

 

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17Apr/121

Jack Lavin testifies in a stealth law suit, along with other notables

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Hugo Floriani, PayToPlay Investigative Reporter

Did you know that a federal civil law suit went to the jury today, April 17, after Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief-of-Staff, Jack Lavin, testified as a witness; Tony Rezko was deposed; and Daniel T. Frawley didn’t testify because his lawyer indicated that, if called, he would “take the 5th”? Here's Jack.

You probably didn’t know any of that, unless you hang around the court house for grins.  And you certainly didn’t know it if you rely on the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun Times to keep you informed.  (Although today, the Times did report that some bald eagles are nesting in the south suburbs. Good to know stuff.)

The case, filed April 24, 2008, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, pits Semir D. Sirazi vs. Panda Express, Inc., Panda Restaurant Group, Inc. and the Citadel Panda Express, Inc.

(Illinois PayToPlay reported earlier on another law suit, filed just last January, pitting Semir Sirazi vs. Nadhmi Auchi. Tony Rezko plays a role in both cases.)

Here’s the “Nature of the Action” paragraph in the Sirazi vs. Panda Express case that’s now in the jury’s hands:

“1. This is an action by Sirazi against Panda Express for unjust enrichment, fraud, civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty and for violations of the Illinois Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. From 1993 to 2006, Panda Express, Antoin (“Tony”) Rezko, and various Rezko-controlled companies owned and operated numerous Panda Express restaurants in 5 Midwestern states, the majority of which were in the Illinois/Chicagoland area. In June of 2006, knowing that Tony Rezko was under severe financial and legal distress, and desperate for funds, Panda Express (among other improper actions) bought out PE Chicago, LLC’s 50% interest in the Rezko-Citadel partnership – the entity that owned and operated the Panda Express restaurants – at a price many times less than the fair value of that interest. At the time of the purchase, Panda Express knew that Sirazi and others had significant ownership interests in PE Chicago. In fact, Sirazi, at the time of the purchase – through his interest in Rezko Enterprises, LLC – owned a significant majority of PE Chicago. Panda Express, however, fraudulently conspired with Rezko to acquire PE Chicago’s entire interest in the Rezko-Citadel partnership without Sirazi’s knowledge and at a price far less than the fair value of such interest. As a result of the improper actions of Panda Express, Sirazi has suffered losses in excess of $15 million.”

So, Sirazi asserts he was cheated big-time by Rezko and the Panda Express Chinese food chain, headquartered in Rosemead, California. The originating Pandas were “Andrew and Peggy Cherng and Andrew's father, Master Chef Ming Tsai Cherng, all of whom used to live in the Yangzhou region of China’s Jiangsu province. They started their first Panda Inn restaurant in 1973 in Pasadena, California.”

Here’s the real interesting part: Daniel T. Frawley, in a recently obtained email sent to a confidential source and forwarded to Illinois PayToPlay, claims that Governor Pat Quinn’s Chief-of-Staff, Jack Lavin, fraudulently cooked Rezko’s Papa John’s books by transferring $4,000,000 from Panda Express accounts into Tony’s pizza business.  Here’s that email:

From: Dan Frawley <Address withheld>

Date: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 1:00 PM
Subject: I MET OBAMA'S AID AT THOMPSON PRISON WHERE BO WANTED TO SHIFT QUANTANIMO PRISONERS
To: robert XXXXX <Address withheld>

THOMSON PRISON, OBAMA, REZKO, JACK LAVIN & MOE CONTRACT

THOMSON PRISON IS THE FIRST SIGHT THE STATE OF ILLINOIS PROVIDED ME TO LOOK AT TO TRAIN THE IRAQI MOE CANDIDATES.

SEAMUS AHERN OF SENATOR OBAMA’S JOILIET ILLINOIS OFFICE WAS AT THOMSON. NEVER CALLED THE SENATOR’S OFFICE TO ARRANGE TO BE MET.

TONY REZKO CALLED JACK LAVIN REGARDING TRAINING THE IRAQI’S AT AN ILLINOIS GOVERNMENT SIGHT.

JACK LAVIN WAS THE CEO OF ONE OF TONY’S COMPANIES. JACK LAVIN MADE A JOURNALENTRY IN PANDA RESTARAUNTS FINANCIAL STATEMENT. JACK TOOK 4 MILLION DOLLARS OF PANDA’S PROFITS AND MADE A JOURNAL ENTRY INTO PAPA JOHN’S PIZZA PROFITS IN ORDER FOR TO OBTAIN A 10 MILLION LOAN FROM G.E. CREDIT.

ANDREW CHERNIG WAS A 50/50 PARTNER OF TONY’S IN PANDA. WHEN CHERNIG DISCOVERED THAT LAVIN AND REZKO DEFRAUDED HIM CHERNIG CAME INTO CHICAGO ON A FRIDAY AND EMPTIED THE PANDA OFFICE.

TONY AND LAVIN KEPT A DOUBLE SET OF BOOKS FOR PAPA JOHN’S. TOD SELACK THE ACCOUNTANT FOR RECKON AND LAVIN PREPARED THE DOUBLE SET OF BOOKS PER AL CHAIB AND REZKO’S ORDERS.

I HAVE SEEN BOTH SET OF BOOKS AND PROVIDED THE USAO’S OFFICE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COPY SAID BOOKS. THE ENTRY LAVIN MADE INTO THE PAPA JOHN BOOKS WAS KNOWN AS THE MIRACE ENTRY AROUND THE REZMAR OFFICE.

CHERNIG NEVER REPORTED THE FRAUD BECAUSE CHERNIG PARTICIPATED WITH AL CHAIB AND TONY IN STAFFING PANDA RESTAURANT WITH ILLEGAL CHINESE ALIENS CHERNIG HELPED SMUGGLE INTO THE UNITED STATES. CHERNIG WORKED THE CHINESE 80-100 HOUR PER WEEKAND PAID THEM FOR 40. TONY AND CHAIB HOUSED THE CHINESE IN THEIR BUILINGS IN OVER CROWDED CONDITIONS AND OVER CHARGED THE CHINESE FOR RENT.

Plenty to chew on there, such as…

  • Was Rezko deposed about the allegation that he was a slum landlord for illegal Chinese immigrant workers employed by the Pandas?
  • Was Lavin asked about the fraudulent bookkeeping allegation from Frawley?
  •  Is this why Frawley’s attorney announced that Frawley would “take the 5th” if called to testify?
  • Peggy Cherng testified at the trial.  Did she mention the use of illegal Chinese immigrants in Panda Express restaurants, as alleged by Frawley?
  • How about Al Chaib – was he asked about any of this?

Now that they have this email, no doubt the intrepid investigative reporters at the Sun Times and the Trib will jump on this story.

Hey, we can dream can’t we?

 

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8Apr/120

Update: In the Koschman case then, and McMahon accusations now: What did the feds know, and when did they know it?

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Update:  Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic

Can the editors at the Sun Times connect the article below to their editorial today entitled “Time to stop defending shabby Koschman probe”? All it requires is connecting the dots. Can they even see the dots?   

Here’s their key editorial comment: “It’s time to stop defending a shabby investigation that came to the highly dubious conclusion that Vanecko acted in self-defense.”  That’s a certified affirmation of the obvious, albeit several years late to the party.

Now, Times editors, who was a key player in promoting that “highly dubious conclusion”?  (Cue the Jeopardy music.) Take your time…

Ah, perhaps Chicago’s former top-cop - Phil Cline – featured below?  Ya think?

(Original post 4-8-2012 )

Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter, Illinois PayToPlay

On February 28, 2011, when the Sun Times resurrected the Koschman case, the paper noted that,

“Phil Cline, who was then Chicago’s police superintendent, said last week that no charges were filed because Koschman was the aggressor. ‘At the best, it was mutual combatants,’ Cline said.  ‘If the other person is the aggressor, then Vanecko has the right to defend himself.’”

Over a year later, on April 6, 2012, the Sun Times noted that, “Cook County Circuit Judge Michael P. Toomin in announcing his ruling that a special prosecutor will re-examine the 2004 death of David Koschman after being punched by Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley” stated that:

“A decided interest in preventing or impeding the prosecution, a denigration of the existing exculpatory evidence and, probably the most prominent impropriety, the fiction of self-defense, supported only by oft-repeated conclusions that David Koschman was the aggressor, a host of statements in the exhibits, detectives, particularly Detective [James] Gilger, the last to be quoted, Superintendent Phil Cline, Mr. O’Brien and the state’s attorney herself.”

It’s beyond dispute that Cline played a pivotal role in assuring that the investigation into the fatal assault on David Koschman was stunted by the “oft-repeated conclusions that David Koschman was the aggressor”.

So, how long have the feds known that Cline was, according to a June 2011 email sent from Daniel T. Frawley to a confidential source simply referred to as “Bob,” a protective “buddy” of Frank McMahon?

McMahon has been recently accused by the Sun Times of engaging in fraudulent business practices in contracts with the City of Chicago.

IP2P recently received this email from a confidential informant. It purports to chronicle the transcript of a bar room conversation between Frank McMahon and “Dan Hebert.”  The identity of the person recording the conversation, and the event date, are withheld.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dan Frawley <email address deleted>
Date: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 3:53 PM
Subject: TAPE MADE AT HAWKEYE BAR AND GRILL 1410 TAYLOR ST.
To: robert XXXXX <email address deleted>

BOB THE SAME TWO AGENTS WERE IN THE BAR LISTENING WHILE THIS TAPE WAS MADE

SECOND DISC RECORDING/ HEBERT MCMAHON HAWKEYE’S

ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE DOCUMENT/ E. KARNES

FRANK MCMAHON.

I cannot be arrested in Chicago or Cook County it is impossible. Phil Kline is my buddy; I have known him for 20 years. I take care of the Police in Chicago. Phil Kline helps me with my Milk business, if I need anybody pushed around Phil Kline takes care of it for me. I never have any trouble with the Milk drivers; Phil takes care of it, if something is going on at the District, the H.Q. anything, I take care of it. I am on the police memorial Board, I am on a lot of Boards, I contribute money to all of them. Phil Kline and I vacation together in Florida 3-4 times a year, we are real tight.

Dan Hebert

How about Hinsdale Frank?

Frank McMahon

When I lived in Hinsdale I would have the Chicago Police drive me home when I was drunk, wherever I was. One Police officer would drive my car and the other copper would follow in the Chicago squad car. I could walk out of Hawkeye’s right now and call the CPD and they would come and pick me up, ha-ha!

I had a Hinsdale Cop pull into my driveway while the CPD squad was there. The Hinsdale cop said, “What’s going on here?” I said, “ the cops drove me home, I’m drunk when I’m sober I drive when I’m drunk the CPD drives.” Hinsdale PD “ I do not understand. Whey don’t they arrest you?” Frank-“Because I am a good Fucking guy, I take care of them.”

Two weeks later Phil Mesi, my cousin and I were all fucked up we had two CPS squads follow us home to Hinsdale, One guy driving my car one driving Phil’s. Two more Hinsdale squads pulled us over and said, “Why are the CPD not arresting you?” I said, “ I’m a good guy. I get the cops whatever they need. I do what ever the coppers need,” “What do you need?” “What does Hinsdale need?” “Booze?’ The Christmas Party, I will pay for whatever it is.” “Now in Hinsdale when the cops pull my kids over they apologize to them and ask how their father (me) is. I paid for all for the Hinsdale Parties. When I moved to Chicago my neighbor, Bataglia, the grocery guy took over Hinsdale for me.

I do the same with the County workers, prosecutors, courts, Police, etc. I take care of all of them any thing they need. Mary B. my daughter is a prosecutor at 26th & California. Mary B.’s boy friend is Judge Mike Murphy’s son. Judge Murphy is out at the Maybrook Courts. Franny my other daughter is in law school. Franny works for Devine’s office on Washington, if she wants to do be a State’s attorney after graduation I’ll get her in there. (Franny is now a State’s Attorney)

Frank McMahon

I told my kids, “Never admit anything.” Frank got busted using false ID’s in Forest Park, he was using my brothers Tony's son, Tony’s ID’s. Frank got caught and admitted it to the Police, the kid is stupid. ‘I thought you could talk to the Forest Park Cop for me but my Daughter Mary B. knows the prosecutor and has taken care of it, the judge who will be assigned to the case will be known on Monday and I’ll find out who the judge is. I can do a lot with judges in Chicago. Mary B. has taken care that.

I want Mary B. to become a judge, I have met with the judges down the street from 26th and California to take care of that, if that is what she wants she is in.

DAN Hebert

Frank tell them about the BIG copper

Frank McMahon

Chicago has a big cop on the Eisenhower around Kedzie, The guy is famous, 6’8” 325 lbs. I am really drunk and I get pulled over the copper sees me and apologizes to me for pulling him over and wishes me a good night and to drive save.

Another time the cops came up to my car and I had $15 grand cash on me.

TAPE ENDS

Does this mean that the U.S. Attorney’s Office sat silent as the Koschman investigation was sabotaged for years, and, all the while, was aware of the protective relationship between Chicago’s top-cop and an alleged corrupt city contractor?

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30Mar/120

Does the Sun Times have a lawsuit accusing the McMahon’s of fraudulent contracting practices?

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter, Illinois PayToPlay

About five weeks before the Sun Times stated that a ”Whistleblower” lawsuit had been filed by Daniel T. Frawley accusing the McMahon’s of fraudulent business practices, the paper received a copy of a related document from a source known to Illinois PayToPlay.

Was that mid-January document the basis for the paper’s recent articles about the McMahon’s?  If so, that’s a problem for the paper that begs several questions.

Does the “Whistleblower” lawsuit, mentioned by the Sun Times in that March 24, 2012 article, even exist?  Or, did the paper, now solidly in the political camp of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, take information from an unverified document, leaked to it by a confidential source, and use that information to attack contractors once closely associated with the Daley regime?

The document that Illinois PayToPlay made public on March 25th, came out a day after the Sun Times kicked off a series of pieces dealing with the McMahon’s.  But, the document had been sent to the paper by a confidential source back on January 17, 2012, attached to the email below.

        From: (sender’s name withheld)
        To: "Tim Novak" <tnovak@suntimes.com>, "Tim Novak"
        Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 3:14:57 PM
        Subject: Fwd: Frawley Whistleblower suit ?

        Tim,

The attached doc. came from a source in contact with Dan Frawley. It was initially represented to us as being a "whistleblower lawsuit" that Frawley filed that involves the McMahons. It was also represented as being sealed.

When we questioned the veracity of the document as to whether it was an actual legal filing - since it is a crude read even without the added comments, presumedly from Frawley - the source amended the description and described it as a "prototype" of the lawsuit.

Recently, that same source suggested that Frawley is happy that you're investigating the McMahons via FOIAs. We can't confirm the veracity of the doc., but thought you might find it of some value in pursuit of a possible story.

It is forwarded in confidence. We don't know what to make of it. Maybe you do. Maybe nothing.

 

The sender clearly had reservations about the authenticity of the document as representing an actual, filed lawsuit.

When the Sun Times stated on March 24 that, “Frank McMahon’s first cousin, Daniel T. Frawley, filed a “whistleblower” lawsuit in federal court last July accusing McMahon Food, C & C and Krystal of actually being run by men, even though the companies are certified as being women-owned and –operated,” Illinois PayToPlay wondered if the paper had accepted the January 17 document as an actual lawsuit – which seemed unlikely at the time – or had a copy of a genuine, court-filed lawsuit representing Frawley’s accusations.

When a representative of the paper was subsequently asked if a verified, filed lawsuit had been obtained, the representative was unwilling to respond.  Why not?  It was a simple yes-no question.   Perhaps either answer would have caused problems.  A “no” means there is no lawsuit and the paper knows that.  A “yes” could mean someone illegally leaked a sealed court document to the paper.

Illinois PayToPlay wonders if a real, Frawley-initiated, court-filed lawsuit exists, anywhere on the planet. If it does exist, why won’t the Sun Times just show it to its readers?

If it doesn’t exist, then it looks like the paper took an unsubstantiated lawsuit, gleaned allegations from it unfavorable to a contractor for the City of Chicago during the Daley administration, and then used that information to portray Mayor Emanuel as intent on cleaning up the corruption of the previous regime.

In other words, the Sun Times is bending stories to shill for the Emanuel administration?

On March 27, 2012, the Sun Times announced that, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing to permanently ban an electrical contracting company with ties to Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) from getting city work because its owners and their husbands allegedly operated phony women- and minority-owned companies that have gotten millions of dollars in city contracts.”

That announcement came just 72 hours after the Sun Times March 24 article mentioning the Frawley lawsuit. That’s fast. That’s awfully fast. So fast, in fact, that we wonder if the paper knew the ban was already in the works and, in coordination with His Honor’s Office, teed up the ban announcement with its series on the McMahon’s, based on an alleged Frawley “Whistleblower” lawsuit that doesn’t exist.

 

 

 

 

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28Mar/120

Further Update: Details of Frawley v. McMahon “Whistleblower” Lawsuit Just Exposed By Sun Times

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

Further Update:

Apparently, in response to articles recently run by the Chicago Sun Times that state, as fact, that a “Whistleblower” lawsuit was filed by Daniel T. Frawley in July 11, 2011,Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing to permanently ban an electrical contracting company with ties to Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) from getting city work because its owners and their husbands allegedly operated phony women- and minority-owned companies that have gotten millions of dollars in city contracts.”

This proposed ban was announced today, March 28, 2012, in the Sun Times.  

His Honor and the paper must have access to a fully-authenticated, signed copy of a date-stamped lawsuit that we, at Illinois PayToPlay cannot locate. If they don’t, their claims of its existence are specious. But let’s reserve judgment.

We need your help.

If you have proof that such a lawsuit was filed, post here on comment board.

If it was filed and sealed in July 2011, it should be available to the public by now. And, if it was filed and remains sealed, how did the Sun Times get a copy? Are there not illegalities involved in leaking a sealed court document? Lastly, if it was never filed, what’s this assault on the McMahon’s all about anyway?

Developing…

Update:

The Chicago Sun Times has now run the second of what it promises is a three part series concerning a whistleblower lawsuit filed by attorneys representing Daniel T. Frawley.  The Sun Times has yet to provide its readers a copy of that lawsuit.  Is it the same one Illinois Pay-To-Play posted below?  If it is not, it is time for the Sun Times to show its readers the lawsuit on which it’s series is based.  

(Originally posted on Illinois Pay-to-Play  3-25-2012)

In an article dated March 24, 2012, the Chicago Sun Times broke the explosive story of a lawsuit filed July 2011 by Daniel T. Frawley, cooperating federal government mole-informant in Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of Tony Rezko, and former Rezko business partner.

According to the Sun Times, the lawsuit charges various members of the McMahon family, associated with McMahon-owned businesses, of fraudulent contracting practices.  The reporters wrote that,

“Frank McMahon’s first cousin, Daniel T. Frawley, filed a “whistleblower” lawsuit in federal court last July accusing McMahon Food, C & C and Krystal of actually being run by men, even though the companies are certified as being women-owned and -operated. As a result, Frawley says McMahon Food was able to obtain multimillion-dollar deals with Cook County government, including supplying dairy goods to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.”

Illinois PayToPlay recently received a copy of a “whistleblower” lawsuit attributed to Frawley, by a confidential source, that fits the description of the document exposed by the Sun Times. Uncertain of its authenticity at the time, we chose not to make it public, but do so now.

Here is a pdf. link to the lawsuit we received. Daniel Frawley Whistleblower Lawsuit (PDF) - We have not yet been able to contact the firm named as representing Frawley for comment.

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26Mar/120

Sun Times Watchdogs pounce on an eight year old story: Sic’ em dogs!

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Annabel Kent, Chicago Media Critic

This dated picture of former Mayor Daley and current State’s Attorney Lisa Alvarez was recently brought to the attention of two Sun Times Watchdogs by “lawyers for the family of David Koschman, who died after the police say Vanecko punched him in the face.”  (Well, shoot, the dogs can’t find every bone in the Koschman story.)

The photo was found on Alvarez’s Facebook page, by the Koschman family lawyers.

The same Watchdogs who posted the photo, also wrote an article entitled “Did Daley nephew Vanecko confess to fatal punch?” that appeared on March 21, 2012.  The news in the article – that Vanecko may have confessed, soon after the event, to hitting Koschman – is attributed to “attorneys for Koschman’s family” who made the assertion “in a court filing Wednesday.”

So, about eight years after the death of David Koschman, the real watchdogs – as in alert canines trained to attack nefarious characters – turn out to be…drum roll…the Koschman lawyers, and not so much the byline Watchdogs.

Awakened to the barking, the Sun Times Watchdogs, trot toward the commotion, arriving on the crime scene, panting, a couple of years short of a human decade later – or, in dog years, 70 years late.

You suppose their tardiness has anything at all to do with having a new mayoral regime, open to exposing the…ah, deficiencies…of the previous one?  Or, the fact that Mayor Emanuel has several campaign finance contributors on the new Sun Times board?

Bow wow.

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25Mar/121

Update: Details of Frawley v. McMahon “Whistleblower” Lawsuit Just Exposed By Sun Times

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Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay

Update:

The Chicago Sun Times has now run the second of what it promises is a three part series concerning a whistleblower lawsuit filed by attorneys representing Daniel T. Frawley.  The Sun Times has yet to provide its readers a copy of that lawsuit.  Is it the same one Illinois Pay-To-Play posted below?  If it is not, it is time for the Sun Times to show its readers the lawsuit on which it’s series is based.  

(Originally posted on Illinois Pay-to-Play  3-25-2012)

In an article dated March 24, 2012, the Chicago Sun Times broke the explosive story of a lawsuit filed July 2011 by Daniel T. Frawley, cooperating federal government mole-informant in Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of Tony Rezko, and former Rezko business partner.

According to the Sun Times, the lawsuit charges various members of the McMahon family, associated with McMahon-owned businesses, of fraudulent contracting practices.  The reporters wrote that,

“Frank McMahon’s first cousin, Daniel T. Frawley, filed a “whistleblower” lawsuit in federal court last July accusing McMahon Food, C & C and Krystal of actually being run by men, even though the companies are certified as being women-owned and -operated. As a result, Frawley says McMahon Food was able to obtain multimillion-dollar deals with Cook County government, including supplying dairy goods to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.”

Illinois PayToPlay recently received a copy of a “whistleblower” lawsuit attributed to Frawley, by a confidential source, that fits the description of the document exposed by the Sun Times.  Uncertain of its authenticity at the time, we chose not to make it public, but do so now.

Here is a pdf. link to the lawsuit we received. Daniel Frawley Whistleblower Lawsuit (PDF) - We have not yet been able to contact the firm named as representing Frawley for comment.

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5Mar/120

Sun Times withholds information about Frawley’s Obama-bribe accusation

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Jontel Kassidy, Capital Correspondent

Illinois PayToPlay has learned that, since January 19, 2012, two reporters and one editor at the Chicago Sun Times have held relevant information provided by an informant concerning Daniel Frawley’s claim that he gave Tony Rezko $400,000 in cash that Rezko then passed on to U.S. Senator Barack Obama.

No one at the paper has either acknowledged receipt of the information, expressed an interest in how it was obtained, nor queried the source for additional details.

On February 27, 2012, Illinois PayToPay investigative reporter Hugo Floriani reported that:

“Frawley’s claim that the money he gave Rezko went to Obama is alluded to in a December 1, 2010 deposition executed in the context of a legal malpractice complaint filed by Frawley, on July 9, 2010, against his former attorney and long-time friend, George Weaver.

Frawley alleges that Weaver was not representing his best interests when Weaver interrupted a March 2006 phone conversation, supervised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, between Frawley and Rezko who were scheduling a face-to-face meeting.

Frawley cooperated with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of Rezko by wearing a wire.

On page 21 of the deposition, this exchange is recorded between Weaver’s attorney, Daniel F. Konicek, and Frawley:

Konicek: And Tony Rezko was where when you were speaking to him?

Frawley: He was on the other end of the phone. I don’t recall where he was.

Konicek: Okay. Now, that answers one part of the question is who was present when Mr. Weaver made a gesture across his neck with both hands [signaling that the conversation should cease]. But my question was a little different because your complaint specifically alleges he [Weaver] told you to withhold certain information, right.

Frawley: Yes.

Konicek: I’m assuming the information is about the payments made by Rezko to Obama, so we know we’re talking about the right conversation, right?

Franklin: (Charles Franklin, representing Frawley.) I’m not going to make any objection. I think that’s – you may make that assumption, but I think it’s unfair to make the – to have Mr. Frawley make the assumption. Also, it doesn’t go to who or where or the forum non conveniens issue.

Konicek: There’s going to be multiple conversations, I want to make sure I understand where each occurred. So you said he (Weaver) withheld information. Am I correct it was about Obama being paid by Rezko?

The Witness: (Frawley) I’m not answering that question based upon my attorney’s instructions.

Since the July 11, 2011 Times article that linked to the deposition cited above, there’s been no mention by the paper of the alleged payment of Rezko to Obama using money Rezko received from Frawley.

Perhaps the paper is sitting on the story, waiting for it to hatch.  Just as they sat for seven years on the story of David Koschman’s murder and then hatched it on August 4, 2011.

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31Dec/110

2012 Prediction: The Great Chicago Turf War Heats Up

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Hugo Floriani, Investigative Reporter

Look for the political turf war underway in Chicago to heat up in 2012.

When one regime displaces another, a turf war typically ensues.  It happened when the old USSR collapsed.  It happened when the German Weimar Republic dissolved.  It’s happening right now in several Middle Eastern countries.

And, it’s happening in Chicago as the old Machine gradually yields ground to Rahm Emanuel and the New Chicago he brings. Less corrupt than the old? No reason to think that. Just more… artful.

New Chicago – we’ll call it that as a placeholder – is assembling its chess pieces.  The new owners of the Sun Times are heavy supporters of Rahmbo, as Chicago Business has pointed out.  Watch for the Times to be a leading shill for New Chicago.

That’s already started, in fact.

Was it dogged journalism that prompted the Times to dredge up a cold, as in frozen, case from April 2004 involving the murder of David Koschman, and the suggested involvement of Richard Vanecko, a nephew of former Mayor Daley II?  Or, is the Times dutifully getting a head start in tarnishing the legacy of the old Machine?

It is, after all, what new regimes do to the ones they displace – they tarnish the past to make what they offer as “new” that much more attractive. In the long run, though, it seldom is…more attractive.

Too much of the Machine is still firmly entrenched for New Chicago to be too overtly critical of the past.  It’ll take some face-changes at senior levels for the tarnishing to shift into a higher gear.

To track that development, do this:  Make a short list of the most entrenched, influencial, long-standing, high-profile personalities of the old Machine. Say, five names.  Then ask yourself:

  • Who among them is most practiced at, and vulnerable to a charge of, political corruption in the Old Machine Pay-to-Play Way?
  • Who is at an age and stage in their life when younger replacements are eager to fill the void in the pecking order their absence would leave?
  • And, who is most widely feared within the Machine itself? Someone whose loss of power would enable a redistribution of spoils to several others eager to drink from the well, not just one other.

In 2012, watch the Chicago news – focusing on the Sun Times – for hints of a gradual take-down of one among the five. It’ll make headlines.

It is, after all, what new regimes do to establish their power base.  And Rahmbo’s New Chicago is emerging.

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8Dec/110

NewGeography.com Questions Chicago Press Complicity In Illinois Corruption

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Pay-to-Play Editorial Staff

Steve Bartin, writing for the website NewGeography.com, in an article entitled “Blago’s Historic Sentencing: Organized Crime in Illinois,” asks an important question. One that the Chicago media, particularly the Tribune and Sun Times, should be asking themselves today: “Could a more vigilant press have stopped the amazing political career of Rod Blagojevich?”

At Illinois Pay-to-Play, we’ve been wondering the same thing. Bartin mentions Robert Cooley in his piece. We at Illinois Pay-to-Play trust Cooley. He’s proved his veracity as few in Chicago have. His story, linked within the excerpt from Bartin’s article below, proves his reliability.

Also, we here are aware of the identities of several reporters, from both big Chicago tree-killing news outlets, who were given information by Cooley about Candidate Obama’s associations with…let’s say, persons-of-interest, before the ’08 election. In most cases, the information was ignored. It didn’t fit the papers’ template of support for their local Senator. Obama, they assumed, would help Chicago get the Olympics, guaranteed to help slow the city’s slide toward bankruptcy and grease the palms of some connected Southside land developers and contractors – not to mention politicians.  Good for business, and, therefore, circulation.

In one particular instance, a well-known reporter was so bold as to say to Cooley something to the effect that, “Our editors don’t want us reporting on that.”

We can report here that a staff member at Illinois Pay-to-Play had a similar response, nearly verbatim, with a reporter for one of the two major dailies concerning another corruption story.

Here’s part of what Bartin writes:

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced today to 14 years in prison. Illinois will now have the dubious distinction of having two back-to-back Governors in jail at the same time. Could a more vigilant press have stopped the amazing political career of Rod Blagojevich? When you look into the background of the former Governor the tentacles of organized crime can’t be ignored.

Rod Blagojevich has been identified as a former associate of the Elmwood Park street crew of the Chicago Mob by Justice Department informant Robert Cooley. The allegations concern Blagojevich paying street tax to the Chicago Mob to operate a bookmaking operation. Former senior FBI agent James Wagner confirmed that Cooley told the FBI about Blagojevich in the 1980s. The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune still haven’t reported on the Cooley allegations concerning Blagojevich.

Visit here to read the rest of Bartin’s article.

As the nation becomes further aware of Illinois’, and especially Chicago’s, depth of corruption, its attention is likely to turn toward the Chicago newspapers and start asking questions. One of those questions will be this:

Could the depth of Illinois corruption exist without, if not the direct complicity, at least the negligence and incompetence of the two big dailies?

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