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Cook Co. Chief Judge's staff on traffic school

March 1, 2010

Letter Dated: February 24, 2010

Tim Novak

Chicago Sun-Times

Dear Mr. Novak:

I am pleased to provide answers to your inquiries dated February 19, 2010, concerning the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Traffic Safety Program. Before I address your specific questions, I believe that the following background would be helpful to provide appropriate context.

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Sen. Cullerton's statement to the Sun-Times

March 1, 2010

Here are Illinois Senate President John Cullerton's responses to the Sun-Times about Cullerton's lobbying work for the National Safety Council and other clients. Cullerton's Senate spokeswoman, Rikeesha Phelon, sent these responses on Friday:

1) The National Safety Council has paid Sen. Cullerton's law firm at least $225,000 over the past three years. Records show this includes Sen. Cullerton lobbying on behalf of the NSC. How did the National Safety Council come to hire Sen. Cullerton and his law firm to lobby on its behalf?

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Daley’s office, inspector general, aldermen meet behind closed doors on investigating aldermen City Council members balk at giving watchdog the power to investigate them

March 1, 2010

By Hal Dardick and John Byrne, Tribune reporters

Mayor Richard Daley's lobbyist and the city's inspector general met behind closed doors with aldermen in recent days to win support for an ordinance that would let the City Hall watchdog investigate the City Council.

The unusual pairing between the mayor's office and the inspector general, whose main job is to investigate the administration, illustrates the high stakes involved for Daley, aldermen and Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.

Daley suspends top ethics aide, another quits

February 11, 2010

Posted by Todd Lighty and Hal Dardick

Mayor Richard Daley has suspended his top ethics aide for his role in allegedly bumbling a student intern’s sexual harassment complaint.

Anthony Boswell, the $161,856-a-year executive director of the Office of Compliance, was suspended for 30 days without pay.

Daley acknowledged the suspension at a City Hall news conference to announce cost-cutting measures. The mayor made no further comment on the issue.

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Aldermen bar their relatives from stealth payroll But family members already drawing checks would be spared

February 10, 2010

By Hal Dardick, Tribune reporter
February 10, 2010

Chicago aldermen on Wednesday proved ready for reform — but only so much — as they barred themselves from putting relatives on a stealth payroll but spared kin already drawing checks.

The City Council approved the no-family ban following a Tribune investigation that revealed aldermen were using a little-noticed $1.3 million fund to hire relatives and political operatives. But alderman failed to address whether the stealth payroll violates federal hiring rules, as some legal experts suggest.

Daley sends watchdog plan to wary City Council

February 10, 2010

 Posted by Hal Dardick

Mayor Richard Daley this morning officially unveiled his proposal to let the city inspector general probe aldermen and their employees — a change first rejected by City Council 20 years ago when Daley created the watchdog office.

Cook County contractor pays, County Commissioner Moreno gets

February 8, 2010

Posted by Greg H.

  Under Cook County's ethics law, anyone who holds or wants to hold a county contract is not supposed to give more than $1,500 a year to a candidate for county office.

   The idea is to make sure that contracts are awarded strictly on the basis of a contractor's qualifications and price — not on how much they spread around in campaign cash.

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Chicago mayor proposes greater oversight of city council

February 8, 2010

Mayor Richard Daley introduced an ordinance this week that would allow Chicago's inspector general to investigate aldermen. The move came after an alderman last week pleaded guilty to accepting bribes.

By Mark Guarino Staff writer

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