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[25 Apr 2017 | One Comment | ]

The $30,000 fee Northeastern Illinois University was going to pay former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett was just the latest in a series of big fees the financially troubled state school has paid to snag prominent graduation speakers, records show.

Despite its money troubles — a Wall Street credit agency just dropped Northeastern deeper into “junk-bond” status — the state university has handed out five-figure fees to each of the speakers at its May commencement events the past four years.

Read more in the Sun-Times

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[11 Apr 2017 | One Comment | ]

Three class days were cancelled to cut costs during the budget impasse, and union leaders are planning a rally to protest the school’s financial straits — but Northeastern Illinois University was planning to pay former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett $30,000 to speak at its commencement ceremony.

Those plans changed after a few university trustees objected — and the Sun-Times began asking questions. Northeastern said late Monday that a donor came forward to pay the five-figure speaking fee.
Read more in the Sun-Times
image Money for Nothing video, Dire Straits

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[11 Jul 2016 | One Comment | ]

Two $100,000 contributions to St. Sabina were listed on the Lucas foundation’s 2014 federal tax returns, the most recent publicly available records on spending by the $1 billion group that’s based in San Rafael, California.

The woman who answered the phone Tuesday at the number on the foundation’s tax return said I’d reached the accountant’s office and she could only refer callers to a P.O. Box number.
Pfleger says Lucas has given his church more money since 2014. He wouldn’t say how much more.
“I’m never, ever going to give out information about anyone …

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[11 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

“It provides an entertainment option for tourists that every other major city has and allows Chicago to further compete for convention dollars,” Mitts told her colleagues.
“We’re just making Chicago a more world-class city. It’s been exploitive all the time, but people go there. It’s not like it’s not happening.”

Mitts said she’s simply trying to “clarify ambiguous language” that has triggered “two decades of litigation that cost the city millions.” The archaic language has inadvertently made those adult entertainment clubs more difficult to police, she said.
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image …

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[30 Mar 2016 | No Comment | ]

A federal judge Tuesday allowed a $40 million lawsuit to proceed against Northwestern University, a former journalism professor and a private detective who are accused of conspiring to frame a man with a double murder.

Alstory Simon spent about 15 years behind bars for the slayings of Jerry Hillard and Marilyn Green. But Simon’s conviction was reversed in 2014 after Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez conducted an investigation that concluded he was railroaded.
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[15 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]

Federal agents went to the home of Cook County Circuit Court (sic: Clerk) Dorothy Brown last week and seized her cell phone, a source has confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The visit seemed to indicate that an ongoing probe of Brown’s husband, Benton Cook III, has now expanded to include Brown herself.
Read more at the Sun Times

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[12 Oct 2015 | No Comment | ]

“Mr. Solomon would pick on unsuspecting victims, minor female students, most of whom suffered from an eating disorder, anorexia, bulimia, psychological self-doubts about themselves, alcohol and substance abuse, and prey on them,” said Anthony Scarino, the lawyer who represented District 219 in its push to remove Solomon from his job there, according to a transcript of the state administrative hearing in 1999.

In an email to a female student, Solomon allegedly asked, “Do you think you are a good flirt?” according to the transcript.
A day later, he wrote to the same …

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[24 Sep 2015 | No Comment | ]

As a migrant to the United States, it was especially gratifying to watch Francis say very positive things to say about America. The word “liberty” was used no less than five times, “freedom” seven times, and “subsidiarity” (a Catholic expression for protecting liberty) twice. He also invoked America’s “spirit of enterprise,” and repeated what he’s said elsewhere: that “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world.” And while insisting that more needs to be done to address poverty, the pope also exclaimed, “How much has …

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[10 Jul 2015 | No Comment | ]

Big government programs nurture big business and crony capitalism. Obamacare set off a wave of mergers and proposed mergers in the insurance business, hospitals and other medical professions. Will bigger be better for medical care?

Massive federal regulatory legislation after the banking crisis of the Great Recession has perversely made banks too big to fail only bigger. Mortgage-lending standards, the original sin of the housing collapse, are headed lower again.
President Barack Obama, by virtue of his personal story and history-making election, had the opportunity to be a powerful unifying figure. Instead, …

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[22 Jun 2015 | One Comment | ]

When Dorval R. Carter Jr. returned to the CTA last month as the transit agency’s president, he had to temporarily give up a sweet pension deal that had paid him three-quarters of a million dollars in just five and a half years.
Taking advantage of a little-known early-retirement incentive offered by the CTA, Carter left his second stint with the agency in 2009 and started collecting a $137,229-a-year pension the same month he turned 52, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times and Better Government Association show.

Carter didn’t retire, though. He moved …