Nakeea Sherrell Buchanan-Smith: Law Enforcement Officers Don’t “Deserve” Special Favors

One reputation the Village of Robbins hasn’t been able to shake over the decades is the perception of corruption coming from inside Village Hall.  Whether we are talking a corrupt police department from the top down or even the more recent corrupt limestone quarry deal that was eventually halted by Sheriff Tom Dart’s office, there is no denying government officials and employees have done a severe disservice to those who live and work in Robbins.

So who should end up being responsible for the improper, and on some levels, illegal actions taken by Cook County Correctional Officer, Nakeea Sherrell Buchanan-Smith?

First, The Chicago Tribune reported on November 21, 2018 that the Village of Robbins was willing to work with Nakeea Sherrell Buchanan-Smith, despite the Village suspending her business license for Manny’s Blue Room.

From the Tribune article, “The bar’s owners, Luxury US, Inc., must provide the village with all necessary ownership documents; obtain a valid state liquor license; and develop security and operational plans to be reviewed and approved by the Robbins police chief before it can reopen, the board agreed.

Robert McLaughlin, an attorney for the bar’s owners, said he considered the conditions ‘fair and reasonable,’ and something he could work on with the village.”

Ummm…that’s gonna be a problem.  Well, an even bigger problem that it already is–even though no one is talking about it–yet.

First, it is important for me to make note that documentation surrounding Buchanan-Smith puts on display numerous variations to her name. For example, forms from Cook County in 2003 and 2007 clearly show the spelling to be “Nakeea,” while state records show her first name to be “Nakeeh.” Nothing like a Scrivener’s Error on official documentation, right? Don’t mind me.  It’s a secretarial bias of mine.

Now, according to state and local records, Buchanan-Smith is the owner of Luxury US, Inc. the company that reportedly owns the nightclub Manny’s Blue Room in Robbins, Illinois. Luxury US, Inc. was registered with the Secretary of State on July 7, 2017, even though it appears that Luxury US, Inc. didn’t get a business license from the Village of Robbins until July 2018. This is going to matter in a bit, so stay with me.

Let’s go back first to 2003 when Buchanan-Smith was just Buchanan and first employed by Cook County. The County has very clear rules about a correctional officer having secondary employment. It’s under “Rule 13: Dual Employment.” The basic jist of the rule is that someone wanting to hold down a second job (including self-employment), must complete a “Report of Dual Employment Form” and have this second job approved by two people (among other rules).

She signed a document on March 10, 2003 called “Conditions of Employment” in which Condition #6 reads, “…and that there are limits to my having secondary employment to no more than twenty hours per week. Prior to working secondary employment, a secondary employment form must be obtained from personnel, filled out properly, and approved by the Superintendent or Unit Supervisor, and the Executive Director. If I have secondary employment that involves carrying a gun or any type of security work, an indemnity form must be signed by the employer and submitted with the secondary form. Failure to follow these procedures could result in suspension and/or termination. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL A CORRECTIONAL OFFICER BE ALLOWED TO WORK IN AN ESTABLISHMENT THAT SELLS LIQUOR.” (caps, bolding and italics here is the same as on the form shown below.)

Here’s where Buchanan-Smith’s “work” history gets a little…ummm…twisted.

According to a report from the City of Chicago, it shows that Buchanan-Smith had an active business license (license # 2108992) with the City of Chicago for “Luxury Life Studio” located at 2557 West 63rd Street, Unit 1 from August 1, 2011 to August 15, 2013. This is in the 16th Ward, where JoAnn Thompson was Alderman from 2007 through 2015, when she passed away due to sudden heart failure (it was an election cycle, btw). Toni Foulkes is the current Alderman (it’s an election cycle for her, btw). Buchanan-Smith is shown as the sole proprietor of Luxury Life Studio.

The INSTANT Buchanan-Smith registered herself with the City of Chicago as the sole proprietor of a business in 2011, she was obligated to already have secured permission by a Supervisor AND the Executive Director.

The problem?

According to Cook County records, she never received permission to own and operate Luxury Life Studio.

In fact, she apparently never even filed the Dual Employment form.

Whoops?

In fact, according to Cook County records, she never received permission to own and operate Luxury US, Inc. either.

In fact, she apparently never even filed the Dual Employment form.

Double whoops?

In fact, according to records with the State of Illinois Gaming Board, Luxury US, Inc., nor Buchanan-Smith as an individual never filed an application to have slot machines in Manny’s Blue Room.

Triple whoops…ummm…huh?

Yup.  Photos of Manny’s Blue Room after the shooting of security guard Jemel Roberson November 11, 2018 clearly show advertisements for slots at the establishment.

Now, to keep this clear, Accel Entertainment lays claim to having gambling terminals in Manny’s Blue Room at least in March of 2018, when The New Blue Room Corporation apparently owned and operated Manny’s.

And yet Luxury US, Inc., doesn’t even have a license pending, so why would the establishment be advertising having slots in November 2018 and from whom would they have gotten the machines from? (answers still pending)

But wait! There’s more! (I feel like a late night infomercial!)

According to the Illinois Gaming Board website, the previous owners of Manny’s Blue Room, The New Blue Room Corporation, not only still had a gaming license after Luxury US, Inc. took over the location in July, they were reporting revenues received during July, August and September AND the terminal count went up by 1 machine between July and August 2018, which was around the time Luxury US, Inc. took over the location of Manny’s Blue Room! 

Extra weird is that it appears The New Blue Room Corporation had 5 terminals EXCEPT for July 2018, when it dropped to 4 for one month.

And there’s the grand-slam right down the throats of the good people of Robbins.

Not only was Buchanan-Smith allowing liquor to be sold without a valid liquor license…and without permission from her employer (Cook County)…

It appears as though illegal gambling was being allowed in her establishment as well, something the Illinois Gaming Board will need to thoroughly investigate.

Part of this particular problem is definitely on the shoulders of the Village of Robbins for not making sure the gaming license situation was in compliance with State law before and after issuing a business license.

Make no mistake. The death of Jemel Roberson in November 2018 is a tragedy no matter what determinations are made about Nakeea Sherrell Buchanan-Smith’s ownership and operation of Manny’s Blue Room.

But the bottom line is that Buchanan-Smith doesn’t deserve a second chance to “get it right” when it comes to Manny’s Blue Room in Robbins, Illinois.  Her blatant violation of Cook County rules with her first business venture, Luxury Life Studio from 2011 to 2013, let alone with Luxury US, Inc. starting in 2017 are bad enough and are reasonable grounds for termination from her job as a Cook County Correctional Officer.

So while the Village of Robbins appears “willing” to work with Buchanan-Smith to keep her as the owner of Manny’s Blue Room, hopefully the people of Robbins will recognize the corrupt behaviors she brought into their backyard and will remain strong enough to hold out for a new owner of the location that will bend over backwards to properly follow the laws…

For everyone’s safety and security…

Let alone for the entertainment purposes of a nightclub in the first place.

And the first place this level of protection needs to come from is the Trustees of the Village of Robbins, who need to continue to deny a business license and a liquor license to Nakeea Sherrell Buchanan-Smith no matter what she “fixes”–even if/when she is fired from her job with the County.

P.S.  I won’t even begin to squabble over the ban on a correctional officer working “in” an establishment that sells liquor.

Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), • Correcting Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Municipal Corruption, • Original Research, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, Entries based on municipal unit, Local Controversies, Midlothian Valerie News Story Coverage, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, The Death of Jemel Roberson, Valerie's Voice, Village of Robbins

And So Another Calendar Year Prepares To Pass Us By…

Over the years, I’ve caught some of my friends and acquaintances off-guard when I wished them a Happy New Year on their birthday.

Just so you know, I’m not out to call for a removal of the Calendar New Year–the musician in me would host an internal protest of a life-time that I would likely never overcome. No, it’s just a way to point out something in addition to it being someone’s birthday, it’s also the start of another uniquely marked Calendar New Year. One specific only to the person who was born.

While the actual moment we are brought into this world as a solo act may be slightly different than the time and date put on record somewhere, it starts a series of days, weeks and months that eventually tally into another “year” passing by.

Years ago, the greeting card companies would create ones listing things that also happened on the same day. I can’t remember how I learned a second nuclear explosion occurred on the day I was born, but it’s not necessarily something that one puts on a greeting card either.

It’s a personal moment I choose to take to think about something else that happened somewhere in the past–in this circumstance, somewhere half-way around the world– and a result of the world apparently needing some sort of warning, including those who created it? I am not of that era, but I am certainly a product of it and it happened on my birthday. Why shouldn’t I take a moment to think about the topic?

But nuclear matters are not the only type of matters that I ponder when a widely-celebrated Calendar New Year is a matter of days away.

I’m not necessarily sharing this with a call for you to change what you are thinking about at any given moment–although it certainly is a by-product contemplation I allow myself to etch upon these systems of distribution of a communication.

Instead, it is more towards the idea of what being “responsible” for ones published words, which is something I have been thinking about lately as it relates to this specific blog.

I took a leap of faith that out of 7 billion human beings, I would be the first to compose what is contained here. Sure, authors are constantly competing against other human creators, but technology certainly changed the playing field.

I’ve got a fairly decent grasp of what happens to my content whenever I click on the word “Publish”–arrived at in a fairly unconventional and sometimes ill-conceived format. But while many tout SEO to be king, “optimizing” content for a commercial search engine has always been a Goal and yet it still reflects small thinking.

I also know that when I have this kind of a keyboard in front of me, I am one of those authors who chooses not to “compete” with other sites for result ranking purposes. That is but another one of those elements that tends to evoke an “Ewww! There she goes again trying to be different” rhythm when judged solely by a technology-enhanced calculation.

Predictability has always had its merits and benefits. So has originality.

This collection of my impulsive stream of consciousness thoughts sitting here in this blog most likely beat out any pre-determinate equations in existence somewhere in this cyber-enhanced world we have been growing into for quite a few decades now.

Our love can be technologically enhanced just as much as our sorrow, indifference and yes, even hate and disgust.

Because of this, what individual signals are getting ahead of other individual signals is my generations war of nuclear proportions being passed along this timeline with so many records of what happened at any given moment on the timeline in any number of locations.

Paintings and etchings on solid surfaces was pretty much the example of the later proposition that “A picture says a 1,000 words.” What if someone doesn’t have 1,000 words in their vocabulary, right? And if they have more than 1,000, what do they represent to whom?

Sure. Each post in this blog may come across as a series of publications carrying a near and far-spaced staccato of seemingly disconnected thoughts. Just think of them as what broke through the static while we were trying to talk over a telephone system of some type.

In other words, there is always going to be more involved with whatever I decided to record and broadcast as it relates to the political scenery here in the southwest suburbs. I’d say that is something you can rely on with the Midlothian Valerie signature.

But if you are looking for predictable perceptions and propositions involving local matters of public interest?

You’re in the wrong place.

I’m the type of person who will wish you a Happy New Year on your birthday–

And mean it, even if you think me crazy.

So what will you notice in 2019?  I myself have no idea what I might discover, but I’ll keep posting here from time to time anything signature Midlothian Valerie.

#AllMatterMatters and #AllMattersMatter.

#AllInjuriesAreNotIllnesses

#2019UniversalAccessProject

Valerie Weiskirch

Posted in AMP Nationwide (USA), • Erogin Ruff Series, • Original Demonstration, • Reputation Management, • Search Engine Optimization, • Text Talk, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie Tech Talk, Valerie's Voice, WP-AMP Administrative

Last Night’s “We Hear You” from Mayor Rings Hauntingly Hollow

I’m not going to say that Mayor Gary L’Heureux lied at last night’s board meeting when he said “We hear you” to those who came to protest.

He said that, by the way. He stepped away from his written statement for a few moments and while I think he was trying to say words of reassurance, that’s not the message that was sent to a section of listeners, myself included.

For example, he mentioned that the Village is “helping” members of Roberson’s family. Apropos in light of current facts, but it doesn’t help move the Village away from its history of prejudice, especially within the ranks of the Midlothian police department.

I also heard last night that 4 to 5 shots were fired into Jemel Roberson that November 11, 2018 Sunday morning. That would be 1 to 2 more bullets than what a police officer deposited into Emantic Bradford at the shopping mall in Hoover, Alabama.

No, this has to do with Ghosts In the Gallery of Midlothian Government and how critical statistical data isn’t made available to the public, let alone those responsible for Midlothian the Corporation.

One of the more effective techniques Midlothian has used over the years to suppress the truth has to do with the “complaint system” in place to handle…well…complaints against the Village.

First off, I’m willing to bet a cup of hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows that there are few in the Village that know there is an official Citizen Complaint Form available at Village Hall. It’s not like you can find a copy online because…well…it’s not there. And to think that back in October of 2014, then resident Kathy Caveney asked for the form to be published to the website. Of course, I myself used a few while former Mayor Terry Stephens was in office, but those complaints went nowhere. Also, Caveney is now a Village Trustee.

So to hear the Mayor say “We hear you?” to those who came to speak about Roberson?

My goodness. Members of the Government of the Village have been listening to complaints about poor policing habits for quite a few administrations. I don’t think very many paper forms were ever used to file such complaints–I know I certainly didn’t use very many over the past decade–but complaints via email, let alone over the phone or in person as still just as valid as those scribed by the person doing the complaining.

Maybe the words “we hear you” were never used in the past, but the illusion many were left with was that concerns were not only being heard, but that the Village would take steps to cure up a plethora of deficiencies…but not until the “next administration” gets into office.

That’s right. Many asked for patience while they kicked the can down the road, blaming some person on the Board, the Mayor or someone else for their own decision for inaction…especially this current Mayor. Often I was told by L’Heureux that it was best if I held back my own concerns until we had a new Mayor, sometimes without him actually having to say the words–just his demeanor alone sent the message loud and clear–especially when I was bringing up law enforcement-based concerns.

And now, with an even brighter spotlight glaring down upon Midlothian in search of evidence that might reflect a measure of prejudice in the Village (or lack thereof), the Village comes up shiny and clean as it relates to just how many complaints have been filed with the Village.

But that’s a false narrative created by the Village’s corrupt practices and procedures when it comes to its legal and moral obligation to have a complaint system to begin with. Sure, the public is allowed to file grievance against Government, but any grievance not filed on one of these Citizen Complaint Forms won’t show up in any statistics because…well…they aren’t “technically” classified as a formal Citizen Complaint.

For example, I know from personal experience (both as a submitter and as a result of a few FOIA requests), that a number of Citizen Complaints were filed with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s Public Corruption Division. Those complaints won’t necessarily show up in the archives of Midlothian when trying to do a statistical analysis of complaints filed with the Village.

I still find it interesting that the Village continues to maintain its stance that there is no prejudice coming from inside of Village Hall–

But hey! If there is no paper evidence to prove otherwise, then their claim must be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…right?

Well…

There are other pieces of evidence out there that clearly say otherwise, including videos and even laws on the books.

I myself am still awaiting clear and convincing evidence that the Village takes the right of a citizen to complain without fear of retaliation from the Village seriously–even if it’s 12 years after the first time I voiced a complaint to the Village.

Posting the Citizen Complaint form on the website would certainly be one decent piece of evidence. Constantly reminding the public that it exists and that people are encouraged to use it would be another one of those pieces.

Posting the Complaints Against a Police Officer policy, procedure and form is another one of those desperately needed pieces of evidence. This is an area that I believe is screaming for a major overhaul, but until it is posted for all to see, it’s tough to explain all of the problems with the process.

So when Mayor L’Heureux said “We hear you”?

He left out two things.

He left out any statement regarding his commitment and willingness to work with the protestors and advocates towards a more improved Village, especially when it comes to the police department and its staff. They weren’t talking just about Roberson’s death and what came after–they were talking about the events leading up to his death as well.

But L’Heureux also left out, “except if your name is Midlothian Valerie. If that is the case, don’t bother saying anything else because everyone here at Village Hall knows you’re nothing but a toothless and mentally ill person that we can’t get rid of fast enough–even though the Village has been trying for years –and we cannot be expected to keep listening to you ramble on as you continue to lose your mind. You’re illness is one of the reasons we have so many problems here in Midlothian and you are still costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars with all of your wasteful complaints! Please just shut up already and leave the rest of us good, decent, honorable people alone. We know what we’re doing.”

Or something along those lines.

So, in other words, hearing people has never been the problem of the government here in Midlothian when it comes to its history of prejudice.

Doing something other than letting the figurative dogs and fire hoses loose after one speaks out against such prejudice has always been the problem.

I will now sit back and await to see if these complaint forms finally make it online so that anyone can fill one out if they choose to.

I did ask this of the Mayor’s Office today via email.

Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Correcting Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Diversion of Government Assets, • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Erogin Ruff Series, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Illegal Police Actions, • Kathleen "Kathy" Caveney (Village Trustee), • Maria Kolacki (Village Deputy Clerk), • Michael Kohlstedt (former Village Clerk), • Municipal Corruption, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Sharon Rybak (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Terrence "Terry" Stephens (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Text Talk, • The 10-4-2017 Staged Panozzo Panic Attack, • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Interference With Basic Needs, Local Controversies, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, The Death of Jemel Roberson, Valerie's Voice

No One Likes Making Mistakes, But Boy, Do I Think I Got Something Wrong!

First, you have to trust me with this one request before you read much further, otherwise my words in this post will come across as “nonsense” and a sign of mental “instability.”

It’s a video in which you can hear me laughing quite obnoxiously at comments being made by current District 228 Board Member Evelyn Gleason in which she was using words like “conspiracy” but you need to first hear word for word what Gleason said to the Board, complete with tone of voice.  This happened at an April 2016 meeting.

Here’s the video and come back to the post once you’ve seen it:

(* Extra bonus:  Here’s the original post I wrote back soon after it happened)

Okay. Now that you’ve watched the video, I can short-hand a whole bunch of stuff, but just as a footnote.  Much of what I stated in text still stands true, but it just doesn’t seem to be the most likely truth with this one event anymore and trust me, that’s not good.

First, what you cannot see in the video is the 6 point list of allegations against former Midlothian Mayor Sharon Rybak. They were for administrative-driven issues and were briefly a surprise to me.

I thought I knew the biggest reason why the Trustee’s were calling for a vote to open up an Office of Investigator General with an invite to Cook County Sheriff Thomas “Tom” Dart to be the appointed investigator (or something to that effect.).

That’s why I laughed so hard while Gleason was speaking.

I had discussed the ordinance with a variety of Trustees and was willing to assume the Board was ready to back the allegations. Okay. Shrug? Maybe not. Stay with me a bit more.

A short while ago, I sent a FOIA request to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department that was framed in such a way, I believe I should have been given a copy of those 6 allegations on their paperwork and the subsequent results of the investigation. I certainly received results I was entirely unaware existed, that’s for sure.

However, there was not a trace of the allegations as outlined in the ordinance in my results. That matters, but could also be explainable for a variety of reasons, least of which the OIG ordinance and the corresponding paperwork never made it to the Finals, as the Board ended up having to re-write the ordinance per the request of Dart’s office–or so I was informed back then. I guess it’s possible the Village never followed through in delivering the request and I suppose Dart’s office is allowed to decline, but I didn’t research that particular set of rules.

So basically, what you just watched on video and in snippet form was Evelyn Gleason protesting the proposed ordinance, including suggestion that the Board was trying to “embarrass” Rybak, among other allegations she said aloud.

Remember hearing me laugh out loud while she was speaking?

For me, the 6 allegations were possible, I suppose, based on everything I ended up uncovering and reporting on from time to time to the public and an OIG office always sounds like a good next step for potential corruption from a unit of government, whether it be individual or corporation alike.

That’s not why I was laughing.

I laughed because it seemed to me that the biggest reason for the investigation to not contain that whopper of a topic seemed like a clear effort to NOT humiliate Rybak–

Especially if “It” was true.

Based on what I was told about the “It Factor,” I knew there was nothing I could or should write about because quite frankly, I never saw “It” as fact back then.

I was just told about “It”–and so were other Board members.

I figured having a draft FOIA on file to request a copy of “It” would be sufficient enough reason for me to put my notes away regarding the Board meeting and of course, the inspiration for the “Gleason Conspiracy Video” popped into my head as a way to vent.

The 6 were bad enough, if even one was true and the Board voted on wanting fresh eyes to look over something.

But if the “It” was true?

Then Gleason was far more of a truth-teller than I gave her credit for with the snippet video, I suppose.

Are you still with me?

Good, because I think I now understand why she said the words she said, which means I was wrong for not investigating this possibility sooner.

Life got in the way (as it always does) and I decided to patiently wait for Dart’s office to crank something out, figuring a few years was more than enough time to investigate at least the 6 allegations that were listed and Golly Darn Bless the 24/7 FOIA of the USA principle.

So when the paperwork didn’t show up via my FOIA to Dart’s office, I decided to just get it over with.

I was going to ask for a copy of “Them” to see if “It” was true.

Text messages, to be specific.

Lots of text messages, I was told by at least two people who claimed to have viewed them.

Text messages that hinted at Rybak texting someone she shouldn’t have been during Executive Session.

There certainly was a lot of time spent between Rybak and a phone number, at least in terms of minutes spent on the phone and if “It” were true, then those text messages were some serious evidence of wrong-doing–by far more than just Rybak.

I believe that if I was to allow “It” to be true, then Gleason’s challenge to the Board was courageous (even if there was a hint of personal), because it would mean that the potential for large-scale conspiracy would be a low-hanging fruit for someone such as myself to reach.

For example, only a small group of people ever laid claim to me that they saw “Them” themselves. The rest of the Board was not shown the materials and somehow “They” ended up in Martin Rita’s possession…allegedly.

And yet, when I FOIA requested the Village a few weeks ago for copies of the text messages, boy did the Village come up empty-handed.

Now, the “It Factor” in all of this conjumbulated conundrum has to do with a private choice that can have serious reputation ramifications. First, it’s a fact that by principle, the act itself isn’t necessarily the problem. There are areas of progression in the wider public view that shows tolerance as long as there is free-will permission, but it allegedly filtrated into other corners of the Village as a Corporation.

Now, before I get into what the “It” allegedly was, there’s one other black rabbit hole to travel through to get to all the “Other Stuff.”

Before I requested the text messages by date, I first requested records responsive to the “It” facet from the Village and received a copy of the billing statement as a response. I never return extra documents I am given and the one and only time someone went overboard enough with what they released was but a month ago.

So I’m sent the breakdown of all calls made to and from a specific phone number.

A phone number that was allegedly in the possession of an employee as a “work phone” while the account itself was under the personal name of one of his supervisors–that’s one of those FOIA holes that allows for some serious burial of materials relevant to the public, let alone any investigators for any reason.

There certainly appeared to be a significant amount of chat time with the Mayor, and not necessarily during regular business hours. I’m sure a spreadsheet could show all sorts of “Other Stuff,” but someone on the Board began telling other Board members an “inappropriate relationship” was going on between the Mayor and an employee.

Now let me stop me right here.

“Inappropriate relationship.”

Ummm…never fully asked what “inappropriate” might look like in text form, but at least according to the phone bill I was given, there might have been some “inappropriate information sharing,” but still not the “It” that was firsts alleged by a member of the Board.

Starting to sound like a conspiracy is somewhere in this here black rabbit hole I’ve just made you travel with me–and without all of the conversations I remember having about this over a period of time.

A conspiracy to maintain control over evidence that if true, belonged in Dart’s hands for investigation and so why wasn’t I given evidence the 6 original allegations made it to Dart’s office with my recent FOIA?

Occam’s Razor. It was never turned over to Dart’s office. Instead, when it was turned over to the Village at the end of the employee’s employment with the Village, the initiating Board member of the allegations kept/passed along the messages to at least one other Village employee at some point, Martin Rita. How this went from Rita and with similar confirmation of seeing the messaging that the “It” was true to the rejection of my FOIA request, “The information you requested is not within the possession of the Village of Midlothian.”

If “It” was true, it would seem this is an outrageous and reckless abuse of power by a Board member that potentially benefitted from their credibility in the community as an outright truth-teller, including open and honest opinion and all.

The Rita connection is the lid to the black rabbit hole that really could use one of those flashlights that works underwater and is recharged by water.

By the way, Robert “Bob” and John Rita of Blue Island are the uncles of Martin Rita, Midlothian Fire Department.  Google those names when you get bored.

Martin Rita used to be Deputy Chief of the Midlothian Fire Department.

Two board members laid claim to Rita being the Protector Of the Materials.

Notice I said “used to be Deputy Chief” when talking about Rita?  Rita was dropped some ranks a while back for reasons unknown to the public.

But when I first heard about it, I was slightly concerned about someone in the Fire Department having the messages other than the Chief himself, as it was allegedly done using Village property–at least back then.

Now I’ve seen for myself that the alleged phone certainly belonged back with the Chief because the phone was in his personal name and was a personal account, according to that one FOIA result I mentioned a while back.

Hell, yes. There’s that lid I was looking for.

Ummphh. Ooff. Ouch!

Why, you became Mayor, Gary L’Heureux!

What the hell happened to those alleged text messages you said you had in your back pocket at one point while you were Trustee?  You know, right around the time Gleason spoke out in protest at this particular meeting.

Ooopss. Sorry.

Let me be formal about this, lest you think I lost my mind with this post, rather than letting loose my confusion for a moment upon the Internet…

Dear Mayor of Midlothian Illinois Gary L’Heureux,

I think you owe every member of the Village Board a thorough investigation into what exactly happened with those alleged text messages you said happened between the former Mayor, who eventually ran against you, even though she had pledged she wasn’t running, and a Deputy Chief of the Midlothian Fire Department back in the weeks and months before opening the OIG office for a second time and with the specific charges selected, and who eventually left the Department on their own terms?

You also owe the Board the truth in the immediate if there never were confirmed text messages as viewed by you and in the condition you claimed to have reviewed them.

You allegedly used the theme of these messages to help persuade the Board to vote in favor of opening the OIG office and yet none claim to have seen them except for one, who also benefitted from the 2017 election cycle.

You assured me those messages would be going to Dart’s office as you well know I do not tolerate being intentionally used for political messaging purposes. I should have FOIA requested them back then, but I trusted your words over Evelyn Gleason’s in this case.

I was wrong back then and maybe I am wrong about something now.

What’s the truth, Gary? It mattered back then and it matters now what the truth is.

Did these alleged “inappropriate” text messages at least exist at one point or was everything just an illusion?

Call me at your earliest convenience to discuss further, if you so choose.

I’d be willing to tag the conversation a “True Community Policing” moment if you are.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this critical matter.

Posted in 2019 Local Elections, Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • 2018 Investigation Watch, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Carl Ivan (Village Trustee), • Dave Mager (former Fire Dept. Deputy Chief), • Diversion of Government Assets, • Donald "Don" Killelea (Village Trustee), • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Jerome "Jerry" Gillis, Jr. (Village Trustee), • Karen Kreis (Village Trustee), • Kathleen "Kathy" Caveney (Village Trustee), • Municipal Corruption, • Nick Valadez (Village Attorney), • Original Demonstration, • Personal Profiteering For Political Gain, • Pictures and Graphics, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Reputation Management, • Sandy Crowley (Village Trustee), • Sharon Rybak (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Text Talk, • The 10-4-2017 Staged Panozzo Panic Attack, • Thomas Dart (Cook County Sheriff/Public Corruption), • Video Productions, • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Local Controversies, Midlothian Valerie News Story Coverage, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie Tech Talk, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, Repairing Political Rifts Through Reflection, Valerie's Voice

And now, let’s turn to Blue Island…errr…Midlothian, for an update

Flashback to December 1, 2005 in Blue Island, Illinois.

A group of young boys decide to head out to the local “slopes” for a little sledding.  In this case, the “slope” was a part of the Western Avenue overpass that leads towards Packard rather than sledding at Memorial Park, where the sport is more common.

Before anyone could stop the next series of events, Robert “Robbie” Silva (age 11) was struck by a white pick-up truck as his sled had slid him into the street.  The truck sped away into the night while Silva passed away from his injuries at the hospital shortly after the accident.

This was in 2005.

It’s the tail-end of 2018 now and the driver of the pick-up truck has yet to be arrested on charges stemming from the hit-and-run, and the truck itself allegedly was burned to a crisp as part of a Blue Island Fire Department training exercise.

On tonight’s agenda for the City of Blue Island council is a simple sentence reading “Discussion of Pending Litigation in the case of Thomas vs. City of Blue Island and possible final action authorizing settlement.” (read lawsuit here)

So what could this litigation possibly center around?

How about it centering around an alleged police-driven cover-up that included falsification of documents, suppression of evidence and a likely political aspect as well?

That’s right and the Midlothian twist is coming right up.

Midlothian resident, Michael Cornell was the Blue Island Detective assigned to investigate the Silva case back in 2005, along with Kevin Sisk.

This is the same Michael Cornell that eventually rose to become Acting Police Chief of the Blue Island police department before being rejected as a candidate for permanent Police Chief.  Cornell chose retirement after it was made clear there would never be a path to permanency.

This is the same Michael Cornell that somehow landed a gig with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) after leaving the Blue Island police department in April 2018.  It should definitely be noted that his LinkdIn profile simply says “Investigator” with the State of Illinois, which will make sense once you learn of how he handled the Silva case.

This is the same Michael Cornell that is married to Village of Midlothian Trustee Sandra L. Crowley, who has been pushing really, really hard for a new police department to be built for the department, but has shown no concern about the failures of the Village to install and implement an honest-to-goodness Community Policing program.  Crowley herself is a Systems Analyst III for the Cook County State’s Attorney Child Support Enforcement Department.

But this lawsuit between Silva’s mother and the City of Blue Island is not the only document lingering over the legacy of Michael Cornell as a member of law enforcement in the City of Blue Island.

In fact, there is another lawsuit that may have an important influence over the possible settlement hinted at on tonight’s agenda.

From all accounts, Silva’s mother took every reasonable step imaginable to call for a review of the case involving the death of her son and eventually her persistence paid off.  In March, 2009, Blue Island Detective Ismael Haro agreed to revisit the case with a set of fresh eyes.

You want to know what Detective Haro got for agreeing to review the case?

Retaliated against by…wait for it…

Michael Cornell.  (read Whistleblower’s lawsuit here)

The level and degree of this retaliation was complete and total, including a 90 day suspension without pay, virtually unheard of in the history of the Blue Island police department.

But wait for it…

Haro was given a SECOND 90 day suspension right after he served the first one!

This was only AFTER Cornell invented a new job position of “Commander,” in November 2013, which was supposed to be an administrative position between the ranks of deputy chief and patrol sergeant.

And guess who Cornell appointed to this newly created job position…

None other than Kevin Sisk.

Did I mention that Sisk was also appointed to investigate the Silva case back in 2005?

What an “investigative” team Cornell and Sisk made, right?  It’s 2018 and still no one has had to answer to the hit-and-run charges.

But in Haro’s Whistleblowers lawsuit against both Cornell and Sisk, Haro states that while he was in search for the Silva file that had disappeared from all logical locations such documents would be stored, guess who had them in his desk?

Cornell.

And you wanna know what Haro alleges Cornell said when Haro asked for the files?

“That woman needs to get over it.  Her son is dead and the offender in the case has likely fled to Mexico.”

Can I just say “Gasp” or do I have to make the sound effect to go with the allegation Cornell said something like that?

All in all, the public documents involving the Silva case certainly offer up enough evidence to suggest that while there might be a tidbit of detail to squabble over here and there, the City of Blue Island has had its own conspiracy case lurking in its police department for quite some time…in fact, enough time for the alleged perpetrators to rise fairly high in the ranks…and more than enough time for Cornell to “retire” rather than facing the unemployment line.

For those who are watching over the actions and activities of law enforcement officers, this set of circumstances is just as worthy to monitor and even act upon as with the conspiracy trial regarding the alleged cover-up by police officers in the Laquon McDonald murder, which is due for a verdict December 19, 2018.

And what the Blue Island city council does tonight will be quite telling as to whether or not they have the capacity to address the likelihood that the Silva death and subsequent investigation was more than just horrible police work–it was politically driven police work.

It’s become very hard to imagine Village of Midlothian Trustee Sandra Crowley having been able to objectively interact with the Village board and the Midlothian police department since she was appointed liaison to the department soon after she was appointed as Trustee once now Village Clerk Allen Moskal vacated his seat as Trustee after the 2017 election.

In fact, it’s hard to imagine her staying objective about the death of Jemel Roberson, let alone being interested in finding out the fullest truth about the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Sure we get to watch Kellyanne Conway and her husband George Conway at odds with one another as to opinions about our current President’s behaviors and judgements, but Crowley’s husband’s loss of permanent Police Chief of Blue Island had to strike a nerve (and a paycheck).  And what if it is all true?  What if her husband did all of the alleged behaviors in both lawsuits?  Can Crowley stand up to not just the Midlothian Police Department but the State of Illinois if there is even a whiff of a cover-up with the shooting of Roberson and demand changes from the department?

I’m thinking not.  Plus, her working for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office has its own risks and perils…let alone Cornell’s current job with the state as “Investigator” for DCFS.

I got my own taste of Cornell yesterday when waiting outside Village Hall for it to open.  I ended up overhearing Cornell talking with someone on the phone about what sounded like to be a case he was responsible for investigating.  He strolled away slightly for a few moments, but eventually came back and stood not 5 feet away from me while talking on the phone.  Something about his being surprised “she had everything pre-paid” and talk about how “disorganized” the person was, etc.

Tonight looks like it will be a big night for not just the City of Blue Island, Silva’s mother and the entire southwest suburbs, especially from a political stance.

Tonight could become a significant moment in the history of the relationship between law enforcement and the public they take an oath to serve and protect.

A settlement means the Blue Island police department failed to serve and protect while almost succeeding at providing Teflon coverage to the officers at fault for the conspiracy and cover-up.

Key word in that last sentence being “almost.”

And now it’s time for me to go think about tomorrow night’s Village Board meeting here in Midlothian at 7:00 p.m.

#JusticeForSilva

Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes on Public Officials, AMP Official Investigation Tracking, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Correcting Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Illegal Police Actions, • Municipal Corruption, • Personal Profiteering For Political Gain, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Sandy Crowley (Village Trustee), City of Blue Island, Domingo Vargas (former Mayor of Blue Island Illinois), Entries based on municipal unit, Interference With Basic Needs, Local Controversies, Michael Cornell (former Acting Police Chief of Blue Island), Midlothian Valerie News Story Coverage, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, Panozzo Panic Attack Test, The Death of Jemel Roberson, Valerie's Voice

Sparing You the FOIA: A #Peaceful #ePaper #Protest on a Sunday Afternoon

***Sent to the Board of Trustees on Sunday, December 9, 2018 via email***

My volunteerism for the Village of Midlothian has certainly been unique over this past decade, but I gave of myself what I thought I could develop and deliver well to the public–conversation starters and details about the operations of the local municipalities operating in the Village and encouraging people to seek out information of their own.

There are three points I would like to volunteer to this body of individuals elected to serve the interests of all who #ChooseMidlothian to do something, like live or work or even playing live music:

1. Clothing Ordinance. The Board’s lack of repealing the clothing ordinance in an expeditious manner, in my opinion, shows an unwillingness to address some of the low-hanging fruits planted in the past that are entirely unnecessary–when they were first imposed and even now. The law has not been enforced because I still argue it cannot be applied in a fair and equal manner without violating the Constitution on some level, including illegal search and seizure based on how much of one’s clothing reveals enough for everyone to be able to tell immediately if someone is “male” or “female.

As I remain hopeful this resonates with you as absurd (especially since I was given symbolic “amnesty” for all of my violations of the law), please call upon the Village Attorney to draw up at least a draft opinion on whether or not Midlothian needs this law intact to keep the public safer than if the law did not exist.

And never forget that if such an issue became of potential value to the public from a safety perspective, there is always opportunity to create a law based on the circumstances that might call for such a law to begin with. This law parallel’s the #BaggyPantsOrdinance of past that never passed, except the Village is suggesting that those who clothes themselves a certain way may be hiding their body parts in such a way that…what? Women have to wear only bras and bikini underwear to soothe a likely irrational fear? And men can skip the bras and go straight to the bikinis? And the trans? Binary? What do they wear as proof of their sex?

The Midlothian community does not need this type of law that offers the police an option as to whether or not they should apply it to begin with–and ignorance is no defense–neither does lacking a policy regarding enforcement of the law provide “plausible” deniability.

Repeal this and only replace should all other laws fail to address a safety or security issue related to the dress of an individual remains my viewpoint on this matter. Please consider my request with care and concern for all who have been persecuted and prosecuted over the clothing they chose to wear, regardless of where they live.

2. Illegal meetings. I’ve always made my stance on this quite clear to each of you over the years, sometimes talking extensively with a majority of you. Once upon a time, during the Kohlstedt years, this Village had to endure the hits that I know for a fact I inspired.

I know for a fact that I complained to Dart’s office about the stunts being pulled through the Tax Hike phase of the Village. I know for a fact that both meeting minutes and agendas eventually made it to the website, but almost always on some majorly delayed schedule that still created violation. Sure, the posting of agenda’s was frequently in compliance, but the minutes were just as important back then as they are now. I know for a fact that my series of judgments regarding these singular and granular events was important for me to volunteer as it remains my opinion that the Village is better because of it, regardless of how it contributes to my reputation.

I know for a fact that I complained to the Village about the issue of illegal meetings, both formally and informally. I know for a fact I chose to request assistance from the PAC office with the hopes of motivating the team of Kohlstedt and Rybak to #CeaseAndDesist. I know for a fact that my discretion as to what I should report and what I shouldn’t eventually led to all Trustees being able to get agendas and board packets 48 hours before a meeting started without a “whoops” somewhere in the process.

The fact that I now have one of those choices to make because I incidentally came across not just one, but two agendas that were incorrect enough to become an Open Meetings Act violation should the meeting have commenced.

I always tell myself the PAC office has better things to do with their time than bang on the door of the Village with a letter. Well…actually, there is no door-banging and the letter is actually an email with a .pdf letter attached), but I’m not government. This means I get to pick and choose when I am going to give the Village a pass on further examination, compared to taking my voice, my reputation, my life and putting it behind a request for further examination by someone also employed by government–but hired to scrutinize the behaviors of government individuals as it relates to OMA and FOIA violations.

Therefore, I would like to put forth an additional effort to request change of policy and procedures inside of Village Hall when it comes to the Village hosting public meetings. While it is the role of Village Clerk to ensure this happens, it is up to this Board to support him in such efforts.

Please insist that the entire agenda process is studied in a speedy, but thorough manner, and that draft procedures are offered up for a few days of input from all who are expected to use the system in the first place. I am motivated to insist simply because I have faith in the skill-set of Clerk Moskal to accomplish and implement such a simple, but critical safety system for the Village by the end of the year.

That all depends on whether or not the issue can once again be important enough to be addressed in a prompt manner–or if the phrase “Wait until the next Clerk” passes through my mind as to whether or not I should file complaint with the PAC office.

3. Lack of police policy and procedure. While this topic tends to evoke the greatest hostility out of both government and public alike, perhaps unbeknownst to you, I filed a complaint with the PAC office almost immediately after I read an email declining my request to view the police policies and procedures for protests and protestors.

My promptness of reporting the decline was motivated by past and current events when it comes to this specific arena of professional law enforcement.

I remember protesting outside of Village Hall last summer, complete with a sign and a document outlining my arguments as to what was so wrong, it called for such a public display of disagreement. I also remember Police Chief Delaney driving out of the parking lot of the police department and at least waiving at me (I saw sarcasm, but what do I know).

I also remember last Wednesday night where Delaney could not even be professional enough in a public setting to return the greeting. No documented laws broken on either side, but the “persona non-grata” message was clear to me. Shrug?

More to the point would be my returning back to how I even came across the CPC agenda. I always check out the board before heading into the building. Because I saw no less than the chance at informal conversation if it was attempted to commence the meeting, let alone the risk that the meeting actually happened on the 4th, it was worth the patience to put away my conversation about body cameras for police officers and instead make a statement about something that represented a positive direction the Village was heading, in my opinion.

And here’s why. Prior to the start of the meeting, Attorney Valadez made it a point to converse with me regarding the Village’s response to the FOIA request that was declined. He displayed no concern about being seen talking to me, let alone others being able to hear about the matter. I can even absorb the idea that I received a template response most likely in relation to the current investigation into the death of Mr. Jemel Roberson.

What I cannot stomach is the idea that the Midlothian police department has no policy and procedure in place to address such a potentially life and death series of events that are related to protesting the actions of someone in relation to a government unit.

What profound implications and intellectual dissonance since I know that I was allowed to protest undisrupted by the police. Sure, that likely happened because I was a one-person protestor–I didn’t make any announcements about it. I didn’t invite anyone. A few stopped to talk, in which I removed the duct tape I had over my mouth with the word “Stop!” written on it to answer questions asked of me as to why I was choosing to behave the way I was behaving in public.

While illegal police surveillance of protestors is one of those “illusions” in which much is never detected outside of those who are doing something perceived to be a “threat,” for me it starts with the idea that the police officers of Midlothian have been given no consistent guidelines on how to interact with a protest and when to act on what and how.

The use of pepper spray during a protest can create a variety of escalations, especially in a small, enclosed room.

The police officers have not been told if and when this is an option.

There is no definition of circumstances in which a mass detainment and possibly arrest is called for.

The police officers have not been told what do after their use of pepper spray and what conditions call for immediate medical attention compared to a call for mass detainment at what point after the pepper spray was used.

A former police chief threatened a citizen of removal from a meeting during a give-and-take protest without equally threatening the citizen appointed as a representative of the Village.

The police officers have not been told what steps to take if a removal from a meeting is called for because someone decided to protest.

From a video of a protest a short while back, Detective Adam Panozzo seemed quite disturbed on a video that he had to be the literal greeter of a group of people following the instructions on the signs posted on and around the door who were seeking a moment of a Midlothian police officer’s time.

The police officers have not been told what steps to take if someone shows up at one of their doorways. I ended up disrupting roll call the other day, but only because I thought the door might be unlocked in preparation for a possible public meeting. It is my understanding that person outside the station ended up patching through to the emergency side of law enforcement. I’ve used that phone before and I’ve never had the glass door put between myself and the officer I ended up speaking with compared to the past actions of the Detective.

Delaney never actually stopped to ask me for more information regarding why I chose to protest outdoors last year. Of course, the Mayor didn’t show up either, but I don’t think I’ve read too many documents suggesting that was the norm in any other jurisdiction either.

The police officers have not been given steps to take to de-escalate a circumstance involving one of their own, let alone those protesting at a public meeting sponsored by a government unit. Sure, a few meetings ago a protestor in the audience chose to cease speaking out loud during the meeting on the call of an officer sitting a few seats away, but that was likely on instinct of the officer and the willingness of the protestor to comply and it did quickly restore order to the meeting.

The police officers are given no policy or procedure on crowd control tactics and techniques to avoid the use of force while using their authority to keep things as peaceful as the law will allow.

Etcetera, etcetera.

So here’s where I can land at this point when it comes to sharing with my government a concern of mine in a once-again original manner regarding a valid, rational and reasonable concern connected to the police department and law enforcement here in Midlothian

When I stayed true to my pledge of paying attention to the same types of principles that in the past, my opposition to a great number of things were not so globally viewed as a “safe threat” for the Village to worry about.

Many of you did not mind my calling out the Village of Midlothian for an illegal meeting, let alone a FOIA request circumstance, even though it was clear that my actions and decisions were burdening the operations of the Village, under the previous administration.

I even called out the former police chief from time to time, and again my responses were considered more “safe” than “dangerous” back then by the Village Board–despite them being perceived as a negative burden by some.

Well, everything I said here in this email should be “safe” to talk about in public and maybe hindsight will suggest to me I should have talked about body cameras rather than compliment the Clerk’s office that night.

Please do something about the lack of any policy and procedure for the Midlothian police officers to follow regarding protestors and protests?

I wouldn’t be asking first if I didn’t think there was a chance for corrective actions to be taken in the sooner rather than the later, and that it can even be done in a public manner, complete with broad and wide discussion among the many who are impacted by such policy and procedure, including but not limited to law enforcement.

Thank you for your time and consideration of these three important matters and should you wish to discuss any of these points further, please feel free to contact me at 708-872-0404.

Regards,

Valerie Weiskirch

P.S. I went to the Village website to get the email address of the Mayor (had an error sending last time) and it reads “Village President More Coming Soon!” I found that oddly amusing.

Posted in - Rental Property Owner Edmund "Eddie" Olmos, Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes On Local LEO's, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Carl Ivan (Village Trustee), • Correcting Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Daniel Delaney (Police Chief), • Deconstructing Ordinances, • Donald "Don" Killelea (Village Trustee), • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Erogin Ruff Series, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Harold "Hal" Kaufman (former Police Chief), • Illegal Police Actions, • Jerome "Jerry" Gillis, Jr. (Village Trustee), • Karen Kreis (Village Trustee), • Kathleen "Kathy" Caveney (Village Trustee), • Maria Kolacki (Village Deputy Clerk), • Michael Kohlstedt (former Village Clerk), • Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney, • Midlothian Police Detective Sgt. Adam Panozzo, • Municipal Code Books, • Municipal Unit Agendas and Minutes, • Nick Valadez (Village Attorney), • No FOIA Required Collection, • OMA Violations, • Original Demonstration, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Sandy Crowley (Village Trustee), • Sharon Rybak (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Stephen Hotwagner (Chief of Fire Department), • Text Talk, • The 10-4 Over and Out Nationwide Panic Attack, • The 10-4-2017 Staged Panozzo Panic Attack, • Thomas Dart (Cook County Sheriff/Public Corruption), • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Interference With Basic Needs, Midlothian Valerie News Story Coverage, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Panozzo Panic Attack Test, Repairing Political Rifts Through Reflection, The Death of Jemel Roberson, Valerie's Voice

The Case of the Missing Community Policing Meeting

Darn it was cold outside tonight!  Okay.  In all fairness, it was cold last night when I went to the regularly scheduled Committee meeting at Village Hall, but at least I had the chance to warm up last night before heading home…unlike tonight.

Before last night’s meeting, I checked the bulletin board outside of Village Hall to see the agenda for the evening and noticed their was an agenda posted for the regular Community Policing Committee Meeting on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

It was because of this agenda and the scheduled CPC meeting that I decided to scrap my original comments and went with something else that had value in that Board room.  I figured my original comments (which were given an extra twist prior to the meeting) belonged with the CPC first and of course I could be patient and wait 24 hours to share my concern.

So after checking the website just to be sure (and noticing no agenda was connected to the meeting announcement, btw), I wrapped myself up (and I do mean wrapped up!) and headed over to the Roll Call Room at the Police Department where the meeting was supposed to be held.

I got there around 6:45 p.m. and I also brought my camera with because I had yet to record a CPC meeting and thought it would be a perfect time to add at least one of their meetings to my collection of public meeting videos.

So here I am outside of the Roll Call room, pacing back and forth a bit (did I mention it was cold outside?) before it occurred to me I had not tried to open the door, which might have been open the whole time.

I gave the door a gentle tug and it was locked.  Within a few moments of my preparing myself for a little longer wait for the meeting, one of the officers opened the door, gave me a quizzical look and asked if he could help me.

I mentioned I was there for the Community Policing Committee meeting and he mentioned they were in the middle of roll call and that he didn’t know about what was going on with the meeting.  While I was slightly confused, there was no tension in the conversation and he returned to his work while I returned to the task of staying warm until the meeting started.

A few more minutes passed and with no one from the Committee showing up, I began to wonder what the heck was going on.  I wasn’t becoming frustrated with the officer and his response.  I was becoming frustrated with the lack of leadership of Mayor Gary L’Heureux, Police Chief Daniel Delaney and Trustee Sandy Crowley.  I started wondering how it was possible that any officer on the police force could be unaware of when a Community Policing meeting was being held…after all, we are a Community Policing Community.

Before I could work through my thoughts too thoroughly, the officer who responded to my door tug came out to hit the streets.  He mentioned again that he wasn’t sure what was going on and when I asked him the time, he mentioned it was still 5 minutes before 7:00.  I then decided to check the bulletin board to see if there was at least a cancellation notice posted about the meeting, or if I should continue to wait for the others to arrive.

I walk to the front and poof!  The agenda posted yesterday was gone and in its place was…well…nothing.  In fact, it was devoid of all agendas, but it at least had the list of regularly scheduled meetings which stated clearly that the CPC would meet the first Thursday of every month.

So now I’m really stuck.  No agenda AND no cancellation notice.  I walked back towards the roll call room to at least give the situation a few more minutes and before long, a few officers walked out the door to hit the streets.

Suffice it to say, I was offered the idea that while he couldn’t speak for absolute certain, it was his understanding that the Community Policing Committee was held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 and that there was something about it on the CPC Facebook page.

It was then I thanked the officer for the candor and made point I needed to get out of the cold, so I headed back here to my computer, where I am still defrosting as I type.

First point of error.  Posting a change of date to a private corporation’s website that is not directly connected to the Village website is not proper notice to the public of a rescheduling of a regularly scheduled meeting.

Second point of error.  While I scrolled through the posts on the CPC Facebook page, I saw absolutely nothing suggesting there was a meeting held on December 4, 2018!  No announcements, no encouragement to attend, no sharing of the agenda that was absent from the Village website–nothing.

Right before I was ready to call it quits, believing that yet another officer ended up misleading me about something law enforcement-related, I decided to click on the “Events” tab of the page.

And guess what I found:

Yup!  Something that appears to be a notice of the meeting being held on December 4th and not December 6th.

Can I get an oy veh?

Now I had already noticed last night that the date of the meeting on the posted agenda had read “Thursday, December 4, 2018.”  I had also notice that the Planning Commission agenda posted just to the left of it had no date of the meeting, nor did it have the location stated, which means if they held a meeting, it was held illegally.

But this particular one is a little less simple.  I went because I wanted to see if they would proceed in having an illegal meeting as the Park District once did with a similar error (the PAC office judged that the Park District meeting had been held illegally despite the Scrivenor’s Error argument offered) or if I would at least have the chance to chat informally with members of the CPC about my new concerns about police policy regarding protests and protestors.

Turns out, they likely had an illegal meeting on Tuesday, December 4th AND I didn’t get the chance to chat about my concerns that stemmed from the results of a FOIA request I had to first forward to the PAC office for formal review tonight.

For those who want to chalk this up to a simple “typographical error,” it is nothing of the sort.  The fact that it clearly said “Thursday” was well in line with the regular schedule and that it is not the public’s responsibility or obligation to figure out if the “December 4” part was a typo or not…which it appears it wasn’t.  It is solely the Village’s responsibility to ensure all of that information is 100% accurate.  Period.  No debate.  No questions.  No doubt.  And publishing to a private corporation’s website of the change of date while posting nothing on its bulletin board makes it all the more curious–and suspicious.

So right when the Village properly extracts itself from my latest complaint to the PAC office regarding their denial of my request for all policies and procedures pertaining to protests and protestors…it goes and digs itself another hole–at least two meetings wide–the Planning Commission and the Community Policing Committee, with illegal meetings.

So where does all of this leave someone such as myself?

Well, for starters, it’s going to be another complaint to the PAC office.  That’s for certain.

But there are a few bigger things at play here:

1.  The question of why the meeting was changed in the first place.  The only two reasons I can think of at this time is that Trustee Sandy Crowley didn’t want to miss the big annual Midlothian Chamber of Commerce holiday celebration at the Midlothian Country Club–because she is up for re-election this year and many understand just how important it is to be seen as a supporter of the local Chamber of Commerce, let alone the opportunity for her to get petitions signed–and/or the CPC didn’t want to risk any protestors showing up at the meeting to speak their minds.

2.  The fact that the officers were not confident in when and where such a meeting was to be held remains disturbing and wrong.  This lands squarely in the laps of Mayor Gary L’Heureux and Police Chief Delaney, the two key figures in any True Community Policing setting.  And while they aren’t facing immediate election-related issues, this continued lack of leadership from both of them puts all officers at risk of being judged unfairly and being held responsible for their not knowing when CPC meetings are being held.  That’s why it was important for me to make a point at the beginning that both officers treated me as right as can be expected and I do not hold them accountable for their uncertainty.  It also is possible they harbored hope that the CPC would be able to avoid any protests or protesters for another month.

3.  Current Village Clerk Allen Moskal has first-hand knowledge of just how much heat I personally took when battling frequently with the Village to remain compliant with the Open Meetings Act under Rybak, especially during those 2014 Tax Hike Threats.  At this point, there should be no excuse whatsoever for an agenda to go out with an error like this and while it would be easy to blame the Deputy Clerk for not catching it, the Planning Commission agenda shows that Clerk Moskal has yet to put forth a template and set of rules when a Committee is creating an agenda for posting.  That leaves the Deputy Clerk open for unfair criticism since policy and procedure is supposed to come from the top down, something Moskal pledged to address if he was elected Clerk.

All in all, this is but another example of the chaos coming from Village Hall under the “leadership” of Mayor L’Heureux that L’Heureux once complained about coming from the Rybak administration…including illegal meetings being held.  Except this time around, he’s the one in charge and these illegal meetings are being held on his watch and under his roof.

It took direct intervention from Dart’s office to bring Rybak and former Village Clerk Michael Kohlstedt’s shenanigan’s to a halt…eventually.

Time to go write up that complaint and send it off so I can spend the rest of the night not worrying about who will speak out about these types of problems at a time when criticism of public officials here in Midlothian is even more dangerous than in the past…

Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes On Local LEO's, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Carl Ivan (Village Trustee), • Daniel Delaney (Police Chief), • Diversion of Government Assets, • Donald "Don" Killelea (Village Trustee), • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Jerome "Jerry" Gillis, Jr. (Village Trustee), • Karen Kreis (Village Trustee), • Kathleen "Kathy" Caveney (Village Trustee), • Michael Kohlstedt (former Village Clerk), • Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney, • OMA Violations, • Personal Profiteering For Political Gain, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Regular OMA Violations, • Sandy Crowley (Village Trustee), • Sharon Rybak (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Text Talk, • Thomas Dart (Cook County Sheriff/Public Corruption), • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, Valerie's Voice