A True Community Policing Clarification In Note Form

***Note to Midlothian Valerie readers – While I have not been involved with Midlothian for a few months now, I do miss the times I would sit down with no structural rules to the content and if it became a ramble, then so be it…but it would be off to the world of Midlothian politics and its scenery  The point of those efforts was not for me to craft something that would specifically appeal to the widest audience possible, rather it was a matter of emptying my own thoughts onto the screen and then wondering if even one person was going to understand even one portion of what I wrote.  It was my chance to rebel against boundaries I set for myself when it came to my own publishing habits and the subsequent effects of such compositions being published.

I haven’t written an intentional ramble in quite a while, so if you’re looking for short and sweet, this isn’t the post for you.  If you’re looking for an aged and experienced opinion of community policing in Midlothian, then you might want to scan your way through it.

Either way, thank you for still using the site as a reference point for a part of the history of Midlothian you just can’t get anywhere else.


For the second time in my life, I had someone say to me that “my kind of Community Policing” was not logistically possible.

It is true that anyone can lay claim to the phrase “Community Policing” and then applying their own definitions to it.  It’s not a trademarked term and was originally intended on being a catch-all container for other communities to build around.

But a city or a town laying claim to possessing a True Community Policing principle in its community comes with certain mandatory protocols–otherwise the act of policing of the community quickly becomes filled with such great and grave injustices, a state of peace cannot be discerned from the chaos created by so many realities being of true representation of a negative experience being unresolved.

Whenever I made a statement in the past that the Village of Midlothian does not have a true community policing program, it came absent of any expectations except for the most basic of basics to be present, that of a government entity willing, able and encouraging of a thorough policing of itself at all levels.

Without this element of unfettered and unrestricted access to elements such as a truth-filled and up-to-date municipal code book being distributed to the public online, the government entity is not permitting “community” policing.  They are only permitting and encouraging the policing as suggested by that book, and any other book of laws influencing a geographical location and “Surprise!”

But it is more than just a book of laws being available to the public in any capacity.  When access to justice is obstructed through a series of “whoops” events in which government is constantly and even predictably given extraordinary latitude while expecting strict adherence by anyone outside of this privileged circle, penalties matter.

Fine a citizen and the system works…theoretically.  Fine a government entity and the system can potentially break immediately, such as with an SEC fine or even the fines that are supposed to come with anyone who fails to abide by OMA laws.  All of a sudden, the totality of ones life comes into play while the citizen who was fined had to take the hit regardless of lifetime accomplishment.  Depending on the government person, they might even ride the wave of controversy straight into a flush bank account.  Huh?  How is that providing citizens tools designed and intended to provide balance upon demand and command?

Crimes committed by a person of government have always come with a special class of citizenship…a class that comes with its own set of rules that traditionally has voraciously and even viciously blackmailed the system into accepting.  Punish the government person and the taxpayer loses something.

No wonder so many people are still fearful of reporting wrong-doings of any level to so many communities claiming to have a handle and a grip on what it means to be a True Community Policing community, especially when the “See something, say something” filter is applied to ones environment.  Videos of every meeting published online.  No excuses.  Websites for all municipal units.  Agendas on time on website.  No excuses.  Meeting minutes done in a speedy and accurate manner.  No excuses.  All can be done for next to no cost.  Municipal code books published.  No excuses.  Date and time stamps on all documents.  No excuses.

That’s “my kind of Community Policing.”

In other words, my theory is that if government wants authority to do whatever they want to justify to theoretically protecting you from me, then I retain my always existing authority to do whatever is legally allowed to protect myself from who knows what government will come up with next to justify who knows what.

And until a government unit in its entirety, from top to bottom, can stop itself from panic attack after panic attack over something being released to the public that can be damaging and damning, there can be no True Community Policing program open to one and all equally at all times.

All it continues to be is a government sweep of the community using paid and unpaid agents to report back on what the government wants to crack down on while protecting itself from challenges to its judgment calls.

Selling people on a concept of “Community Policing” can always go horribly wrong, as it did back in the second world war, with people reporting people to authorities that resulted in medical boards consisting of three people and a red pencil deciding who lived and who died.  And one need not limit themselves to this mass scale event to see other ways mankind has deputized itself to perform

From the first moment I heard from a government employee “we don’t want your kind of Community Policing” all those years back, I knew there would be problems getting the municipal code book updated, let alone establishing a formal complaint system with various entry points so that one could critique any government person and there would be protection not from a signed promise, but a culture in practice of not worrying about who made the complaint or filed the concern.

So when I heard it come from a different government person last week and what they thought I was expecting when I critiqued the Village on its Community Policing program, I gave them the simplified version of this post.

For all who have not a clue what I am talking about…

For well over 10 years, I put these principles into action and both of these government people benefitted from the videos online, my filings with the PAC office and Dart’s office, published research, etc. let alone the constructive conversations that were held based on what the public was being asked to believe to be the truth at any given moment and my presenting it for consideration by the public.

This is just a really short follow-up note to provide more clarity into what goes through my mind when I think about anyone’s “Community Policing” program…let alone the one in Midlothian.  In my experienced opinion, It’s not just about staying alert, its what you are being expected to stay alert for and what you are supposed to do if you think you see something someone else needs to know about.

As a survivor of sexual assault by a former member of our military, I am always hyper-alert to how open and closed organizations are when it comes to their responsibilities and rights in policing themselves, especially a government unit.  And when a government unit goes out of its way to protect documents of any kind, including meeting minutes and agendas, that’s not healthy for anyone other than the insiders who are busy trading on the information and leaving everyone else out of the equations and their mental accounting.  It’s extra insidious when integrity elements like date and time stamps are left off of reports, receipts, etc.  That’s cyber-grade stuff.

Lastly, I get it that not many are going to “like” my kind of community policing, especially because I don’t hold these principles to be true based on some popularity contest telling me this is the way I should view my world around me.  And yet, we hold ourselves to be a nation of laws…where are all of those books located again?

Oh yeah…no one knows for sure.  Not one person can point to a website and say to anyone across the world, “See that?  These are our laws.  All of them.  Here’s the index.” I came the closest in terms of the number of books I located and linked to years ago, but that was a paltry and offensive 40% out of 21,000 municipal units I was able to find over a 3 month period.  And that was excluding libraries, schools, park districts, etc.

The public must be able to effectively police the government entities overseeing their lives at any given moment and in my experienced opinion, when there truly is no all-inclusive “community” coming from a government unit using the phrase “community policing” the phrase is thus rendered false, leaving behind only the “policing” part…and that’s where more otherwise avoidable dangers start manifesting themselves.

That goes for Midlothian, Illinois…or anywhere else on this planet.  But at least our system of government is supposed to have room for necessary mechanisms to be not only put in place for everyone’s protection, but adhered to as well.  That always has been and always will be worth standing up for, let alone fighting for.

Ahhh…the elements of my own existence that I tend to examine and make note of…

P.S.  BTW…in case you haven’t noticed…there are way too many individual municipal units in Cook County doing such piss-poor jobs policing themselves and the state has a chance of having a new Attorney General.

With so much talk about what should be done to government in Springfield, it is a shame none of the candidates are willing to claim they are ready to take on complex cases like the ones in Harvey…let alone what’s been going on in Midlothian.

Quinn couldn’t reign anyone in as governor, like he’s going to go after the habitual OMA violators and hold them accountable.  So what if you took over someone’s seat when someone else left.  The missing municipal code books was announced to the State years ago and there was no initiative to correct this “oversight” not even by the ghost of an Equal Access to Justice commission…or whatever its called nowadays.


Event #26: With SSJAWA, It Only Took Two To Make A Birth Certificate and One was Just Indicted

***The content below the “Problem Behaviors” graphic was originally published on January 22, 2016 as part of an audit of what appeared/s to be the minutes and agendas from the South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency.  The content published below the “Event” graphic was created December 11, 2017***

The problems that ail the nearly defunct South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency, or SSJAWA continues to take a back-burner when it comes to indictments.

One of the key figures in the SSJAWA schematic, Joseph T. Letke, passed away a few years back, leaving behind mountains of questions and molehills of answers in trying to decode exactly what transpired in connection with this particular legal entity once given a stamp of approval from the State of Illinois to act as a Joint Action Water Agency.

So with the City of Harvey’s water woes still being thrashed about in the marketplace, while the City of Chicago holds receivership over Harvey’s water billing and water distribution needs, over time the City of Chicago legal battle revealed enough evidence to begin questioning the timing of the creation of the SSJAWA and if it was intended on being a vehicle to allow the City of Harvey to escape its water debt with Chicago and to start anew with a completely different vendor.

There were only two original member communities with this project, the City of Markham and the Village of Robbins when they created the birth certificate for the legal entity and the invoices and contracts that come with such a birth.

At the first meeting on June 30, 2011, (now former) Village of Robbins Mayor Irene Brodie couldn’t bother herself with such mundane matters and sent Village of Robbins Trustee William “Willie” Carter in her stead to join (now former) City of Markham Mayor David Webb, Jr. to create this corporation in front of 6 other witnesses.

Plausible deniability arguments aside for Brodie, it is the recent Grand Jury indictment against Webb, Jr. alleging a bribery scheme that throws yet another crippling blow towards hope of bringing the original participants of this monstrous collection of falsehoods to a level of perhaps being forced to “settle” with some of what likely were more lower-level players, such as Brett Postl and Odelson.

Letke needed this deal for multiple personal financial dealings…among other things.

Webb, Jr. needed this deal to finally gain total control over all of the waterworks around Markham, rather than being stuck with Harvey as a distributor and MidMark as another distributor in his own backyard.  Putting together something from scratch and then performing a take-over of local water works through bonding methods was a sure-fire way for SSJAWA to keep the heat on anyone wanting to withdraw and thus ensuring at least 8 local water works would belong to one entity.

It will be interesting to see if anything about SSJAWA is drawn out from this particular indictment…Webb has a lot of “evidence” to barter with…if he so chooses…but he might just take the hit as he already called it quits on being Mayor of Markham.

The actual date of conception of the South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency is difficult to pin down exactly as it is likely no public notices or meeting minutes were taken during discussions prior to the legalization of the Agency.  Some suggest the Agency wasn’t formed until at least 2012, but public records clearly indicate the Agency was established just a wee bit earlier than that…and Alsip was nowhere in sight in the beginning (unlike what Mayor Bitchin’ Kitchin’ seems to enjoy leading people to believe).

It all started with a public announcement suggesting the birth of another government unit in Illinois was due to arrive soon in the form of a combined Notice of Meeting and Agenda.

With traditional (and mandated) formality, the notice read “Pursuance to 5 ILCS 220/3.1 the South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency will meet on at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 30, 2011 in the Markham Village Hall second floor meeting room 16316 South Kedzie Parkway Markham Illinois 60428”.  The notice was complete with the signature sloppiness of record-keepers in the southwest suburbs “will meet on at” and included a 17 line-item agenda for the meeting and according to minutes from the meeting on June 30, 2011, the notice was publicly posted on June 28, 2011 in the City Hall of Markham, Illinois and the Village Hall of Robbins, Illinois.

Unfortunately, there is no known video or audio of this meeting, or any meeting for that matter.  Therefore, much of this first part of the story is drawn from details left behind in meeting minutes that were available from one of two websites hosting the SSJAWA logo and content.

To open the celebration, the meeting began at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, June 30, 2011 and a call was made for everyone present to acknowledge their presence.  The attendee list could easily remind a person of the Genesis flood narative of Noah loading up 2 of each animal onto the Ark prior to the storm.

2 law firms (Burton “Burt” Odelson, Odelson & Sterk, LTD and Michael “Mike” Roth, Ice Miller, LLP), 2 representatives from Post-Yore (Daniel “Dan” Donahue and Brett Postl), 2 representatives from Letke & Associates, Inc. (Joseph “Joe” Letke and David “Dave” Schutter) and 2 municipalities (Mayor David “Dave” Webb, Jr. of Markham and William “Willie” Carter of Robbins on behalf of Mayor Irene Brodie of Robbins).

With Odelson acting as announcer, he read sections from a variety of legal documents, such as City of Markham Ordinance 11-O-1984 and Resolution 11-R-443, Village of Robbins Ordinance 4-26-11C and 5-24-11, the SSJAWA Intergovernmental Agreement v041511 and correspondence regarding the appointment of an Alternate Director.  After he finished, he proceeded to declare the SSJAWA was legally constituted under the laws of the State of Illinois.

To finalize formalities, Odelson administered two oaths of office, one for Webb as Agency Director on behalf of Markham and one for Carter as Agency Alternate Director as a stand-in stuntman for Agency Director and now former Mayor, Irene Brodie on behalf of Robbins.

For much of the meeting, it was nothing more than a love fest for one another, with Webb and Carter alternating as motion-maker and seconded-maker, breezing their way through a series of unanimous votes designed to place the clearly pre-chosen individuals into their now legal capacities.

First came the Agency by-laws (v062711).  Next came the appointments, with Webb taking the Director chair, Carter receiving Chairman status and Brodie being bestowed the title of Vice Chairman.

With the core cast of characters firmly in place, it was time to adopt the first Resolution (2011-R-0001) establishing the regular meeting schedule for 2011 pursuant to Open Meetings Act requirements, which passed unanimously.

Of course, no story is complete without a supporting cast of characters.  Odelson, the announcer of the birth of the agency was picked as General Counsel, Secretary and FOIA Officer (perhaps because he did such a great job with his audition piece at the beginning of the meeting).  It is also likely he was a proficient quick-change artist, which would be needed due to budget constraints for costume department staff members.  These three positions were all unanimously approved in three separate votes.

As reward for his work off-scene, Roth and the firm of Ice Miller, LLP was appointed Special Counsel with the blessing of Odelson preceeding the vote.  Both appointments breezed through the voting process with a yes vote across the board.

In between those choices, the stage was set for the role of villian to be played by none other than Joseph Letke of Letke and Associates.

Letke already had his pocketbook filling up from illegally diverted funds from municipal bond proceeds while serving as Comptroller for the City of Harvey beginning as far back as 2008.  Letke’s firm pocketed not only $547,000 in middle-man fees for advising the suburb on the loans to Harvey but also nearly $270,000 in fees paid to his firm by the developer that were never disclosed to the lenders.

But you’re not supposed to know this at this point in the story so forget I said anything about it for now.  This wasn’t brought to light until the SEC sued Letke in 2014 with the Courts eventually barring him from participating in municipal securities offerings and ordering him to pay over $200,000 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. City of Harvey, Illinois and Joseph T. Letke, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Civil Action No. 1:14-cv-4744 N.D. Ill., filed June 24, 2014, default judgement announced January 27, 2015)

Back to June 30, 2011.  Letke was already enjoying his positions as Comptroller of multiple municipalities, so it was only natural that such a clear leader in managing money would be appointed as Treasurer of such an important project.  We are talking water here.  So, Letke pulled down the next unanimous vote from the Directors.

Now it was time to dole out the contracts to the rest of the crew in the picture.  Odelson informed the Directors that he had reviewed the professional service agreements in consideration prior to the meeting and found them to be in order.  He also mentioned “…all explicitly state no fees will become due and owing on professional services unless and until an Agency Project is funded.”

Delaying payment on fees for services from the workers is usually a good thing for a project of this size.

First up was the contract for Program Management Agreement with Postl-Yore & Associates, Inc., which passed unanimously.

Next up was the Financial Consulting Services Agreement with Public Funding Enterprises, Inc., which passed unanimously.

Following was the contract with Letke & Associates, Inc for Public Accounting Services.

Lastly, Odelson first took a moment to mention the proposed agreement with his firm was “…similar to the terms and conditions of the Ice Miller, LLP agreement” before the Agency agreed unanimously to award a Legal Services Agreement with Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. and a separate agreement with Ice Miller, LLP

Now that the Big Business was taken care of on the agenda, the Directors opened the floor to public comments, which there were none.  There wasn’t even a need to go into Executive Session.

“Laudatory comments by Mr. Letke and Mr. Odelson on the formation of the agency” were made and Roth was kind enough to remind the Director’s that with that first meeting, the 120 day effective date period had begun and that Agency Members would become Agency Charter Members if the Directors did not extend the effective date period.  Schutter did his best to ensure compliance with public notice laws by confirming a 10 day public notice is a legal requirement for the public hearing on a budget.  Odelson also added he was “…optimistic the Village of Riverdale will act to join the Agency in the coming weeks.”

And on that positive outlook note, Director Webb made the motion to adjourn with Carter seconding the motion.  With a unanimous vote, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

And with that one meeting being started and finished, the takeaway was two southwest suburbs became owners of one newly minted government unit…

The South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency.  Or SSJAWA.  Or JAWA as many municipalities like calling it in their own meeting minutes.

End scene here.  That’s a wrap.

June 30, 2011 Agenda for South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency

June 30, 2011 Meeting Minutes from South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency

Event #27: Jumping Jay “Jack” Hille Leaps To Rescue Family and Friends First

This post is currently under re-construction due to misinformation contained in multiple public records (including government records) being used in this story relating to Jack Hille’s legal name versus a nickname he has been known to go by.

Click here to review disclaimer

Widespread Landlord Failures To Abide By State Statutes In Midlothian

While the Village of Midlothian continues to be in complete and total denial of their ownership and operation of a fraudulent and abusive Crime Free Housing program without hesitation or reservation, a variety of Tenant/Landlord laws continue to be violated on multiple levels (more often than not, regardless of the CFH program), including the excluding of training property owners what their legal obligations to the tenant are based on both State and Federal laws and providing tenants quick relief whenever a landlord is the criminal in the contractual relationship between a tenant and a landlord.

For example, the following laws apply to rental property owners in the State of Illinois:

1. Whenever a tenant pays a portion of a master metered utility, such as water, the landlord must give tenant a copy in writing as either part of the lease or another written agreement defining the formula used by the landlord for distributing the public utility payments among the tenants (765 ILCS 740).

2.  The Landlord must disclose to the tenant that the locks have been re-keyed after a tenant leaves, or in a circumstance in which keys are lost or stolen pursuant to State statute mandate. (765 ILCS 705)

3. The Landlord must advise all tenants of any intent by a utility to shut off water, gas, electric or any other utility service to the property.

4.  Landlords are required to disclose any violations affecting habitability from the past 12 months, whether its a violation of local, State and/or Federal code. This includes the residence and common areas, such as entryways, recreational areas, courtyards, basements, and rooftops.

5.  Utility companies are not allowed to shut off services in the case of nonpayment until they have provided all tenants (in buildings with 3 or more units) a notice warning them of loss of service. (765 ILCS 735)

6.  In the case that the landlord hasn’t paid for utilities, the tenant is allowed to put the service under his or her name and pay for the services. Any payments the tenant makes to the utility company can be deducted from his or her rent. (765 ILCS 735)

7.  Landlords are required to provide tenants the utility bills from the previous 12 months with the rental agreement to serve as an estimate of heating costs.  (765 ILCS 735)

The one that stands out the most on this list for the Village of Midlothian is the one that says that landlords are required to disclose any violations affecting habitability over the past 12 months.  This would mean any failure to pass an inspection at any point in a 12 month period must be revealed to the tenant and with the integrity of the building inspection forms, it would be impossible for a prospective/current renter to be able to tell for sure whether or not there was a violation and if so, whether or not it was repaired.

These are all points of value for not just a prospective renter, but for the Village as well.  The Village desperately needs its tenants being vigilant when it comes to monitoring their landlords and yet the Village makes it excessively difficult to find out even the most basic of information, such as whether or not a property has been certified or not.

Event #28: 2016 Carry-Over Into 2017: Documented Sexual Predator at Park District Still Keeping Midlothian Pinned On All the Wrong Maps and Radars

Click here to review past Advanced Midlothian Politics articles about the hiring of documented sexual predator former Joliet Park District Executive Director Dominic Egizio

What do Matt Lauer and current Midlothian Park District Executive Director Dominic Egizio have in common?

They both lost their jobs for sexual assault that included giving a co-worker a sex toy.

What does Egizio have that Lauer doesn’t?

A job that comes with a taxpayer funded paycheck and a taxpayer pension that continues to fatten up with every day that goes by.

Those are two “perks” that should have been permanently stripped from Egizio in terms of continuing to have access to…and could have been if all government units had refused to hire him. In fact, anyone in government who leaves government due to sexual assault, whether its through a firing or the more sinister form of an out of court settle, should never again be allowed to rely on the taxpayers to keep food on their tables, let alone fund their pensions, health insurance, etc.

But instead of the public being kept safe from these types of real threats (recorded recidivism rates are misleading due to the number of unreported incidents), current Bremen School District 228 Board member Evelyn Gleason and then Park District Director and current Park District President and former Village Clerk Michael Kohlstedt told everyone that out of 27 candidates, Egizio was the right person to inherit the Evelyn Gleason PD Kingdom.

And yet…

Egizio’s freedom was never taken away from him, not even for a day.

Egizio didn’t go for any therapy, willingly or unwillingly.

In fact, no one called upon Egizio to do anything about his sexually assaulting a former employee, especially demanding of him to create a lifetime plan on how he’ll control such impulses in the future and a network that will support him throughout his struggles.

Sexual predators don’t just “cure” themselves and the Egizio outcome clearly demonstrates just how much of a viciously cruel joke the Sex Offender Registration List can be.

There is no gray area with Egizio still being allowed to assault people while employed by the Park District. The actual act of hiring him was a nuclear bomb dropped on all sexual assault victims across the world and was also an act of psychological warfare against the public at large. One of those more profound “Fuck you all. We’re Government and you’ll take what we give you. Now shut up or we’ll shut you up” that remains far too common throughout the world.

But there’s another angle to this as well. It was recommended that General Michael Flynn be fired due to a risk of being blackmailed by the Russians. Turns out that recommendation was well-placed and well-founded.

Dominic Egizio remains at risk of being blackmailed, but not necessarily by the Russians.

How about from inside and outside of the Midlothian Park District by current and former Park District employees and elected officials?

All it takes is one squeeze from Kohlstedt or Gleason and Egizio is their Bag Man.

This way, companies like Roe Construction can still be given contracts to do work for the Park District, like the October 18, 2001 contract between Roe Construction, Inc., R.E. Johnson and the Midlothian Park District to build the new maintenance garage, let alone the continued financing of Rybak and former Park District Commissioner Mary Ellen Levine’s spending spree with the Park District brochure that went throughout 2017.

That’s the mental accounting of Michael Kohlstedt and Evelyn Gleason for you.

Nothing like putting a known sexual predator in charge of watching over everything and everyone trusting a government unit for some product and/or service. Upper management gets to control them at whim and will and be damned of the fall-out from such a risk…

Who’s going to file a police report on a government official or employee in Midlothian with a Police Department that from the top down views emotional displays to be clear signals of mental imbalance and in need of mental health care? Not all victims can sit there calm, cool and composed while relating their story and political retaliation is still alive and thriving in Midlothian…nor should they be expected to, even if timeliness is of importance.

And to think Gleason still has responsibility and accountability to oversee the safety of all of the children in District 228…

#FireEgizioNOW #NoSexualPredatorsAllowedHere #ResignEvelynGleason #ResignMichaelKohlstedt

Signed Former Furnigore Valerie

Event #29: The 90th Birthday Blip That Barely Reached the Radar

The history of Midlothian Illinois carries with it a lot of mystery, intrigue and illegal activities being conducted in and around the community, including false facts still being published on the Village’s website.

For example, the majority of publications carrying the history of Midlothian states that it was 1900 when the Midlothian Country Club settled in the area. It was 1898 according to anniversary book released by the Midlothian Country Club and it wasn’t chosen because the Scottish had settled here. George Thorne of Montgomery Ward’s fame is credited with looking out upon the rolling scenery and telling people it reminded him of one of the Waverly books “The Heart of Midlothian” by Sir Walter Scott (originally published in four volumes on July 25, 1818 under the title “Tales of My Landlord”) which was based around the Lothians in Scotland (East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian).

Also, conveniently left out of the history books is the failed attempt to incorporate as a Village in 1924.

So how could there possibly be a notable political event attached to the 90th Anniversary of Midlothian?

First, volunteerism took a major nose-dive almost instantly when former Mayor Sharon Rybak took office, despite her winning the election. I’d love to say she had no ability to coax her legion of fans to action, but that would mean she had a large fan base to start with and she didn’t. Also, her loyal fans have never been the type to actually get their hands dirty with actual physical work as they much prefer performing their deconstruction and destruction tasks via Topix, Facebook and other forums as well as the local grapevines.

With many advancements in the Village intentionally put on hold during the Rybak administration, one project that finally took off was the repair of the building that houses the Historical Society, the Chamber of Commerce and the Midlothian Fine Arts Society.

The building was originally built as a library and born from contributions from the Works Progress Administration (a program designed to at least temporarily employ the unemployed by the millions) and a thick group of volunteers.

Less than a handful of years ago, a FOIA request revealed that the building had not been inspected since early 2000 and this was despite very clear water damage seeping through the ceiling tiles among other problems.

Part of the politics attached to this 90th anniversary was the absence of any real pre-planning, however a call for a party to be held at the Historical Society was a call to a very small group of volunteers logging in long hours of physical labor and with virtually no real budget.

So, with the Village of Midlothian being incorporated on March 17, 1927, it was a “just in time” finish for a party to be held on March 18, 2017 in the building.

It was a small and intimate gathering, with a few local legends showing up, including media and broadcasting visionary John Jage, who’s mother once held a shotgun in her hands back in the early 1930’s while telling Village officials they would never get their hands on her private water well (despite a drawn-out court case, the Village eventually gained ownership of the well).

But the political event was/is truly the lack of promoting the anniversary throughout the whole Village for the entire year. No slogan on the website celebrating the milestone. No 90 year anniversary logo. No calls to action in any sector, private or public, business or personal or even other municipal units.

In other words, there was virtually no political will to motivate the larger populace to celebrate this shared milestone once the small birthday party was logged into the history books.

Not even as a reason to bring people together for some good times and good memories in a group setting, brought to you by The Village of Midlothian, Illinois.

Anyway.  Happy 90th Anniversary Midlothian!  That’s a political feat unto itself considering Rybak had the corporation in receivership with the State of Illinois back in 2014…or so she threatened everyone if she didn’t get her tax hike.

Event #30: The white over tan over white cover-up…err…transition with no reimbursement from or repercussions for Sharon Rybak

Someday, someone is going to wonder why there is a tan layer of paint over a layer of white paint and then covered up by a layer of white paint.

Here’s how that happened.

Village Hall had been kept painted white for years.  Decades, really.  It was kept that way over multiple administrations and that’s not easy when Midlothian had legacy Mayor’s until 2009, but even former Mayor Terrence “Terry” Stephens kept it white.

Then Sharon Rybak came along in 2013.

First female President of Midlothian in a community known for its capability to display blatant sexist tendencies (former Mayor Thomas “Tom” Murawski is a perfect example of the textbook sexism and people kept voting for him over and over and over again…).

She single-handedly decides to do $88,000 worth of “decorating” to Village Hall and the property it sits on.

Her loyal fans consistently defended her judgment because truth be told, a decent portion of the work performed did need to be done. They carried their social media and grapevine signs around, applauding the capital improvements she single-handedly caused to happen through a grant she helped secure from Illinois State Representative William “Will” Davis for $95,000.  On a good day, the fans might even include some sort of suggestion it was done “despite the Boards lack of cooperation.”

No one disputes the work happened, nor is there any doubt about the invoices that were paid on, not even Rybak herself.

The cover-up comes in the form of Rybak being caught red-handed in a complex series of lies to cover up her intentional theft of $88,000 from the 2010A Water Bond fund while publishing in her other employers promotional brochure that the money wasn’t stolen.  She had already received it from the State of Illinois, which thus explained the improvements, such as a $28,000 paint job that never went out to bid.

So not only did she lie about the Village already having been in receipt of the grant monies…

Not only did she intentionally hide her actions from the Board for months while she went on this spending spree…

Not only did she end up “self-reporting” the Village to the Securities and Exchange Commission as it related to conflicts with bond laws, including her own theft, that was obscured from true review by the SEC…

The final report from Midlothian’s Office of the Investigator General led by Sheriff Thomas “Tom” Dart shows a sentence or two that suggests Rybak actually admitted to doing “something,” but that she considered it a “mistake” rather than her admitting to engaging in illegal activities while being President of Midlothian AND Finance Director at the Midlothian Park District.

I recently was refreshed through the guilty plea of former National Security Advisor Michael “Mike” Flynn that it is a felony if you lie to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

I wonder if Flynn borrowed a piece from Rybak’s strategy since it seemed to work so well for her here in Midlothian.

I also wonder what if it’s the same penalty for lying to a Sheriff or the head of the Office of the Investigator General.

In the meantime, Village Hall was once again repainted to a shade of white a few months into newly elected Mayor Gary L’Heureux’s administration while the tan remains left behind as part of the evidence of what former Mayor Sharon Rybak did with the $88,000 she illegally took from the 2010A water bond.

All that just to explain the headline I attached to this political event, right???

But it truly was an event that went completely under the radar and under reported compared to the number of posts and comments complaining about the shade of tan chosen by Rybak.

So as the color of Village Hall is no longer a cultural problem, watch for this particular story line to roll its way into 2018 as there are still repercussions and reimbursement issues still outstanding.

The Village of Midlothian is still short $88,000 from the State of Illinois and according to the results of multiple FOIA requests, the contracts were never finalized.  They were in a Work-In-Progress mode.

So in case you didn’t notice…

Village Hall is painted white again.

Just thought you’d like to know.