Tag Archives: Cook County

Cook County commissioner who got his buddy’s parking ticket tossed said he did it “to help all Latinos”

He really cares: Luis Arroyo just trying to help Latinos…

The Chicago Way…

From Chicago Sun Times: After his pal tried to clout his way out of a parking ticket by uttering that classic Chicago question, “Do you know who I am?” Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. didn’t hesitate to intervene and use his political weight to get the ticket tossed out.

It doesn’t hurt that that friend whose ticket Arroyo helped to get voided was Luis Pena, who Arroyo said is the 36th Ward superintendent for Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) — who is also Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s City Council floor leader.

But Arroyo on Friday insisted he wasn’t just protecting his buddy, but all Latinos. He said he stepped in to make sure “[Latinos] are being treated fairly by our officers. That goes for all Latinos in Cook County, not just someone I know.”

Though Arroyo admitted to the Chicago Sun-Times that he was the unnamed commissioner at the center of the 2018 ticket episode, the political fallout may not be over.

The latest chapter in the saga of Chicago clout began with the release of a Cook County inspector general’s report on Monday and saw the resignation a day later of the Cook County Forest Preserve Police chief.

In that report, Inspector General Patrick Blanchard found that Pena used his political connections to make a $250 parking ticket disappear.

According to the ticket, which was obtained by the Sun-Times through a Freedom of Information Act request, Pena was ticketed for parking in a handicapped spot Sept. 8, 2018, and was fined $250.

When he was handed the ticket, Pena allegedly asked the officer and an accompanying trainee “Do you know who I am?”

Pena then called Arroyo about the ticket, who contacted a “high-ranking [Forest Preserve Police] official” about voiding the citation, according to the report. The commissioner said the officer “displayed a poor attitude” and asked for the cop to be sent to his office for questioning, the report said.

The ticket was later dismissed, but the officer was sent to Arroyo’s office to be “personally subjected to criticism,” the inspector general’s report said.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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Kim Foxx says criticism of her handling of Smollett case is due to her race

From Daily Mail: The Chicago prosecutor whose office dismissed charges against Jussie Smollett defended the decision on Saturday, saying the Empire actor was treated no differently than thousands of other defendants whose charges were similarly dropped since she took office.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx made the comments during a defiant and emotional address at the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s Rainbow Push Coalition.

Foxx openly wondered if her race had something to do with the harsh criticism she’s faced since her office announced that charges against Smollett had been dropped, WGN-TV reported.

The actor was accused of staging what he claimed to be a racist and homophobic attack in January.

‘I have been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about,’ she said.

‘As someone who has lived in this city, who came up in the projects of this city to serve as the first African American woman in this role, it is disheartening to me…that when we get in these positions somehow the goalposts change.’

Foxx, who recused herself from the case after she communicating with a Smollett relative during the probe, reiterated that she welcomes of an independent investigation into the way she and her office handled the case.

She also reminded the audience that her office did the same thing for the nearly 6,000 low-level defendants who had their charges dropped with ‘deferred prosecution’ during her tenure.

Further, she said that under the law, Smollett could be fined a maximum of $10,000 and that the actor did pay that amount because his $10,000 bond was forfeited.

But Foxx did not address specifics of the case, or the criticism leveled by legal experts and others who said it was highly unusual not to require an admission of guilt by Smollett, particularly since at the time they dropped charges, prosecutors said they believed they could have proven the charges against the actor.

‘In my 48 years of practice, I certainly have never seen a deferred prosecution done like that,’ Richard Kling, an IIT-Kent Law School professor told the Chicago Sun-Times last week.

Foxx also responded to the calls by various critics to resign, saying that she will complete her term that ends next year and has plans to run for re-election.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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