WBEZ | Tom Dart http://www.wbez.org/tags/tom-dart Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Durbin urges feds to investigate pipeline of Puerto Rican addicts to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/durbin-urges-feds-investigate-pipeline-puerto-rican-addicts-chicago-112373 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/durbin_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has <a href="https://www.scribd.com/doc/271494331/Letter-from-Durbin-to-HUD-about-Puerto-Rican-drug-rehab-programs">sent a letter</a> to David Montoya, the inspector general for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, urging an investigation into some Puerto Rican drug programs with ties to Chicago.</p><p>The call follows stories from WBEZ that found that some programs <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/puerto-rico-exports-its-drug-addicts-chicago-111852">send</a> addicts to unlicensed treatment facilities in Chicago, and that the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/drug-addicts-sent-puerto-rico-may-be-victims-id-theft-chicago-112325">identities</a> of some addicts appear to have gotten into other people&rsquo;s hands once they arrived. Durbin sent the letter on Friday.</p><p>Specifically, Durbin has asked Montoya to look into the Bayamon Nuevo Amanecer &nbsp;and the De Vuelta a la Vida programs in Puerto Rico, both of which were found to have promised addicts access to quality treatment facilities in Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;I ask that your office investigate the possible use of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding to transport people from Puerto Rico to mainland U.S. cities to receive treatment from unlicensed facilities,&rdquo; he writes.</p><p>Durbin notes in the letter that Bayamon Nuevo Amanecer received more than $880,000 from HUD&rsquo;s Emergency Solutions Grants since 2011, and that De Vuelta a la Vida has received at least $6.6 million through the department&rsquo;s Continuum of Care grant program since 2009. Under both of those programs, Durbin says grantees may only use HUD funding for rehab services from licensed facilities. WBEZ has identified numerous unlicensed services providers in Chicago that receive addicts from those programs.</p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart sent a similar <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-calls-feds-investigate-puerto-rican-agencies-send-addicts-chicago-112079">letter </a>to HUD in May, urging an investigation into the misuse of federal funds by programs in Puerto Rico.</p><p>In an email, a spokesperson for HUD&rsquo;s Office of the Inspector General said the department does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 17:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/durbin-urges-feds-investigate-pipeline-puerto-rican-addicts-chicago-112373 Sheriff calls on feds to investigate Puerto Rican agencies that send addicts to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-calls-feds-investigate-puerto-rican-agencies-send-addicts-chicago-112079 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/tomdart ap.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is asking the federal government to investigate P<a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/puertoricochicagopipeline/">uerto Rican agencies and government officials who send addicts to Chicago</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">Dart filed a fraud report with the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general this week. In it he warns the inspector general that recipients of HUD funding in Puerto Rico may be using federal funds to send heroin addicts off the island.</p><p dir="ltr">He said he hopes his report will move to the top of the inspector general&rsquo;s pile.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When you have instances where people have committed some type of fraud where the only individual who was harmed was a governmental entity &hellip; it&rsquo;s a heck of a lot different than when you literally pluck people out of their country and drop them thousands and thousands of miles away,&rdquo; Dart said.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/puerto-rico-exports-its-drug-addicts-chicago-111852">WBEZ reported last month</a> that Puerto Rican agencies and government officials have been sending people seeking treatment to unlicensed rehab centers on the mainland. Dart said that violates requirements that recipients of the federal funding &nbsp;only use licensed or certified rehab professionals. He also said the HUD rules direct organizations to minimize displacement. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;These deceptive at best operations of giving people one way tickets to the United States ... are gonna be in violation of the contracts that they have with HUD,&rdquo; Dart said.</p><p dir="ltr">Dart&rsquo;s report lists two examples of possible fraud:</p><p dir="ltr">The first is the municipality Bayamon, which operates the Nuevo Amanacer program. It has been receiving HUD funding since at least 2007, according to Dart&rsquo;s report. In 2014 Bayamon got a $217,977 HUD Emergency Solutions Grant.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It is unknown what portion of this grant is awarded to the Nuevo Amanecer program,&rdquo; the fraud complaint reads. But if it is being funded by HUD money, the program is in violation of several federal regulations, Dart alleges.</p><p dir="ltr">The second example sites the program Vuelta a la Vida. According to Dart, Vuelta a la Vida received more than $1.5 million from HUD in 2014 in the form of a continuum of care grant.</p><p dir="ltr">The rules for that grant require groups to use services that are in compliance with all state and local licensing laws. But none of the rehab centers identified in WBEZ&rsquo;s reporting are licensed by the state.</p><p dir="ltr">Dart said if the inspector general confirms his allegations, the groups could lose their federal funding. He also said his office is continuing its own investigation to see if unlicensed, unofficial addiction-help centers in Chicago are breaking any local laws.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">@pksmid</a>. Adriana Cardona-Maguigad contributed to this story.</em></p></p> Fri, 22 May 2015 15:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-calls-feds-investigate-puerto-rican-agencies-send-addicts-chicago-112079 Sheriff names clinical psychologist to run Cook County Jail http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-names-clinical-psychologist-run-cook-county-jail-112053 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/jail.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>A clinical psychologist has been picked to lead a Chicago jail that is one of the largest in the country.</p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart tapped Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia to lead the 9,000-inmate facility. Dart has long complained that drastic cuts to mental health programs have turned jails into dumping grounds for the mentally ill.</p><p>The American Jail Association said it knows of no other jail in the United States being headed by someone with the background of Jones Tapia. She previously was the jail&#39;s first assistant executive director.</p><p>As many as 35 percent of the jail&#39;s inmates suffer from serious mental illness. Dart says it has become &quot;one of the largest mental health institutions in the country.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 19 May 2015 16:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-names-clinical-psychologist-run-cook-county-jail-112053 Sheriff's office announces new mental health clinic http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriffs-office-announces-new-mental-health-clinic-111979 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Mental health jail.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-1d687b03-119d-3f9e-cb1c-805194ec9b5e">Cook County Sheriff&rsquo;s office is &nbsp;launching a new mental health clinic in the south suburbs. Sheriff Tom Dart says the clinic is a direct response to government mental health cuts.</p><p dir="ltr">The clinic is already operating at the Markham Courthouse. People detained there will be screened for mental health needs. Some will then be diverted from the jail to the new clinic under court order. The clinic will also be available to people leaving county jail and seeking services.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937" target="_blank">Staff mourn closure of mental health provider C4</a></strong></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If no one else is going to do it, we are going to,&rdquo; said Cara Smith, director of Cook County Jail.</p><p dir="ltr">She says the jail is doing what it can, but it&rsquo;s part of a larger system. She says the millions of dollars in proposed state cuts to mental health would be catastrophic. But if the cuts go through it will not be the first time she&rsquo;s seen services disappear. In 2012 the city cut half its mental health clinics, and just last week one of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937">largest mental health providers in Chicago announced it was closing its doors. </a></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Our custodial population in the jail is almost at a record low. But our population of &nbsp;medically and mentally ill people that need hospital level care is at an all time high,&rdquo; said Smith. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">It is not only the jail that says it has felt a change as services have closed. Emergency Rooms in Chicago saw a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/large-provider-chicago-mental-health-services-c4-closing-111937">37 percent rise in ER discharges for psychiatric care. </a></p><p>Dart says he chose to open the clinic in the south suburbs because the area is extremely lacking in mental health services. The clinic is run in collaboration with Adler Community Health Services.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a reporter at WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a></em></p></p> Fri, 01 May 2015 17:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriffs-office-announces-new-mental-health-clinic-111979 Sheriff Dart to investigate unlicensed rehab centers http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-dart-investigate-unlicensed-rehab-centers-111938 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/pr follow.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is vowing to investigate whether unlicensed rehab centers in Chicago are breaking any criminal laws.</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/puerto-rico-exports-its-drug-addicts-chicago-111852">As WBEZ recently reported</a>, some of the people who end up at these unlicensed residences are heroin addicts who are sent to Chicago from Puerto Rico. &nbsp;They are told to expect well-appointed treatment centers with nurses and pools. Instead they often wind up in rundown residences, and when they don&rsquo;t get the care they need, some of them end up homeless or in jail.</p><p>Dart said he was disgusted to learn of the practice.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/puerto-rico-exports-its-drug-addicts-chicago-111852">Puerto Rico exports its drug addicts to Chicago</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no one in good conscience on the other end, in Puerto Rico, who could say they&rsquo;re doing anything other than dumping hapless people in a foreign country,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;These folks are being misled at best &hellip; and the places they&rsquo;re being steered to, you wouldn&rsquo;t send anybody to in good conscience.&rdquo;</p><p>At least two people mentioned in WBEZ&rsquo;s recent story wound up in Cook County Jail.</p><p>Dart said one of the men, who used the alias Manuel, spent 50 days in the jail, for a cost to taxpayers of more than $7,000.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s expensive because once they find there&rsquo;s no services here, it&rsquo;s not as if they just hop back on the plane, no they&rsquo;re-one way tickets. And it&rsquo;s not as if they can go to plan B, there was no plan B. For many of them there&rsquo;s no family around either, so what&rsquo;s going to happen, they&rsquo;re going to end up in our hospitals, they&rsquo;re going to end up in our jails,&rdquo; Dart said.</p><p>While Dart saved his strongest words for those responsible in Puerto Rico, he also said local agencies need to step in.</p><p>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t imagine there are not some criminal violations that are involved if you purport to be something that you&rsquo;re not and you end up harming people as a result of that,&rdquo; Dart said. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re pushing our lawyers that we have in our office to see what it is that we can do.&rdquo;</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/554/not-it">This American Life: Not It!</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>He also thinks other local agencies could do more.</p><p>&ldquo;I understand we are under all sorts of cuts throughout the state and the city and so on, but I thought at a minimum we would be having some cursory analysis of the different types of entities that put themselves out as treatment facilities,&rdquo; Dart said.</p><p>But the state and the city both say they aren&rsquo;t responsible.</p><p>Chicago mayoral spokesman Adam Collins said the city&rsquo;s health department looked into the story and determined that it was a state issue, because the state&rsquo;s Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse is responsible for licensing treatment centers.</p><p>But the director of that department, Theodora Binion, said her department doesn&rsquo;t get involved until someone applies for a license.</p><p>&ldquo;The city has jurisdiction over the actual buildings, what can happen in a building,&rdquo; Binion told WBEZ&rsquo;s <a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/sets/morning-shift-april-23-2015">Morning Shift</a>. &ldquo;Zoning is not our area, nor is the building itself&hellip;. That would come from the city.&rdquo;</p><br /><p>But she said they are &ldquo;hoping to identify&rdquo; the people coming from Puerto Rico so as to help them get proper treatment.</p><p>&ldquo;Even though our jurisdiction &hellip; is fairly limited, we can talk to the people that are there and give them information about how they can get legitimate help,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Some of these residences are in Ald. Scott Waguespack&rsquo;s 32nd Ward.</p><p>Waguespack said such unlicensed, unofficial residences exist in a sort of legal gray area between the city and state. Still, he said the city should be doing more to make sure these places are up to snuff.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s pretty amazing that [the city] would try and push it off on the state,&rdquo; Waguespack said.</p><p>Waguespack said he will look at what is already in the zoning code for ways to &ldquo;rein in these businesses so they can&rsquo;t operate above the law.&rdquo; He also said he would explore ways the city could help the people being sent from Puerto Rico.</p><p>Waguespack also called on state officials to draft a law or policy that allowed Illinois government to regulate the centers.</p><p>While most officials said there is more the city or state could be doing to help, they were especially critical of the government of Puerto Rico for allowing - or even sanctioning - the practice.</p><p>Dart said they were an example &ldquo;of people at their absolute worst.&rdquo;</p><p>In a recent <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/554/not-it?act=1">interview on This American Life</a>, Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla acknowledged his state was giving heroin addicts one-way tickets to Chicago. But he insisted the addicts were getting good treatment here.</p><p>Since it has been revealed that often isn&rsquo;t the case, Padilla thus far has refused to do another &nbsp;interview explaining what he plans to do now.</p><p><em>Adriana Cardona-Maguigad contributed to this story. Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-dart-investigate-unlicensed-rehab-centers-111938 Lawsuit: Man beaten in Cook County jail more than 10 hours after judge ordered his release http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-man-beaten-cook-county-jail-more-10-hours-after-judge-ordered-his-release-110788 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 5.25.21 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Under the authority of Sheriff Tom Dart, Cook County inmates who&rsquo;ve already been freed by a judge are taken back into the jail&rsquo;s general population while they wait to be processed out.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>It&rsquo;s a practice that&rsquo;s been called unconstitutional, and more than a year ago Dart told WBEZ&nbsp; he&rsquo;d fix it.</p><p>But little has changed.</p><p>For one of the men who went through this process, Edward Shultz, going back into lockup turned out to be dangerous.</p><p>Shultz went before a Cook County judge in suburban Bridgeview around 10 in the morning on May 8, 2013.</p><p>There he pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon, a misdemeanor.</p><p>Shultz had been picked up about three weeks earlier after police officers in Oak Lawn found brass knuckles in his glove compartment during a traffic stop. He was taken to Cook County jail at 26th Street and California Avenue on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side and stayed there while he awaited trial.</p><p>After he pleaded guilty, the judge ruled that the 20-or-so days he had spent waiting was sufficient punishment and ordered Shultz be released.</p><p>Shultz says he was relieved and excited to go back to his family.</p><p>Before he could do that, he was taken back to a holding cell where he says he waited more than seven hours to be bused back to the jail.</p><p>Around 6 p.m. in the evening, Shultz was in handcuffs being ushered back into Cook County jail.</p><p>&ldquo;By the time they get you back to the jail, you know, the shift change comes and they leave you and you&rsquo;re still in handcuffs and they put you in a large room all handcuffed together,&rdquo; Shultz says.</p><p>After that, Shultz was returned to the deck where he had been living and he started to gather his things.</p><p>&ldquo;I went into the washroom, a group of inmates walked in and started asking me questions and I told them I don&rsquo;t know I&rsquo;m just getting ready to go home. I was struck by an inmate. And at that time I was still conscious and about maybe six or seven more inmates ran in the bathroom on me,&rdquo; Shultz says.</p><p>After that, he says, he was knocked unconscious.</p><p>Another inmate came and helped him up, and offered him a rag to clean his face.</p><p>Then Shultz says he made a beeline for the jail&rsquo;s phones and made a collect call to his grandmother, Lucy Griffin.</p><p>WBEZ obtained a recording of that call, and <a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbez/edward-shultz-jail-phone-call">you can listen to it here</a>. In it, Shultz sounds disoriented. He pleads with his grandma to arrange for someone to pick him up outside of the jail, although he doesn&rsquo;t know exactly when he&rsquo;ll get out.</p><p>&ldquo;I just got beat up really bad,&rdquo; he tells her. &ldquo;The whole side of my head is swollen and face is swollen and my nose is broken.&rdquo;</p><p>When he tells her the judge had given him credit for time served, she asks &ldquo;Well, then why did you go back to jail?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Because you have to go back to jail until they call you out of here,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Shultz says it was only after he made the call that any guards noticed his injuries.</p><p>According to incident reports from the jail, Shultz had visible bumps and red marks on his head and face and a bloody nose.</p><p>Those reports list the time of the beating as 8:45 p.m., almost 11 hours after a judge had declared Shultz a free man.</p><p>The same month Shultz was attacked in a jail bathroom, Sheriff Tom Dart told WBEZ he wanted to change the way the jail handled inmates after a judge orders their release.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re trying to get people out of the jail as quickly as possible,&rdquo; he said in an interview with WBEZ&rsquo;s Robert Wildeboer in May of 2013.</p><p>And Dart pointed to a pilot program that would allow workers in suburban courthouses to check for warrants and everything else so inmates can be discharged straight from court.</p><p>Cara Smith, the jail&rsquo;s executive director, says that program is now in every suburban courthouse.</p><p>But so far, it&rsquo;s only enabled two inmates to leave from the courthouse.</p><p>She says the sheriff&rsquo;s office is doing its &ldquo;very best&rdquo; to improve the discharge process. But she couldn&rsquo;t say that the wait time has gotten any shorter for the typical inmate.</p><p>&ldquo;Our two primary goals are overall to get people released as quickly as possible, but to make sure the right people are being released. We have a very, very antiquated system &hellip; it&rsquo;s paper-based primarily,&rdquo; Smith says. &ldquo;We have to be extremely careful that we&rsquo;re not releasing the wrong individual.&rdquo;</p><p>In order to do that, workers at the jail have to go through the paper records to check for outstanding warrants before they can let an inmate go.</p><p>Attorney Patrick Morrissey agrees the sheriff should be doing these thorough checks. But he says the process is way too long, and unsafe for the people waiting to be released.</p><p>&ldquo;These are people who are entitled to their freedom. And people who are entitled to be free should be released in the most efficient and timely manner,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Morrissey is representing Shultz in a lawsuit against Tom Dart and Cook County.</p><p>That lawsuit is on top of the ongoing class action suit brought over the discharge process.</p><p>Shultz&rsquo;s federal complaint blames poor supervision at the jail for his beating.</p><p>And it alleges that Shultz never should have been at the jail more than 10 hours after a judge had declared him a free man.</p><p>Morrissey says he knows it is tough to change a system as big and old as Cook County&rsquo;s.</p><p>&ldquo;But I don&rsquo;t think there&rsquo;s been enough attention and focus by the sheriff&rsquo;s office to really retool the system,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>He adds that one fix could be to have a separate waiting room at the jail.</p><p>That would keep people who have already been freed away from the general population while their paperwork is processed.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/167302102&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him <a href="http://TWITTER.COM/pksmid">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 05:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-man-beaten-cook-county-jail-more-10-hours-after-judge-ordered-his-release-110788 Cook County inmates compete with Russian inmates in online chess match http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/cook-county-inmates-compete-russian-inmates-online-chess-match-107191 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Chess_130515_sh.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Inside the Cook County Jail law library, 10 men were hunched over laptops playing online chess. A live video of their competitors, all Russian inmates, was projected on the wall.</p><p>Correctional Officer Patrice Faulkner roamed the room, encouraging players to take their time. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m nervous, because this is a big deal,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The program is run by Mikhail Korenman, who met chess legend Anatoly Karpov last year. The two chess players, along with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, hatched the idea for this tournament, which, according to Dart, is the first of its kind.</p><p>It was a hard match. The U.S. team was entirely from Cook County, while Russia chose players from across the country&rsquo;s prison system.</p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he had no delusions the match would solve current diplomatic issues between the U.S. and Russia. But he thought chess was a good activity for the men because it encouraged thinking ahead five or six moves, because you must consider the future impact of every action.</p><p>Warren Jackson, one of today&rsquo;s players, said he had seen that change in himself, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m more proactive than reactive now. So I do think chess plays a heavy game when it comes down to you making decisions.&rdquo;</p><p>In the end, Russia won. But Dalvin Brown, Chicago&rsquo;s star player, won both his games. Karpov complimented his skills and the Russians said they will be sending him a chessboard.</p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/shannon_h">@shannon_h</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 15 May 2013 16:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/cook-county-inmates-compete-russian-inmates-online-chess-match-107191 Sheriff warns Indian immigrants of scam http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-warns-indian-immigrants-scam-107079 <p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is <a href="http://www.cookcountysheriff.com/press_page/press_AsianIndianComScam_05_07_2013.html">warning Indian immigrants about a phone scam </a>that&rsquo;s recently targeted several victims in unincorporated Des Plaines. Victims received calls in which they were told they owed money to the Internal Revenue Service or to a collections agency, and that failure to pay would result in arrest or deportation.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The amounts actually vary from victim to victim in the reports that we&rsquo;ve had, but in some cases it&rsquo;s been in the thousands,&rdquo; said Sophia Ansari, Press Secretary at the Cook County Sheriff&rsquo;s Office. Ansari said the caller often instructed victims to pay with a replenishable debit card.</p><p dir="ltr">The perpetrator spoke to the victims in English, Hindi, Gujarati and other Indian dialects.</p><p dir="ltr">Ansari said anyone who receives a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or from a collections agency should record the name and number of the caller, and to contact the agency that the caller purports to represent.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 08 May 2013 13:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/sheriff-warns-indian-immigrants-scam-107079 Cook County Sheriff proposes concealed-carry ordinance http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-sheriff-proposes-concealed-carry-ordinance-107034 <p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is proposing a county concealed-carry ordinance if lawmakers in Springfield can&#39;t come up with a statewide law.</p><p>A federal court has ruled Illinois&#39; ban on the public possession of firearms is unconstitutional and gave the state until June 9 to come up with a concealed-carry law.</p><p>But the Chicago Sun-Times <a href="http://bit.ly/11aGsgn" target="_blank">reports</a> that Dart worries that if lawmakers don&#39;t come up with anything by then, it will be legal for anyone with a firearm owners&#39; identification card to carry a gun anywhere.</p><p>So he wants a countywide ordinance ready to go just in case. His ordinance would give him the authority to approve and reject licenses to carry concealed firearms in the county and applicants would have to pay $300 fee for a license.</p></p> Mon, 06 May 2013 14:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-sheriff-proposes-concealed-carry-ordinance-107034 Dart: ‘We’re criminalizing mental health’ http://www.wbez.org/news/dart-%E2%80%98we%E2%80%99re-criminalizing-mental-health%E2%80%99-102218 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Dart2cropped.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says mentally ill jail inmates are overwhelming his staff. For now, though, he&rsquo;s not backing calls for Chicago to reopen six mental-health clinics it closed this spring.</p><p>At a Logan Square forum about the clinics Wednesday night, Dart said too many people with mental illnesses lacked professional care. &ldquo;When we don&rsquo;t fund services properly, they end up in my jail,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&ldquo;What we are, in fact, doing is criminalizing mental health,&rdquo; Dart said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;re doing.&rdquo;</p><p>The audience, packed into a church near one of the shuttered clinics, burst into applause.</p><p>The forum&rsquo;s organizers handed out a press release that said Dart supported their calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s administration to reopen and fully staff the clinics.</p><p>Later, however, Dart told WBEZ he wasn&rsquo;t making any demands.</p><p>&ldquo;What I want is a thorough plan that we&rsquo;re going to be advocating for,&rdquo; Dart said. &ldquo;Could it involve more clinics? Could be. Could it involve more state money being funded for specific services? Could be. Literally nothing is off the table.&rdquo;</p><p>Dart said his office would come up with that plan by year&rsquo;s end.</p></p> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 23:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/dart-%E2%80%98we%E2%80%99re-criminalizing-mental-health%E2%80%99-102218