WBEZ | Mark Donahue http://www.wbez.org/tags/mark-donahue Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago police union president suspended http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-police-union-president-suspended-109405 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP330493917876.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police has suspended the head of Chicago&rsquo;s police union, one day after he accused fellow union leaders of scheming with City Hall and arbitrators to &ldquo;fix&rdquo; police contracts.</p><p dir="ltr">Chicago FOP Lodge 7 President Michael Shields was apparently suspended during a union meeting Tuesday night. On Monday, Shields sent a letter to the city&rsquo;s inspector general accusing four current and past union leaders of colluding with independent arbitrators and city negotiators to hold contract arbitrations that were &ldquo;manipulated and phony.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The letter was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, and later leaked to other media outlets, including WBEZ.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;As many of you are aware, this past Monday, Lodge President Michael K. Shields publicly accused respected arbitrators, City and FOP labor lawyers, and present and former Lodge officials of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud during past contract negotiations,&rdquo; reads a <a href="http://www.chicagofop.org/lodge-7-presidents-status/">statement</a> on the Chicago union&rsquo;s website.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Due to the recent actions of President Shields, Illinois State FOP Lodge President Ted Street was forced to suspend President Shields&rsquo; &lsquo;membership rights, duties and authority and therefore is suspended as President of Chicago FOP Lodge #7,&rsquo; pending a hearing before the State Lodge Board of Trustees,&rdquo; the statement reads.</p><p dir="ltr">Street did not return phone calls seeking further details.</p><p dir="ltr">Tuesday night&rsquo;s police union meeting was apparently tense enough that someone called the police to keep the peace.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;After a call for service was received, a sergeant and two officers were dispatched to the scene to ensure that order and safety was maintained, but, at no point, did CPD interfere with the business of the union,&rdquo; Chicago Police Department spokesman Adam Collins said.</p><p dir="ltr">In an interview with WBEZ earlier on Wednesday, Shields denied that he had been suspended and maintained he was still acting as president of the Chicago FOP lodge.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I brought to light information to the inspector general regarding past practices of [former President] Mark Donohue, [First Vice President] Bill Dougherty, [Financial Secretary] Rich Aguilar and [former Third Vice President] Greg Bella,&rdquo; Shields told WBEZ, referring the the four union leaders he accused of rigging contracts. &ldquo;Now [they] are retaliating against me by having their close friend, Ted Street, &nbsp;attempt to take action against me, which is 100 percent illegal and the truth will come out about those four.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Despite Shields&rsquo; earlier claim that he was still in charge, the statement from the Illinois FOP later Wednesday afternoon said Dougherty will serve as acting union president.</p><p dir="ltr">Contract arbitrations occur when one side in a negotiation declares an impasse. Outside arbitrators are supposed to mediate the dispute as an independent third party, then issue a legally binding decision.</p><p dir="ltr">But in Monday&rsquo;s letter to Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson, Shields claimed the four union leaders &ldquo;rigged&rdquo; at least two contract arbitrations in order to gain &ldquo;political cover against FOP members&rsquo; potential accusations that the FOP leadership had &lsquo;sold out&rsquo; to the City of Chicago.&rdquo; He also claimed the head of the police sergeants&rsquo; union played ball with City Hall during &ldquo;phony&rdquo; contract talks.</p><p dir="ltr">Shields did not cite any specific evidence to back up his claims in the letter, or during later interviews with WBEZ. He said he was told of the schemes by the union&rsquo;s top lawyer, Paul Geiger. Geiger did not return phone calls seeking comment.</p><p dir="ltr">The police union&rsquo;s public flap comes just a few months before Shields was to stand for re-election as lodge president. He&rsquo;s taken heat this year for <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/22196864-418/story.html">missing two deadlines</a> that could cost rank-and-file cops their retroactive pay raises, as the union continues to negotiate a new contract with the city.</p><p dir="ltr">Aguilar denied the accusations in the letter were true. The head of the Chicago Police Sergeants&rsquo; Association, Jim Ade, said Shields&rsquo; claims were &ldquo;baseless.&rdquo; Bella, Dougherty and Donahue did not return phone calls from WBEZ.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Alex Keefe covers politics for WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter @akeefe.</em></p></p> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 16:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-police-union-president-suspended-109405 Mayor: Weis did a 'very, very good job' http://www.wbez.org/story/alex-keefe/mayor-weis-did-very-very-good-job <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//jody weiss kate gardiner_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Richard Daley on Wednesday said the city's police superintendent abruptly resigned this week in order to pursue other job offers.<br /><br />Jody Weis' resignation Tuesday - the final day of his contract - came as a surprise to the Daley administration. The mayor had indicated as recently as this week that he wanted Weis to stay on until the end of his term, rather than go through the trouble of hunting for a new superintendent who may only serve until mid-May, when Daley leaves office.<br /><br />Daley said Weis had been considering whether to stay past his contract for the last couple of weeks.<br /><br />&quot;He was undecided whether or not he wanted to stay,&quot; Daley said. &quot;He had offers coming in, and he just saw fit to do it.&quot;<br /><br />The mayor praised Weis for lowering the city's crime rate, taking the lead in prmoting anti-gun legislation and cleaning up the Chicago Police Department after some high-profile scandals.<br /><br />&quot;He came in under that cloud,&quot; Daley said. &quot;And he did a very, very good job.&quot;<br /><br />Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who's indicated he would replace Weis once he's in City Hall, had nothing to do with Weis' departure, Daley said. The mayor also said pressure from the police union, which has been sharply critical of Weis' policies, wasn't a factor.<br /><br />&quot;Morale is good,&quot; Daley said. &quot;You know, we're public servants. And you select the job. You don't have to stay on this job. ... There're jobs out there.&quot;<br /><br />Former superintendent Terry Hillard, who served under Daley from 1998 to 2003, is leading the department on an interim basis.</p></p> Wed, 02 Mar 2011 19:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/alex-keefe/mayor-weis-did-very-very-good-job Union president blasts Weis http://www.wbez.org/story/abuse/union-president-blasts-weis <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2010-October/2010-10-20/donahue.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated At: 5:30 on 10/20/2010</em></p><p>The president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Wednesday lashed out at Police Superintendent Jody Weis for his handling of an alleged case of police brutality.<br /><br />Mark Donahue is the police union's president. He said Weis' Friday night press conference was held in haste and that Weis didn't conduct a proper investigation.<br /><br />Two of seven officers stripped of police powers have now been reinstated. Donahue said GPS records prove they weren't present when a suspect was allegedly beaten. <br /><br />&quot;At least two officers, and potentially all seven department members, have had their careers damaged by the superintendent's lapse of sound judgement,&quot; Donahue said. &quot;He didn't even have the common decency to apologize to, or even recognize, that these two officers have been cleared in his latest television appearance just this morning.&quot;</p><p>The names of the officers have not been released publicly. But Donahue said their reputations have been damaged within the department.<br /><br />He also said the Fraternal Order of Police is considering legal action &quot;against this superintendent on behalf of these two police officers whose good names and reputations have been tarnished by his incompetence.&quot;</p><p>Few details have been released about the incident in question. But on Tuesday, Mayor Richard Daley told reporters that &quot;a young person was handcuffed and several police officers watched it, and someone went over and punched him in the jaw. The superintendent immediately suspended him.&quot;</p><p>The Chicago Police Department today released a statement confirming that two officers have been cleared in the incident and that they're not part of the investigation. The department says it is &quot;committed to cooperating fully with all (Independent Police Review Authority) investigations. It is important to note that relief of powers does not consititute discipline.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 20 Oct 2010 20:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/abuse/union-president-blasts-weis