WBEZ | Scott King http://www.wbez.org/tags/scott-king Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Another East Chicago official heads to prison http://www.wbez.org/story/another-east-chicago-official-heads-prison-87299 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-01/pabey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today isn’t likely to be a pleasant one for George Pabey.</p><p>But heading to prison never is.</p><p>The disgraced former mayor of East Chicago, Ind., is scheduled to check in at the Oxford Correctional Facility, about 60 miles north of Madison, Wisconsin. &nbsp;Pabey resigned as mayor in December after a federal jury convicted him of stealing public funds three years ago.</p><p>He illegally used about $7,000 worth of public funds to fix up a home he owned with his daughter in the Miller Beach neighborhood in the adjacent city of Gary. Pabey also got a few of his city employees to do the work on city time. &nbsp;All total, the tab came out to about $13,000 in public funds and manpower. Not a lot of money but enough for federal investigators to go after Pabey.</p><p>Pabey was convicted, along with Jose Camacho, a city department head. &nbsp;U.S. District Judge James Moody sentenced Pabey in March to five years in prison. &nbsp;</p><p>Pabey’s defense attorney Scott King failed to convince Moody that his client should be allowed to avoid incarceration while he appeals in conviction. &nbsp;King, the former mayor of Gary, also couldn’t get the 7<sup>th</sup> Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in favor of Pabey.</p><p>Pabey was voted into office in 2004, becoming the predominately Hispanic city’s first Hispanic mayor.</p><p>He’s the latest East Chicago official to serve time for corruption. &nbsp;No less than a dozen city officials - or those with strong ties to the city - have been convicted in the last seven years. &nbsp;A small, industrial city, East Chicago historically has been the epicenter of all things politics - dirty or otherwise - in Northwest Indiana.</p></p> Wed, 01 Jun 2011 21:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/another-east-chicago-official-heads-prison-87299 Gary Mayor Rudy Clay not seeking re-election http://www.wbez.org/story/gary-mayor-rudy-clay/gary-mayor-rudy-clay-not-seeking-re-election-84924 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-08/92429857.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gary Mayor Rudy Clay announced Friday morning that he is suspending his re-election bid due to continued treatments for prostate cancer.</p><p>“I owe it to my family, myself and the great people of Gary to suspend this campaign for another term as mayor,” Clay said at an emergency press conference at Gary City Hall.</p><p>The 75-year-old Clay intends to finish his current term, which ends Dec. 31.</p><p>Clay said his actions were prompted by a strong recommendation from his physician, Dr. Walter M. Stadler of the University of Chicago.</p><p>Clay shared excerpts from a letter he received from Dr. Stadler: “Given your age and medical condition, and to avoid any potential reversal or harmful setback, it is my professional opinion that you give strong consideration to a less demanding routine when your current term as mayor expires.”</p><p>With his wife Christine by his side and many city department heads in attendance, a visibly shaken Clay said, given the situation, he has little choice but to follow his doctor’s orders.</p><p>“Stadler, Dr. Edwin Posadas and Carolyn Marinier successfully guided me through a grave and difficult challenge in my life and I completely value and trust their judgment,” Clay said in a written statement.</p><p>Clay will remain on the ballot with nine other Democratic candidates in May 3 mayoral primary, however.</p><p>“His name will just stay on at this point,” said Sally LaSota, head of the Voters Registration and Election Office in Lake County, Indiana.</p><p>LaSota said she conferred Friday morning with board attorney Jim Wieser.</p><p>There’s also one lone Republican candidate in the primary.</p><p>Early voting in the race started this week.</p><p>Clay came into office in April 2006, after the city’s Democratic precinct committee selected him to complete the term left behind by Scott King, who left office after serving more than 10 years office. King said he wanted to return to practicing law, so he could earn enough money to finance his child’s education.</p><p>Clay won his first election to the mayor's office in 2007.</p><p>Clay is also the former head of Lake County’s Democratic Party. He’s also had a long political career, including stints as a state senator and county commissioner.</p><p>Clay’s decision to suspend his campaign comes while the city is facing serious financial challenges. In less than a week, the city will learn if it will receive property tax relief from the state of Indiana. Gary is seeking about $11.1 million in tax relief through the state’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board.</p><p>Gary’s budget has dwindled in recent years due to a loss of residents, decline in property tax collections and a state-mandated property tax cap of one percent. Industry is also paying fewer taxes to the city than it had in previous decades. The city is also in a dispute with the owner of its two casinos for millions of dollars in revenue that has yet to be paid to city.</p><p>The city has had to reduce city services and cut staff, including firefighters.</p><p>Clay is also trying to fend off his city losing its status as Northwest Indiana’s largest city. Figures recently released by the U.S. Census show the city lost more than 20,000 residents during the past decade. That puts its current population at 80,000, or about 500 less than the neighboring city of Hammond. Clay has vowed to appeal the U.S. Census for a recount.</p><p>Clay is also in the process of trying to prevent the closure of a U.S. Postal Service sorting facility that employees hundreds of workers.</p><p>“I want to sincerely thank the God fearing people of Gary who always supported and voted for me to serve my community as Indiana State Senator, County Councilman, County Recorder, County Commissioner and Mayor of Gary,” Clay, whose public persona is usually optimistic and joyful, said. “The decision to cease my campaign is most difficult and disappointing but maintaining good health is my top priority. I have faith that my supporters will understand this decision and recognize there is no other option for me at this time.”</p><p><em>A correction has been made to this story.</em></p><p>Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the year Rudy Clay first won the popular vote for mayor. That year was 2007.</p><p>Here is the text from a Media Release provided by the Office of Gary Mayor Rudy Clay:</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">CLAY SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN FOR MAYOR<br> Prostate cancer treatments and the dynamics of a political campaign do not mix according to Mayor Rudy Clay: Clay said' "lowe it to my family, myself and the great people of Gary to suspend this campaign for another term as mayor." Clay said these actions were prompted by a strong recommendation from Dr. Walter M. Stadler, an expert in prostate Cancer at the University of Chicago. Dr. Stadler is an Internist, Oncologist, Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Director of Genitourinary Oncology, Associate Dean for Clinical Research, and Chairman of the Cancer Research Center.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">In a letter from Dr. Stadler he wrote: "Given your age and medical condition, and to avoid any potential reversal or harmful setback, it is my professional opinion that you give strong consideration to a less demanding routine when your current term as mayor expires." Clay said "Stadler, Dr. EdWin Posadas and Carolyn Marinier successfully guided me through a grave and difficult challenge in my life and I completely value and trust their judgment." I want to sincerely thank the God fearing people of Gary who always supported and voted for me to serve my community as Indiana State Senator, County Councilman, County Recorder, County Commissioner and Mayor of Gary. The decision to cease my campaign is most difficult and disappointing, but maintaining good health is my top priority.</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">I have faith that my supporters will understand this decision and recognize there is no other option for me at this time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;">God Bless Gary, Indiana...The City I Love</p></p> Fri, 08 Apr 2011 16:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/gary-mayor-rudy-clay/gary-mayor-rudy-clay-not-seeking-re-election-84924