JAWA water project

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Can You

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#387
Aug 30, 2013
 
blue wrote:
<quoted text> oldelson and sterk are representing blue island in the condemination suit againest pronger smith. also againest metro south. This case is expected to reach 4.5 million againest city of blue island
Can You Say Cha Ching Cha Ching?
Wow

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#388
Sep 2, 2013
 

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blue wrote:
<quoted text> Odelson and Sterk are representing Blue Island in the condemination suit against Pronger Smith and also against Metro South. The case is expected to reach 4.5 million against the city of Blue Island.
Win or loose who will pay for the attorney and settlement of these cases?
Really

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#389
Sep 2, 2013
 
Wow wrote:
<quoted text>
Win or loose who will pay for the attorney and settlement of these cases?
Are you suggesting an attorney gets paid whether they win or loose?
Reports

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#390
Sep 4, 2013
 
Twisted wrote:
<quoted text>
Why did Jawa Directors appoint a Project Manager with no deadlines for reports, feasibility study, and a pay rate of $45,000 per month and above?
Why did Jawa Directors fail to set benchmarks, require detailed billing, or a clear way to get money back in the event the project failed to meet agreed deadlines?
Why did Jawa Directors select a bankrupt cash-strapped Treasurer and his accounting firm? Following the Letke resignation nearly a year ago; why are there current payments from Jawa to Letke and company?
"It certainly appears as though the Seven Mayors/Jawa Directors took on a project filled with potential for failure and loss; that has not produced any results, failed to produce any reports or the feasibility study.
Jawa has generated bills lots of them with payouts to the same "individuals working together for their own common good".
Jawa won't pay off for any of the taxpayers; in fact the taxpayers from the seven different communities will pay for this failed project for the next twenty years.
Have any reports been provided to date?
No Integrity

Blue Island, IL

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#391
Sep 6, 2013
 

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Ex-Markham police official admits lying to FBI
Former deputy chief pleads guilty; charge that he had sex with prisoner is dropped



Tony DeBois, a notorious former deputy police chief of Markham, admits he had sex with a woman in his city office and lied about it to the FBI, but that's where his agreement with federal authorities ends.

Prosecutors allege DeBois forced himself on a prisoner. DeBois contends he had consensual sex with another woman and that he lied about it to federal agents only to keep it from his then-fiancee.

Now both the woman in custody and the woman DeBois says he had sex with are expected to take the witness stand to tell competing stories in what promises to be a scandalous sentencing hearing in January.

DeBois, 41, was originally charged in March with violating a detainee's civil rights through aggravated sexual abuse. But in an unusual deal unveiled Thursday, he pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements to the FBI, a charge that was filed earlier this week. The original charges will be dropped, Assistant U.S. Attorney April Perry said.

DeBois faces up to five years in prison but could also receive probation.

In his plea agreement, DeBois admitted lying in an interview last October with FBI agents when he said the only woman he had had sex with in his office was his fiancee, whom he later married.

But prosecutors alleged DeBois coerced a woman who was in police custody into having sex with him.

After court, Terry Ekl, one of DeBois' lawyers, called the accuser a "stone-cold liar and perjurer" who misled a grand jury investigating allegations of corruption in the south suburban department.

Ekl said it was the first time in his lengthy career that he had seen prosecutors agree to a plea deal when there was still a dispute about the facts of the case.

"They did this because they couldn't prove the (civil rights) allegation in court," he said.

A longtime controversial cop who got his start in corruption-plagued Harvey, DeBois parlayed his political connections with Markham Mayor David Webb Jr. into a rapid rise there from patrol to deputy chief even as he became a magnet for lawsuits.

For years, DeBois was a well-known figure on Markham's streets, riding up and down Kedzie Avenue in a city-owned black Dodge Charger. One resident, Clarence Allen, who settled an excessive-force suit against DeBois, told the Tribune the burly officer acted as if he were Denzel Washington from the movie "Training Day."

According to an FBI affidavit, DeBois was investigated in 2012 over alleged threats he made to kidnap his ex-wife. "All it takes is me making one phone call and poof you'll be gone and who will your cute little boys have to call mommy," the FBI quoted him as writing her in one email. DeBois has not been charged with any wrongdoing in that matter.

Last year, a Markham police officer arrested on allegations he stole money during the search of a warehouse told authorities that in 2010 he had seen DeBois pocket $4,500 in counterfeit cash seized from a target of an investigation before coercing the man's female associate, who was also in custody, into having sex in his office, court records show.

DeBois declined comment as he left the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse after his guilty plea Thursday, but Ekl said the lawsuits against DeBois are a natural result of his aggressive policing style and not evidence of corruption. He said DeBois may be guilty of bad judgment but that his sexual dalliances do not amount to "a heinous federal crime."

"What a terrible, terrible thing for a person to do, to lie about sex," Ekl said sarcastically.

FBI, while you are in Markham investigate the corrupt,fraud known as JAWA. It is just a matter of time, you will be there.
Recovery

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#392
Sep 10, 2013
 

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11 Million Dollar Error wrote:
<quoted text>
No feasibility study, no water source, no appropriation report, missing meeting minutes, conflict of interest, meeting time changed from 3:00pm to 3:30pm. JAWA needs more money to continue the project so the attorney from Odelson and Sterk will visit the 7 communities (including the municipalities represented by Odelson and Sterk) to plea for another bond issue so JAWA can continue.
SSJAWA has been a waste of money, time, energy, and attention for the 7 communities and general public.
It is doubtful the 7 Communities involved will recover the millions distributed to the failed SSJAWA project.
The public and communities Involved should ask the attorney from Odelson and Sterk to go after all of the individuals and parties responsible for any and all misrepresentation.
Rust Belt Communities

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#393
Sep 10, 2013
 

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Recovery wrote:
<quoted text>
SSJAWA has been a waste of money, time, energy, and attention for the 7 communities and general public.
It is doubtful the 7 Communities involved will recover the millions distributed to the failed SSJAWA project.
The public and communities Involved should ask the attorney from Odelson and Sterk to go after all of the individuals and parties responsible for any and all misrepresentation.
Poor communities just do not have any money to waste on projects of this type.
Timeless

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#394
Sep 13, 2013
 

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[B M O C wrote:
I understand Harvey is pickin up a large share of the cost and Alsip's Mayor Kitchin is very confident that his town will pay for it's share.
I hope they build a big filtration plant and an office building, just like the JAWA in Lake Bluff. Very Impressive. The 5.6 million is nothing, when you split the tab. They need to pay the Lawyers, Engineers, Financial Institutions, Etc. It pays for a feasability study, to see if this bird will fly. Unless you have a better idea, you should come to a Village Board meeting on Monday Night and support the "Yes" vote for the JAWA in Alsip.

Better Spent wrote:
This bird will not fly. In my opinion it is just another way to funnel money to the money grabbing lawyers and specialists who get sweet deals and give kick-backs for these feasibility studies. Why don't they fund a study to upgrade our existing water and sewer system or fix the streets and alleys? How about raising these funds for a better educated police department with more resources available to fight the crime that doesn't exist here in BI? These are real problems, not manufactured ones like JAWA purports to solve. What does JAWA do about a few dollar increase to our water bills? More than likely increase our property taxes by thousands to pay for it while the specialists take a large portion for their services. Arc Plasma anyone? How about those bridges? Why do we STILL have a damaging and frankly late 19th century sewer system? Why do we still put up with this type of nonsense?]

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Still At It

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#395
Sep 15, 2013
 
By Joseph Ryan, Chicago Tribune reporter

10:41 am, September 14, 2013
The story of a south suburb's failed $10 million gamble on a hotel was already rife with insider deals, unexplained expenses and huge bills for strapped taxpayers.

Now the Tribune has found that the Harvey project also involved convicted felon John Thomas — a longtime FBI informant perhaps best known for sidling up to a close aide of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Thomas played a key role in securing a high-risk loan in the development's waning days, said developer Satish "Sunny" Gabhawala. But the developer said he learned of Thomas' FBI work from news reports only after signing the loan documents.

"I put my hand on my head," Gabhawala recalled of that moment.

One of Thomas' lawyers told the Tribune the transaction did not involve his client's past work with the FBI. But when asked if the FBI has since questioned Thomas about the Harvey hotel project, attorney Joe Lopez declined to comment.

The revelation comes as Harvey officials remain publicly silent about the troubled deal, even as they move to condemn the hotel — once the site of promised renewal and now a morass of foreclosure, lawsuits and mystery.

The Tribune exposed problems with the project in July. This month the city affixed plywood sheets to a few of the hotel's windows, apparently a futile attempt to secure the massive, half-gutted building.

City officials screwed a red "Condemned" sign into one of those windows and issued fines for code violations amounting to at least $15,000. The city first issued tickets in March, according to the developer — about 18 months after the hotel went into foreclosure.

It remains unclear what the endgame is for the city. Officials have said they are pursuing legal action to recoup the city's money, but they haven't specified what kind of legal action.

The property is hamstrung by more than $3 million in unpaid mortgages, liens and back taxes, which appear to mark just the initial hurdle for any developer — including Gabhawala — to restart work that was abruptly halted roughly two years ago.

It all started in 2008, when city officials agreed to borrow millions of dollars and give it to the developer to breathe new life into the aging hotel off Halsted Street, rehabbing it into a Holiday Inn with a conference center.

Over the following several years the city borrowed $14 million, and records show that at least $10 million of it was earmarked for the development, with most of it going to pay the hotel's mortgages and back taxes. City officials dismissed, or overlooked, a stream of liens and lawsuits against the developer — some alleging fraud — as the project dragged on.
Still At It

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#396
Sep 15, 2013
 
Records and interviews also show that the city's financial boss, Joseph Letke, was working at times for both the developer and the city, with his firm collecting more than $500,000 in fees on the city's borrowing. Letke previously told the Tribune he didn't do anything wrong and always looked out for Harvey's best interests.

Several city officials, including Mayor Eric Kellogg, have declined to answer questions about the deal, citing pending legal action. The city released a statement Thursday saying officials thought the project was a wise investment and did their "due diligence"

The city still has not released records tied to the hotel deal, including detailed financial records that would show what happened to all of the $14 million borrowed. That is despite an order by the Illinois attorney general to properly respond to the Tribune's open records request.

Gabhawala says he did nothing wrong and instead lost a fortune of his own. He disputes owing money to several contractors as well as accusations of fraud in lawsuits from private investors.

Gabhawala said the hotel is his life's work, and he desperately wants to finish the job, a dream he continues to insist is on the verge of coming true.

"This project is my baby," he said.

In July, Gabhawala said he was in India working with potential investors who needed to offload 100-year-old "Chinese gold bonds" to rescue the hotel. He has since returned to the U.S. and blamed the Tribune's reporting for tanking that plan.

Still, he said, he now has lined up different investors, and the city's actions are complicating plans to restart work.

"I have no idea what they are trying to accomplish," Gabhawala said.

A big part of Gabhawala's money problems stem from the $2.3 million, high-interest loan he said Thomas helped him get.

The loan only was supposed to tide the project over, Gabhawala said, helping to pay off taxes and liens to make way for a larger loan that would finish the job. The larger loan never came, and records show Gabhawala's company didn't pay the mortgage when it came due in the summer of 2011, pushing the hotel into foreclosure. For helping Gabhawala get the loan, records and interviews show, Thomas was paid about $60,000. That was the extent of Thomas' involvement with the project, said Lopez, an attorney hired by Thomas in 2011.

"Whatever those guys did, John only got the financing together," Lopez said.

Originally named Bernard Barton, Thomas started arranging multimillion-dollar real estate deals in Chicago in 2001, around the same time he was arrested for fraud in various financial schemes in New York. He pleaded guilty in 2004, but his sentencing was delayed for years while he worked as an informant for the FBI on investigations into political corruption and real estate crimes.

Thomas once was a business associate of Tony Rezko, a top Blagojevich fundraiser who would go to prison for influence peddling and helped lead to the governor's downfall.

Thomas was outed as an FBI informant in a 2007 Tribune article. But Gabhawala said he wasn't aware of that when he met Thomas via a law firm that represented each of them.

The loan was completed in February 2010. A few months later, Thomas was sentenced on his old conviction, getting probation — with prosecutors asking the judge to give him a break for his substantial assistance to the federal government. The full extent of his cooperation is not publicly known.

Thomas' FBI cooperation and sentencing were in news reports at the time — and that is when Gabhawala said he got the first clue about Thomas' double life.

Gabhawala said he was shocked but not worried about doing business with an FBI informant because he has done nothing wrong.

"I'm not concerned, sir," Gabhawala told the Tribune. "I will be very honest with you."
Just Like the Jawa

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#397
Sep 15, 2013
 
Records and interviews also show that the city's financial boss, Joseph Letke, was working at times for both the developer and the city, with his firm collecting more than $500,000 in fees on the city's borrowing. Letke previously told the Tribune he didn't do anything wrong and always looked out for Harvey's best interests.
Its called Subterfuge

Blue Island, IL

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#398
Sep 16, 2013
 
Just Like the Jawa wrote:
Records and interviews also show that the city's financial boss, Joseph Letke, was working at times for both the developer and the city, with his firm collecting more than $500,000 in fees on the city's borrowing. Letke previously told the Tribune he didn't do anything wrong and always looked out for Harvey's best interests.
My Answer,sub·ter·fuge noun \&#712;s&#601;b-t& #601;r-&#716;fyüj\
: the use of tricks especially to hide, avoid, or get something
Paid on Both Ends

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#399
Sep 16, 2013
 
Letke is being paid on two ends with Jawa as well.
What Did Taxpayers Get

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#400
Sep 16, 2013
 

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Litigation, Bonds, and another Bill they can't afford for a (service) Feasibility Study not produced.

It is Time for all Monies to be Refunded in Full.
Pipe Dream

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#401
Sep 23, 2013
 

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http://www.suntimes.com/22730466-761/south-su...

South suburban agency’s water-supply plan a pipe dream?

BY ANDREW SCHROEDTER September 22, 2013 10:16PM

   
Markham Mayor David Webb (pictured in 2007) is chairman of the South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency. He acknowledges that officials could have been more cautious with finances, but he says they’re now determined to save money by shaving legal costs and suspending a $45,000 payment to the project manager, among other steps.“We’re trying to do the right thing,” he says. 

Updated: September 23, 2013 2:14AM

Fed up with Chicago’s rising water rates, a group of south suburbs got together and borrowed nearly $5.6 million in 2012 to study if and how they could build their own water supply system.

A year later, that money — the proceeds from that public debt offering — is evaporating faster than a puddle on a hot sidewalk. And the municipalities that are on the hook for bond repayment still don’t know if the proposed project is a pipe dream, the Better Government Association has found.

Since August 2012, more than $2 million has flowed — often via no-bid contracts — to politically connected companies and attorneys to study the implementation and cost-effectiveness of bringing Lake Michigan water to the communities through a new filtration and piping network, the BGA found.

Come the end of April 2014, it’s projected that less than $1 million of the $5.6 million could remain, according to interviews and budget documents, raising the possibility the money could be gone before a thorough study of the proposal is even completed.

“This is very disturbing to me,” says Sharon Rybak, mayor of Midlothian, one of seven towns that comprise the South Suburban Joint Action Water Agency.“How long are we going to sit around doling out money before someone is held accountable?”

Markham Mayor David Webb, the agency’s chairman, acknowledges that officials could have been more cautious with finances, but he says they’re now determined to save money by shaving legal costs and suspending a $45,000 payment to the project manager, among other steps.“We’re trying to do the right thing,” he says.

Municipal water coalitions are nothing new. A group of Lake County towns, for example, teamed up in the late 1980s to build their own Lake Michigan water supply system.

The south suburban agency formed in June 2011, with only Markham and Robbins. Alsip, Blue Island, Calumet Park, Harvey and Midlothian soon followed.

All seven towns now buy water from the City of Chicago — which collects Lake Michigan water, treats it at one of two purification plans, and then delivers it throughout the city and suburbs via a network of pumping stations and pipelines.

But those communities would no longer be Chicago customers under a proposal to build a system that would pump, treat and transmit water from the Indiana shore of Lake Michigan, at an estimated construction cost of up to $300 million.

The communities would then set their own rates to charge residents and businesses.
Pipe Dream

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#402
Sep 23, 2013
 

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The project, to be funded by revenue bonds, would likely consist of an intake facility in Lake Michigan, a main pipeline, a water treatment plant and more.

From the beginning, officials said they would proceed only if the project would result in lower or at least stable water bills for their residents. Under Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, water rates charged to other municipalities jumped by 43 percent since 2011, and more increases are in store.

To put this in perspective, the Village of Alsip paid Chicago $6.3 million for 2.42 billion gallons of water last year, Alsip Finance Director Deborah Freischlag says.

It’s unclear right now whether the south suburban plan makes good financial sense.

The water agency raised nearly $5.6 million in an August 2012 bond sale, with the money earmarked for a study to gauge, among other things, its cost-effectiveness. But that study is on hold, officials say, mainly because the towns still don’t know where in Indiana the lake water would be pumped from, a critical step in the process, despite years of talks with three different northwest Indiana towns.

Officials say they’re close to an agreement with the City of Hammond, Ind., though the head of that town remains circumspect.

“I don’t know if I’d say we’re close, but we’ve made progress,” Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott says.

Meanwhile, the suburban water agency has spent about $2 million on legal work, project management, financial consulting and more, the BGA has found.

Among the companies receiving no-bid deals — approved by a board with representatives from each of the member communities — was the law firm of former DuPage County Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, and an insurance brokerage that since 2001 has donated $15,500 to Webb’s campaign fund.

Other BGA findings include:

&#9670; Postl-Yore & Associates Inc. has been paid $930,000 for project management. The Rolling Meadows firm has donated a total of $2,600 to the campaign funds of Webb and Calumet Park Mayor Ronald Denson, the water agency’s vice chairman. The first donation of $600 to Webb came shortly after the agency approved Postl-Yore’s no-bid contract in June 2011, records show.

&#9670; Two ventures led by Joseph Letke have been paid $315,933 for financial consulting and accounting work under separate no-bid deals. Letke and his companies have donated $10,000 to Webb’s fund and $7,000 to Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg’s since 2004, records show. Letke is the comptroller in Markham and Harvey, and his firm performs financial audits for Robbins.

&#9670; Schillerstrom’s law firm, Ice Miller LLP, has been paid $264,630 for legal work. Schillerstrom was directly involved in early negotiations with Hammond, and while his firm still works for the agency, he says he’s not involved in current talks. Schillerstrom briefly ran for governor in 2010.

&#9670; Municipal attorney Burt Odelson’s law firm has been paid $202,296 for legal work. Odelson donated $1,600 last June to Denson’s fund and his firm works with Calumet Park and, until recently, Blue Island.

Webb says no contracts were awarded in return for campaign donations.

However, he concedes it “doesn’t look good” and says he plans to return the $2,100 from Postl-Yore but not cash from Letke and other vendors, with whom he has long-standing relationships.

“I don’t want this to be a conflict,” he says.

If an agreement is reached with Hammond, Postl-Yore, with the help of several engineering firms, would work to complete the long-delayed feasibility study, officials say.

If subsequently approved by the water agency board, the construction project would take an estimated three years to complete, officials say.
Pipe Dream

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#403
Sep 23, 2013
 

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If it’s determined to be too costly, taxpayers in each of the towns, many of which are cash-strapped, must pay back the bondholders. Each suburb is responsible for a percentage of the principal plus interest and other fees. All told, that will be an estimated $11.2 million when the variable rate bond matures in 2025. Harvey’s share alone would be $4.3 million, a gut-wrenching sum given its financial challenges.

Already that town and two others are deeply indebted to the City of Chicago. Harvey owes $15.3 million in unpaid water bills, while Dolton and Robbins owe $1.5 million and $9.5 million, respectively, according to the City of Chicago.

Tom LaPorte, spokesman for Chicago’s Department of Water Management, says Chicago’s water rates are among the lowest in the country, despite recent increases to pay for improvements to an aging infrastructure.

As for the south suburban plan, he says,“We believe the communities involved will agree that staying with us is wiser and far more cost-effective than building a new system.”

Andrew Schroedter works for the Better Government Association.
Vigilance

Blue Island, IL

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#404
Sep 23, 2013
 
eternal vigilance is the price of freedom
BOB

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#405
Sep 23, 2013
 

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This has been a Ponzi Scheme from the beginning. Mark Potoska is either a crook or a dummy. He does not appear to be a dummy.
PULL the PLUG

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#406
Sep 23, 2013
 

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What Did Taxpayers Get wrote:
Litigation, Bonds, and another Bill they can't afford for a (service) Feasibility Study not produced.
It is Time for all Monies to be Refunded in Full.
Demand a FULL REFUND from ALL parties involved in the CONFLICT of INTEREST and the PROJECT MANAGER for FAILURE to FULFILL his Contract!

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