Thursday, October 23, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC DISCLOSURE REGARDING WAUKEGAN DISTRICT 60 BOARD MEMBERS, OUR DUE DILIGENCE REVEALED THIS INFORMATION MOMENTS AGO


             Anita Hanna, Board President

Lake County Circuit Court Cases on File as of 
10/23/2014 7:14PM via the Public Access Portal



The only active case still listed 
Foreclosure on residential property located at 116 Spruce, Waukegan, IL owned by Anita Hanna.



Folks endure good times and bad times so we render no judgment.

We will simply ask a rhetorical question: If one illustrates difficulty managing personal finances, how can that person be entrusted to safeguard taxpayer assets specific to the WPS60 Budget of $162 Million?

Hanna voted to pay Ficarelli in excess of $50,000 at an hourly rate of $275.
Hanna voted to pay additional administrators that results in the raw admin payroll of $14.9 Million.

Hanna now needs to do the honorable deed of fairly concluding negotiations with the teachers by facilitating the return of students to their classrooms. Period.

GET TO KNOW YOUR WAUKEGAN DISTRICT 60 ELECTED BOARD MEMBERS

First up

VICTORIA TORRES, Then and Now




What does the community know about Torres?

Apparently, Torres was galvanized by a single issue that directly affected her child.


Sept. 22, 2011 Waukegan parents plan boycott over school-busing cuts

District says it can no longer afford to transport kids who live within 1.5 miles of school

    Alberto Torres, 7, gets a piggyback ride from his mom, Victoria Torres, as they walk about a mile home from Whittier Elementary School 

    Next, she decides to run for the School Board

    6 vie to fill 4 seats on Waukegan School District 60 board By Dan Moran dmoran@stmedianetwork.com

    Quoted April 4, 2013 at a Candidate Forum at Juarez Middle School

    Torres, a mother of three district students, told the crowd that “we need to change our system here, and I’d like to be a part of that.”

    “I think I can make a difference. I’m not here for anything else than to make a difference for the children,” said Torres, who argued for such things as per-unit fees for apartment owners to increase revenue. “I know I have some ideas that may sound harsh, but if it needs to be done for the kids, it needs to be done.” 

    Next time there is forum, have the candidates fill out a form that requests background information and qualification for office.

    April 10, 2013 Torres garners 2,308 votes (15%) and gains the fourth seat in the election.

    Information is not available that speaks to Torres' qualifications to serve as School Board member. We have not seen any academic credentials, work history, life experience or any indication that she has acumen to understand and deal with a $162 Million budget. There is no evidence that she has taken training via ISBE. Evidence of course completion is requested. 

    We welcome Torres' response to this information.

    Let's fast forward to her behaviour the last couple of weeks during heated collective bargaining negotiations between WPS60 and the Teachers Union.

    During the public board meeting on October 14, 2014 (click here) when she confronted a Waukegan High School student and insulted him as he was presenting his perspective, a first amendment right that he chose to exercise. Another student remarked on her "body language" glaring at the speaker with her arms crossed.

    When contacted directly by a resident via phone she advised that she "has the power" and would never vote in favor of any union proposal. WOW. Shame on you, Victoria!

    So, let's put this into perspective. She started out as a one issue parent concerned only with the district providing bus service, ran for office, voted to approve Ficarelli's contract, approved increasing the administration to a bloated base salary of $14.9 Million and now arrogantly is flexing her muscles because she won a board seat. She should be held accountable and made to repay these funds back to the district coffers for proper expenditure on education.

    In this case, ignorance is not bliss. It is insulting. She has a mandate to properly represent the residents of Waukegan. She has expressed her prejudice and failure to properly deal with the collective bargaining process.

    Waukegan residents, reflect on this for a moment. Perhaps she needs to feel pressure and understand that she has a fiduciary duty to safeguard your assets. She has failed as an elected official. Remember, she only garnered 2,308 votes with no credentials and no bona fides to do a proper job. Get vocal. Call her out for this immature behaviour. Send her emails. 
    vtorres@wps60.org Call her on the phone. Confront her in public places, albeit in a peaceful manner. Her tenure should be cut short. She has proven to be untrustworthy and biased.

    She claims to care about the students. We call bullshit.


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.




    J. William Roberts, Esq.
    another smirking Hinshaw attorney

    VIRAL DISTRIBUTION REQUESTED VIA SOCIAL MEDIA -- FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, etc.

    Email addressed today to Bill Roberts, Managing Partner at Hinshaw re Anthony Ficarelli

    broberts@hinshawlaw.com



    Morris ARDC Registration download
    Morris Hinshaw Bio download
    WPS60 Outside Legal Fees download
    Morris WPS60 Contract download
    PETITION TO REMOVE ANTHONY FICARELLI AS OUTSIDE COUNSEL AND CHIEF SPOKESMAN FOR WAUKEGAN DISTRICT 60 - FOLLOW THE LEAD ESTABLISHED BY ZION BENTON IN THAT IMMORTAL SONG "Hit the Road Jack"

    Express your displeasure regarding Ficarelli's predatory and dilatory tactics in prolonging the collective bargaining negotiations for the sole purpose of increasing his hourly billings.

    Contact:
    J. William Roberts, Managing Partner
    HINSHAW & CULBERTSON
    broberts@hinshawlaw.com
    Phone: 312-704-3000

    Donaldo Batiste     drbatiste@wps60.org 
    Mary Lamping      mlamping@wps60.org
    Tom Morris           tmorris@wps60.org

    Lincoln Center Phone: 224-303-1000

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    TIME FOR NEW OVERT TACTICS TO BREAK THE IMPASSE WITH THE WAUKEGAN ELECTED SCHOOL BOARD 

    Good citizens of Waukegan, it is now time to ratchet up the pressure to compel the recalcitrant Board of seven to finalize negotiations and return students and teachers to their classrooms.

    The community is galvanized and is experience a renewed sense of activism. Parlay this energy into grassroots support for providing a 21st Century Education for your children. Leaders must now be identified who desire to truly represent the people; not political hacks who have been elected and put their personal agendas and pursuit of personal gain in front of sound judgment and prudent use of taxpayer funds. Come forward and get involved in the next school board election. The current Board members only received about 3,000 votes to get themselves elected.

    Read the WPS50 Budget. The administration has become bloated because Batiste and Lamping have been rewarding administrators at premium rates who have no direct contact with students and certainly cannot contribute to their academic growth. Fiscal conservatism and squeezing $1.25 out of every dollar is not their motivation. The current Board, lacking experience or understanding of municipal budgets, simply go along for the ride each and every time without taking your children's education to heart. 

    It doesn't take a college graduate to see that they are paying for duplicate legal fees with your tax dollars; first to Tom Morris at $235,000 per year and then to Anthony Ficarelli at $275 per hour running the meter up with his predatory and dilatory tactics for the sole purpose of making him rich. There are certainly more areas that could be trimmed of fat and enable redeployment of those dollars to the classroom.

    We have received many inquiries on how this task may be accomplished. Our perspective is offered herein.

    The American experience is based on civil disobedience in the face of an oppressive and remote despot. Americans have a capacity for tolerance that only goes so far. When we hit our limit, democracy in action is a valid remedy to remove folks who have breached the public trust and fiduciary duty as elected officials. From throwing tea into Boston Harbor, to marching for the right of women to vote, enacting legislation for collective bargaining and civil rights, there is power in numbers. Each individual counts. Make your voice heard.

    In the old days, the teamsters would show solidarity with the striking workers and things got resolved very quickly. Ultimately, words and deeds are more powerful than brawn. You residents will remember the behavior of these Board members when it comes time to go to the voting poles.

    Continue to provide solid evidence and facts to us at corruptionbusters24x7x365@gmail.com that indicate financial improprieties, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds. We will continue to research, investigate, validate and publish verifiable news items. Perhaps at some point these affairs may reach the desk of the Illinois Attorney General and US Attorney.

    View this experience as a military operation with strategies and goals.

    There is simply one goal here; namely to garner 4 votes out 7 to come to an agreement.

    Here are concrete steps to rapidly achieve this goal:

    1. The population of Waukegan was 89,000 in 2013. At a minimum each parent of the 17,000 students must call the District Office at 224-303-1000 to express their strong desire to provide a fair contract. Flood their switchboard with calls.

    2. Every time you see board members in the community, confront them with their mandate as elected officials to properly represent their constituents. These are your neighbors. They cannot hide from you behind their curtains. Remind them of their duty to be your representatives.

    3. The right to peaceful assembly enables quiet and orderly picketing at their personal residences. 

    4. Obtain phone numbers for each Board member and ring them up to express your desire to provide an equitable solution to the strike. No elected official can dance to their own drummer without accountability.

    5. Contact your local press to print fair and balanced reports; not unilateral, biased and inaccurate WPS60 press release without the right to rebuttal

    6. Contact City of Waukegan officials, including the Mayor's Office and Aldermen to enlist their direct intervention with the elected Board members

    7. Send email blasts to all administrators and the seven board members

    Donaldo Batiste     drbatiste@wps60.org 
    Mary Lamping      mlamping@wps60.org
    Tom Morris           tmorris@wps60.org

    8. Petition Tom Morris to open an Ethics Investigation into financial improprieties on the part of Batiste and Lamping, with particular emphasis on the hiring of Anthony Ficarelli.


    9. Pressure 4 of 7 to vote for a fair contract for teachers. Stay strong and be confident that the goal can be swiftly achieved.
    Ms. Anita Hanna
    Ms. Anita M. Hanna
    President
    amhanna@wps60.org
    Mr. Don Elliott
    Mrs. June McGuire
    Ms. Cheri Pierson-White
    Mr. Don H. Elliott

    delliott@wps60.org
    Mrs. June M. Maguire
    Vice President
    jmaguire@wps60.org
    Ms. Cheri Pierson-White

    cpierson-white@wps60.org
    Mr. Tommy Rhyan
    Mr. Michael Rodriguez
    Mrs. Victoria Torres
    Mr. Tommy L. Rhyan, JD

    trhyan@wps60.org
    Mr. R. Michael Rodriguez

    mrodriguez@wps60.org
    Mrs. Victoria Torres

    vtorres@wps60.org


    CONTINUING INVESTIGATION OF ANTHONY FICARELLI LEGAL FEES RELATED TO THE ZION BENTON TEACHERS STRIKE IN 2012 AND THE SUBSEQUENT TERMINATION OF HIS SERVICES IN 2013.




    Not so smiling, Anthony Ficarelli


    On January 45, 2012 Zion-Benton Township High School District 126 teachers went out on strike. The Chief Negotiator and outside legal counsel was Anthony Ficarelli. According to unnamed district sources, on the fourth day the Superintendent intervened to end after expressing displeasure with Ficarelli's tactics and attempts at dilatory tactics with the sole purpose of racking up additional fees. 

    Ficarelli had no written contract with District 126. Again, he was awarded work sole source at an hourly fee estimated to be $250 per hour with no cap. Apparently Ficarelli's services had been procured by the previous Superintendent commencing legal work in May, 2008. At that time he was not the lead attorney. His role became primary in January, 2009. 
    Click here to view a summary of Hinshaw's invoices from May 2008 to Sept. 30, 2013

    Ficarelli's invoices for the period leading up to the strike (click here) are parallel to those he has issued to Waukegan District 60.
    November, 2011   $19,281.50
    December, 2011   $ 22,062.50
    January, 2011      $ 26,336.54
    February, 2011    $ 15,403.62

    Cachink, Cachink.

    Only this time, Ficarelli did not have a happy ending! His transparent tactics and antics had reached an end with the District finally "getting" his number.

    In the month of September, 2013 Tony only billed ONE HOUR, exactly the time that District 126 terminated the relationship with Hinshaw. 

    Donaldo, listen up, the Superintendent stepped up and prevented waste of taxpayer funds on an attorney that she inherited. 

    Waukegan Board members and key administrative staff handling finances should be bonded. In addition, the District should be carrying Error and Omissions Insurance in order to minimize liability for decisions that exceed their authority.

    There was a conspiracy and collusion between Batiste, Lamping and the 7 Board members to spend taxpayer monies despite having Tom Morris on staff as full-time General Counsel. 

    Rewarding friends and family constitutes theft and fraud of monies under your custodial authority.

    It is time to move forward to recover wasted taxpayer funds from those who plotted to divert money to Ficarelli with the express purpose of causing the current teacher's strike.

    Donaldo, time to grow some cojones and follow the lead exhibited by the Zion Benton Superintendent. Exit, stage left.
    ANTHONY FICARELLI, HINSHAW PARTNER, CONTINUES TO FEED AT THE PUBLIC TROUGH TO THE DETRIMENT OF  TAXPAYERS 


    Such a busy guy. No wonder he is always smiling. 

    Reminds us of the old story of the 45 year old attorney who dies suddenly and appears before St. Peter at the pearly gates. He protests his death and can't understand why he is up in heaven. St. Peter replied "according to your billings, you are 76 years old!" 

    Ficarelli found a gaping hole to capitalize on building his predatory law practice by identifying unsophisticated local school board members as a target to derive personal gain at taxpayer expense.

    We just obtained information from Lincolnwood District 74 regarding his billings from 2012 to the present. Click here to download the full FOIA response.

    Again, here is the link to his Waukegan billings.

    Ficarelli billed the following hours:

    April, 2014 
    Lincolnwood 86 hrs =$27,950.00
    Waukegan  35.3 hrs =$9,001.50
    TOTAL = $36,251.50

    May, 2014
    Lincolnwood 132.3 hrs =$42,997.50
    Waukegan  4.3 hrs =$1,225.50
    TOTAL = $44,223.00

    June, 2014
    Lincolnwood 97.6 hrs =$31,720.00
    Waukegan  54.7 hrs =$15,589.50
    TOTAL = $47,309.50

    July, 2014
    Lincolnwood 56.4 hrs =$18,330.00
    Waukegan  53.6 hrs =$15,276.00
    TOTAL = $33,606.00

    August, 2014
    Lincolnwood 97.6 hrs =$31,720.00
    Waukegan  47.4 hrs =$12,910.50
    TOTAL = $44,630.50

    FIVE MONTHS AGGREGATE 
    BILLINGS  = $206,020.50

    Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered. 

    Donaldo & Mary, it is time to terminate Ficarelli's sole source agreement with WPS60 at a significant waste of taxpayers money. You approved this deal without shopping around or using Tom Morris to spearhead the negotiations. 

    It is also apparent that there is a discrete pattern and conspiracy between the three of you since April to force the teachers to strike.

    Someone has taken quite a bit of time to analyze Ficarelli's billings and the communication trail back to Batiste & Lamping. Check out this link

    http://johndeweyisnotdead.weebly.com

    Good citizens of Waukegan. Time to call for an audit into these improprieties and breach of fiduciary by Administrators and Board members who sanctioned these expenditures.

    Tom Morris, General Counsel, is the Ethics Officer for WPS60. Tom, get busy justifying your $235,000 paycheck.