Thursday, October 30, 2014

EDITORIAL BY THE CORRUPTION BUSTERS STAFF



We applaud the good judgment expressed by Mayor Wayne Motley to appeal to Governor Quinn's intervention via objective & even tempered mediator, Gery Chico, to bring an escalating situation back to center. 

Chico is a seasoned attorney with a long history of public service, having led the Chicago Public Schools through some very tentative times. Click here to view his experience. It is no coincidence that Paul Vallas is now seeking public office. (We offer no partisan position but simply an observation on commitment to personal service for the electorate). To be fair, in private practice Gery billed out at rates comparable to Anthony Ficarelli and obtained contracts from government agencies. So, the right guy in the right place. He was interviewed yesterday and quipped "I am not leaving until this is done!" And, he kept his word.

The foundation of our American system of advocacy places a buffer between contentious parties. Every citizen has the right to counsel, even if there is financial hardship to hire an expensive attorney.

Passion, ego, stubbornness and a full range of emotions cloud the process to protect one's position yet be open to compromise.

The Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE) is mandated by the Illinois Legislature and signed into law by the Governor of Illinois. (105ILCS5) Here is downloadable link of the Act.

Under ISBE, there is a Code of Ethics for Illinois Educators.

ISBE trumps local school board operation by being a direct provider of funds, has the power and statutory authority to remove professional staff under turnaround and can directly take over control of any school district that is not financially stable.

We offer suggestions to Illinois Legislators to amend the current statute, expand ISBE's oversight of local School Districts and extend checks and balances related to elected Board Members, who are required to take training and are certified by ISBE.

Click here to download the certifications currently held by the individual WPS60 Board Members.

1. The Code of Ethics needs to be extended to school board members to insure proper decorum and respect to taxpayers, students, teachers and Administrators. These elected officials are in the public eye and need to provide examples of good citizenship, as well as leadership.


2. School boards need to be placed under the purview of an Inspector General's Office to insure that the public has a channel for reporting improprieties and a bureau to investigate outside the Administration of the Districts.


3. Elected officials should be required, as part of the ISBE certification, to pass with proficiency an examination related to acumen in understanding a complex budget that is typically comprised of taxpayer dollars in the hundreds of millions. The exam should also cover School policy, Oversight of Accountability of Administrators regarding their fiduciary duties and a system to provide teeth to the grievance process that is currently not independent. 


4. The union has the right to file grievances, Administrators typically drag their feet addressing these grievances and there is no independent appeal process in the event of an impasse. For example, the Illinois Insurance Licensure Director oversees the appeal process when insurance companies deny medical procedures or medications. ISBE could provide management of a similar system.


5. School board members need to be subject to impeachment and recall for cause including gross abuse of their duties as elected officials and mismanagement of taxpayer funds. Any School Board member convicted of a misdemeanor or felony shall be immediately removed their position. Any board member under indictment for a crime shall be suspended from their board position until full disposition of the case.


6. School districts must carry Errors and Omissions insurance to indemnify the taxpayers against gross mismanagement and attorney's fees should be borne personally and not at district expense.


7. During a strike, in accord with the Affordable Care Act, school boards are barred from suspending/terminating healthcare coverage, resulting in potential reckless endangerment or death. All members in the plan comprise a single class of covered employees with the only distinction being the differential in premium between single and dependent coverage.


8. During a strike, if teacher's pay is suspended, all administrator pay in the district is also suspended until a collective bargaining agreement can be ratified by the union members and affirmed by the School Board.


9. School Districts are subject to independent audit of budget including revenues and expenditures upon petition of 500 verified residents within the district.


In the light of the events of the last month in Waukegan, we call upon Senator Terry Link and Rep. Rita Mayfield, in concert with legislative leadership to draft legislation that will strengthen protection of taxpayer assets and insure professional behaviour on the part of elected School Board members.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014



Anita Hanna, Waukegan Public School Dist. 60 Board President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phone: 847-780-6045


ANITA HANNA’S LEGACY OF ABUSE OF POWER FOR PERSONAL GAIN AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE

Note that Hanna received 3,122 votes in the April 2013 election.
As of Nov. 3, 2014 there are over 6,000 views of this release

The legacy of Illinois elected officials abusing their authority and wasting taxpayer monies now extends to local school board government in Waukegan.

The Annual Budget for WPS60 is $162 Million based upon revenues from local property taxes, federal and state allocations. For Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015 the surplus amount reported is approximately $25 Million. The average income level in Waukegan is $49,000 and every student in the district qualifies for subsidized hot meals provided at taxpayer expense.

An on-going investigation by CORRUPTION BUSTERS         (http://corruptionbusters24x7x365.blogspot.com
into the calculated diversion of monies earmarked for direct education syphoned off to sole source contracts awarded to friends and family by the administration of Dr. Donaldo Batiste and Mary Lamping and the featherbedding of administrative staff with high ticket annual compensation and benefits in cahoots with the elected school board led by President Anita Hanna has been uncovered via a series of information requests obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.

Illustrations of waste of taxpayer funds includes:
  • ·   Sole source award to attorney Anthony Ficarelli at Hinshaw & Culbertson for $50,000 for outside legal fees billed at $275 per hour with no cap as Chief Negotiator for the district in collective bargaining with the Teacher’s Union while employing Thomas Morris (currently Of Counsel at Hinshaw) as General Counsel at an annual salary of $235,000.


  • ·   Sole source award to Leila Eames, Batiste crony from New Orleans for consulting to train WPS60 Principals. For 2013 and 2014 the contracts total $79,000.


  • ·  Increase of Administrative Staff in consecutive years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 ranging from $11.7 Million now up to $13.9 Million (not including increases in benefits and pensions that will place a heavier burden on Illinois taxpayers already strained by climbing pension payments calculated on the last four years of service).

New information obtained related to Anita Hanna reveal abuse of her elected office by approaching the Waukegan Township soliciting taxpayer funds as “donations” to her family business, Black Student’s Parents Organization that she claims to have started in 1983

A search with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office shows no corporate filing for this entity. A search of the Illinois Attorney General’s records and the Internal Revenue Service filings for non-profit 501C3 status reveals no registration of this entity.

The Illinois Compiled Statutes 760ILCS 55/ Charitable Trust Act specifies Trust and Fiduciary Duties for Organizations and Individuals holding property for or solicited for charitable purposes. There are registration requirements and on-going filing requirements for compliance.

Hanna is in violation of this statute for failing to register.

We have written documentation authored by Hanna directed to Waukegan Township Supervisor Patricia Jones, soliciting funds dated May 19, 2013 stating “The BSPO is submitting this request for financial support for 3 youth Counselors. I propose 8 weeks of salary at minimum wage ($8.25) for 6.5 hours per day, which total $6435 for the duration of camp.”

Waukegan Township authorized the disbursement of $2,500 on June 17, 2013 via check no. 22735. We have not been able to confirm if this expenditure was approved by the board or at the discretion of Patricia Jones nor the nature of any personal relationship between said individuals or other Township officials. 

On April 13, 2014 Hanna again solicited the Waukegan Township advising that “All proceeds are deposited in the organization’s account and used  exclusively for the children. Previous funding has come from private donations, parents and my own finances.

Again, without due diligence to determine if BSPO was registered as a 501C3 charity, with an IRS EIN, Waukegan Township provided an additional $2,500 donation via check no. 23708 dated April 25, 2014. The Township failed to request financial statements or proof of use of the funds as solicited by Hanna. Without being a properly registered charity, obtaining this information through public channels or via FOIA was not an option.  

Note that the endorsement on the back of the check reads "Black Diamond" and not Black Student's Parent Organization. The account at Great Lakes Credit Union is redacted so it is unclear if this is a second account held by Hanna. 

The express purpose of soliciting funds in 2014 from Waukegan Township was for the day camp, not the Black Diamond awards. "The Community Summer Day Camp is requesting financial support to (de)fray cost of, a bi-weekly summer wage for four young adults" again specifically earmarked for payroll. 

It appears that Hanna converted those funds to other purposes not promised to the Township.

Hanna simply expected the Township to “trust her”. They were surely aware of her position as Board member at WPS60 when she solicited funds. Perhaps she parlayed her personal relationship with Jones or other Township employees to first approach them in 2013?

Again, at this time we have no additional information as to who authorized this expenditure or whether it received board approval.

The May 19, 2013 solicitation letter also advises that “The camp begins June 10 thru August 2 at the Webster Middle School. At this time, the Waukegan Public Schools provides the facility free of charge to BSPO.”

This is curious. It is not the regular practice of WPS60 to provide its facilities to private businesses, especially at no charge. Any business seeking to use the facilities would be required to make an application, provide at a minimum a Certificate of Insurance indicating a minimum $1 Million for Liability coverage.  These entities would also need to display evidence of Financial Responsibility. The next step would be for WPS60 authorized personal to enter into a site use contract and obtain either administrative and/or board approval. So, who approved the use of the facility by Hanna’s day camp? Who granted her free rent? 

The use of the facility provided a personal benefit to Hanna as an in-kind quid pro quo at least a market value of free rent.

Hanna used her position as Board President to obtain a sweetheart deal for her family business for use of the school not available to any other citizen of Waukegan or local businesses. This is surely discriminatory in nature and smacks of favoritism towards her by the public entity that she controls. 

It is certainly an abuse of her power and exceeds her authority as an elected official.

In addition, there was no provision for reimbursement to the district for custodial services; those expenses were borne by the taxpayers. Who at WPS60 authorized this agreement with Hanna? We are still investigating and will publish that information when received from WPS60 via FOIA.

Charitable Trusts are required to file an IRS990 annual return that discloses the finances of the charity, source and use of funds, as well as the identities of directors and employees. These filings are also archived with the Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Trust department and available for public access.  

Waukegan Public Schools Foundation (EIN36-3444790) is a duly registered 501C3 established in 1986 now showing Dr. Donaldo Batiste as Registered Agent (since 5/1/2006).  As Board President, Hanna has oversight of this Foundation, and is not ignorant as to the requirement to file proper documentation with the regulatory agencies.

Anita Hanna has taken the position that she is above the law. Since 1983, Hanna has had ample time to properly register her entity with the appropriate authorities. Barring evidence to the contrary, Hanna is required to file Quarterly Payroll 941 Returns to both the State of Illinois and IRS for paying employee salaries, as represented in her solicitation.

She is also required to file Federal and State tax returns. Co-mingling business funds with personal funds is a breach of fiduciary.

Public records accessed on the Circuit Court of Lake County’s
portal indicate a pattern of lawsuits that indicate problems 
with Hanna’s personal finances, yet the taxpayers have entrusted her with custodial and fiduciary authority to manage a budget of $162 Million.


As WPS60 Board President, Hanna has a fiduciary duty as elected trustee to protect the assets of Waukegan taxpayers. Violating state and federal statutes is a breach of trust.

Immediate demand is made for Hanna to release to the public her business records, including bank account deposits and expenditures made at Great Lakes Credit Union, for the Black Student’s Parent Organization showing sources and use of funds that include taxpayer monies. 

The Illinois Attorney’s Office has been provided this information and has been asked to open an investigation of potential wrongdoing by an elected official.

Tom Morris, General Counsel, is also Ethics Officer for WPS60. In the interest of the public trust, Morris needs to determine if there were acts of civil or criminal wrongdoing by Hanna and should immediately commence investigating these matters. Morris must insure impartiality. In the event that he determines a conflict of interest, he should recuse himself and seek resources in City of Waukegan government who can be independent and impartial.

During these investigation, Hanna should be suspended from

making any financial decisions or rendering any votes for WPS60

funds.

-30-
EUREKA!!

NEWS FLASH: WAUKEGAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS  DISTRICT 60 SUPERINTENDENT DONALDO BATISTE DISCOVERS AVAILABLE FUNDS IN THE BUDGET!!




Considering the recurring protestations by hired gun Anthony Ficarelli that WPS only has 5 months reserves and not really a surplus we were surprised to learn today that Board members and Batiste are playing dress-up and enjoying rubber chicken dinners....

and you guessed it, fully funded by your taxpayer dollars.

Why a public school Board would need to make payments for attending dinners at charitable events is mind boggling. To boot, the charities or noble causes consistently look to WPS60 as Daddy Warbucks.

We just received this FOIA response regarding the practice of purchasing tables at these events.

Read it to yourself....

Donaldo and Anita, why not enjoy free meals at taxpayer expense while WPS60 students, who rely upon hot meals served in schools are used as your pawns in collective bargaining negotiations?

Careful, don't drip the gravy on your clothes!
WE ARE BLOGGERS PROUD OF OUR WORK & CONTENT

We report facts based upon written evidence.

The good residents of Waukegan have not paid us even one penny, nor have we solicited compensation, to investigate improprieties by elected officials and government workers. We are not predator interlopers who have their hand on the cash register with every utterance or mercenary act. We are not native to your City. We do plead guilty to having an acute allergy to corruption. We appreciate your thanks and gratitude.


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    a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.

Nuff, said.

Now, on to business and a teachable moment.....


THE ILLINOIS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT protects 13 Million residents from corrupt government. It was promulgated by the Illinois Legislature and signed into law by the Illinois Governor

A MESSAGE FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, Lisa Madigan

Open and honest government is the cornerstone of American democracy, and it can only be achieved through the free exchange of information between the government and its citizens.

The Office of the Attorney General is committed to supporting and enforcing the principle of open government embodied in two important laws: The Freedom of Information
Act (5 ILCS 140) and the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120). Both are critical tools in shining light on government action, and ultimately strengthening our democracy.

As Attorney General, I feel so strongly about the role these Acts play in our government, that, for the first time in Illinois history, I have established the position of Public Access
Counselor within my office. The Public Access Counselor will take an active role in assuring that public bodies understand the requirements of the laws and conduct their business openly and that the public has access to the governmental information to which they are entitled.

The Freedom of Information Act is a pro-disclosure law embedded in the fundamental principle that citizens have a right to access public documents of their government, while
balancing the government necessary ability to conduct the business of the people.

The purpose of this Guide to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act is intended to be a helpful contribution in ensuring open and honest government in every corner of Illinois. The Office of the Attorney General is pleased to offer this revised guide to foster accountability of government to its citizens, which is the bedrock of a democratic society.

Corruption Busters applies professional investigative standards to obtaining written documentation, including but not limited to, letters, emails, faxes, communications, financial records, employee records, etc. under the protection of the Freedom of Information Act. Only written documentation may be provided by the responding agency; not hearsay, telephone conversations (unless recorded) or conjecture. 

No person is fully objective, hence the freedom to express one's perspective and subjective opinions are protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

We report on the veracity of the documents, rarely interjecting our editorial prerogative (unlike other traditional print publications or broadcast TV networks) unless illustrating a point that is not readily apparent to the reader or where clarity is needed to understand the information provided on the face of the documents.

We do not charge subscribers a fee; you are welcome not to read our blog. We have interested followers all across the US who are interested in eliminating corruption, sole source deals and the few elected and cronies who are in the game for personal gain. We appreciate their feedback and support.

Monday, October 27, 2014

FICARELLI JOINS A LONG LIST OF PIRATES AND PREDATORS WHO HAVE FOUND A MONEY GRAB SCHEME TO ENJOY PERSONAL GAIN BY BLEEDING THE TAXPAYERS WITH EGREGIOUS HOURLY FEES AND MURKY CONTRACTS

 
Chicago Public Schools spends millions of dollars on outside legal fees to politically connected law firms while laying off nearly 850 employees after closing 28 schools last week with more to follow.

According to FOIAs issued by Corruption Busters to CPS, over $2 Million was spent in just 8 months from October 2012 to May 2013.


Read the full story here....

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A LESSON IN ARITHMETIC FOR BATISTE & LAMPING AT WAUKEGAN DISTRICT 60

OK, from the tenor of your official communiques released to the media and the whispering in your ears by Ficarelli, we are fully aware of your posture and strategy to bust the Teacher's union.

The District's Disingenous Plan to resume food service dated 10/26/2014 by simply removing the picket lines from 6 schools for only two hours is simply wishful thinking. First a finger, then a whole hand. Nada. No deal.

Donaldo, we have a wonderful book that we suggest you read, Pinocchio that is about a wooden boy who yearns to become a real person. There is only one caveat. For each lie he tells, his nose grows. At this point, the tip of your nose is extending from Waukegan to the outskirts of New Orleans. Should we send a copy to your office or your residence?

Let's deal with a more tangible issue. According to ISBE there is a requirement to provide a calendar of 185 days, with a minimum of 176 school days. This is crucial to WPS60 as federal and state aid are provided based upon meeting that mandate. These conditions must be met on or before June 30, 2015.

Donaldo and Mary. Your dilatory tactics will soon backfire on you. You are getting close to reaching an immovable barrier. To date, there have been 29 days against the 185. That leaves 156 days to prevent the unrecoverable loss of sorely needed funding that you accounted for in your budget.

Count backwards from June 30 to all available days to squeeze in the 156. This is a word problem so be sure to show your work. Every day that you continue your obstinate behaviour counts against you. 

Look in the mirror. This requires no negotiation on the Union's behalf. This a simply a lesson from the Romans who employed a highly successful siege strategy to create an empire.

The clock is ticking.
IN THIS AGE OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND MANDATORY COMPLIANCE WITH SECURING HEATHCARE FOR ALL AMERICANS, WAUKEGAN DISTRICT 60 MALICIOUSLY CUTS OFF COVERAGE FOR TEACHERS & THEIR FAMILIES AS A TACTIC INSTIGATED BY ANTHONY FICARELLI

We propose that workers deprived of coverage admininstered under medical care self-insurance by WPS Trustees contemplate filing a class action lawsuit for reckless endangerment. 

Surely, jeopardizing critical medical care for folks suffering from cancer, autoimmune diseases and other life-threatening maladies increases additional stress and personal financial burden through this unilateral and malicious act. 

The named defendants facing personal liability would include all seven irresponsible elected officials on the WPS60 school board, Batiste and Lamping.  There is no defense for municipal tort immunity as these actions far exceed their authority for stewardship of the district.

Losing this suit will result in judgments being placed against their personal assets and wages. A quid pro quo that they certainly don't expect. Another instance of abusing the public trust. Direct consequences for their action and an experience that they have foisted upon teachers. "I have the power" pronunciations by Board members deserves immediate response by Waukegan residents.

Certainly there are qualified attorneys within the Waukegan community who would take on this legal representation on a Pro Bono basis. Step forward and show your indignation for action that is unwarranted. The sole purpose was to break the union and is unprecedented in collective bargaining history.
SLOPPY SECONDS
MARY LAMPING FAILS TO EXERCISE DUE DILIGENCE IN RECRUITING ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF TO WPS60




There is an old adage that the "Fish Stinks from the Head." Seems that this is the continuing legacy for cronyism hiring in Waukegan. 

Recent comments published in print media across the US vilify the policy of tenure as a means of protecting under-performing teachers. We take no position here but agree that across every profession and industry there are folks who come to the job and give their 100% while others are there solely for the paycheck. Such is human nature.

Today, let us focus our attention on Mary Lamping's professional judgment. Mary has demonstrated proficiency at managing her cell phone, even while present at public Board of Education meetings. Certainly, Mary is familiar with Google. While keeping a neutral position on the veracity of information obtained from Internet searches, there are also means to check resumes, work history, criminal records, etc. prior to making the hire decision.

Mary, Mary, you failed to properly vet Teresa K. Anderson prior to approving her employment at WPS60. She was hired on July 1, 2013 at $126,932 to head up Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

Try this in your search engine "Teresa Anderson CPS" The very first item is 

Did CPS let building go to pot before ‘turnaround’?


This preliminary search reveals her previous employment at Herzl School located in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago where she served as Principal. If you had checked with former teachers or the Local School Council you would have learned that there were numerous grievances filed against her. To boot, she ultimately received the boot when the Chicago School Board gave her the boot in the turnaround. 

Here are pictures of the deplorable work conditions suffered by both students and teachers at Herzl in Chicago. 











We had a direct family member employed at Herzl and were updated almost daily on the deplorable work conditions, including asbestos, environmental and health threats.

Corruption Busters provided a study for presentation to the CPS board that detailed numerous building violations registered with the Bldg. Inspection Department, City of Chicago. Staff members captured these pics in the spring of 2012. The school was originally built in 1908! As an aside, CPS used $9 Million in turnaround money granted from ISBE by way of Arne Duncan to install air conditioning and renovate the building for politically connected, AUSL, a private charter school management company.  

Anderson next ended up at CPS School, Bennett Shedd, for 1 year (2012-2013), again leaving a legacy of bullying and mistreatment of staff prior to being welcomed with open arms by Lamping.

The repetitive pattern of grievances and complaint regarding her school management suggests that Lamping should accompany Anderson at charm school to learn basic manners and temper their arrogant and disrespectful behaviour. 

Mary, it is our understanding that you directly handle all district grievances confirmed by Tom Morris via FOIA received two day ago "Dr. Lamping has been chiefly involved in the management of grievance files for some time". 

It would be very disappointing to learn that you are burying this information to protect your crony. Perhaps this would be a good time to commence an independent audit?

Is Anderson related to Lamping or Batiste? We have no information to affirm or deny that fact. Were there no other qualified candidates with glowing recommendations that would enhance the image of WPS60 as a great destination to establish a career in education? Is Lamping running a home for the wayward? 

Anderson's leadership as school principal is akin to Patton through Germany. 81% of the staff at Jefferson signed a petition to remove Anderson for bullying and intimidating teachers. To date, you have failed to act. Go check your contractual duties. You have an obligation to provide a safe school environment for both students and teachers. 

Shame on You!

"A New Day, A New Way...Children First." 

Blarney!

Good citizens of Waukegan...are you content with again getting sloppy seconds? Send a wake-up call to Lamping that you are "mad, and not going to take it!"



Saturday, October 25, 2014

ANITA HANNA JUST SIGNED 1,200 PAYCHECKS TO WAUKEGAN DIST. 60 TEACHERS ONE WEEK EARLY JUST TO SCREW WITH EVERYONE'S THINKING

In a strategic move that fully disorient prudent and sane good business practices, Hanna spent 48 cents postage per check, wasted envelopes and to boot, made the payments dated Oct. 24, 2014 instead of waiting for the end of the pay period at the month's end.

Teachers, don't be alarmed. This is not a trick. They are paying you money that is coming to you for professional services rendered. You may have noticed that the amount paid is higher than usual. This is due to their not deducting insurance from this payment.

We strongly encourage recipients of Hanna's largess to dispatch a warm thank you note to her attention. She will be pleased to hear from you.

We are also curious to learn if the Administrators also received a gift from Hanna. Did you also get Christmas early this month? Please feel free to drop us a line at corruptionbusters24x7x365@gmail.com

FOR A DISTRICT CLAIMING PAUCITY OF FUNDS TO COMPENSATE TEACHERS, THE BOARD CONTINUES ON A PATH OF FAILING TO PROTECT TAXPAYER ASSETS!
UPDATED NEWS
CLICK HERE FOR THE PRESS RELEASE

TUNE IN FOR MAJOR PRESS RELEASE SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2014 AT 7:00 PM CDT REGARDING ANITA HANNA, PRESIDENT OF WAUKEGAN DISTRICT 60.



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.

UPDATE ON VICTORIA TORRES

BREAKING NEWS FROM CBS2 CHICAGO

Waukegan Mayor Wants School Board Member To Resign After Telling Parents To ‘Shut Up’


Click on this link for the full story




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