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Archive → May 24th, 2016

Illinois Public Employees Costs Taxpayers $8 Billion

‘Minimum Wage’ Of $100,000+ For 50,000 Highly-Compensated Illinois Public Employees Costs Taxpayers $8 Billion

In Illinois, and many states, public service has little to do with serving the public and everything to do with using the public’s money to serve politicians. Whenever we open the books, Illinois is consistently among the worst offenders. Recently we found Cook County animal control officers making $105,000; suburban school administrators at $503,000; university doctors earning $1.3 million; and 72 small-town ‘managers’ out-earning every governor of the 50 states.

This week, Governor Bruce Rauner (R) told the state public employee union AFSME, “Illinois is broke.” Our data and analysis at OpenTheBooks.com shows he’s right. There are 50,000 public employees earning six-figure salaries who cost Illinois taxpayers $8 billion a year.

Using our interactive mapping tool, you can quickly review the public employees across Illinois who earn more than $100,000.





Here are a few examples of what you’ll uncover by zip code:

  • 18,900 teachers and school administrators – including $503,200 for Mohsin Dada, an administrator at North Shore School District 112 who earned $248,510 salary, plus a teacher’s retirement pension of $254,700 (ZIP – 60035).
  • 9,000 college and university employees – including Dr. Fady Toufic Charbel at the University of Illinois at Chicago who earned $1.38 million (ZIP – 60601).
  • 8,838 State of Illinois employees – including Steven Valasek, a $218,519 ‘contractual worker’ employed by Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger (R) (ZIP – 62704).
  • 5,122 small-town city and village employees – including 72 municipal managers who out-earn every governor of the 50 states at $180,000 per year.
  • 5,007 City of Chicago rank-and-file managers and workers – including $216,000 for embattled Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D).

In total, there’s roughly $9.3 billion in total compensation flowing to highly-compensated government workers when counting 7,637 federal employees based in Illinois with six-figure salaries.

So, who are the biggest culprits in conferring six-figure salaries? We ranked the fourteen largest public pay and pension systems in Illinois:


The stories of taxpayer abuse seem endless.

Ex-lawmakers are double dipping the system. Former state representative Roger Eddy now makes $322,200 – that’s $291,725 as Executive Director of Illinois Association of School Boards and $30,500 from his lawmaker’s pension (ZIP – 62703). Then there’s former governor Jim Edgar (R) who took $2.25 million in salary from the University of Illinois between 2000-2013 while also receiving more than $2 million in pension from a two-term stint as governor.

Suburban schools are spiking salaries, which only encourages others to salary-spike. For example, there are 1,170 educators with $100,000+ salaries in just two of 900 school districts: Township High School District 214 and Palatine Township High School 211. Of course, this incentivizes the Chicago Teacher’s Union to strike for even higher salaries (1,100 six-figure salaries).

County bosses are getting in on the action. In just three of the 102 counties (DuPage, Lake and Will), 707 employees earned $100,000+ last year. Lake won top honors with 265 employees in six-figures. In DuPage, the ‘Chief of Staff’ to Chairman Dan Cronin (R) made $201,599.

Even ‘water district’ employees are into the taxpayer largess with nearly 1,000 employees making $100,000+. Across Illinois, 326 highly compensated ‘park district’ employees make over $100,000. Then there’s the powerful Illinois Municipal League (IML) with seven employees picking up $1.2 million. IML hasn’t filed an IRS income tax return since 1979.

Top cop, Attorney General Lisa Madigan has 829 employees on staff, but can’t seem to find public corruption anywhere. On her own staff, Madigan designs ‘golden parachutes’ for key hires:

Ronald Yawger was the Chicago Police (CPD) investigator who “missed” key evidence linking a then-Mayor Richard J. Daley nephew to the punch that killed young David Koschman outside a city bar. In 2007, Yawger retired at CPD – but was immediately rehired by Lisa Madigan as a Special Investigator. Since 2008, Yawger’s pay spiked from $53,195 to $119,745 (2013). Including his $77,000 CPD pension, Yawger now out-earns every employee in the Attorney General’s office.

Source: Will County News


PEORIA — Two months after Donald Trump surprised many observers by handily winning the Illinois Republican primary, the Illinois Republican Party enthusiastically embraced him as their candidate.

Meeting at its annual convention here, a long line of Republican party officials and office-holders pledged to get behind presumptive GOP nominee Trump.

Even Gov. Bruce Rauner, who had said he would not endorse Trump and will not attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, tacitly urged the nearly 1,000 state delegates to support Trump.

“Now is the time to come together, now is the time to unite, up and down the ticket,” Rauner told the convention. “What we can’t do is let Hillary Clinton get in the White House. No way Hillary Clinton is getting elected.”

Rauner never mentioned Trump’s name, but he was an exception among most of the elected officials and party officers who spoke Saturday.

The big question heading toward November for Illinois Republicans has been whether having Trump atop the ticket will hurt Republican candidates or help them. Presidential election years tend to drive Democratic turnout in Illinois.

But Trump has disproven all conventional political wisdom since announcing his candidacy last June. By that standard, his presence could motivate Illinois Republicans to get to the polls.

“I think it’s going to be good for Illinois Republicans. We’ve got a gentleman at the top of the ticket who’s brought enormous numbers of people out in the primaries. We’re seeing the energy,” said Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. “We’ve never had a state convention as big as this one. People are united behind Republicans up and down the ticket  and I think it’s going to benefit everybody. I think Democrats in Illinois have an awakening coming here in November.”

Source: Will County News

Orland Park Public Library Subject of New Book About Censorship

Orland Park Public Library Subject of New Book About Censorship –

May 22, 2016   ·  


A new book called SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment by Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan debuts later this month, recounting how the Village of Orland Park, the Orland Park Police, and Orland Park Public Library staff and trustees engaged in acts of censorship, harassment, and intimidation to frighten away and silence critics of the Library (who had discovered that Library staff looked the other way and allowed sex crimes to happen and even child porn to be accessed for years without calling the police).

We covered this story in great detail over the last few years and are looking forward to reading Fox & DuJan’s full account of everything that transpired. Repeatedly, we watched media outlets like The Chicago Tribune, The Orland Park Prairie, the Daily Southtown, the Orland Patch, and Crain’s Chicago Business refuse to accurately report on bad things happening in the Orland Park Public Library. It became clear that most reporters didn’t want to write a negative story about a public library or library board of trustees. So, they either willfully ignored the sex crimes happening in that library or they bent over backward trying to carry water for the OPPL by omitting anything that made the Library look bad.

That reluctance on the part of media outlets to report on law-breaking and wrongdoing going on in a public library creates an environment where unscrupulous individuals looking to take advantage of taxpayers believe they will never be held accountable for anything they do while on a public library board…since reporters are unwilling to ever expose their law-breaking. Who wants to write a story where a public library is the villain? Reporters avoided the truth like the plague when it came to the Orland Park Public Library. This makes us wonder how many library board members in our state have been getting away with things for years that school board members or village board members would never be able to get away with, since reporters are not reluctant to ever report on school boards or village boards the way they seem to deliberately not report on wrongdoing by library boards.

Fox & DuJan were threatened, harassed, bullied, intimidated, censored, and had the Library and Village abuse police resources as weapons against them. On top of that, Library Trustee Diane Jennings encouraged former OPPL spokesman Bridget Bittman to file a SLAPP lawsuit against them in federal court to shut them up and scare them away. Fox & DuJan prevailed in that lawsuit against Bittman, who claims on social media that she destroyed herself financially and is now in deep debt as a result of her filing that SLAPP. In addition to Jennings, American Library Association members encouraged and promoted Bittman’s SLAPP lawsuit and egged Bittman on. Her results in federal court are also a major loss for the ALA’s credibility, as all library employees should think twice about listening to the ALA when it comes to being able to censor and silence critics like Bittman tried to do.

SHUT UP! appears to be a book with everything: unreported crimes happening in public libraries, trustees caught stealing gold and shamelessly breaking the law, violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act and FOIA statute, police harassment, public employees abusing taxpayer resources to silence and censor the public, and the profound hypocrisy of a public library board claiming that it supports the First Amendment…while ironically using every weapon it could think of (including the police!) to chill free speech and shut up its critics.

The Edgar County Watchdogs make appearances in the book, as we personally traveled to Orland Park on a few occasions and witnessed first hand the abuses of the Orland Park Public Library and its Board of Trustees (the OPPL-BoT). We confronted this out of control board and in one memorable exchange Diane Jennings shouted foul expletives at us. The OPPL-BoT ended up being one of the worst-behaved and most vicious boards of trustees we ever encountered. No one could have ever dreamed that a public library board — of all things — could do the things that it did to these people. It was incredible.

We are watching closely to see if the Orland Park Public Library, and other libraries in our state, censor this new book by Fox & DuJan by refusing to carry it on their shelves. Every year in the fall, the American Library Association promotes a “Banned Books Week” where the ALA claims that certain books are “banned” and “censored” because libraries choose not to carry them. By this logic, any public library that chooses not to carry Fox & DuJan’s SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment is thus guilty of censoring and banning this important book (which appears to be the very first book ever written exposing unreported crimes and acts of censorship in public libraries that chill free speech and stomp out criticism using police and SLAPPs as weapons against critics).

Will the Orland Park Public Library have the intellectual integrity to carry on its shelves a book that is all about the Orland Park Public Library and the bad things that have happened there through the years? Or will the OPPL ban and censor Fox & DuJan’s SHUT UP! book?

We will be watching to find out, as the book is published later this month. Expect our review in coming weeks.

Source: Will County News

Pope Francis Likens Jesus to ISIS, Says Muslims Must Breed With Europeans

Pope Francis Likens Jesus to ISIS, Says Muslims Must Breed With Europeans

Source: Will County News