chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

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Annelie
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chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by Annelie » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:13 am

http://www.newsweek.com/id/188619/?gt1=43002
For most of the last decade, the rate of mortgage foreclosure cases in the Chicago metropolitan area has been relatively stable. But in 2006 the numbers began to spike—from 13,000 filings in 1999 to an estimated 43,000 in 2008, according to statistics from Cook County, which includes Chicago and its suburbs and is the country's second largest county, with 5 million residents. As the crisis grew around him, Thomas Dart, Cook County's sheriff, says he began to notice that more and more of those being evicted were caught completely by surprise—many had not been notified of court proceedings, as the law requires. In some cases, the residents were renters and unaware that their landlords had stopped paying the mortgage. In October, Dart made a controversial decision—and national headlines—when he refused to perform any more foreclosure evictions. His plan, a countywide moratorium until new rules and safeguards could be put into place, drew criticism from the state's banks. "The Illinois banking industry is working hard to help troubled homeowners in many ways, but Sheriff Dart's declaration of 'martial law' should not be tolerated," the Illinois Bankers Association said at the time. Dart, the banks and court officials reached a compromise later that same month. But according to the sheriff, it's a tenuous agreement at best. Dart, 46, spoke with NEWSWEEK's Nick Summers about the eviction process, being branded a vigilante and why he's unwilling to put some people out onto the streets. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: What actually occurs during a typical eviction?
Thomas Dart: It's hard to explain; that's why I always encourage people to come out with me. Until you're physically out there, you can't really get the magnitude of what you're actually up to. It sounds like it's an antiseptic process, and it's anything but that. In the majority of the homes I was going into, there were always little kids around—I mean, really young kids, and we're taking them and putting them out on the street. A lot of them were seniors, and a lot of them had issues with dementia. Once again—we're taking them out to the street … Most of these neighborhoods are not good neighborhoods. Once [their belongings are] out on the street, we leave. While they're off looking for transportation, the few things they own are being stolen.

I tried to work arrangements with landlords and mortgage holders to get me more information as far as who was in there, so I could try to get social services to them and somewhat mitigate this. And I had no luck.

When did you begin to think there was something wrong with the system?
I can't emphasize enough how stunned people are. [Imagine] if you and your family are sitting in your house, watching TV on a Thursday night, and all of a sudden you hear a knock on the door. You go to answer it, thinking it's a neighbor, and instead it's me and six people in black suits and a battering ram telling you to get out of your house. It was that type of response I was getting at the door.

I got a bunch of stories. One in particular hit all the buttons. We went in, and standing in front of me is a young man, probably early 30s; he's holding two 6-month-olds in his hands, in their diapers, both of them have colds; he's got a 5-year-old, and an 11-year-old with his wife. And we're there to throw him out.

He pulls out a lease he'd signed, which was all valid and notarized. The lease was entered into after the foreclosure had occurred—the case had gone through the courts, but this landlord was such a rotten person he kept renting the place out. If not for the steps we'd put in place, this guy was out in the street with these little kids.

This kind of thing was happening a lot?
I can give you a hundred anecdotes. Whereas these things used to pop up once in a blue moon, this was happening all the time. The number of places we went to where people had no idea; where the occupants were not the right people; where [the banks had] given us the wrong location—they sent us once to evict someone from a vacant lot, where the house had burned down two years before. It is numbers, situations and scenarios that we had never seen

What kind of reaction did you get, both from regular people and from other law-enforcement officials, when you decided to no longer perform evictions?
From regular people, I've never seen such an outpouring of gratitude. Which was really surprising to me, because in all honesty, this wasn't something where you had an alternative. This was so clearly wrong … seriously, this wasn't a close call. You just can't do this. From other law-enforcement people, it's been a mixed bag.

The Illinois Bankers Association accused you of "vigilantism."
I'm an attorney. I don't consider myself a constitutional scholar, but I did my work. They were calling me a vigilante because of cavalierly, in their mind, ignoring court orders. What I explained to them, and felt very strongly about, is that the one [constitutional] right that doesn't have a lot of disagreement over it is due process. People argue over guns and abortion, but they don't argue when it comes to due process. At a bare minimum, before you take someone's person or property, they get some type of notice. And it was so abundantly clear that we were taking most people's largest investment in their life without [anyone having told] them. [My critics] came out real aggressive right away; somebody filed a lawsuit, tried to hold me in contempt; they tried to take my law license. Now it's died down somewhat.

You testified before Congress on this topic in November. What was your goal?
To try to put a face on it. I was surrounded by people who were clearly experts in their field, but I was the only one there who was able to put a real face on what was happening out there, as opposed to what people are seeing on their ledgers and on the books. I could have gone on for hours with stories.


I think it had a real impact. I'm a former legislator, I'm not naive, but the senators I talked to, and a load of congressmen as well, all were very interested about what's going on in the street. Because the whole world is so removed from that. I was able to tell them, "No, no, here's what's really happening. The chaos you're talking about in the banking industry, I'm experiencing that same chaos in the street, and it's chaos that no one has ever seen before."

What's the current state of foreclosure evictions in Cook County?
I agreed to lift the moratorium when the court agreed to put together some safeguards to prevent these abuses from going on. A lot of people said, "OK, you're back in business." That couldn't be further from the truth. Since the moratorium supposedly ended with the agreement with the judges, I've had over 500 requests to conduct evictions, and I've only done 35, 36 of them. The safeguards we got put in place aren't retroactive; it is going to take us a year to shake out. Now, we're pretty much still at a standstill. We're not going ahead with [eviction requests] unless they're right, and most of them are not right.

This is the kind of issue you could run for higher office on. You also got a lot of attention last week, suing Craigslist on prostitution grounds. Have you thought about it?
It's funny, because it's a very valid question, because of the way the political world is. But I haven't really given it much thought. I tremendously enjoy what I'm doing, and we have so many more things we're working on here. We just have a real ambitious agenda


He clearly realizes something is wrong is is willing to try and help the situation.... :up:
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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by phylo_roadking » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:52 am

He's not the first - just the first to reach the mainstream media. The BBC picked up on a couple of Sherriff's Departments across the country that were refusing to work with bailiffs on evictions across the country in the two months running upo to last November's election.
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds

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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by Annelie » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:07 am

He's not the first - just the first to reach the mainstream media
Good to hear. Hope the meadia start picking them all up.

This may eventually lead to something be done about this awful occurrence.
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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by John W. Howard » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:29 pm

Hello Annelie:
It is a pretty awful thing and exactly as described. The other side of the issue is that many, when informed officially of eviction, will deliberately do as much damage to the property as possible before leaving, and the more advanced notice they get, the more damage they do. If both sides of the issue would behave themselves and act like adults and human beings, many of the problems could be avoided. Best wishes.
John W. Howard

Paddy Keating

Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by Paddy Keating » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:29 am

Haunting...

Paddy Keating

Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by Paddy Keating » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:00 am

He's an interesting man.

http://www.cookcountysheriff.org/sherif ... f_bio.html
Sheriff Thomas J. Dart

Home > Office of The Sheriff > Sheriffs Biography
Sworn in as Sheriff of Cook County in December of 2006, Tom Dart has a diverse and accomplished background in government and law enforcement. He has frequently been mentioned as a rising star in Illinois politics, and the Chicago Tribune recently referred to him as a “savvy and energetic political force with a reformist’s bent, (who has) led efforts to bring about long-needed criminal and juvenile justice reforms.”

Dart began his career in public service as an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, where he prosecuted hundreds of felony crimes during his five years with the office. As part of his duties he was assigned to prosecute crimes in the South Suburbs, where he helped initiate a massive investigation of corruption in the town of Ford Height’s Police Department, leading to the indictment of the chief and several of the towns police officers. Coincidentally in 2008, Sheriff Dart’s took over police protection in Ford Heights because of ongoing problems with the town’s police department.

By 1991, Dart had moved to the Illinois General Assembly when he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the State Senate. The next year, he ran for elected office for the first time and won a seat in the Illinois House, representing a diverse district on Chicago’s South Side that included communities like Roseland, Pullman, Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood, Calumet Park, and portions of Blue Island.

In Springfield, Dart quickly developed a reputation as a reform minded legislator who was willing to take on the state bureaucracy. He served as chief sponsor of more than a dozen new child welfare laws that helped restructure the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. And, as an indication of things to come, Dart turned his attention to matters related to law enforcement. As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he sponsored Mayor Daley’s Safe Neighborhood Act and authored several state laws designed to crackdown on child sex offenders, including a statute that targeted child predators who use the Internet to lure young victims. He also wrote the Sexually Violent Predators Commitment Act, a groundbreaking law that enable judges to deny freedom to sexual predators and detain them in state mental health facilities if they were deemed likely to commit new sex crimes after being released from prison.

As Co-Chairman of the House Prison Oversight Committee, he held a series of bi-partisan, investigative hearings that revealed Chicago street gangs had established undo influence over the administration of several state prisons. The hearings inspired a number of policy changes at the Illinois Department of Corrections and helped develop new management accountability standards for state detention facilities.

Dart received dozens of honors for his work in the legislature, including the Illinois State Bar Association’s President’s Commendation and “Legislator of the Year Awards” from several groups, including the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois State Crime Commission, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Chicago Sun Times columnist Steve Neal referred to Dart as an “impact player” during his decade of service in the Illinois House.

Dart left the legislature in 2003 after an unsuccessful campaign for Illinois State Treasurer and was appointed to serve as Chief of Staff Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan. In 2006 Dart was elected to a four-year term as the new Sheriff of Cook County after Sheahan retired.

As Sheriff, Dart has enacted a variety of new policy initiatives. Among the many changes are an institution of psychological testing for entry level recruits, installing new technology in the Cook County Jail and court facilities throughout Cook County, and the creation of a weapons free committee to target the widespread use of homemade knives and shanks in the jail.

Under Dart’s directive, the Sheriff’s Police have initiated a variety of stings, crackdowns, and investigations of criminal activity. He has been in the forefront in breaking up dog fighting rings and presided over the arrests of prostitution rings that use the internet as their advertising arm.

Dart holds a J.D. from Loyola University and a Bachelor’s Degree in History and General Social Studies from Providence College. He and his wife Patricia reside in Chicago and are the proud parents of four children.
"The Illinois banking industry is working hard to help troubled homeowners in many ways, but Sheriff Dart's declaration of 'martial law' should not be tolerated," the Illinois Bankers Association said at the time. Dart, the banks and court officials reached a compromise later that same month.
Not only should Dart's initiative in declaring martial law to protect the community from these carpetbagging scum be applauded but we should hope for good serious vigilante justice, frontier-style, with posses dragging bankers from their homes and hanging them from the nearest trees. That might convince government that the people do not appreciate their tax dollars being handed to these criminal swine as part of bailout packages.

PK

Annelie
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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by Annelie » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:23 am

Yes, an interesting man.
We need a few more of his kind around..

John, yes, I know there is the other side of the issue, there always is.
But, its the decent law abiding people that need a little respect and help in these situations.
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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by phylo_roadking » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:57 pm

but we should hope for good serious vigilante justice, frontier-style, with posses dragging bankers from their homes and hanging them from the nearest trees.
Unfortunately - the U.S. Government is well-prepared for that...
That might convince government that the people do not appreciate their tax dollars being handed to these criminal swine as part of bailout packages
It might convince them to do something - but not necessarily to solve the financial problem...

Army Times 30th october, 2008...
The 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battlerattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they're training for the same mission, with a twist - at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of the U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrosirst attacks...

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one...

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control..."
For those not in the know, in April 2002 the DoD implemented a plan for domestic U.S. military operations by creating a new US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) for the continental USA. This would be the Army element of the Continuity Of Government (COG) planning conducted by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney during the 1980s and 1990s, which expressed its military requirement in Army Regulation AR 500-3 for the "execution of mission-essential functions without unacceptable interruption during a national security or domestic emergency."

While this COULD of course just by conspiracy theory...it was THIS COG plan that was put into effect on 9/11 :wink: Meanwhile, closer to today's events - Phoenix Business Journal, 15 December 2008...
A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unreat, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.
"Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security," said the War College report.
The study says economice collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S."
...and those who kept a VERY close eye and ear on recent events will of course have noticed that the potential for civil disorder and subsequent martial law was one of pressures brought to bear on Congress during the first debates on the financial bail-out legislation last September.... :wink:

A revolting and violent U.S. citizenry could find THEY were very quickly regarded as "the problem", rather than the original financial mismanagement and criminality... :shock:
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds

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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by statemachine » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:51 pm

Some show trials would be good.
An unbreakable man

phylo_roadking
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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by phylo_roadking » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:16 pm

They just had one. The only problem was....its lack of "show " :?
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds

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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by kanzel » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:27 pm

Eviction under those conditions is terrible. But how about the 82 year old widow who was thrown out of the USA.
No, not an illegal alien, those get priviledges. This widow's crime was being a, GASP!, dog handler!

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1 ... 34,00.html

phylo_roadking
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Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by phylo_roadking » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:42 pm

Well, not just ANY doghandler...
But now she's been deported for lying about her job as a dog handler at the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbrück.
And that deportation was three years ago. Which means - to return to the subject of this thread - she probably got a decent price for her San Francisco apartment (if they owned and not rented) BEFORE the property market went belly-up....
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds

Paddy Keating

Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by Paddy Keating » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:36 pm

Someone had to do it.

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Re: chicago Sheriff.....a decent person for renters

Post by Opa » Fri May 29, 2009 6:00 pm

I like his stance on evictions of innocent people (renters), but then wonder why he's wasting taxpayers money on persecuting consenting adults ('Prostitution" for Puritans). Perhaps he has to appease the moronic rightwingers somehow to protect renters (in which case I can at least understand his motives), or he thinks he's doing something "moral" through his crusading witchhunts, then I don't. This would not detract from his social conscience in evictions, yet show that no one is good or bad, but that have both in our hearts.
Honny soit qui mal y pense!

Paddy Keating

Re: chicago Sheriff.....I think a decent person

Post by Paddy Keating » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:32 am

Thought-provoking points from Opa there...

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