Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Friday, May 22, 2009

Micromanaging the CPRC and more mailers

"My life would be easier if she[Kathleen Savio] were just dead."

---allegedly said by former Bolingbrook Police Department Sgt. Drew Peterson to another police officer, three weeks before the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, according to prosecutors.

The intensive micromanagement of Riverside's Community Police Review Commission again made the Press Enterprise,which commented on the increasing tension both within the board and between the board and the community. This article is one of the strongest done by the publication to date and it brings the saga of what once was a form of civilian oversight in the city up to date. It points out that the investigative practices done by other civilian oversight mechanisms is more "varied" than the portrait carefully and selectively painted by the city. It also points out accurately that Chief Russ Leach made statements in the public record in 2002 that he believed that the CPRC should begin its investigations when it wants. But was that before or after he became Councilman Frank Schiavone's housemate? If Leach had refused to go along with the program about micromanaging the CPRC performing on cue verbally when asked to step up on stage (yet showing curious body language while off-stage including agreeing with CPRC supporters), would he have been evicted by his "landlord"? Because Leach has been all over the place when it comes to expressing his views to different individuals in different issues just on this one particular issue.

This thorny situation and all the natural perceptions of conflict of interest that accompany it are reasons why in most cities across the country, elected officials, their direct employees and department heads including of law enforcement agencies keep separate addresses.

Not River City of course.

Like it or not, a situation like that raises all kinds of questions including issues arising both out of City Hall and the police department, which is heavily rumored to be micromanaged by City Hall. Ask anyone who they believe is running it including inside either, you'll get a pause and then any one of a bunch of different answers including that they've never met or even seen the police chief who only seems to appear at public meetings that the city manager's office or city council needs him to perform at including those involving the latest round of micromanagement of the CPRC. That's a shame because for the first five years or so, Leach was an intelligent, innovative and very committed leader of a department improving itself, but those days are clearly behind him even though he's technically on contract until 2013. That's just three years after the dissolution of the city's consent decree with the State Attorney General's office.

Some experts on the issue of civilian review comment and as it turned out the Press Enterprise did its own little survey of accepted practices. They found that different cities and counties engaged in different practices, which didn't surprise me or anyone else that didn't tailor their study towards a particular end like the city apparently did. Requests for copies of similar studies done by CPRC Manager Kevin Rogan and Police Sgt. Jaybee Brennen have gone unanswered by the city. Do written copies of their research projects exist? That's an interesting question. They certainly haven't been made available to the public.


Peter Bibring, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, has said the city's report on the practices of other police review entities is misleading.

"This report paints a picture of civilian oversight bodies as being passive and deferential until the police investigation is completed and that is simply not the case," he said.

Calls to other police review bodies in the state revealed a variety of practices.

Francine Tournour, director of the Office of Public Safety Accountability in Sacramento, said she is immediately notified of officer-involved deaths. She goes to the scene and gets briefed by investigators. She gets to observe interviews with officers and eyewitnesses. If she has questions, she can submit them to interrogators during a break.

Carol Trujillo, executive officer of the Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board in San Diego County, said the 11-member board does not investigate a case until after the police and district attorney have completed their reviews.

Last month, the Riverside City Council agreed 5-2 that the commission should wait to investigate officer-involved deaths until the police wrap up their investigation.

Councilman Frank Schiavone was the most vocal proponent.

"This is not a crime scene investigation," he said of the commission's role. "This is police review."

Councilman Mike Gardner, a former commissioner, voted against the change.

"If it's not broken, don't fix it," he said in an interview.

It's too bad Gardner's the only one who sees the obvious but then he's the elected official who served on the CPRC including three years as its chair. And he's probably the only one on the dais who was willing to challenge Schiavone's attempts to micromanage the CPRC first at the subcommittee level and then at the city council level. Although to give credit where credit is due, his colleague Councilman Andrew Melendrez challenged Schiavone and Councilman Steve Adams when they tried to push policy changes on investigative protocol on one of the city's boards and commissions without even bothering to take it to the full city council for discussion and vote in a public venue.

Most of the people are pointing their fingers at the Riverside Police Officers' Association, one of Schiavone's biggest financial benefactors as the source behind the latest micromanagement at City Hall. But the union's leadership asked the same questions. It's not that it disagrees with what Schiavone, Hudson and DeSantis have done in terms of changing the investigative protocol of incustody deaths by Riverside Police Department's officers but for that organization, it was more a question of timing.

Why now, it asked along with everyone else. Why indeed? That's the question that many ask but no one's really answered yet.

Schiavone wasn't so much a vocal proponent of the CPRC not doing "crime scene investigations" until he needed to begin filling his campaign coffer for a third-go-around at being a city council member. Of course, most people know that the CPRC's never done "crime scene investigations" but since when has the truth mattered to City Hall when it comes to pushing its agenda regarding the CPRC?

The comments by the city council are very important. After all, if Hudson and his adjutant, Tom DeSantis decided to change the protocol suddenly out of the blue then most likely that direction was given to them by one or more elected officials. Most people believe that those elected officials were Schiavone and Councilman Steve Adams, taking advantage of a city council that's fairly lackluster on this issue. After all, clues about the involvement of these two men came to light when Schiavone made some declaration a while back that the Governmental Affairs Committee, which he chairs, is the sole jurisdiction to address issues involving the CPRC even though the Public Safety Committee had been receiving reports twice a year from the CPRC for several years without any outside challenges or complaints by Schiavone or anyone else.

Soon after that, the investigative protocol on officer-involved deaths changed for the first time since 2002.

Several city council members have said that they're willing to bring the issue back to the city council for decision but added that some "reconfiguration" would have to occur on the city council first. It doesn't take much speculation to figure out what they mean by that.

Some community members reacted as they have been during the past several months. Not that they figure into the equation at all, because if they did, the city government would have respected the passage of Measure II in 2004 which it didn't. Instead of properly interpreting the will of the voters as wanting City Hall to keep hands off the commission, it went after it even more energetically. And those in the lead like Schiavone justify their actions by trying to paint their critics as "political activists" with an agenda. But if you really believe that Schiavone's as staunch an advocate for the CPRC as he claims on his campaign Web site, there's some nice beach front property in Idaho that you might like.

It's interesting that it's these folks along with the recently maligned (also by Schiavone supporters, coincidence?) "Friends of the Hills" when the only "agenda" these city residents have is to push the city to remain in accordance of voter-passed initiatives. Something that several of those directing the current action at City Hall seem loathe to do.

Both Teresa Cloud and Leslie Braden who are family members of Douglas Steven Cloud and Joseph Darnell Hill attended every meeting where the CPRC's members discussed the shootings of their loved ones. Both of them were very frustrated with the process and watching how they were treated by the commissioners because of course, there are commissioners who ignore community members who visit especially newer ones while they laugh and joke with the police representatives and city employees who attend sending a clear message that their allegiences are with City Hall and that city residents are just nuisances to be dealt with.

These were the last two incustody deaths to be independently investigated by the CPRC. Unless there's changes at City Hall, they will probably be the final cases for a long time to come.


Some family members of those killed by officers said they have lost confidence in the commission.

Teresa Cloud's son, Douglas, was shot and killed by Riverside police following a vehicle pursuit in 2006. The city settled with the family for $800,000.

Cloud attended commission hearings for months, wanting to find out whether the city had kept its word to incorporate the case in police training.

She never got an answer.

"The whole thing is just really a farce," she said.

Neither the commission nor the police department will say whether the city uses the case in training.

This month, the commission decided 5-1 that the fatal shooting of Joseph Hill in 2006 was within department policy. Hill fought with officers during a traffic stop and grabbed a police Taser.

His sister Leslie Braden said before the hearing that she didn't think the commission has done any good. Commissioners ought to be elected as opposed to appointed by the council, she said.

"It's really a waste of people's time."

And finally if you're looking for the Strawman Argument of the Day, here it is and it's a great one from current chair, Sheri Corral.


"We need to remind ourselves that our role is advisory," she told commission members when she took over as chair in March. "We have sometimes acted as if it is our role to direct city government and elected officials, rather than to simply offer them advice that they can accept or reject. We are not a city hall review board."

No, but maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to have one? But this is so far off from what the CPRC is doing, it can only be said by someone who attended fewer than half the meetings last year and apparently plans to convene very few meetings this year. But that's the latest tactic of commissioners and even Rogan to deflect criticism of the micromanagement of the CPRC, by saying that things aren't under the purview of the CPRC because the CPRC can't saction or tell the city council what to do when nobody has asked anything of the sort. But Rogan, Corral and City Attorney Greg Priamos have not just said that the CPRC can't do anything but they've used this excuse to try to shut down public comment by individuals or to interrupt them while they are speaking. It's a bit ridiculous now that the commission led by Art Santore have made it clear that listening to the city's residents is such a waste of time and slowing down their work by reducing the time and opportunities for the public to address the commission. But that they do this and then can't sit and even pretend to listen to public comment (without squirming, rolling eyes, talking to each other or other assorted mannerisms) without interrupting them.

Another day in the election season that's taking place in Riverside this year, another campaign mailer, this one from the Paul Davis campaign. Davis is challenging Councilman Frank Schiavone for the Ward Four seat. This one is a glossy piece of paper folded up into three parts, with the front part reading, "Frank Schiavone's other Resume (The one he hopes you never see.)"

Inside it includes a mini laundry list of incidents dating back to 1987 involving Schiavone's construction business and a lawsuit filed against him in San Bernardino County Superior Court by a former business partner. One day, Schiavone didn't appear to court for a hearing so the following happened in court so the judge spanked in a manner of speaking. When I read this on the mailer, I thought no way. Surely if this had happened, his campaign would have mentioned it in the interest of openness and transparency so I thought this one was a stretch. As it turned out according to court minutes, not so much.

(excerpt, Hoover v Christman, SCVSS46941)

04/13/1999 - 8:30 AM DEPT. S15

BAIL SET AT $1500.00

Since it's a civil court, it's more of a "contempt of court" situation and the minutes on the case did state that the judgment was paid out by Schiavone on this particular case. He did finally show up in court and paid off the judgment not too long after the warrant was issued. But this is something on the public record, so you can look it up and see it for yourself, unlike the innuendos thrown out by the so-called "Riverside Press Club" which states as fact that candidate Paul Davis was fired from the police department, and that an official report taken by a city official shows that Davis brandished his service weapon at a "minor" at Poly High School without providing any information about where to get this public record. After all, if the "Riverside Press Club" has seen it, can't it tell prospective voters where to get copies of it so they can see for themselves? Not that "city officials" would be involved in a situation like that if it did happen because "city officials" don't involve themselves in issues pertaining to the Riverside Unified School District which is a separate entity than City Hall.

The "Riverside Press Club" also claimed that the Friends of the Hills was under investigation by the State Attorney General's office for filing "frivolous" lawsuits, most if not all of them having been decided in its favor or settled with the city.

But that's what the accusations and mudslinging from the Schiavone campaign's been about mostly. Including taking a quote attributed to Frank Schiavone in an unsigned comment on Craigslist and attributing it to a personnel action form filled out by a police representative, according to one of the mailers coming out of the Schiavone campaign. Something not explained or passed along to the Ward Four voters reading that mailer who might have actually believed those words appeared on an official police department document since Schiavone's campaign only included a portion of that particular document on the mailer.

Most of the other listings are about permit violations by code enforcement, tax liens and a $221,906 judgment against Schiavone involving the construction of one of houses done by his company.

The final item mentioned, is that involving the already well-known allegations of political corruption and retaliation that were raised by Riverside Police Department lieutenants Tim Bacon and Darryl Hurt while they were active in the Riverside Police Administrators' Association. Bacon and Hurt, who was president of the RPAA alleged in their lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that after the RPAA's PAC chose not to endorse Steve Adams in his 2007 reelection bid, that Adams warned another officer that he wouldn't get promoted because he was supporting one of Adams' opponent.

Hurt and Bacon also alleged that Schiavone warned another lieutenant to distance himself from the other two if he wanted to get promoted. Interestingly enough, a third lieutenant who used to hang out with Hurt and Bacon during city council meetings when the RPAA was making an appearance did kind of disappear. But is it really difficult to believe that a councilman can be influential in promotions if he's living with the individual, the police chief, who's encharged with promoting officers at the time? That's the stickler in the whole situation which is going to be one reason why the city residents are going to pay out some serious money on a lawsuit like this one filed against a self-insured city. Unfortunately for the tax payers if this case does go to trial, all the lawyer has to do is ask Schiavone and Leach where they lived during the time period of the allegations and then the city can hand the jury its check book, because even if both parties kept their professional lives completely separate, in cases like this with human beings deciding the facts, perception can be as strong as reality.

One reason why the city will probably sooner than later settle what it initially of course, called a "frivolous" lawsuit filled with "frivolous" allegations. What else is it going to do? Risk an expensive trial and possible public exposure to potentially even more civic liability. Definitely not, it prefers to keep these things behind closed doors, you know where most of the city's business seems to be conducted these days.

Even the "research" ad hoc committee looking into investigative protocol for the CPRC met in complete secrecy behind closed doors. That's not unusual, it's simply par for the course in a city where there's a lot of talk about openess and transparency especially during election years but that's all it is at the end of the day, all talk.

The RPAA initially nixed getting involved in the 2009 city council election preferring to be neutral before changing its mind and endorsing all the incumbents running for office including Schiavone.

Someone anonymously of course made allegations that I and other people all listed were getting paid to post on Craigslist by unspecified parties. This is a continuation of an earlier posting by Migual Morales of the "Riverside Press Club" which endorsed Schiavone, that we're all under investigation by the Atty Gral office for filing frivolous lawsuits and funneling the city's settlement money back into the Davis campaign. Sounds a bit strange? Well, I guess after the whole Bradley Estates affair played out, some of Schiavone's online support crew had to come up with something of their own. I can't wait until the fully documented version with foot notes comes out by Mr. Morales about what happened with the funneling of this lawsuit money. I mean, what do you do if you've never even filed a lawsuit or been involved in a group that did?

There is no doubt now, Mary Shelton, Karen Wright, Yolanda G. James M, Paul C. child molester, Save Riverside, Friends of Hills, are being paid by corrupted money, obtained by frivolous law suits. Interesting, to see how Mary, Karen and others post comments pro Davis here. Why don't they return those monies.

Here's another one in the same vein, again unsigned.


My source in the AG's office revealed they have quite a file on the Save Riversid and friends of the Hills gang and look for indictments to be handed down on the ringleaders soon. Aparently they have been scamming law abiding property owners with threats of law suits and eminent domain actions if they don't pay up the blood money. The funds are then used to fund ponzi scams throughout the city. It is about time they are caught.

But this anonymous individual made this latest series of posts about the Attorney General's office apparently ongoing investigation of the Friends of the Hills, an allegation raised by Morales of the "Riverside Press Club", even more poignant with this addition.


How much is Mary Shelton, Karen Wright, Save Riverside, Friends of Riverside Hills are getting paid for comments on C.L. and other postings. That's what I want to know. the above mentioned cruzaders, spend several hours a day posting like crazy. Attacking Frank Schiavone and prasing Paul Davis. Certainly someone is paying the crazy posters for their job. I only hope that the money paid is used to buy implements of toiletry, soap, cologne, bras, deodorant and desinfectants. They really needed [oops, I guess this comment got posted before it was completed]

Those online Schiavone campaign workers are such classy individuals indeed. Don't you want to run out and recruit them for your political campaign too?

The Riverside County Grand Jury returns a scathing report on the District Attorney's office. This department since it's been under the helm of Rod Pacheco has seen its conviction rates drop dramatically, its cases clog the criminal courts and at least 20% of its prosecutors including many of its experienced ones jump ship.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

But Supervisor Bob Buster said he would like to see an audit or other investigation of Pacheco's office. In the meantime, Buster said, he would like to make some of the recommended changes to save money and achieve justice in a more efficient system.

"We're in a crisis budget situation. We can't afford to have one office out of the county not really trying to be cost-effective and efficient," Buster said. "This pushes us in the right direction," he said of the grand jury report.

The report comes as the county executive office is seeking $6.7 million in cuts to the district attorney's budget to help plug a $130 million county revenue shortfall for next fiscal year.

Pacheco has resisted cuts to his budget, saying they would jeopardize public safety.

Former Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Soccio said the grand jury report adds credence to what many in the legal community have been saying for a while.

"The deputy district attorneys are being forced to work under conditions that don't allow them to do justice," Soccio said.

Pacheco's office not surprisingly denounced the grand jury's report very loudly.


Pacheco's office dismissed the entire report, criticizing the grand jury.

"The limited, skewed, and naïve report of your body is profoundly disappointing," the response from Pacheco's office states. "In that it is unjustly critical of the men and women of our office and fails to recognize, or even note a level of effectiveness that has before never been attained only adds to the unfortunate tenor of your report."

The response also denied intimidation in his office, saying his workers support him. As proof, the response said that his 2010 re-election bid has been endorsed by both the deputy district attorneys' union and district attorney investigators' union.

Rotating managers among offices is a long-established practice in the office, the response also said.

Other links:

Grand Jury's report

D.A.'s response

Not surprisingly, this article is already eliciting quite a few comments, dozens in fact about what's going on this time in the District Attorney's office.

I have to agree with the Grand Jury on this one sooo much. When the Rod-man decided to spend an extra half a million on his pet project I saw a good man disappear.

I have watched his office pursue ridiculous cases (not against gang bangers) against people just for the headlines. He would not present a reasonable plea bargain for minor offenses that should not be tried at all let alone as a felony.

Pacheco and his SS style of leadership is trying for numbers to boost the funding and he is not looking at his position as he should by law. His job is not supposed to be Chief Persecutor. He is supposed to be an officer of the court. I have no doubt that the day will come where exculpatory evidence in possesion of the District Attorney will not be brought forward because of his harsh leadership style. That means innocent people going to jail. That is not what we need. Pacheco won't like that kind of glory and it is already coming his way.

Ahhhh,,easy Crazy Horse. I'm not a fan of Pacheco, but don't tell me plea bargins are good for society, and good for Riverside County. Criminals that need to get hammered, need to get hammered. And as far as I'm concerned, the reason we are not having the crime problems of San Berdoo, is because our county has had a reputation of Hammering criminals, especially gangsters. Gang bangers know Riverside's reputation and track record, which has had an impact. His management style might be in question, and maybe he has political aspirations, but let's not blame him for cracking down on crime in Riverside County.

Bullcrap. I've played this game long enough to know how business is supposed to be done. Pacheco's an idiot and the vast majority of those in the criminal justice system on both sides of the fence think so as well. Plea bargains are entirely necessary in order to keep this overburdened system from collapsing under its own weight.

There has NEVER been any word on the street that a defendant cannot plead himself out. Plea bargains are being negotiated as we speak. They're a necessary part of the equation. Just because someone pleads out does not mean they get a walk in the park. They just don't get hammered as badly.

Who paid for that raised gold letter podium in the photo shown above? You know it was our taxpayers, not Rod! Sue is in place because she raised 40k from farmers in the Coachella Valley for Mr. Pacheco, Rod's words not ours! He is for sale and so is our precious justice system. Bob Buster is right! Bring in a federal grand jury "investigate" this corrupt public offical and restore our DA office to credibility. However, Rod says he's "got a great relationship with the U.S. Attorney and the Attorney General." That is Rod speak for "you can not touch me". Lets not forget that this is the same guy who spiked the investigation in to union leadership corruption in our county. Weeks later he gets a big fat pay check in the form of a donation to his campaign! He obstructed justice as a payback and that is well known here in the office. Those of us here at the DA's office need help and welcome Mr.Busters investigation. As for a local level, forget it Bob, you better take this to the U.S. Attorney General yourself and not expect help from the other board members. Remember Jeff Stone has a son Rod hired here to be a DDA! One should even question if he could legally vote on DA issues in the first place? Only Supervsiors Tavaglione and Buster have had the courage to "just say no" to our corrupt exulted leader Rod Pacheco.

FINALLY. The truth comes out. Go Soccio! Oh, and the ONLY reason the office "endorsed" his re-election bid was because he threatened layoffs and budget cuts if they did not! And, they had to do it BEFORE these Grand Jury findings were published. Nobody says he isn't smart, but this is hardly a ringing endorsement. If you haven't been there, you could never imagine. I left because I took an oath to "do right" not to blindly follow some "supervisor" who kisses up to the big boss. I make a lot less money, work more hours, do less interesting work but I can look myself in the mirror. Thank Heavens for Gary Windom and his crew, otherwise EVERYONE in the county who didn't endorse the DA would have a criminal history. KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!

The former San Bernardino Police Department chief has some parting words about the storm of controversy that preceded his departure.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Calls for Billdt's ouster increased this year when nearly 50 officers were threatened with layoffs during the city's fiscal crisis. The union eventually reached a deal with the city to avoid layoffs or furloughs, but some said Billdt did not strongly support them.

"There are things we think he should have done differently that for whatever reason, he didn't," said union President Rich Lawhead.

He added that the union is looking forward to "mending fences and building bridges" with incoming Chief Keith Kilmer, who starts June 1.

Although they often clashed, Lawhead said he sent Billdt an e-mail with his best, letting him know he was only representing the interests of union members.

"I love this profession and admire anyone who makes it 20-plus years, let alone 30-plus years," Lawhead said. "I can't wish him anything but a long and healthy retirement."

Morris said Billdt's resistance to the union's efforts was "a statement about leadership in our community."

Like Lawhead, the chief declined to rehash the disputes.

"Politics should not play into this," Billdt said. "It should be about doing what's best for the community and working on strategies to address the underlying causes of crime."

It turns out that former San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus had little to no experience in finances when he was elected to the position. This has brought up the old issue of whether a position should be elected or appointed.


A county-commissioned investigative report released this month alleges that Postmus and his aides used the assessor's office to run a political machine at taxpayer expense and did little tax-assessment work. The county Board of Supervisors is now suing Postmus and five others to recoup public funds. Postmus and at least two others also face criminal investigations.

California's constitution requires county assessors, sheriffs and district attorneys to be elected to office. There are no professional requirements for candidates running for assessor.

But Postmus scandal-plagued reign as assessor raises questions about whether it's better to fill some government jobs by appointment, rather than putting the positions on the ballot.

Local and state officials say the danger of having unqualified, politically beholden officials would be greater if assessors were appointed, though Postmus' case raises questions about the need for requiring candidates to have some qualifications.

Postmus himself has said his successor should have relevant experience and should not be a career politician.

"The Board of Supervisors should give the highest consideration towards appointing a steward of the public trust with experience in the field of fiscal policy, preferably an individual with proven experience in the property tax assessment process," Postmus wrote in his Feb. 6 resignation letter. "As we have learned, political considerations should not be a priority for any county assessor."

Current Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchins is laying out her anticipated campaign bid next year for the job she was appointed to last year.

(excerpt, Los Angeles Times)

Asked to quantify the size of her political opposition, Hutchens replies, "Internally or externally?"

The response sounds more ominous than she means it, because she doesn't think there's a vast conspiracy afoot. "I think it's a pretty small group," she said, generally lumping them into camps of people upset with her reversal of Carona's more liberal position on giving out concealed weapons permits and issuing guns and badges to professional volunteers who lent services to the department. That Carona gave some to friends and others in exchange for political favors formed part of the criminal allegations against him.

What connects the camps, Hutchens said, is an unhappiness with their decreased access to the sheriff's office.

Trying to assess someone's election chances a year before the primary is akin to tracking the movement of a ship on the horizon. Hutchens' campaign consultant, Dave Gilliard, said he's not convinced she'll even be opposed in 2010.

Hutchens chuckled at the mention of it. "I don't want to assume I won't," she said. "I want to be prepared for the fact that I will."

Hutchens, the county's first female sheriff, appeared affable and relaxed, even when asked if she would name names of her detractors -- a question many politicians would sidestep. She quickly tossed out a couple, including former Carona advisor and onetime state GOP party Chairman Michael Schroeder. She didn't name the Board of Supervisors, but she could have -- some have joined in the critique of aspects of her first year.

Hutchens spent her career in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, rising through the ranks from patrol officer to a division chief in Lee Baca's administration. Moving through a bureaucracy requires some political savvy, but Hutchens says running for office is a different animal.

"I was appointed by three people," she said, referring to the Board of Supervisors majority that gave her the job in 2008. "That's much different than being elected by voters. So, I don't have a clear electoral mandate in that sense."

Aided by the power of incumbency, she's speaking several times a week to community groups. It's an edge that no potential opponent can match at the moment, and it gives Hutchens practice at something she hasn't had to do before: sell herself.

She knows she'll benefit from being the candidate who succeeded an indicted sheriff.

"Once a new sheriff came in -- it didn't have to be me -- it signified that 'OK, we're moving on,' assuming that person would be making changes," she said.

Former Bolingbrook Police Department Sgt. Drew Peterson tried to put a hit on his third wife, Kathleen Savio less than a month before she was murdered.

(excerpt, Chicago Tribune)

Drew Peterson tried to hire someone for $25,000 to kill his third wife before he killed her, Will County State's Atty. James Glasgow said today in court.

And Peterson told a police officer he would be better off if Kathleen Savio was dead because he would be financially ruined by a pending divorce. She was found drowned in her bathtub three weeks later, a gash to the back of her head.

Peterson, who was on the Bolingbrook police force at the time, ran into another police officer at the Will County Courthouse and told the other officer, "My life would be easier if she were just dead," Glasgow said in this afternoon's hearing.

In the meantime, the family of Peterson's current wife, Stacey who's been missing since Oct. 28, 2007 are awaiting the results of DNA tests on human remains found near the Des Plaines River in Illinois.

(excerpt, Chicago Tribune)

DNA testing is being done on the partial skeletal remains, which consisted of a rib cage, spinal column, and partial left and right femur bones, according to Will County Coroner Patrick O'Neil, who said results likely won't be known for two weeks. But sources close to the investigation said the results could be returned as early as next week.

A preliminary autopsy performed Thursday could not determine whether the body was that of a man or woman, its race, or identity. The remains included shreds of jeans containing a small amount of money, and the person had been dead for several months or more. The coroner's office said it was unclear how the body parts were severed.

"We know the identity is not going to be known until they do DNA testing," said Melanie Greenberg, a spokeswoman for Stebic's family. "We're cautiously hopeful that it might be Lisa. If it's not Lisa, our second wish is that it would be Stacy Peterson so that at least one of our families could get closure."

In memory of Capt. John Wister Haines, of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, MIA, POW and KIA.

born: 1912

died: Oct. 24, 1944 on the Arisan Maru

Survived by his brothers, Casper, William, Dutch and his mother Ella Wister Haines and their descendants.

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