Saturday, September 19, 2015

More Things Shady than the Trees: DuPage State's Attorney Bob Berlin Attends Big Forest Preserve Political Fundraiser During 317+ Felony Indictment Trial of Agency's Former IT Staff


Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart FourPart FivePart SixPart SevenPart EightPart NinePart TenPart Eleven, Part Twelve

Four years after the JRM's "secret investigation"of the DuPage County Forest Preserve IT Department, three years after arrests, and nearly three years after 317+ indictments were collectively passed down, the "speedy" trial of the former Forest Preserve IT staffer David Tepper, and the former contracted Forest Preserve vendor Arif Mahmood, finished its first week at the Henry J. Hyde Judicial Office Facility in Wheaton before Judge Liam Brennan. 

Former DuPage County Forest Preserve IT Director Mark McDonald is included in the charges and was originally scheduled to be tried with Tepper and Mahmood. McDonald's trial was rescheduled to Oct. 22nd due to health issues.

DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin has publicly endorsed Brennan, as heard at the judge's fundraiser and as seen on the judge's campaign website. Berlin has not observed the county's biggest criminal trial, according to CountyLeaks' sources. Immediately after work, however, Berlin did attend the fundraiser of DuPage County Forest Preserve District 4 Commissioner Tim Whelan on Thursday, Sept. 17th, held at St. James Farm in Warrenville.

St. James Farm is the crown jewel of what former DuPage County Forest Preserve Executive Director Brent Manning referred to as the Forest Preserve's "fabulous facilities" while on the witness stand last week.

A fundraiser location for congressional candidate and DuPage County Board District 5 Member Tonia Khouri was recently moved after concerns were raised by the Plainfield Township Park District that one of their facilities would be used for political soliciting.* 

(*For readers outside DuPage County who may be confused: It is a common and accepted practice for Republicans, including the judiciary, to use public facilities in DuPage County for political fundraisers. Plainfield is located in Will County where different standards apply. CountyLeaks could not find any such policy for the DuPage County Forest Preserve. There is no inference of any violation.)

Joining DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin at Thursday's fundraiser for DuPage County Forest Preserve District 4 Commissioner Tim Whelan were: DuPage County Forest Preserve President, Former DuPage County Forest Preserve District 2 Commissioner, "special guest" and potential trial star witness Joe Cantore
DuPage County Forest Preserve District 1 Commissioner Marsha MurphyDuPage County Forest Preserve District 2 Commissioner Jeff RedickDuPage County Forest Preserve District 3 Commissioner and trial witness Linda PainterDuPage County Forest Preserve District 6 Commissioner Al Murphy, and Retired DuPage County Chief Judge John Elsner who upon retirement immediately became the Forest Preserve's contracted attorney for $150,000 (in addition to his pension).  

The Illinois Supreme Court announced on Nov. 25, 2014 that Judge Liam Brennan was moving to head the DuPage Circuit Court's felony division. Almost immediately, Brennan replaced Judge Blanche Fawell who had been presiding over the Forest Preserve IT case for over two years. During this time, Elsner was negotiating to become the Forest Preserve's contracted attorney.

DuPage County Election Commission Attorney Pat Bond, DuPage County ____________________________, and DuPage County                                                                                    were also among the 75 guests exercising their First Amendment rights. Conspicuously absent was former DuPage County Forest Preserve President and trial witness Duilio "Dewey" Pierotti.

Republican supporters feasted on chicken (fried and roasted options), cole slaw, a "very tasty" potato salad, and an assortment of cookies including coconut bars. Tour rides in carts pulled by a tractor were also available. CountyLeaks is pleased to report that a good time was had by all.*

(*For readers outside DuPage County who may be confused: It is a common, accepted and required practice for all DuPage County Republican officials to support each other financially. The State's Attorney and judiciary are particularly strong-armed cordially encouraged to participate. No conflict of interest, no favoritism, and no conspiracy are suggested. Campaign contributions, job promotions and raises should not be construed as bribes or kick backs. Think of this as nothing more than clean wholesome activity, not unlike a typical church social function.)

CountyLeaks Asks:

What is the recipe for that potato salad?