Thursday, January 31, 2008

The West Suburban Journal Exposes Yarbrough and Smith!!!

An article exposing Karen Yarbrough and Ed Smith using governmental property for state purposes was recently published in the West Suburban Journal. Here's the article written by L. Nicole Trottie and Kevin Williams:

Broadview residents demanded answers to the cozy arrangement
between the village and two elected officials at the Tuesday, January
22, village board meeting.

The Journal-News first reported January 17, on office space
accommodations provided to Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th
District) and State Rep. Karen Yarbrough (7th District) by the Village
of Broadview located at 2301-2305 Roosevelt Road.

The large vacant building, once owned by a print manufacturer, was
offered to Davis and Yarbrough about three years ago, rent free
minus utilities, by Broadview mayor Henry Vicenik and the village
board, according to Vicenik.

Sue Henry, of Broadview, spoke Tuesday at the village board
meeting about the “corruption” and fleecing of taxpayers.

“You and the board agreed to give office space to Congressman
Davis and Karen Yarbrough at no charge?” Henry said to Vicenik.

“As a Broadview taxpayer, I don’t agree to that.”

Documentation received by the Journal-News under the Freedom of
Information Act confirms that no lease or lease payments by Davis
and Yarbrough are on record with the village. Vicenik said the board’
s decision to offer the space rent free was never a board agenda
item.

The agreement between the village and state officials, solidified by a
gentlemen’s handshake, is in violation of the Open Meetings Act,
according to Henry who is also a District 209 School Board member.

Vicenik counters, the decision by the board is justified as providing a
service to Broadview residents.

“I thought it would be good for the village and residents to have a
state representative and congressman here as a resource for the
people of Broadview,” Vicenik said Tuesday.

Henry, fired back, “who gave you the right to do that? Who gave you
the right to use our tax dollars to do that?”

Vicenik refused comment.

Campaign controversy

Vicenik and the board were also taken to task by residents about a
political campaign office run out of the same building occupied by
Davis and Yarbrough.

Vicenik plead temporary memory loss when it came time for
explanation. “I was not aware of a political office,” he said. But
residents and Henry didn’t buy it.

“Come on mayor, how could you not know a political office was
running out of there when campaign workers from the West side are
coming in and out of Broadview, day and night, parking illegally on
the sidewalk to load up Ed Smith political signs into trucks,” Henry
said.

Yarbrough, also the Proviso Township Democratic committeeman,
operates the Democratic Party Organization from the rent free space
at 2301 Roosevelt Road in Broadview, according to Yarbrough ally
and Maywood trustee Gary Woll. A “separate office”, once used to
house Ceasefire, a state funded program disband last year, is
allegedly used for the committeeman office. However, the separate
office does not have a separate address, or separate outside
entrance or exit.

Ed Smith, a 28th Ward Alderman from Chicago’s West side, is
challenging incumbent and Democratic Party candidate Eugene
“Gene” Moore of Maywood for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds
office.

Yarbrough, a long-time political nemesis of Moore, is campaign co-
chairman for Ed Smith. Larry Shapiro, administrative assistant to
Congressman Davis, also works for Smith as the campaign
communication spokesperson, according to Smith’s website.

Shapiro is under investigation for allegedly living in subsidized
housing in the Village of Bellwood.

Requests by the Journal-News under the Freedom of Information Act
for a list of village owned real estate and tenants was denied by
village attorney’s Ancel and Glink on condition of ‘civilian privacy
rights”.

About two weeks ago, campaign workers were photographed, by
Maywood residents Dorothy Lane Thomas and Lula Greenhow,
carrying out yard signs for Smith, from the front door entrance of
2301 Roosevelt Rd. The address is listed on several Illinois
government websites as one of Davis’ local offices.

Most candidates running for elected office publicize their campaign
headquarters address and phone number, said former Proviso
Township Democratic Committeeman, Moore.

“When I was committeeman we rented a visible office space on 5th
Avenue (in Maywood)…everyone knew where we were. We paid
rent,” Moore said. “We operated our organization up front and by
the book. I can’t say the same for this new organization... they are
giving the Democratic Party a bad name at a critical point in election
history.”

Smith’s political headquarters location is not listed on campaign
literature, including his website. Also, the campaign phone number is
non-published.

Henry said the whole setup reeks of corruption. “Who would run a
legitimate campaign and not publish the address and phone
number?” she said.

“You want people to know where you are, unless you’re doing
something suspect.”

Smith, in December 2007, reported $84,658 in campaign
expenditures, according to Illinois State Board of Election semi-
annual disclosure statements. The report also lists Smith’s campaign
office address at 2301 Roosevelt Rd in Broadview, but shows no
itemization for rent paid by Smith’s campaign to the Village of
Broadview or another party.

Smith gets booted out of Broadview

Mayor Vicenik announced Tuesday that he and the board will meet
with the village attorney to draft a formal paid lease agreement for
Davis and Yarbrough.

Vicenik added the village will shut down the political office and all
political activity.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good reporting West Suburban Journal. Stay on top of this story. I hear Chicago Daily's got hold of this story.

Bill Dwyer mentioned it this week.

Again, job well done.

Anonymous said...

I read a funny column yesterday in the Tribune, where a report saw Smith having breakfast in a Westt side restaraunt. The reporter thought about striking up a conversation with Smith, but thought twice after he noticed biscuit crumbs in Smith's beard.

Anonymous said...

THis is really a crying shame. Shame on you Smith, Yarbrough, and Freeloading Shapiro.

intheknow said...

Hey Bellwood - there aint no such thing as "civilian privacy right" to deny a FOIA request. Trottie can hire a lawyer to get the info - and Bellwood will have to pay her legal fees when they lose. Trottie should also call Lisa Madigan on this one - they enforce the laws on FOIA too. I smell big scandal - that's why Bellwood is stonewalling. You go Trottie!

Anonymous said...

In response to Bill Dwyer's comments on Chicao Daily Observer:

Karen Yarbrough is no angel. As a public official elected to serve, Yarbough has instead robbed tax payers in secrecy. Her campaign has accepted several thousands in contributions from the Village of Maywood attorney's and she has fleeced the taxpayers of Broadview for three years by occupying her state office and political campaigns from Broadview village owned property rent free. We have footed the bill for Yarbrough for three years and that is despicable. Where is her $70,000 a year rent stipened going? In her pocket?!
Don't make the mistake, in your passionate dislike for Welch, of trading off one corrupt machine for a worse corrupt machine; Yarbrough.

Anonymous said...

Election time... you have to love it. Sue Henry who makes big bucks in Eugene Moore's office and never shows up to a village board meeting is NOW such a concerned citizen. GET REAL HONEY... Only the stupid people can't see right trough the political smoke screen.

Unfortunately the free rent to Rep Yarbrough has brought absolutely no state dollars to the village of Broadview, in return for the free rent, as was expected when the deal was struck.

No problem... just wait till after the elections and all these political hacks and snakes will crawl back under their rocks until the next election.

Politics in Crook County sucks!

Anonymous said...

I hear the West Suburban was contacted by some political heavy weight columnist at two big Chicago daily's. Yarbrough and Davis will be answering to more than Broadview residents. The shit is about to hit the fan. IMO it's looong overdue.

Anonymous said...

Great article. Does anyone have any pull to get this into the Sun Times, Tribune or Defender?

Anonymous said...

The Suntimes and chanel 5 have the story as do the feds and the state. It seems the state is withholding Yarbrough's receipts. Hmmm, wonder if it's because she expensed rent!
Hopefully Rivers runs against her for Democratic Committeeman. I think he would have support of the paper and several other committeeman and Serpico.

jean said...

In response to the voices in Carl Nyberg's head:

I know Trottie doesn't have a motive (regarding the Jan 17 and 31piece on Yarbrough and Davis rent free pace printed in the WSJ). I asked her. I can't say the same for you (Carl Nyberg). She will not give you the pleasure of communication.

Regarding Yarbrough and Davis' shenanigans, the facts are the facts, whether fueled by ill-will or not, that doesn't change the facts.

Most, Proviso political dinasours, like myself, know that Yarbrough doesn't come out of the pocket, yet always has her hand out. Her treatment of people who have helped her along, in some capacity or another, is poor to say the least, and a reflection of her past school board election super defeat.

Ironicially, it seems the same spite Yarbrough used Trottie for against Welch is a double edge sword, huh? With regard to Trottie and Welch's past and present relationship, only the two of them know the details. I understand they are quite cozy.

Ms. Trottie does acknowledge a breakfast with you (Nyberg) some years ago.

The meeting, where you "coincidentally" ran into Gene Moore and Chris Welch at the Marque Restaurant, was to discuss your further involvement with the paper.

Trottie tells me she shot the idea straight to hell, which is where she and her paper would have ended up under your influence. Point-and-case: Welch's triumphant law suit against you last year for false reporting, slander, etc.. IMO, Welch should have followed through on the suit.

Let the games begin. I'll put my money on Nicole Trottie anyday.

d said...

I don't see where Trottie has motive. However, I do see where she has a responsibiity to report corrupt happenings in Proviso.

She is doing one heck of a job, given the beginnings of the once lean paper.

She reports news from the Forest Park Review on happenings that deal with Proviso East, Chris Welch and Gene Moore. It's only fair that she pay Yarbrough and Davis the same attention and service.

Nicole's report on the incident of Yarbrough and Davis' scott-free use of a Broadview owned building, that was allegedly promised by Vicencik to Trottie, is sweet justice for Trottie if you ask me.

Funny how justice has its way. The pen is mightier than the sword.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I am really disappointed in our state representative. She makes herself out like she is reformer and all for good government, but she is only out for herself. I will never ever vote for her again nor any of the goons she sponsors. They all turned out really bad. Ed Smith, Gary Woll, Charles Flower, Richard Lopez are all bad, evil people that have no business being in public office.

Carl Nyberg said...

Trottie, at least at one point, held a grudge against Karen Yarbrough over the property in question.

Trottie thought she had a deal with Vicenik for the property. She told Yarbrough. Yarbrough and Vicenik then cut a deal on the same property.

Trottie's history does not make Yarbrough's conduct less wrong or more legal.

However, Trottie probably should have included this background so readers could understand the perspective of the primary author and publisher of the story in question.

Trottie did a good job breaking this story.

Also, intheknow is probably correct that the Village of Bellwood is not allowed to hide its financial arrangement (meaning, Pasquale's financial arrangement) with Larry Shapiro under the privacy exception of the FOIA.

case closed said...

On the contrary, Carl, Trottie doesn't have to reveal a thing.

Your logic implies that Yarbrough's slight against Trottie, some how plays a part in Vicenick's decision to allow Congressman Davis and Rep. Yarbrough to squat of taxpayers.

Further your misapplied logic implies that Trottie's alleged dislike for Yarbrough some how affects Yarbrough's decision to run or not to run her political campaign from the rent free office provided by Vicenick and footed by taxpayers.

That's like saying the village of maywood is shot to hell in a hand basket because Trottie thinks the administration sucks.

Your logic is twisted.

Anonymous said...

BTW: Vicenik cut more than a couple deals for that property. But, I guess in the end, things turned out just they way they should have. Priceless.

Anonymous said...

Sorta ironic that Yarbrough supported candidates for the Broadview village board got elected and one of them works for Davis out of that rent free office. HMMMMMM... what's up with that?

Anonymous said...

Sue Henry has a lot of gumption talking about her not liking the village spending her tax dollars, when she's on District 209 board wasting all of our Proviso Township 209 taxes on the worst performing high school district. Throwing good money right out the window. At least Broadview has acknowledged it's financial problems and is on it's way back to where it should be. This is just another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Go back to 209 and continue wasting our tax dollars and giving us crappy results. Be proud of the dummies coming out of your school district.

I guess she still can keep he high paying salary with the Recorder of Deeds for another 4 years.