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Police Tue May 07 2013
The tarnished legacy of indicted community officials no longer lies in Chicago ranks but has indeed spread to the south suburban areas of Cook County. Three villages are now victim of the all too familiar spirit of greed and exploitation that infests those in leadership. After the embarrassing episode of Jesse Jackson, Jr. that shattered the 2nd congressional district, three south suburban towns face again the deception and humiliation from community officials.
Most recently, former Crestwood Police Chief Theresa Neubauer was found guilty of 11 counts of purposely reciting false claims to environmental regulators. As Crestwood water head, she repeatedly lied to state regulators about the quality of the village's water that was chemically altered. She claims two other individuals including former longtime Mayor Chester Stanczek are guilty of the tainted water scheme that possibly harmed the 11,000 residents. Neubauer also implies both were well-aware of vinyl chloride remnants in water that was used for 22 years until 2007. Neubauer possibly faces that maximum of five years in prison and $250,000 fine for each count. Even after nearly seven hours of deliberation, the mother of four still proclaims her innocence. "I suppose today I have to say I am the unfortunate person that the village of Crestwood hired when I was an 18-year-old girl," said Neubauer. She resigned from her post May 2.
Markham, a village that has continuously battled with fiscal stability and ethical responsibility witnessed a former deputy police chief indicted on federal charges for aggravated sexual abuse April 2013. Tony Dubois was arrested by FBI agents in this home in 2011 for the crime that took place September 2010 while he was deputy chief. Dubois enjoyed a lengthy stable career in law enforcement starting with the Chicago Housing Police Department in the '90s and then he joined the Markham Police Department in 2007. Dubois denies the charges. "I've been a police officer a long time. And why would I wait until now to become a criminal?" he replied to reporters after pleading not guilty.
International Islam leader and Minister Louis Farrakhan's son will eventually head his father's throne but Mustapha Farrakhan must deal with allegations of his own so-called career as a Harvey cop first. In a recent Sun-times report, the younger Farrakhan hasn't worked a shift as police officer in the economically ravaged town in four years. He is registered but records display his absence from work. He uses his squad car to escort his father's motorcade, which is not mandatory but he never uses it for regular police duties. To top it off, Farrakhan lives in Crete, a town 30 minutes south. Harvey taxpayers are already struggling to conquer financial strains are now paying for a vehicle for an officer who neither works nor lives in the neighborhood. Mayor Eric Kellogg and Harvey Police Chief Denard Eaves declined to answer questions about Farrakhan's employment situation.
Sadly, under Kellogg's watch corruption has intensified. One case is the Mayor's close friend, Archie Stallworth who was convicted during a federal scheme delivering 30 kilos of cocaine, so he thought. The second person was Detective Hollis Dorrough who removed a gun being used for police evidence. He cities he was obeying orders from Kellogg. The files of corruption among police and officials are escalating in Harvey, something that only contributes to the village's dearth access to quality education and employment opportunities.
In the post-war era, families left the fast-paced lifestyle of city living for quiet, peaceful suburbs within city limits. They were yearning to escape the noise, violence and lack of government transparency. Now, they must settle further south or west to escape the fraudulence of southern Cook County. The struggles and plight of people should hold enough weight for police officers and officials to bypass a life of corruption.