Thursday, March 16, 2017

Source: Center On Halsted To Draw Up "Security Plan" For City Review

Two local aldermen and 19th District Police Commander Marc Buslik this week asked the Center on Halsted (COH) to draw up a new security plan for their review, according to a government source.

The move comes after CWB Chicago reported that police officers, tipped off that a theft suspect had fled into the sprawling LGBTQ community center at 3656 North Halsted, were blocked by COH staff members who told the cops to “get a warrant.”

Buslik, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, and 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman met with Center on Halsted board members this week to discuss the incident, the source said.

An additional security guard has been brought in by the Center to complement the one officer who currently patrols their facility.

Not clear from the information we received is how the Center on Halsted will conduct itself when police officers, acting on reliable information, believe a wanted person is taking refuge in the complex.

COH Director of Public Relations Peter Johnson did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about developments. An auto-reply stated that COH Chief Executive Officer Modesto “Tico” Valle is out of the office until tomorrow.

Alderman Tunney, his Chief of Staff Bennett Lawson, and his Director of Public Safety and Community Affairs Chris Jessup did not immediately reply to our email.

Finally

There is good news coming out of the Center on Halsted.

After long misleading the community about its failure to appear in court to confront offenders who are arrested at the Center’s request, the COH is on the right track.

CWB Chicago reported on November 17 that COH failed to appear in court for 25 out of 26 cases in which the Center or its employees were identified as victims.

CWB researchers found the only case in which the COH did show up for court was in 2013 when the victim was its CEO, “Tico” Valle.

Those findings were in sharp contrast to public statements made by COH spokesman Johnson at local community policing meetings. As we reported in November:.
“If anybody does commit a crime, we prosecute,” Johnson told the crowd. “We always send a representative to court when we file [criminal charges]”
Our findings also conflicted with statements that Center executives gave to at least one local businessman:
“I’ve spoken to 'Tico' Valle about this," Stu Zirin offered."He said they do go to court. You know, if it’s something serious."
Days after our November report, the Center had a closed-door meeting with local officials during which they agreed to show up in court, according to a source.

And so far, so good.

COH reps have been in court for all five cases in which the Center or its staff were identified as victims since our report.

Four cases were resolved with guilty pleas. The fifth is on-going after the defendant initially failed to appear:



-->
DateAccusedAgeCharge(s)CWB StoryCOH Appear?Court outcome
11/25/2016Tony D. Lee21Criminal Trespassing * Resisting * Bail Bond ViolationYesYes15 days
12/12/2016Miara Davensport32Criminal TrespassingNONEYesOngoing - Davensport failed to appear
12/28/2016Esteban Perez20Criminal TrespassingNONEYes10 days
1/4/2017Robert Rapp55Theft * Criminal DamageNONEYes30 days for criminal damage
1/10/2017Axel Crusade25Criminal Trespassing * BatteryNONEYes2 days for trespassing

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42 comments:

  1. Good news???? Stop. Stop it right now. Are you trying to lose all of your trolling non- resident readership? If they can't copy/paste "so glad I moved" to every post anymore, what shall become of them?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We enjoy the Laugh Track comedy show that has become of Chicago from the other side of the pond with our own homemade slushies at 1/4 the price (amongst REAL gay men too....without the whole fag hag triflin' strife).

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    2. Still need a damn good REAL bakery in that area or REAL gay dance club. What a waste of square footage that COH place is.

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    3. @3:36 PM......Brilliance on display.
      What can you not understand?
      That COH got dragged to the bargaining table (again), kicking and screaming. And they continue to lie / bargain in bad faith....so maybe, just maybe, they're not really trustworthy?
      Or...
      That some people who moved out still actually care about the neighborhood / might be interested in moving back if things actually improved?
      Or (apparently) both are too complex for you.
      ...just focus. Focus. It's not that hard.

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  2. It needs to close

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  3. Please stop referring to the COH as a gay community center. It's as much about being for the gay community as the Chicago Islamic Center.

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    1. COH is about enough of a "gay community center" as Steamworks is a "gym".

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  4. Well, it's a start. Hopefully the stonewalling will stop and COH will hold itself accountable. The problem has been that the COH leadership and board consider themselves "above the fray" when it comes to community issues..."insufferable arrogance" as I'd describe it.

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    1. One bobble head "director" there is probably over in Amsterdam as you typed that while the balloon payment on his hot Uptown "condo" was due last October.

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  5. Tunney and Capelman kiss the ass of COH. ! to 3 violent crimes a week happen in lakeview area and the career criminals are clients of the COH and sleep in one of the church basements like the Crib but they usually are not "kids" they are well over age 20

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    1. Or well over age __30__ ...

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    2. The average age of the above five miscreants is 30 ...

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    3. "Just transient youth, that's all" is what SideLaugh employees were told to inform the dumb Slushie fans in their corporate meetings.

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    4. The real definition of youth is 17 and under. COH's definition of youth is 12-24 (who they are supposed to allow into their center). Yet, of those on the list above, only two fit that category at ages 20 and 21. The others were 25, 32 and 55...FIFTY-FIVE!!!

      Do the businesses and private donors have any clue as to what is going on over there at the COH?? As to what they are contributing to? I seriously doubt it. They blindly give thinking they are either doing something good or are winning customers. They are dong exactly neither!

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  6. another bullshit plan hidden away from the public. they should of let the meeting open to the public and news

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    1. Should HAVE. Sorry, I hate to be the Grammar Police but you can't blame that constant educated "aware" millennial laziness error on auto-correct. It's really bad.

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  7. So they actually have to do something other than count heads and $$$$$?

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    1. Like dead people allowed to vote in presidential elections, I now wonder if COH members are counted numerous times with aliases. Ya know....like Kurtis Wilson aka Hot Tamale' CamelToe count as two separate people.

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  8. the problem is that so many of the "customers" wind up in court in the first place. they are a criminal magnet, that's the core problem. being called into a court room so many times is proof that they should shut down, not something to congratulate them for.

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  9. So the whole new "coh security plan" is bringing in 1 more security guard ? Big friggin deal !That's a joke right ? So the biggest consequence for COH's obstruction of justice, lack of police cooperation , and obvious disdain for local 19th cops is hiring a measly security guard ,making police officer tommy w.'s private security firm even more richer,?. Every district commander since Gary yamashoria has tip toed around officer tw and looked the other way with this huge conflict of interest and ethical issue while rewarding him with having an inside desk spot for him to promote and run his business while on tax payer income I wish I had ability to run a private company for profit at a government paid job. Only in Chicago would this be tolerated , corruption and nepotism at its finest

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  10. Ok, first Tico has to go. Time for a change of institutional culture.

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    1. We find it difficult to disagree.

      We are confident that the lies told to the public by COH's spokesperson are not of his own creation. He's getting the bad information from somewhere, he shares it, then he's on the hook for someone else's wrong info.

      Probably not unlike a well-known spokesperson on the national stage whom we could all draw comparisons to.

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    2. As a former employee, I have to say that the culture that Tico has cultivated at COH is REALLY, REALLY toxic. Even with ordinary daily stuff, it was a secretive and non - transparent environment. A routine encounter with the imbecile HR Director, for example, would leave one livid - totally unprofessional! One former volunteer director - this was a few years ago - tried to con lower - level employees (including me) into "participating" in his pyramid schemes. When I mentioned this to HR, they immediately went into "defend mode", threatened me, and tried to get me to name an employee who had given me information about the incident. The volunteer director was finally canned AFTER he called a receptionist's wealthy FATHER to ask for money! This is just one example of an incident badly handled, there are many more. Another thing - the turnover rate is very high; less than two years after leaving COH, at least half the employees have moved on (and check out Glassdoor for COH employee reviews, you'll get a good picture). Tico was often intoxicated/hung over during the workday, he'd reel in from a long liquid lunch, his speech slurred and he'd reel around, very embarrassing for all of us. He would begin staff meetings with a litany/rant of "all the people that HATE me...!!!", which is an odd way to start a meeting. The leadership team needs replacing - and the compliant board needs shaking up, too...they all think they are simply "above the law", they are rotten with hubris.

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    3. Peter Johnson is a very nice fellow, I can't believe he is still there taking Tico's abuse...whenever I've seen Peter he has that ineffable "beaten child" look about him...

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  11. Well done CWB! Your investigative journalism has clearly played a part in this recent development. While it is too early to know what this "security plan" will entail, it is fair to say that without your work on the issue there would be no change at all. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you for your support. We agree with your assessment about the "security plan."

      We could sum up a good "security plan" in three words: Do what's right.

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    2. You guys really are the best investigators and journalists in ALL of Chicago and even beyond. This kind of detailed, accurate work in too rare these days. THANK YOU!! I feel so lucky (and unlucky) to live in Lakeview so I can really know what is going on. It is only because of you guys. NO ONE ELSE is doing what you are doing!

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    3. Or a wrist band with WWJD. LOL.

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    4. "We could sum up a good "security plan" in three words: Do what's right."

      Right in whose eyes? We have a bureaucracy and a constituency on a religious-like zeal of so-called social justice hyper radical anti-Americanism and cultural Marxism--and to them its "right." And they also believe wholeheartedly that the end justifies the means. Speak with your feet. Move. Let the rats have the nest.

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  12. Like all liberal policy, they don't care what you think or say, they do however want your money, and it's never enough. Blame the Alderman and vote him out.

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  13. I'd accept just about anything that would replace the hellmouth that is the COH. A 3-block long Whole Foods with market rate, subsidy-free residential above it, perhaps?

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  14. COH should be charged with harboring criminals/fugitives. At least, aiding and abetting.

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    1. Yup, like Mrs. Sandusky playing June Cleaver when convenient while lil boys were being "trained" in the basement below her Betty Crocker oven. The shit's gotta stop.

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  15. Shelter criminal --> Obstruct police --> Get caught by CWB --> Apologize to the community --> develop "Security Plan" --> Community is reassured --> Shelter criminal again --> Obstruct police again ...

    I feel like we've been on this merry-go-round before.

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  16. COH is Tunney's creation, and the "closed door" meeting shows it's also Tunney's branch office. COH won't go anywhere unless Tunney himself is run out of office.

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  17. Install surveilliance cameras outside after getting a cooperation agreement. If you know where the rats live, why scatter them?

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  18. Well at least we're getting some positive traction. Good job all around.

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  19. A shame that they had to, essentially, be shamed into showing up for court. NOT a way to be a good neighbor to the law-abiding citizens of Boystown.

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  20. I don't understand what went wrong and how this happened to the COH. How did a gay community center become a place where it would be a first stop for people in deep despair, homeless or who were extremely violent. Why would a gay community center refuse police to come in and arrest someone who had just committed a crime? I went to quite a few fundraisers for them to build this and we all saw elderly gay men playing checkers and taking cooking classes. I assume what happened is that none of them showed up and to continue numbers for funds, they have to bring violent people or those in despair to the center - and keep them there. I applaud the mission of what they are doing - I just don't understand why a gay and lesbian community center is doing it.

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    1. The problems primarily stem from the Youth Services department, Youth Services should have it's own dedicated facilities in the neighborhoods where many of these youth travel from (South and West Sides). And that open lobby is an obvious "crime magnet", what with the rise of crime in the Lakeview/Boystown neighborhood. Additionally, the building is very poorly laid out, public, private, and administrative areas are all intermixed, ostensibly in the name of "openness" - at least several years ago a secure door was added at the entrance to the second floor admin area. The seniors who frequent COH were greatly relieved when their own dedicated building opened around the corner on Addison, that is a very safe and secured space for them. But social services is all about "numbers" that can be shown to funders so as to attract those precious grant dollars, and these orgs have to show that they don't "discriminate"...you get the picture.

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    2. I wouldn't be surprised, at this point, if one of the directors was demanding "a little something" in exchange for harboring those criminals.

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