State Sues Over Unfinished Waukegan Subdivision

Vander Tuuk 5-2-19

(Waukegan, IL) The Illinois Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit over an unfinished Waukegan subdivision along Route 120 near the tollway. The suit claims that the developers of the River Glen project failed to implement proper pollution controls in their build. The state wants the developers to take the necessary steps to eliminate soil from the project ending up in the storm-water system, or in the nearby Des Plaines River. The subdivision was supposed to contain upwards of 65 homes when completed, but currently just has a handful of finished residences, and one model.

Palatine Shooting Suspect Named

Vander Tuuk 5-2-19

(Palatine, IL) Police in Palatine have announced a warrant for a suspect in a weekend shooting that left two teens injured. Authorities say the Sunday night shooting in front of an apartment building was both drug and gang related. 18-year-old Javier Ponce is now wanted on two counts of attempted murder. The shooting left a 15-year-old boy in critical condition and his 19-year-old companion in stable condition. Ponce is described as a 5’5” tall, 150 pound Hispanic male with shoulder length black hair…and is considered armed and dangerous.

Warrants Show Father Blames Mother in Child Murder

Vander Tuuk 5-2-19

(Crystal Lake, IL) Unsealed search warrant information shows that the father of a murdered Crystal Lake boy, blamed his mother for his death. AJ Freund was discovered in a shallow grave in Woodstock last week, a week after being reported missing by Andrew Freund Sr. And JoAnn Cunningham. They have both since been charged in his murder. Released documents show that Freund Sr. led authorities to the body after being confronted with a recovered cell phone video, allegedly showing the 5-year-old in the aftermath of a beating at the hands of Cunningham. Investigators say the video, and other cell phone evidence broke Freund Sr. who then provided other details necessary to find the boy’s body. The parents are due back in court next week.

McHenry Prosecutor Has Complained About DCFS in the Past

Associated Press/Vander Tuuk 5-2-19

(McHenry, IL) Records show the McHenry County State’s Attorney in charge of prosecuting the parents of a murdered 5-year-old boy, previously complained about the state’s child welfare agency. Patrick Kenneally wrote a letter to Illinois’ DCFS nearly a year ago, detailing three separate cases in which he alleges caseworkers failed to act or were uncooperative with his office. His office has charged the parents of AJ Freund, who was found dead last week, with his murder…which has also put child welfare agency on the hot seat. DCFS spokesman Jassen Strokosch says the agency has been meeting with prosecutors to address the issues and welcomes “criticisms that help us do a better job.”

Illinois Senate OKs graduated tax rates

Associated Press 5-2-19

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) The Illinois Senate has approved a graduated income-tax structure that charges a rate of 7.99 percent for the most affluent residents. The plan was approved 36-22, but cannot take effect unless voters approve a constitutional amendment to replace the flat-rate income tax. State Sen. Dale Righter says have varying rates makes it easier to raise tax rates in the future. He cited examples in other states where lawmakers raised the highest rates on the richest filers in order to raise revenue. He says an increase under a flat-rate system is harder because it means raising rates on everyone.

State workers sue to recoup “fair share” union fees

Associated Press 5-2-19

CHICAGO (AP)— Nine state workers who are no longer members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are seeking the return of some the fees paid to the union. In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Liberty Justice Center contends more than 2,700 state employees are entitled to money they paid to AFSCME from May 1, 2017 through June 28, 2018. The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled it unconstitutional to force public employees pay union dues. Mark Janus, who was behind the lawsuit that resulted in the Supreme Court ruling, was the plaintiff in a similar lawsuit that was thrown out earlier this year by U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman. The judge ruled AFSCME followed the law in collecting fair share fees.