Saturday, February 02, 2008

More Suffredin Rants. You be the Judge Series. Future Nepotism? Double Dipping? Bloom for States Attorney?

I found this photo and could not resist. Is this Loyola University Law School posturing or just coincidence? Future nepotism at work? Cronyism? Or just networking? You be the judge!
Larry, Larry quite contrary how does this garden grow? From left to right: Thomas M. Suffredin ('05), Mary Anne 'Molly' Phelan ('05), and Brian Monico('04). Participants in the Loyola University Law School Alumni Golf Outing of 2007. Isn't that special? For those who appreciate this photo, these are the sons and daughters of a few prominent Chicago Law Dynasties with political connections. Perhaps, they are some of the few who can afford to take off from work to slice the greens, while Dad's associates do the dirty work on Saturday or Sunday mornings under threat of a pink slip. This is not where Anita Alvarez came from.

Again, simultaneously holding a private law job as a Shefsky and Froehlich Partner and a Cook County Commissioner has its perks. However, taxpayers foot the bill for Commissioners who are arguably full time employees, even if elected. Was lobbying, while representing ,what contributed to former 5th Ward Alderman Larry Bloom's convictions?

Remember, that unlucky Larry Bloom did time in 'Club Fed' when he served as both an Alderman and a Springfield lobbyist for a Chicago dumpsite. Unfortunately, Bloom's client was an Operation Silver Shovel FBI Mole. Larry Bloom was lobbying in Springfield, as well. However, the client was wearing a mic. Interestingly, Larry Bloom also ran for Cook County State's Attorney, while an Alderman.

Are there conflicts of interest when taxpayers offer a salary to someone who is also doing unrelated legal work as a sidebar to a paid elected position? Will Larry Suffredin continue to hold two salaries or more when he becomes Cook County States Attorney? Are there issues of integrity when paid public officials continue to serve two masters during the day? In my day, we called this 'double dipping!' I guess that on two salaries, it is easier to put your kid through law school and perhaps support expensive recreation, if any. How progressive!

Why does the ARDC or the media ignore 'double dipping' as a conflict of interest issue? If you work one job, then should a Commissioner be allowed to simultaneously hold other jobs. Is this in the public's best interests? As an attorney, should you know better? Do we need a law or ordinance to do the right thing? Is Lucky Larry a reformer or simply Joe Blow status quo?

Frankly, Alderman Allens and Brookins may fare no better. However, Brookins inability to pay rent means that, perhaps, it is time to concentrate on the Aldermanic tasks at hand. Maybe, its time to find another attorney to share your office space. It seems like Elzie Higginbotham may have covered the outstanding rent for Brookins, for now, so that Brookins can focus on his campaign. The issue of 'double dipping' by our politicians is not new, but should it be tolerated and ignored?

Okay, perhaps I'm mistaken about poor Brian and Thomas. Maybe, I need better time management skills, stop my ranting, and save up some money for greens fees, as well. So boys and girls, when is the next LUC Law School Alumni Golf Outing? Will the rest of the Alumni appear on the 2008 photo?


Daniel said...

Just came across this blog entry today and saw your comments about Molly Phelan. I happen to know Molly and can tell you her father is most definitely NOT the Dick Phelan you're thinking of. Completely different family. Your mistake is understandable but I hope you correct it, because this woman has absolutely nothing to do with your gripe about nepotism and doesn't deserve to be smeared based on your mistaking her identity.

lafew said...

Well, the initial identification was in good faith. As much as I regret having to take Molly off the throne of the politically connected, I can at least try to promote for networking in good faith. The post is updated with both comments.

I hope she is flattered, if not, it will be removed. This was not about her as much as it was about how Loyola promotes alumni. Also, which alumni it selects for public display while political races are going on.

I am glad that Molly can afford to play at the Loyola golf outing. More women, among others, should try to play golf. A spread of Loyola Law Women Alumni playing golf or doing some other activity would have been more inspiring to some. Perhaps, an alternative spread of well connected women alumni?

The challenge for most of us: freeing up the time it takes to play golf. The Chicago Park District has reasonable green fees, but greens can get backed up and three hours seems to be the minimum to play nine holes for most with an average handicap.

The others photographed with Molly are Suffredin's son and another attorney's son based upon my understanding to date. Regrettably, the information from the firm that she worked for seemed at the time to relate back in some way to the Phelan family. Perhaps, this was an oversight.

The Loyola's Law School's insinuation, intentional or unintentional, is that it is either financially prohibitive to go to Loyola Law unless you are a Monico, Phelan, or Suffredin. The alternative message is if you go to this school, you will be educated among the politically connected. Perhaps, this is Loyola Law's target market. Perhaps, this is an oversight on its part.

My experience is that all law schools in have well connected alumni whose children may attend out of devotion, habit, preference, or tuition issues. The challenge is that Suffredin seems to have too many masters; a law firm, lobbying interests, and his Commissioner position.

I am disappointed that Suffredin cannot concentrate to satisfy the public's trust. There appear to more than one entity vying for his time. These conflicts of interest remain unresolved to this day.

The decision to promote Suffredin's son does not bide well for Loyola Law, IMHO. I believe that until Suffredin Senior appears to focus exclusively on County, he will appear questionable like Todd Stroeger. Suffredin still appears as a partner on the Froehlich website based upon the last visit.

There is no indication that he took a leave of absence. I understand that Suffredin also appears to the public as a lobbyist for significant concerns, while simultaneously trying to serve as a Cook County Commmissioner. Is there Conflict of interest? A conflict with dedication?

Where does the money go? Is he serving in his position in the most ethical and zealous manner? Did he use the position to deal with other committments? How does this photo appear to the parents of children in Chicago Public Schools who work tremendous hours in an effort to work, invest and raise enough money to help pay for law school tuition?