32nd Ward Alderperson Waguespack on Chicago Park District Scandal

Chicago Alderperson Scott Waguespack, 32nd Ward, joins the pod today to discuss the absolute abhorrent sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape scandal at the Chicago Park District.  A scandal driven the the public consciousness by the stellar reporting by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos. What is clear from Mihalopoulos’ reporting is that the Park District leadership throughout the ranks is a very incestual affair that when challenged will close ranks to protect their own in the very Chicago style we are all way too familiar with. They did this for many years if not decades at the cost of the safety of the bodies and lives of females employees.

While it is technically true that the Park District is a “sister agency” and as such is independent of the Mayor and Chicago City Council it has never really been independently except when it is politically expedient for politicians in Chicago. When the scandal broke the Mayor was very quick to distance herself from the leadership of the Park District of course and to put off calls from the public for the her to fire the Park District’s leadership. Of course as Mihalopoulos kept breaking story after story on the scandal the Mayor eventually had to publicly call for firing of the Park District leadership at which time they saw the writing on the wall and stepped down. This just shows the Mayor could of and should have done this as soon as Mihalopoulos’ frist story came out be she continued to put forward the myth that she had no influence on the Park District.

Also on today’s show we discuss a recent Greg Hinz column on the Chicago Police Department being short officers despite having no ability to prove that more officers equals less crime. Hinz joins the group of Chicagoans who are convinced Chicago needs more officers despite the ability to back up their assumptions with facts or evidence.

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Chicago Justice Podcast

This is our Chicago Justice Podcast that covers crime, violence, and justice issues in Chicago. We will feature deep dives in to justice system data, interview with researchers and justice system reform advocates, as well as evaluations of justice system practices.

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