Meet Chris Welch

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By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

I don't like Chris Welch, the newly-sworn-in state rep from the 7th District. Not a lot of people I don't like. But Chris Welch makes that list. Now he represents River Forest, Forest Park and other Proviso Township towns in Springfield. Given politics in Illinois, he is likely to be there a long time.

And right out of the gate, Welch makes the kind of arrogant, right-in-plain-sight move that I'd expect from him. He appointed a convicted felon — a corrupt cop — to run his district office in Westchester. Guy "Ric" Cervone was a high-ranking police official in Melrose Park until a few years ago. That's when he, along with Police Chief Vito Scavo and several other cops were indicted by the feds. What had they been up to? Scavo and company were running a private security company out of the police department, and they were using Melrose Park cops to staff it on village time, along with using police cars and the necessary gasoline.

Now that's a bold thing to do. Stupid. Wrong. But bold. Just the sort of thing that would appeal to Chris Welch.

Cervone changed his plea to guilty the day before his trial was to start and wound up going to prison for just four months along with garnering a fine and community service. He told the judge he was afraid and had made a mistake. I'd say. And when grown men in positions of power consciously abuse their government office in a corrupt plot to enrich themselves, then there are consequences. One of those consequences ought to be that you don't turn around and get rehired by a government body. Ever.

He was on the inside and he did wrong. He was on the inside and he could not be trusted.

Don't let him back on the inside, especially of Illinois state government which is already known for its sleaze.

Now over on our ForestParkReview.com website where we first broke this story — since we've been covering Chris Welch for over a decade as he has run the Proviso Township High School District to dust — we are receiving dozens of comments. Most of them are appalled that we aren't Christian and American enough to believe in second chances.

That three dozen of those anonymous comments came from a single IP computer address perhaps suggests a certain stoking of public opinion.

A 17-year-old kid who steals a car gets a second chance. A young man who gets caught up in drugs gets a second chance. A guy in his mid-40s who has reached the upper levels of the Melrose Park Police Department and then chooses to commit crime against his oath, well, he gets a second chance, too. Just not in government.

Unless he is a friend of State Rep. Chris Welch.

Hiring friends and family is standard operating procedure for Welch. That is one of the hallmarks of his tenure running the Proviso schools as a fiefdom. Then there are the distinctions of a school system with about the worst test scores in the state, where the finances are so out of control that the state government stepped in several years ago to take over. So which is more ironic? That Illinois, perhaps the greatest fiscal basket case among all 50 states, steps in to run Welch's school district's finances? Or that Welch now draws a paycheck from the state?

Chris Welch is not a good person. He is all that is wrong with politics. And he is out to prove it as our new state rep.

Contact:
Email: dhaley@wjinc.com Twitter: @OPEditor

Reader Comments

125 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

Ronnie from Melrose Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2013 8:05 PM

New Cook Co. Recorder hires family friend with felony conviction: EXCLUSIVE Read more: http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/21347169/cook-county-recorder-hires-family-friend#ixzz2M9i1hmbU

Ronnie from Melrose Park  

Posted: February 27th, 2013 8:03 PM

@Ronnie from Melrose Park Posted: February 19th, 2013 1:46 PM Bill, not sure where you got your law degree from but you might want to get a refund. The State of Illinois now prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of the applicant having been arrested. An employer is still free to choose not hire convicted felons, like Scavo. Who's talking about Scavo? Where did you get your law degree " An employer is still free to CHOOSE not hire or hire convicted felons Jack Ass

Ronnie from Melrose Park   

Posted: February 27th, 2013 8:01 PM

Ex-con Paul McKinley declared primary GOP winner in 2nd district Read more: http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/21417022/paul-mckinley-wins-gop-nomination#ixzz2M9gjHSoP I guess I was wrong

Ronnie from Melrose Park  

Posted: February 19th, 2013 1:46 PM

Bill, not sure where you got your law degree from but you might want to get a refund. The State of Illinois now prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of the applicant having been arrested. An employer is still free to choose not hire convicted felons, like Scavo.

Billy from Melrose Park   

Posted: February 19th, 2013 1:36 PM

The Obama administration's EEOC says it should be a federal crime to refuse to hire ex-convicts EEOC Has been notified regarding you comments in your articles and how prejudices the review is on age and ex offenders not being worthy of being hired. No boo hoo here. you are just not right

FYI  

Posted: February 1st, 2013 6:40 PM

Mark, when Welch actually secures even $100 in funding for ANYTHING, there'll be a press release in bold face, underlined type, an announcement on his website and 50 wensite posts from the same IP address copying the release. Ain't happened yet, bud.

Rez  

Posted: January 31st, 2013 2:34 AM

Brian, Welch appointed a corrupt public servant to a position to be a public servant. The fact the the corrupt public servant took advantage of his government position and broke the law doing so should be enough to show that he is not in any position to serve the public... It's not that difficult. Welch's argument is that he knows the guy personally, so we should just trust him. Of course he knows the guy, and wants to help his buddy out, why else would you hire a corrupt public servant?

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 30th, 2013 11:21 PM

Hey Dan Haley, did you hear Rep. welch secured $1.3 million for Forest Park recently? Will you be doing a story on this? Is this something that bad people do?

muntz  

Posted: January 29th, 2013 1:01 PM

Are there term limits yet?

John  

Posted: January 29th, 2013 12:25 PM

Haley does what he pleases. He has no credability. The paper pretends to be a local NEWs paper, but is Just opinions by Haley. He even controls what is said and the headlines. Look, he even was a shill - and an active one, for the debacle that was in River Forest - the Failed Home Rule referendum. Like I said - no Credability.

George Papadopolis from Chicago  

Posted: January 29th, 2013 12:01 PM

hey Webster. It is Dan Haley's newspaper so he can write whatever he wants. And, while Haley has admitted that he doesn't like Welch, there has been no reporting that is not true. It just casts the megalomaniac in a proper negative light, something that the sycophants and payrollers that he surrounds himself with never do. Thus for Chris (or Webster or whatever name he chooses to post with) the truth sounds like bias.

Webster from River Forest  

Posted: January 29th, 2013 11:34 AM

Dan Haley needs to quit using his newspapers to push his personal grievances. Your papers have absolutely no credibility.

Brian from Oak Park  

Posted: January 29th, 2013 6:42 AM

Ok let's stop here: These comments by FYI & Rez are so far off. One the individual in question is unable to work for a police dept which I assume he isn't. When did the state become a police dept. That's right its not. So nothing prohibits him from working there. I'm happy to hear you voted for Davis Yarbrough & Pres Obama. All support the second chance program and believe the STATE & US GOVERNMENT should provide monetary relief to them if they are unable to find employment. Please lets stop.

Rez  

Posted: January 29th, 2013 12:48 AM

Ray, You're entitled to your opinion about giving second chances, just as other people are entitled to theirs about the type of second chances one may deserve. For example, I'd have no problem with an ex- child sex offender trying to get work in a eatery, but I'd be against him working in a school. No one is talking about race being an issue, so you've bringing that issue into this yourself, and save the "lord have mercy" stuff for yourself. Public officials are accountable to their decisions.

FYI  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 11:12 PM

Hey, "Ray from Maywood-Ray from Maywood-Ray from Maywood." Drop the phony 'May the Lord" stuff, you BSing, faux-pious clown. You no more care about your opponents forgiveness than Welch does. And "calling a spade a spade"? It refers to poker, and telling the truth. Not everything refers back to racial injustice, much as you'd want it to. Just can't argue your case on the facts, can you? So whip out the race card and start whining.

Ray from Maywood  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 8:35 PM

To Miaundra this story was just fabricated the mans not even on the state payroll? Come on and everyone is commenting on the incorrect alleged facts. Plus the article was ran without the paper checking their facts. EX offender deserve a chance. May the Lord Bless you heathens and have mercy on your souls

Ray from Maywood  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 8:28 PM

Representative Welch isn't in Oak Park if that's where you are really from. I hope the Lord has mercy on your soul.

Ray from Maywood  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 8:25 PM

See that's why the card came out! Spade? Again this article is just hurting our society. There is nothing illegal about an ex offender working for the state. Its just your twisted opinion. Congressman Davis helps ex offender and so does Karen Yarbrough. Have you checked their staffs NO! This is a hate Mr Welch Party. May the Lord Help All Of You

Edwin Garcia from Oak Park  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 5:05 PM

Great article Dan. Glad to see someone in the media finally call a spade a spade. Also,agree with your opinion of the ex police officer. None of these guys would make it in the private sector. They "need" each other to make a living. They can't stand on their own 2 feet. Unfortunately, we have to pay for it. I'll be looking forward to cast my vote for his opponent. Thanks.

FYI  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 2:03 PM

Not to mention the difference between two other black office holders. I voted for Toni Preckwinkle, a fine, qualified, capable and honest woman, for County Board President. She's currently working diligently to clean up the mess and repair the damage wrought by two decidedly inferior black board presidents, John Stroger and his son Todd "Urkel" Stroger. Both Strogers, by the way, were quite willing to kowtow on demand to the corrupt white power structure.

Rez  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 2:02 PM

Yeah, it seems like the race card these days is often a knee jerk reaction to anyone who's not black, calling someone out who happens to be black. It also seems to get pulled when one does not have a strong counter point. It does a disservice to situations of real discrimination and racism.

FYI  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 11:04 AM

Thanks, Rez, race carding is exactly what "Ray" is about. Apparently voting six times for Barack Obama, numerous times for Danny K. Davis, for Dorothy Brown, Jesse White and Karen Yarbrough doesn't suffice if I dare criticize a black man. I'm embarrassed to say I also voted for Carol Mosely Braun, Earlean Collins and Welch's MENTOR, Eugene Moore. Not because they're black, but because they're inept or corrupt. I'm equally PROUD to have vote for a good, capable, honest man like Rory Hoskins.

Rez  

Posted: January 28th, 2013 3:17 AM

Ray, I thought you had something genuinely useful to add to this discussion until you pulled the race card. You sound like someone who thinks that anyone who doesn't like a person for what they do, who happens to be black, must hate black people... Do you believe anyone who thinks Mayor Eric Kellogg of Harvey is a criminal, is racist too? If someone is milking the system, they need to be outed, regardless of whether they're black, white or multi-color.

Miaundra from Bellwood  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 8:02 PM

I attended the Open House for Welch's State Rep Office in Westchester yesterday. Hundreds attended, but i did not see the WJ. Did the WJ cover it? If not, why not? You could have seen who works for the Representative and asked questions. Ric Cervone is NOT on the state payroll. Welch has two very impressive women he introduced me to as his staff. They were very open and transparent. Would have been nice to have the local paper cover this newsworthy event.

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 7:34 PM

Well, FYI, your comments clearly show you are biased and its personal. I'm sure Rep. Welch has more important things to do than go back and forth with silly people like you. Whether you like it or, regardless of all the things you are trying to rehash, he's the Representative of the 7th District. If you would like to do better, run against him. I'm sure he will be happy to run again on his record. All he seems to do is win.

FYI  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 7:10 PM

Well... thanks for making this easier, "Ray." Or Chris, or whomever you are. I've voted for African Americans for State Rep., State Senate, U.S. Senate- and not just Barack Obama. For IL Secretary of State, and other offices. So let ME cut to the chase here, pal- STICK IT. You're a liar and a deceitful jerk. Have you checked on convicted felons working for the state? Then tell me, who are they. Give me examples.

Ray from Maywood  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 5:42 PM

Lets cut to the chase you just don't like an African American named Welch as State Rep. Lets stop beating these people up

Ray from Maywood  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 5:39 PM

If you check there are people working for the state with much more serious crimes. Again I don't believe that this individual was charge with official misconduct nor was he charged with abuse of position of trust so we need to stop saying that its just not accurate. Yes felons cant work for a police dept but the state is different. we place many felons with the state.

FYI  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 4:48 PM

Ray, I am genuinely please you got a second chance. Very sincerely. It's what God wants for all of us. But that's not the issue. The issue is whether someone who admitted to a felony while entrusted to serve the public. He still deserves a second chance. But NOT in a position requiring trust from the public again. He wasn't a kid when he did the crime. Why not allow him to serve as a cop again? He can't. Not with a felony conviction. So the concept of "second chances" is itself limit by law.

Ray from Mawyood  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 2:18 PM

I am an ex-felon. I was convicted in court by a jury of some very serious charges. I was 35 years old then I am now 57. When I was release I had nowhere to turn. Luckily someone gave me a chance a second chance. In my spare time I work with an organization to help ex offers to make sure they do not become a burden to society, I help them learn from their mistakes, I let them know they are not worthless and they can contribute to the community no matter what age they are

Ray from Maywood  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 2:17 PM

Also ex offender can vote in Illinois and during the time I'm helping them I let them know who else supports helping them. I feel very blessed for my second chance and lucky that I didn't have a newspaper or people commenting that I was not worthy of being helped. May the Lord Bless You Mr Welch good job.

FYI  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 10:23 AM

Chris, You see fit to repeatedly bring up that a man didn't pass the bar exam on his first attempt, as if that makes him GUILTY of something, and you talk about karma? The only people here who have been found guilty of anything in civil and criminal courts are Chris Welch and Ric Cervone.

Grupper from Oak Park  

Posted: January 27th, 2013 5:20 AM

Hey did everyone hear that Rory Hoskins Failed The Bar Exam and State Sen Donne Trotter ,State Rep Derek Smith and State Rep Lashawn Ford are all under indictment and their cases are in court right now. Maybe not we only discuss old case here. We only use hatred here we only bring up other people past to hurt they even though they are trying to get on with their lives. KARMA is coming

FYI  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 6:08 PM

Correction. Bruno was released March, 2001. Soon after, he incorporated Prisonlifeline, Inc. Re-registered in June. Out of 1300 S. Paulina St., 3rd Flr. (312) 226-4300. That's the same address as Bruno's Illinois Development Corp., according to latest registration list with the IL. Sec of State Lobbyist Registration department. He's listed as a lobbyist for Prisonlifeline, and Welch supporter Ujamaa Construction, INc. One of Bruno's first acts was to donate $250 to Chris Welch.

FYI  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 5:49 PM

Hi Dave, actually, Bruno got out of prison a year ago. Actually started a business based on his criminal ex-offender status. The last two posters- unless you're Chris Welch- and he HAS lied previously about posting anonymously- then you probably didn't even graduate Proviso East or West. But, by all means, feel free to mock a law school graduate. How far did you get in school, boy?

Hey FYI  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 5:19 PM

This story was written by a grumpy old man who is pissed that his boy Rory didn't win. This is a repeat of the FPR story which was edited 5 times both papers obviously dislike Welch, but at least get the fact right Geeeee. as the other poster said Hoskins failed his bar exam

Hey FYI  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 5:14 PM

This story is all full of falsehoods this guy isn't even on the payroll. What are you blabbing about. Second chances are what America is made of. Also you know way too much about area you don't even live in

Dave Savini from NBC News  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 3:21 PM

FYI - I don't think that a state rep has enough positions on his staff to hire every ex-con Serpico crony but I do wonder if Anthony Bruno will be given a "second chance" by Welch when Bruno gets out of federal prison.

FYI  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 1:06 PM

Yep. So long as the ex-offender is a crony of Ron Serpico.

Althea in Bellwood  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 12:31 PM

If this is true, then thank you Mr. Welch for starting what was talked about during your campaign for state rep. We talked about second chances for ex-offenders in their efforts to find employment. You are the example that most should follow by employing ex-offenders instead of criticizing those that do. Kudos Mr. Welch!!

FYI  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 10:12 AM

As Sun-Times reporter Smaus Toomey famously wrote in his lead in a July, 2007 article: .........."The feds Thursday called it 'an illegal racketeering enterprise.' In Melrose Park, it was known as the police department." To paraphrase: In Oak Park and River Forest, they call it battery or fraud. In Maywood and Melrose Park, they call it politics. It's not your race, it's your character. You guys are a cancer, eating away all that's good. Oak Park and River Forest are wise to be wary of you.

FYI  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 9:58 AM

Again, for anyone actually from RF or OP who wants to get past the self-serving spewings from Melrose Park/Maywood political vermin, I suggest this Jan. 16 article by the Better Government Associations's Robert Herguth- http://www.bettergov.org/maywood_democracy_isn't_easy_?"_or_pretty/ MAYWOOD DEMOCRACY ISN'T EASY?" OR PRETTY "With election season underway, rivals to the village's establishment find curious ?" and perhaps improper ?" roadblocks as they try to get on the ballot...."

FYI  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 9:45 AM

Haley got it spot on. You guys live in a political sewer, and you like it. But at least you're finally getting at the truth. Maywood Mark acknowledges Welch's support from the criminal thug life element, even celebrates it, and Gino the goon. acknowledges the need to bring in "top assassins" as part of Melrose Park/Proviso/Leyden gumba politics. Haley a bully? Please. You two know more about back alley persuasion than Haley will ever know. Right, Gino?

Paul from River Forest   

Posted: January 26th, 2013 8:21 AM

Did you even bother to check these facts before you ran to print this story? I would have to say no. Dan could even get one thing right. What a disgrace you are Haley.

Gino from Melrose Park  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 6:28 AM

This story has Larry Shapiro all over it. He went right to the only newspapers (rags) that would even consider writing about this, and they were dumb enough to print it. Now we find out the this guy isn't even on a state payroll. OMG! Larry Shapiro is a loser Rory Hoskins is a loser Welch is the winner he was smart enough to hired MP Top Political Assassins. Larry Shapiro give it up go away

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 26th, 2013 1:31 AM

FYI you finally get it. Rep. Welch is from the community so he knows he represents everyone, including ex offenders. Your boy Hoskins is a Texan and he and Shapiro didn't get it. Take no vote for granted. As for Haley, he will learn that you can't bully someone into buying advertisements in his papers.

FYI  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 6:53 PM

Ahh, ya got me there, Mark. You astute individual, you. So, Mark, when was the ex-offender "community" NOT part of Welch's base?

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 12:57 PM

@FYI, are you Larry Shapiro? If so, you and Haley's attempt to smear Rep. Welch did nothing but enhance his stature. The ex-offender community is now a major base for Welch. Thanks Mr. Shapiro and Mr. Haley for helping our new Representative.

FYI  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 12:10 PM

As I said, classic Proviso Think. When confronted with facts, deny, deny, deny. Of course, don't do it personally. Have your minions do it. Because with people like Welch, the truth is always the enemy.

Wendy from Oak Park  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 11:04 AM

@Pam Zekman from the Mirage the FPR changed their article at least five times. How do you know Welch was quoted accurately? Call his office. There is no Ric Cervone on his payroll. From Dan Haley's own writings, it appears to me that they would write and publish anything to smear the guy. Also, FYI, it appears the voters of the 7th District rejected your smear campaign. Hoskins lost. His campaign manager Larry Shapiro lost again. He's not a good manager. All he does is throw dirt.

FYI  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 10:07 AM

This is classic Proviso Think. If someone brings up facts that reflect badly on your guy, throw up a bunch of chaff about unrelated issues. (Hoskins failed the bar, etc). As Covington said, NO ONE in Oak Park is trying to get Welch "unelected." This is about Welch's morals, about his political alliances with Serpico, Bruno, etc, his dreadful stewardship and misuse of D209 and its people, and about his deceit and lying regarding the Proviso Insider website. That's not rumor, it's documented.

Pam Zekman from The Mirage Tap  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 10:00 AM

Wendy, either Welch lied when he said that Cervone was going on his legislative staff payroll or his staffers lied to you in the call. From last week's WJ: "Because Cervone was just been added to the state's financial recordkeeping system last week, The Review was unable to confirm his income from the state. However, Welch said that Cervone will not receive benefits or be eligible for a state pension since he is working part-time." Sure seems that Cervone is getting paid by the state.

Wendy from Oak Park  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 9:41 AM

This article and most of these comments are silly. Mr. Welch has been elected. If you want to un-elect him, you will have your chance next year. Until then, let's not re-hash the campaign. He won. The other guy lost. I called his office this morning I found out Welch has four employees. Veronica Gonzalez is his Admin Asst, Francine Harrell does Constiutent Services and two staffers in Springfield. They do not have a Ric Cervone working for them. They referred me to his campaign office.

covingtondevelopment@yahoo.com from Oak Park  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 7:36 AM

@all Proviso yahoos--this is not an Oak Park issue, so why all the vitriol about Oak Park? You elected Welch, now you can live with him, that is your choice. However, your election of this goofball is not beyond comment. It appears from his prior conduct that he is not fit to serve in a position of public trust--inappropriate sex cases, questionable legal relationships, financial missteps, etc. Plus, the defamation case-trying to use public funds to settle where he blamed a student for his deeds

Keith  

Posted: January 25th, 2013 4:23 AM

I like how you think you should decide who gets a second chance in LIFE since you know nothing about this case. Also age is a factor? You mean when you older you don't get a second chance or even a third in LIFE? Age discrimination. You are just plain stupid!

FYI  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:32 PM

From the IL State Board of Education website: Proviso petitioned the IL State Board of Education on December 18, 2008 to become a Financial Oversight Panel. We have constructed this sight to keep you informed and to help answer any questions that you may have. http://www.isbe.net/finance/Proviso/default.htm

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:26 PM

FYI, that story is old news and didn't go any where because it was obvious the lawyer didn't have a vote. It was obvious to anyone who read it that Burdi had the votes. Do you know how to count? FYI, welch won the election and is our state rep.

FYI  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:26 PM

(con't) Welch declined to discuss the case in detail. But Welch's about-face came as he received financial support from Burdi's political party, Neighbors Active Party of Stone Park, in his legislative race. That group donated $1,000 to Welch's campaign fund in September 2011, $160 in October 2011 and $500 in March 2012, state records show."...................... And the D209 budget was ONLY balanced in recent years because the state panel dragged the D209 kicking and screaming to accountability

FYI  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:23 PM

(con't) a year when the school board dismissed him. Burdi sued?, and Welch told the board he could win the case, said another veteran board member, Dorothy Smith. By late 2011, Welch seemed to change his tune, as his law firm recommended that the board settle with Burdi and rehire him, according to Thurman and Smith. That's what the board eventually did, putting him into a slightly different job that carried an $80,000 salary. The board voted in January 2012 to reinstate Burdi...

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:22 PM

@Brian, I think a good reporter would have found out how much taxpayer money has been expended prior to expressing severe outrage and dislike. @FYI, Welch won the election despite your inaccurate portrayal of his record. FYI, and your buddy Hoskins is still a loser who failed the bar exam. FYI, the Proviso budget has been balanced for four years. The oversight group has only been there three. You do the math.

FYI  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:21 PM

From Better Govt Dec 26; http://www.bettergov.org/on_second_thought/ "Another curiosity with Joe Burdi's return to Bellwood School District 88 involves the now-former school board attorney, Emanuel "Chris" Welch. In December 2010, Welch told board members it was in our rights" to fire Burdi after a sexual harassment complaint was lodged by a female employee against him, recalled one veteran member, Marilyn Thurman. Burdi was head of buildings, grounds and transportation, making more than $100,00

Brian Williams from 30 Rock  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:13 PM

Marv. When the state cuts the first paycheck for the felon, will that alleviate your combo paranoia/denial?

FYI  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:05 PM

D209's deficits under Welch, from Illinois School report cards: 02-03: $7,878,408 deficit 03-04: $8,644,405 deficit 04-05: $21,022,967 deficit 05-06: $9,030,645 deficit 06-07: $16,214,646 deficit (D209 then asked state to oversee finances) 07-08: $9,549,969 deficit 08-09: $204,133 deficit 09-10: $2,269,110 surplus June, 2011 audit shows D209 has $84 million in long-term debt. In April, state oversight board denied $400,000 settlement payout from D209. In July, Welch settled with own money.

Marvin from Forest Park  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 8:21 PM

Chet, David, FYI and many others sound an awful lot like Dan Haley posing under fake names. This guy has no journalistic ethics. He even pretended to check ip addresses to create a false pretence that someone was making multiple posts. Well, actually people, maybe the readers of this story actually disagree with these tactics. Instead of admitting when he's wrong, Haley is acting out like a bully does.

Frank   

Posted: January 24th, 2013 8:06 PM

Hey check the IP's where is the IP checking now, I guess its do as I say not as I do.....

David Brinkley from Next to Chet  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:51 PM

Um Marv, Welch was sworn in on January 9. My guess is that the felon's first paycheck just hasn't been cut yet. He is unquestionably going to be paid by the state however.

FYI  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:51 PM

Hey Frank, get over your raging inferiority complex. Oak Park isn't telling anyone what to do. Though Proviso Township sure looks like it could benefit from some advice. Oak Park and River Forest are simply saying they don't want the same kind of corrupt, inept, do-as-you're told cronyism that's left much of Proviso a wasteland of crime and pointless debt. Welch's puppet master is a white guy, fool. Welch is no Obama, much as you want him to be. He's a hack who kowtows to white power brokers.

Marvin from Forest Park  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:46 PM

Chet, if you really work on a news desk, maybe you can pick up the phone like I did and call the State. Or is that too much for you too? Clearly Haley didn't do this basic function. Walter Cronkite would be turning over in his crave at this sensational journalism passing as the Wednesday Journal. What a joke!

Marvin from Forest Park  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:43 PM

Hey Harry! Call the State yourself. Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka has no record of a Guy Ric Cervone working for the state. Clearly he does something for Welch. His campaign paid him $14,000. But who cares what Welch does with his campaign money. I'm troubled that an experienced editor/publisher would write such a hateful piece without first checking the basic facts. How much does he make for the state? When did he start? Haley, do you have an answer for us?

Chet Huntley from The news desk  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:41 PM

Frank - can you answer the question of where the money is coming from to pay the felon if not from the State of Illinois?

Frank   

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:36 PM

Hey Harry, take off the Tinfoil hat.......

Harry Reasoner from Heaven  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 6:59 PM

Marvin - who is paying the ex felon if not the state of Illinois? Nhe is working at a state reps office. Are you saying that Welch is using the tax dollars funneled to him by Serpico and Calderone?

Marvin from Forest Park  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 6:42 PM

Walter Cronkite said the bedrock principles of good journalism are honesty, fairness, truth, totality of story, and telling both sides. This story is neither. This is sensationalism at its best. I checked with the state. Guy Ric Cervone is not an employee of the state, and I can care less who Welch hires to work on his campaign. Get your facts straight before spreading hateful, inaccurate news.

Violet Aura  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 6:21 PM

Why wasn't he assigned to Cicero?! He'd fit right in there...

Kathy from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 6:04 PM

Someone told me about this article so I had to see for myself, and I can safely say it is terrible. Name calling, judging people, bring up someones past as they try to start over, 100% personal. Using the power of the pen just to be spiteful and malicious. Mr Haley you should quit or get fired. This was disgusting. I'm serious. yuck!

Frank  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 6:00 PM

Oh FYI, I don't know what we would do without our superior friends in Oak Park telling us what to do. Your utopian ways intrigue us on a daily basis. Please tell us how to live our lives, we are just plain directionless with out your guidance...... Get over your self chief, we'll get along just fine without you,

Tamera from Maywood  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 5:29 PM

Should convicted felons be given a second chance? Barack Obama thinks so, and he thinks the tax payers should have to foot the bill. He made his view on this issue more than evident during a town hall meeting in Elyria, Ohio on January 22nd. Karen's (Yarbrough) legislative themes have been public health and public safety. She has been a stalwart fighter to increase assistance for those incarcerated, and funding for programs that provide a "SECOND CHANCE" Old Danny boy didn't do his homework

Sharie  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 5:20 PM

Quote from US Congressman Danny Davis:These men and women deserve a second chance. Their families, spouses and children, deserve a second chance and their communities deserve a second chance. A second chance means an opportunity to turn a life around. A chance to break the grip of a drug habit. A chance to support a family, to pay taxes, to be self-sufficient. http://www.davis.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=29&Itemid=1

Terry from River Foest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 5:16 PM

Hey did everyone hear that Rory Hoskins Failed the Bar Exam

Faith  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 4:57 PM

That email address and that photo of Chris Welch was not there when I looking last week to write him about Pension reform. I'm glad it's there now, though.

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 12:31 PM

Miranda - I voted for Hoskins, but I wouldn't say that I actively supported him. It was more a lesser of two evils thing.

FYI  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:57 AM

The comments coming from Oak Park just FEEL like paternalism, since so many citizens of Proviso township think like children politically. Haley is speaking for River Forest, not Proviso township. But he sure touched a nerve. When folks in Proviso township wake up- and many have, Welch won by just 36 votes- they'll realize Welch is Ronnie Serpico's boy. He does what he's told, just like he'll obey Serpico's boss in Springfield, Mike Madigan. Race has nothing to do with this. It's the corruption.

Oak Park Paternalism  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:47 AM

Hey, you people who do not live in Oak Park should listen to Mr. Haley! He is white, liberal, lives in Oak Park and obviously knows who and what is better for you than you do! If only you listened to him, you would all be better off!

FYI  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:34 AM

Well, Al from River Forest, then you got played.

Al from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:25 AM

I found this link which has been up since January 9, 2013, the day Welch was sworn into office: http://www.ilga.gov/house/Rep.asp?GA=98&MemberID=2039

Miaundra from Bellwood  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:21 AM

Hey Tom, are you the same Tom that supported Rory Hoskins for State Rep against Welch. The same Hoskins that failed the bar exam? Did you know Welch passed the bar on the first try?

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:17 AM

Boy, I would love to know how many of these posts in support of Welch came from the IP address formerly occupied by the Proviso Insider?

Al from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:04 AM

I am a retired teacher from River Forest. I met Chris Welch during the campaign, and I found him to be quite genuine and compelling. I do not find this article an accurate reflection of his character at all. I am appalled that Dan Haley can write a raving review about a rep facing a 17 count federal indictment like LaShawn Ford, and then write this article about Rep. Welch. Come on Dan, you can do better than this. We expect more from our local paper.

Miaundra from Bellwood  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 10:11 AM

I looked up Welch at www.ilga.gov and all of his information is there under Emanuel Chris Welch. I also found it at www.emanuelchriswelch.com

Faith from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 9:00 AM

Public people are judged by journalists because they have long track records. Dan is well informed & has made an opinion based on both Welch's and Ford's history of service ?" nothing to do with race. I think that the persons defending Welch are in his inner circle, so sure they think he's great. I can say that 1) he's never knocked on my door, and 2) on the State listing of elected officials, Welch didn't list his email address or post his photo, as others have.

John from Forest Park  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:42 AM

I think Dan Haley has made a gross error in judgment as an editor and as a professional. To admit that he dislikes a person that he regularly writes negative/slanted articles about says it all. And here he questions Welch's ethics. That's laughable. Clearly, Haley has no ethics or journalistic standards. He is just a bully who owns a newspaper or two. Stand strong Rep. Welch. Don't let a bully tell you how or who should run your office. Do you tell him how to run his paper?

Mark4209@hotmail.com from Maywood  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:22 AM

Dear Dan, please write a 250 word letter of apology to Rep. Welch. He did not deserve this hate filled diatribe from you. Dan, when will you eat crow and shine Welch's shoes? When he replaces Danny K. Davis in Congress? Are you full of hate for Welch because Proviso High Schools refused to run ads in your papers? Did you know Welch is Chair of Westlake Hospital, a Vanguard Hospital Board? I think Vanguard should think twice about advertising in this hate filled rag too.

Wendy from Forest Park  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:20 AM

Well said Keith but its Donne Trotter I knew who you meant. All true and the WJ has no issues with those powerful politicians running government at this very time. They only seek out who they presume as the weak. The other very disturbing part of this is that the same WJ/FPR loyal haters all come out to spike the football without reaching the story first. As long as its a dart at Welch its all good here.

Miaundra from Bellwood  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:15 AM

@Dan, please tell us how you write articles about LaShawn K. ford that make him out to be a saint when he's under a 17 count federal indictment? Is former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin a saint lime Saint Ford? When LaShawn Ford is convicted, will you tell people he deserves a second chance? Or, will you just keep writing garbage about a man you professed you don't like? When will you adhere to real journalism ethics Dan?

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:05 AM

Dear Keith, you are welcome to send us a letter to the editor. E-mail to Ktrainor@wjinc.com. Print deadline is Friday at 5 p.m. The word limit is 250. Our papers haven't commented on Jesse Jackson, Jr. because he lives in the south suburbs. Our papers cover Oak Park, River Forest, Austin, Forest Park, Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside. So we cover both Welch and Ford and in my column of opinion I've written about both. We welcome your letter. Thanks for commenting.

Miaundra from Bellwood  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 7:03 AM

@Tom, are you talking about the news that Dan Haley edits and publishes for your reading pleasure. Do you actually think Haley would give you the good stuff about a guy he professes he does not like? I agree with Mark. You all should meet Chris Welch and judge for yourself. Do not form opinions based on writings from a self professed hater. Www.emanuelchriswelch.com or www.chriswelch2012.com, or www.sanchezdh.com or find him on LinkedIn, twitter or Facebook.

Keith from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 5:43 AM

How can I have an opinion article published in your paper? There is so much more to say about the one sided reporting that goes on in the Forest Park Review and Wednesday Journal and someone need to set you two straight on some facts. Its sinful that you can print such lies and get away with it. Its time to put a stop to it NOW!

Keith from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 5:37 AM

Why is ok to the FPR & WJ that US Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr easily won re-election even though he was under investigation from the Federal Government for misuse of funds, or State Senator Jesse Trotter for attempting to bring a loaded gun on and aircraft or State Rep LaShawn Ford who is under indictment on 17 counts of bank fraud case or State Rep Derrick Smith who too is under indictment for an allegedly taking a $7,000 bribe and was removed once from his house seat. cont:

Keith from River Forest  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 5:36 AM

They all are in positions to actually vote on laws and programs that effect and govern the state and country. Not to mention a direct effect on the allocation of money while be paid by the state and government. Yet the WJ & FPR chose to pick on a low level part-time employee who has been given a second chance just to continue to take shots at Welch. Where are your priorities?

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 11:20 PM

I am guessing that we have witnessed the fusillade that Sharon Daly presaged. Franklin, if you don't know why Dan Haley thinks Welch is a bad guy, I will just assume that you don't bother to read the news. I do and therefore I know.

Franklin from Forest Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 10:57 PM

What is unfortunate is that Dan does not expound on why he doesn't like Chris. Thats not fair, especially when you are the Editor of a newspaper. Why is "Chris Welch not a good person?"

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 10:44 PM

Gloria is so right. If all the people Chris Welch helped made a comment, this site would be shut down. Chris Welch helped me keep my barber's license when the state tried to suspend it based on an erroneous report that said I had not paid my child support. If my license had been suspended, I would not have been able to pay. I'm glad he can now fix unjust laws like that. We needed a guy like Chris in Springfield. Dan, you're an arrogant bum.

Frank  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 10:26 PM

And FYI, I see you think those who have a relationship with The Lord are "Goofs" maybe you need to reevaluate your life and the choices you have made before you sully the faith of 247 million self identified American Christians. I'll pray for you tonight. Forgive them lord for they know not what they do.....

RLM from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 10:25 PM

Why would I have no reason to know? Because I live in Oak Park? Because you assume I'm not black? Maybe because you think MY church isn't in his district and hasn't solicited his help successfully? All irrelevant to the point. Hopefully Welch proves the naysayers wrong and doesn't attempt to wield his clout and position for his own benefit. We all need to face it..our representation up and down 290 is questionable at this point in Springfield. And we ALL deserve better.

Frank  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 10:20 PM

As I said on Sunday "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Mr Haley this is why your credibility is shot. You are a very sad case This is truly a case of Oligarchy. A guy has a few bucks in his pocket to prop up a failing newspaper and he thinks he can stand in judgement of us all. This is why folks don't trust the media. The only laudable part of this article when Haley admits he's a hack...,,

Gloria from Hillside  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 10:06 PM

This has absolutely nothing to do with Chris Welch's character. RLM from Oak Park would have no reason to know Welch and Barbara from Forest Park I'm sure doesnt either. My church was going through foreclosure. We hired Chris Welch to save it. We owed him over $5,000, and he waived his fee, and told the church he would write it off. Chris Welch does things like that for people all the time. That's what you don't see. He helps people. No matter who they are. One day, you all may need him

FYI  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 10:00 PM

"I bet you feel like it's bad enough that a black man is running the country!"........Ummm, "Norris," and all you other scripture quoting goofs? Really, REALLY, ya' all need to try actually reading the Wednesday Journal and in particular Haley's columns that touch on Obama. This is about Welch's character, not his racial heritage.

RLM from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 10:00 PM

WOW. Do ya'll know ANYTHING about this man and his history on the school board, or his lawsuits, or his censures? Or are these people all responding from the same IP address again? This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with character. I'd be surprised if Welch can SPELL that word.

Barbara from Forest Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 9:39 PM

Dan is on target with his comments about Chris Welch. It has nothing to do with his color and all to do with his character.

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 9:27 PM

My mother always told me to make up my own mind about people. I suggest to the readers that you do the same. Rep. Welch has an open house this Saturday, jan 26 from 1-3. His office is at 10055 Roosevelt Road, Suite E, Westchester. Make up your own mind about Welch when you meet Chris Welch.

Terry  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 9:02 PM

Who gave you the right to say who and who isn't a good person. How dare you say that about anyone. The story you are rerunning is not even close to being correct. Rehashing inconsistencies just to hurt someone is being a bad person. You sir are no good. I'm With WELCH!

Jill from Bellwood   

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 8:45 PM

Dan: He who try's to be the teacher of man should start by teaching himself before teacher others... "FIRST" you should lead by example before opening you mouth, because if you think you can rectified your own mistakes by blaming others, then you never harvest the message that you try to send! I support Chris Welch, He is a man of good character

Sherrod from Bellwood  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 8:22 PM

@Charles Norris I totally agree with you sir and nobody could have said it better. Keep moving forward Rep.Welch and don't let this man with low self- esteem bother you. Seems like a lonely bitter white male that hates to see a Strong Educated Black Male in Power Excelling. Keep letting that Light Shine Rep. Welch

Antonio from Maywood  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 8:17 PM

I am a Latino & proud to have voted for Rep Chris Welch & will continue to believe in his policies.

Sherrod from Bellwood   

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 8:16 PM

First off your article and websites are totally bias with a racist content.This is so sad how people just lie for some type of attention.You must have a lot of time on your hands to be putting together articles about a man with the highest integrity as a leader for such little pay.Why stress yourself and others with lies?My Rep. Welch is a great man, father, role model, and leader for young men like myself. Hate is the problem in today's society.I see the racism and prejudice war will never end

JR from Oak Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 8:15 PM

Once again Dan you miss the mark. What does any of this story have to do with Oak Park? You think that just because you have a newspaper you can tell everyone who you don't like. We don't care. As my kids say "Stop hating".

O Henry  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 8:07 PM

Indicted 8th District Rep. LaShawn Ford will soon find out why the government only loses 2% of their cases. Hey old man what if LaShawn Ford need a job wanna think then?

O Henry  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 8:05 PM

Rep. LaShawn Ford indicted on bank fraud charges The charges allege that Ford fraudulently obtained $373,500 in advances from the line of credit to rehabilitate six real estate properties on the West Side. But he used part of that money to pay off car loans, credit cards, mortgages, casino debts and expenses for his 2006 campaign, prosecutors said. According to the indictment, Ford submitted false tax returns that inflated his personal and business income to increase the line of credit to $1.5

Mike from Forest park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 7:37 PM

Dan,do not overrate what you have received,nor envy others.He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.I support our State Rep Welch & his leadership skills.

Mike from Forest park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 7:28 PM

Dan,do not overrate what you have received,nor envy others.He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.I truly support the leadership that Rep.Welch brings & the professionalism in which he carries himself.

John from Forest Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 6:36 PM

Dan, you are a really nasty, bitter old man. You need to get out of the publishing business. You have no heart. Oh wait. Yes yo do. You cheer for indicted Reps like LaShawn Ford. New State Rep. Chris Welch has helped lots of people. That's why he gets votes. You need to get over it and realize newspapers don't win elections. Hardworking, good, family people like Rep. Welch wins because he knocks on doors and talks to people. You wouldn't know this because you're blinded by hate.

Mark from Maywood  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 6:21 PM

Dan, how can you write a column praise the indicted Rep. LaShawn Ford and then write an article like this? You are what's wrong with journalism. You are blind by hate and don't see the good in what Rep. Welch has done. Federal court cases have transcripts. Read the transcripts. Even the Judge said Cervone is a good guy. Everyone deserves second chances. Especially a good guy like Cervone. I don't like people like you Dan Haley.

Paul  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 5:59 PM

60 days and this story is all lies

jerry from Forest Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 5:06 PM

Can we get this printed in the Forest Park Review. I can't believe this guy only did four months.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 4:50 PM

Indeed. Chances are good that Forest Park and River Forest will pay quite a price for failing to deliver 36 more votes to defeat Welch in the primary. Dan is understating the attempted blood bath that recently occurred on our (Review's) website. Actually still happening - they're a bit manic. Hold on to your hats, neighbors, and your tax dollars too.

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