Large headlines in Viewpoints, on Oct. 3, stated, “There’s something rotten in River Forest” and “RF’s ethics ordinance comes up short.” Large photos of the persons subject to the attack of the headlines, Frank Paris and Al Swanson, were published. These letters are part of a continuing series of letters of attacks against the majority of the River Forest village board and others who have worked with it.

Could it be that there is “something rotten in Viewpoints?” Its letters have said an odor is rising from River Forest’s village hall; it is the stink of patronage and ineptitude; it is difficult to prevent the village president and his allies from rewarding their friends at taxpayers’ expense; an exorbitant rate of pay for a hearing officer suggests a payback for past political favors; reference to the cabal as including board members Paris, O’Brien, Dillon and Conti; favoritism; violations of the village code; three blind mice board members; parking tax fix; tax break; police issues; etc.

These derogatory and unjustified publications have been authored by a small minority who have special axes they bear. This appears to include Edward Hanrahan. On Oct. 3, Viewpoints published his attack on Frank Paris about violations of the village code. Then on Nov. 7, Viewpoints published another derogatory article by Hanrahan falsely stating, “However, if history repeated itself, I’d bet more ‘giveaways’ occurred then, like the parking ticket fix for proposed Hearing Officer Jim O’Rourke.”

There was no parking ticket “fix.” Jim O’Rourke is a highly regarded former assistant state’s attorney and longtime good River Forester. His good character is an interesting contrast to what was published in the book, The Great Conspiracy Trial, page 308, about Hanrahan’s character when he was the famous state’s attorney involved in the lies about the Black Panthers murders in the late 1960s.

Some of us “old-timers” well remember Ed Hanrahan as that state’s attorney and the false claims then made as to the killing of the Panthers.

Personally and professionally, I have good reason to believe that Al Swanson, Jim O’Rourke, Frank Paris and Nancy Dillon are good and honorable persons who should not be subjected to what appears to be a conspiratorial attack. If their accusers have any evidence of their accusations, they are under a duty to take it to the appropriate authority for prosecution.

Why should Viewpoints continue publishing letters from Hanrahan and the others? Wednesday Journal has even gone a step further in Our Views on Nov. 14, referring to Frank Paris as the “undisputed top dog in River Forest” and as “king” with a one-man form of governance. At least, it acknowledges some admiration for Paris for the great deal he has accomplished and that there will be an election in the future. Why not spare those wrongfully accused and their families from such garbage and let the majority of River Forest voters continue to decide who will continue to represent them?

Ward P. Fisher
River Forest

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