Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Illinois: Latiker, the Papers and Some Questions

According to a March 7, 2008, article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Sharon Latiker was convicted of "deceptive practice and conspiracy" for allegedly stealing $17,250 from the city treasurer's office while she worked in the corporation counsel office - from March 1990 to October 1990. Latiker was then sentenced to two years' probation for theft, but "violated her probation, leaving a felony on her record."

Latiker received a pardon in 1999 before the current Governor, Rod Blagojevich (D) took office.

Three years later, on February 12, 2002, the Sun Times featured an article on Latiker that was rather sympathetic. It began, for example, by stating that she had acknowledged that she "made a huge mistake," that she has "gotten down on her knees and asked for forgiveness," made "restitution" and "gladly suffered the humiliation" for her crime. But, said the article, her past still controlled her future "like a traffic cop." The article went on to say, without many specifics at all, that Latiker was "one of three women" who were "swept up in a check-writing scam." In addition to describing her as having been passively "swept up," the article noted that she performed 1,000 hours of community service, she had fulfilled "all" of the requirements of her probation and worked for a "large, successful" campaign and that she had earned a Master's degree and was working on a doctorate.

So, maybe it seemed reasonable that, in August 2005, when Governor Blagojevich went a step further and formally expunging the offense from Latiker's record, the Sun-Times did not seem to even notice, even though, at the time, she had been an employee with the State since 2003. Indeed, it was three years after Blagojevich's expungement (March 14, 2008) when a Sun-Times editorial described the Governor's decision in this manner:
... Blagojevich had expunged the record of a woman, Sharon Latiker, who was gearing up to run against House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie. Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan are bitter enemies, so the expungement was seen by some as helping Latiker's campaign against Madigan's majority leader.
Likewise, it was not until 2008 that a representative from the Better Government Association observed Ms. Latiker "ripped off the public" and complained, "It's one thing to give people who had a run-in with the law a second chance. But it's another when someone is accused of stealing from the public."

Regardless, a 2006 Sun-Times editorial recommended Currie, the 27-year incumbent in the 25th district, for the State House over Latiker. The Sun-Times argued Latiker did not "seem to have a keen handle on the issues facing the state." No reference was made to either the pardon or the expungement. The Chicago Tribune, on the other hand, "strongly preferred" Currie over Latiker and described Latiker as:
... a former city Law Department administrator who was convicted for writing bad checks. Latiker later won a pardon and expungement. She has few specific ideas for the state or her district.
The same recommendation was made by the Sun-Times in 2008. The Chicago Tribune, again, "strongly endorsed" Currie over Latiker. But no mention was made of either the pardon or the expungement by either paper.

So, the question comes to this: How does the Sun-Times find the nerve to describe the Latiker pardon and expungement as being something like a recent "disclosure" in March of 2008? The Tribune knew about - and wrote about - both of the decisions in 2006. The Sun-Times has also recently reported that Blagojevich's administration has "allowed access to most of what was contained in executive clemency files at the Prisoner Review Board" since 2003. So, what has prevented the Sun-Times from "disclosing" this story for three years? Perhaps the Sun-Times should get a subscription to the Tribune?


donnachild said...

Latiker is a crook her and Rod and how can she be over a school and display that kinda behavior , you write bad checks you should be punished and you steal you should be puinshed a crook will always be a crook what kinda role model can she be to the kids at her school!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

God forgives us for our sins, and he expects us to forgive one another for the sins we commit as well. Remember, all have sinned and have come short of the Glory of God. There is none good, no not one!!!! Also, if we fail to forgive those who sin against us... we must keep in mind-that God will not forgive us for our sins that we committed against Him. And we all know where sinners will spend eternity!!!

Anonymous said...

You know you are the one who wrote that.


Anonymous said...

Sharon Latiker is very ambitious and will use that ambition to take whatever she can from people. I feel sorry for her, she has tried to prove herself to people for many years, she has tried to fit into circles that never embraced her. Her life is a fantasy. Most recently, I heard that the school she was placed over was shut down unbeknowing to her teachers and the parents who paid fees over the summer for their children to attend the school. When they arrived Tuesday, September 8th the school was closed. I believe that deep down she is a good person but, is driven to succeed. Sharon learn to love yourself enough that you don't have to prove anything to anyone. Develop real friendships and not with someone because, they are known or drive a fancy car, or hold some prestigious position. If you had looked you would have found women/people who honestly like you for you. But, the only problem- who are you? Only you can answer that question. I hope and pray that you didnot take those people money and spent it.

Anonymous said...

We are not to judge God will have his day with her and hopefully she would have repented by then. All I have to say is there is a lot of fishy things going on with this women who she says is a woman of God. New Way Learning Center shut down and those employees always got paid late, checks bounced, or they did not get paid at all. A little update Dr. Latiker now as her own school Labor of Love and the same thing has happen employees or not getting paid family member are being placed in positions not qualified for. How can the state give this women grants and funds. Someone needs to blow the whistle and stop being scared soon enough It will happen. Come one people you are not getting paid or are you is it just the enter circle she has getting paid and other left out. Stringing you guys along using Gods name in vain crying like she's sorry. I wonder what the BBB would say about this info or even the news. Stay Tuned

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