“The issue dealing with violence is not just dealing with police officers, it’s silence. You cannot have silence in the community when anything takes place,” he said.
A secret agreement that benefits only Mayor Daley. A mysterious side issue that stops a settlement in its tracks. Lawyers refusing to talk because of a gag order that nobody ordered. What’s going on? Why doesn’t the city settle with three victims of police torture and stop paying private attorneys public money to negotiate with them?
Defying the odds, the mayor has so far avoided the hot seat set out for him by U.S. magistrate judge Geraldine Soat Brown. Last February Brown ordered Mayor Daley to submit to questioning in a civil suit brought by a former death row inmate who says he was tortured and framed by Chicago police detectives. Daley’s resistance has kept the meter running on litigation that’s cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees, though it’s a battle the city has no moral reason to contest and slim hope of winning.
The 49-page transcript has the special prosecutors asking Daley 81 questions and the mayor answering with variations on “I don’t recall” 20 times. Magistrate Brown described the transcript as containing “little useful information.” For some perspective, consider that when state’s attorney Richard Devine, who served as Daley’s first assistant, was questioned by lawyers for Burge victims last year, the transcript ran 574 pages without exhibits.