Law School Discussion



« on: April 22, 2006, 04:47:55 AM »
Case closed, agent's career ends

He isn't flashy or in your face. He has the kind of low-key personality that gets people to open up and talk. And despite being lauded for his role in bringing down an Illinois governor -- including a rare phone call of congratulations from FBI director Robert Mueller -- Ray Ruebenson won't take the credit.

Ruebenson, an FBI agent who held off his retirement to finish a case that's been his life for the last eight years, said it was a team effort all the way. He will retire next week after more than 30 years with the bureau and after 20 years working in Chicago's public corruption squad. "It was a corruption case of the highest order. We all made a commitment to take it as far as it went," Ruebenson, 57, said Tuesday, a day after a 12-member jury convicted former Gov. George Ryan on all counts.

But he said no one on that team, including agents with the IRS, Postal Inspector and U.S. attorneys, targeted Ryan when the investigation began in 1998. Ruebenson was the agent who led the questioning of Ryan during his years as governor. "He was a sitting governor, he deserved all the respect [of] an individual of that stature," Ruebenson said. But Ryan was convicted of three counts of lying to the FBI during those interviews. "If anybody lies during an investigation, I take personal offense to it," Ruebenson said. FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Grant said an agent like Ruebenson is irreplaceable.


Re: Ruebenson
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2006, 05:27:54 PM »
These muthafukking old farts should learn their lesson that they can and will go to die in jail when they deserve it! I pray Ryan gets beaten real bad before he goes to hell!

Re: Ruebenson
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2006, 03:03:50 PM »
lolla, the issue is not just this "old fart," ALL criminals should be punished and rot in jail!


Re: Ruebenson
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2006, 04:04:40 PM »


Re: Ruebenson
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2006, 01:54:21 AM »

Re: Ruebenson
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2006, 12:42:59 AM »

« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2006, 03:12:44 PM »
George Ryan, the former Illinois governor nominated for a Nobel Prize after he commuted 157 death sentences over doubts about the state's criminal-justice system, was sentenced to 6 years in prison for public corruption. Ryan, 72, said it was "the saddest day of my life" shortly before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer pronounced sentence. On hearing the term length, Ryan sat calmly, staring at the defense table. The courtroom was jammed with about 125 detractors, supporters and reporters, including another former Illinois governor, James Thompson, whose law firm defended Ryan.

Pallmeyer told Ryan at a hearing in Chicago that she had received "an extraordinary amount of letters" about his sentence. "I have read every one of them." Ryan, a former pharmacist, has appealed the verdict and asked Pallmeyer to allow him to remain free while that process is active. He faced 95 years in prison and $4.5 million in fines for his conviction on charges of racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, false statements and tax fraud. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins asked Pallmeyer for a sentence of at least 6 years.

Pallmeyer has not ruled on a defense motion to allow Ryan to remain free on bond, pending appeal of his conviction. She did say Ryan wouldn't be required to surrender himself to prison authorities until Jan. 4, 2007. Collins told the judge before sentencing that Ryan had never acknowledged the wrongdoing he was convicted of. He said Ryan was not "evil incarnate." Still, he asked the judge to send a strong message through the sentence that there are consequences for public corruption.

'Mutating Virus'

"Like a mutating virus, corruption in Illinois has proven difficult to deter," Collins said. Ryan's lawyer Dan Webb asked the judge to cap the sentence at 30 months, arguing that that is the equivalent of a life sentence for the former governor, who "has a few years with his family before he dies." Ryan, who was convicted in April after a 5-month jury trial, suffers from diabetes and Crohn's disease and probably has less than 10 years to live, Webb said.

Ryan, Illinois' governor from 1999 to 2003, was accused of trading Caribbean trips, gifts and cash for state contracts. The former governor, who also served as Illinois' secretary of state from 1990 to 1998, was indicted by a grand jury in Dec. 2003 for offenses he committed while in both posts. The case is U.S. v. Ryan, 02-CR-506, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at

Re: Ruebenson
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2006, 03:21:17 PM »
As the federal weight comes down upon them, corrupt politicians always seem to be cast as sympathetic creatures -- ailing, aging family men. Crooked pols are always ill at the end, aren't they? Their press agents purr, then ooze out some Hallmark card image: the politician and his wife lovingly pressing old photographs into an album. You can just see them out on the porch, grandpa and grandma using pictures to record a noble public life. Surely they must ignore other photos, like those of the dead who were killed by the corruption, and grandpa on the front page of the newspapers, the old man outside the federal building, tingling with disbelief, the word "guilty" in the headlines.

Ryan is the game, the big dog that corrupted his offices, first as the Illinois secretary of state, then later as governor, squeezing his Christmas cash from janitors and secretaries. When six innocent children were killed in a crash with an unqualified trucker, Ryan squashed the investigation into bribes and campaign cash, then lied about it on his way to the governor's mansion.

The politicians know that Ryan is meat. They're worried about his co-defendant, Larry Warner, who was also found guilty on corruption counts. Because what happens to Warner is perhaps even more important in the prosecution of future corruption cases for this reason: Federal investigations are moving forward, in the state pension fund investment scandal, at City Hall and in the governor's patronage office. Other politicians have friends just like Warner, influence peddlers scarfing up millions by being on the inside of government deals.

Re: Ruebenson
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2006, 03:36:16 AM »
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley promises to weed out alleged corruption in the city. His comments come after another raid of City Hall for documents in the city's scandal-ridden Hired Truck Program. The mayor says he is hurt and embarrassed by the scandal and promises to seek tougher penalties for corrupt Chicago officials.

The scandal is getting perilously close to the mayor as the feds raid multiple City Hall offices. A corrupt ex-city official says in court he shook down trucking companies for campaign contributions to Daley. After saying for the umpteenth time he is hurt, embarrassed and determined to root out corruption, Daley couldn't answer most of the tough questions.

"I understand that you're all here today because you have a lot of questions, most of which I cannot answer because the U.S. Attorney's office has asked us not to discuss the investigation. But there are some questions that I can answer, like how do you feel? I feel very hurt, embarrassed, disappointed. Clearly, I'm not proud," said Mayor Richard Daley. The mayor is not commenting on the documents and materials seized by federal agents in multiple raids on his city departments in the past week. He is cooperating with the feds and implementing reforms to end the corruption in city government.

Daley says he has not read Monday's plea agreement with an ex-water water department manager Gerald Wesolowski. Wesolowski claims to have shaken down companies in the multi-million dollar Hired Truck Program for bribes and campaign cash on the orders of his supervisor -- former deputy commissioner Donald Tomczak. Tomczak ran a political operation in the water department and was allegedly told by officials at City Hall to work on certain campaigns, including Daley's campaign, in exchange for pay raises and promotions.

"I don't know who gave the marching orders to anything. At this time, there's an ongoing investigation and to comment would jeopardize the investigation. I can't be answering all these questions, because much of it I don't know about it. I don't know any specific knowledge. You have to be fair to me and I'll be fair to you," said Daley.

Daley says he has never condoned city employees doing political work on city time or the trading of raises, promotions and contracts for campaign activity. "I never asked anyone to donate to my campaign and do political business," said Daley. More than a year after promising to find out how another corrupt city official -- Angelo Torres -- became the head of the hired truck program, Daley is still dancing around that question. "At this time the U.S. Attorneys are looking into it. A lot of people mentioned four or five or six or seven different names, and no one is claiming it," said Daley.

Angelo Torres was a member of HDO -- the Hispanic Democratic Organization -- which does political work for Daley and is run by Victor Reyes. Reyes, who used to manage the mayor's political office at City Hall, hasn't returned phone calls. Angelo Torres has already pleaded guilty to taking payoffs in the Hired Truck Program, but he is not cooperating with the feds. Donald Tomczak's attorney expects him to plead guilty in the next week or so and to cooperate.

Sources familiar with the case against Tomczak said that city personnel rules may have been ignored or circumvented to reward city employees for working on political campaigns, including the mayor's. That's why the feds were scooping up personnel records in the raids on city hall this past week. Daley says the feds are asking him not to talk about the raids, even though the scandal is now right on his doorstep.

Tomczak was allegedly told by Daley's political operatives at City Hall to assign water department employees to work on certain political campaigns when they were off their city jobs. Sources said the best workers were recommended for raises and promotions, and some were approved even before they followed the necessary personnel procedures. The feds want to know if any laws were broken, but the mayor says he didn't know any of this was going on. "It's very hard. I can't be answering all these questions because much of it I don't know about. I don't know any specific knowledge. You have to be fair to me and I'll be fair to you. I've answered a lot of your questions," said Mayor Daley.

Re: Ruebenson
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2006, 03:46:50 AM »

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has only been in Chicago for four years, but he has made them tumultuous ones for some local politicians. His latest target: Top officials in Mayor Richard Daley's office. In July, Fitzgerald said the city had engaged in massive hiring fraud in order to make sure those with political connections got jobs.\

Tackling Chicago's City Hall

PATRICK FITZGERALD: People engaged in sham interviews and falsified the scores of the interviews in order to make sure that certain pre-selected candidates won jobs. On one occasion a list of five people were picked to win the jobs based upon interviews, yet the person died before the interview actually happened.

ELIZABETH BRACKETT: These newest charges are the result of a nearly two-year-old federal investigation, in which 30 people with ties to city hall have been charged. Twenty-two have been convicted; most after pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with the federal investigation. The mayor flatly denies he has been involved with any hiring irregularities.

MAYOR RICHARD M. DALEY: I'll tell you, I don't know of any, per se, political hiring on the basis of political hiring. I do not do the hiring, John. Departments do the hiring. Every other department do the hiring. I do not do the hiring.

ELIZABETH BRACKETT: Daley's father, Richard J. Daley, was of course famous for the political patronage system he operated.

DAVID AXELROD: When I went to see Daley --

ELIZABETH BRACKETT: Daley political consultant and ally David Axelrod says Richard M. Daley does not operate like his father.

DAVID AXELROD: In the 17 years that I have worked with the mayor, I have never heard him talk about jobs, I've never heard him talk about contracts.

I've heard him talk about schools and housing and roof gardens and fencing and museums, and the kinds of things that he thinks enhance the city.

Fitzgerald's career 

ELIZABETH BRACKETT: Patrick Fitzgerald was an unusual choice. The son of Irish immigrants, he had grown up in Brooklyn and had no ties to Chicago. High school took him to Manhattan, where his good grades got him into Regis, a prestigious Jesuit high school. He continued to excel in college and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College, then went on to Harvard Law School where he graduated in 1985.

He sent mobster John Gambino to federal prison as a young prosecutor in New York in 1993. He also went after Osama bin Laden before he became a household name, and convicted four of his associates for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies. That was after he had put five defendants behind bars in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Colleagues say Fitzgerald is a workaholic who appears immune from political pressure.