Thursday, December 13, 2007

John Conroy on Chicago's Torture Payout

The Chicago Reader's ace investigative journalist, John Conroy talked to Democracy Now! about the unexpected delay on the City of Chicago’s $20,000,000 payout to four former death row prisoners tortured into confessions by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and more than twenty officers who worked with him.
And the [delay], I don’t think, is terribly significant in the grand scheme of things. This case has been -- these cases were filed in 2003. And I don’t think that a month or two in the grand scheme of things is going to matter a great deal.

However, one complicating factor is that one of the former prisoners, who is now back in prison, Aaron Patterson, had signed a loan agreement based on—there are companies out there who make loans to people, highly speculative loans, high-risk loans, you might say, at verified interest rates, and Patterson took out one of these loans early on. I don’t recall the exact figure, but it might have been $50,000, and it’s now way up in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps nearing a million or more. So the longer there is a delay in settling Patterson, the higher the price tag could go. So that is one thing adding pressure on the Patterson people to settle and on the city to wrap it up.

I think it’s another month, and it will be wrapped up. The things that are blocking it right now weren’t that significant.
Conroy was also asked about his post-Reader plans:
AMY GOODMAN: Finally, John, you’ve been laid off?

JOHN CONROY: I was laid off last week. Four writers from the Reader were given the boot. We don’t fit into the future plans of the company which purchased the Chicago Reader last summer. The company is based in Florida.

AMY GOODMAN: What will you do now?

JOHN CONROY: I’m not sure.
Dammit.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

This is the first issue of the Reader that I didn't pick up in probably 20 years. I don't see the point anymore.

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