On October 25, Judge Lefkow denied the motion of a group of aldermen to intervene in Bond v. Utreras in an effort to obtain the police documents she had earlier ruled are public. She no longer has jurisdiction over the matter, she said, because the case is on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals. On July 9, she had lifted the protective order with respect to the City, thereby removing any legal barrier to providing aldermen with the documents. On that occasion, she recalled, she had said in effect, “This is a political question. You go fight it out.” Now, with her ruling on appeal, she added, “I don’t have a dog in this fight.”
The aldermen have filed a notice to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Despite the absence of Judge Lefkow’s dog, the political fight over the documents has been intense. The aldermanic intervention provoked strong responses from Mayor Daley, the acting superintendent of police, and the head of the police union, as well as from a variety of commentators. Here is a sampling of the news coverage and the debate:
- 11-1-07 “Chicago to overhaul troubled police department,” a report by Ben Calhoun on National Public Radio.
- 10-31-07 “Why is the city hiding scandals?” a column by Carol Marin in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- 10-30-07 “Omerta is word between city hall and police HQ,” a column by Don Rose in the Chicago Daily Observer.
- 10-29-07 “On rogue cops, Daley misses larger point,” a column by Dawn Turner Trice in the Chicago Tribune.
- 10-29-07 “In public interest, name cop, accuser,” a commentary by Dennis Byrne in the Chicago Tribune.
- 10-28-07 “Let new OPS chief investigate police,” a column by Steve Hundley in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- 10-26-07 “Chicago alderman request police complaint list” by Susan Saulny in the New York Times.
- 10-26-07 “Appeals court to decide if cops’ names disclosed” by Fran Spielman in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- 10-26-07 “Judge tells aldermen she can’t name cops” by Don Babwin, Associated Press.
- 10-25-07 “Daley ignoring rising toll of rogue cops,” a column by Mary Mitchell in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- 10-25-07 “List of cops still under seal” by Jeff Coen and Gary Washburn in the Chicago Tribune.
- 10-25-07 “Judge says no to aldermen seeking names of accused officers,” a report by Charles Thomas on ABC 7 News.
- 10-24-07 “Daley defends decision not to name accused cops” by Gary Washburn in the Chicago Tribune.
- 10-24-07 “Daley blasts aldermen on cop petition” by Fran Spielman in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- 10-23-07 “Police claims merit scrutiny” by Curtis Black, Community Media Workshop Newstips.
- 10-23-07 “Some complainants seek to ‘enhance their case in court,’ superintendent says” by Gary Washburn in the Chicago Tribune.
- 10-22-07 “Aldermen file petition seeking list of cops with multiple complaints” by Mike Robinson, Associated Press.