Searching for Stacy Peterson

peterson_search

The effort by today’s searchers was a sight to behold. There were men and women who heard about the need for volunteers on the news and decided to help. One man told me he was having his coffee when he heard about it, and decided to come out. Another man heard the call for volunteers on the news also. He said he wanted to be involved in trying to find Stacy, even though he said she is now in a better place. He lost his own son, only in his 20′s, when he was home from the Service on leave. He was senselessly shot and killed, so he fully understands the anguish of Stacy’s family.

It was a trying search, to say the least. The area to be covered is a Wetland Preserve. About the only way I can explain how it feels to go into something like that is to liken it to walking into a cornfield. Only, the growth is marsh and cattails, and the ground is muddy, mucky. The further you go in, the more water you encounter, sometimes more than knee deep. Sometimes I’d take a step, sink further into the muck, and find it hard to get my foot up and out to take another step. If you’d lose your footing, there was nothing to grab onto. To be safe, people had to stay in groups, because it was like being in a maze, without knowing which way to go back out.

There were a couple of places of interest, one a mound that didn’t match the area around it, as though something could have been buried there. Searchers used their hands to dig further into the ground, but it turned out to be nothing. Another time, searchers actually found a large boulder, with rope tied around it, in a waterway. As though it were an anchor to weigh something down. A group of searchers then volunteered to go back to the area where the rock was found, in water that was thigh high, with sticks to poke at the bottom. Nothing was found in the area where the rock was discovered.

All I can say is I was amongst an awesome group of people. Family, friends and strangers who want only to find Stacy and bring her home.

~ Rescue

~———————————————————————————–~
~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

About these ads

117 thoughts on “Searching for Stacy Peterson

  1. God bless all of you that were there today! Thank you, Rescue, for sharing your personal experience with those of us who could only be with you all in heart.

  2. From the picture above, I recognize a couple of ladies(Mary & Brenda) from previous searches. I had to work this morning and couldn’t make it out. Please make sure to publish new search dates. Maybe more people can make it on the weekend. There was a great core group of people in the previous searches. Hopefully some day very soon, we can all get together and resume the searches.

  3. Oh damn! I missed Wendy Murphy talking about Drew Peterson on (of all people) Dana Pretzer’s scared Monkey’s show. There should be an MP3 available for download soon.

  4. Oh great. Now Budenz is writing a book.

    http://www.officialwire.com/main.php?action=posted_news&rid=17055&catid=137

    Dr. Dan has been partner/owner of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Centers including a Specialty Hospital for Impaired Physicians and Professionals in Madison with De Paul Hospital. He is specializing in DVD and Movie Production projects. He is finishing the first volume of what may be the first never ending book “Analyzing Monsters” – “Family Cures” including his role in the Drew Peterson Case and others

    And this is the man who has been counseling Peterson’s kids.

  5. Thanks Rescue for sharing the search experience.I’ve no doubt searching is not just like taking a walk, but where you were yesterday is scary! This morning I’m celebrating the loving spirit humans are made of as demonstrated by the strangers turning up yesterday to help. :-) Go good people!

    …but Dr Dan has spoiled the moment by making me want to throw up. The good news is that this charlatan has probably never had anything more than very superficial contact with the kids. Isn’t it interesting that DD has skewed his emphasis a bit? Has he decided Drew is a monster now?

  6. bucketoftea :
    …but Dr Dan has spoiled the moment by making me want to throw up. The good news is that this charlatan has probably never had anything more than very superficial contact with the kids. Isn’t it interesting that DD has skewed his emphasis a bit? Has he decided Drew is a monster now?

    I asked myself the same questions, bucket.
    How a man living in WI can help the kids? On-line? ;)

    Dr Dan’s help looks like Drew’s searches for Stacy (reward of 25K bucks for finding her ALIVE; hiring a detective who is searching for photographs of women resembling Stacy on the Internet; and so on).
    Drew must have everyone under his control so I do not wonder too much and just hope no judge or jury will be impressed by his actions running to nowhere. ;).

    Many thanks to the searchers for their Friday’s effort.:) Do not give up!

  7. Pretzer has an MP3 up of his show with Wendy Murphy explaining the role of the new Hearsay Law in the Kathleen Savio case. She also discusses the motion for change of venue and pre-trial publicity. Susan Murphy-Milano also guests.

    Wendy Murphy wrote that great blog post “Dead Wives Talking“.

    http://scaredmonkeysradio.com/podpress_trac/web/943/0/20090821s.mp3

    To save the file to your computer, right click on the link above and select “Save Target as…”

  8. Good quote from Murphy:

    The law is also clear that publicity, in and of itself, is not inherently problematic. It’s whether a jury pool then becomes undulty tainted. The remedy is to ask the jurors who are likely to sit in judgement the question, ‘Have you read anything about this case?’ Of course, everyone on the planet would say yes, not just the people in a certain venue in Illinois. And the next question is the only one that matters. ‘Despite what you’ve read can you keep an open mind and pass judgement fairly on this man?’ People who can honestly say ‘yes’ to that – they’re good jurors and they should sit in judgement and they will be selected and that’s the law. So, he can complain about it all day long but the bottom line is – a high profile case is not inherently unfair to any defendant, whether or not he causes the publicity.

  9. In this clip, Murphy also explains very well why it is that leaks tend to come from the defense and not the prosecution. She says there are sanctions and penalites for the State if they violate a gag order (supression of evidence, etc.) but virtually no consequences for the defense if they do it, because they aren’t going to do things like prosecute a person more harshly, or jeopardize their presumption of innocence. It’s interesting and explains what we’ve been seeing with these leaks of information and documents in the Savio case.

  10. Oooh thanks Facs! Good stuff. That reminds me….I wonder if we’ll ever know how that file came to be stolen from the ISP car….

  11. bucketoftea :
    That reminds me….I wonder if we’ll ever know how that file came to be stolen from the ISP car….

    Oh, Bucket, they have never been stolen. They were just borrowed and returned. LOL

  12. But seriously… If the documents had been stolen and then returned to Kathleen’s family, and the prosecution can prove Drew stands behind it, what consequences can it it have for the trial?

  13. facsmiley :Good quote from Murphy:

    The law is also clear that publicity, in and of itself, is not inherently problematic. It’s whether a jury pool then becomes undulty tainted. The remedy is to ask the jurors who are likely to sit in judgement the question, ‘Have you read anything about this case?’ Of course, everyone on the planet would say yes, not just the people in a certain venue in Illinois. And the next question is the only one that matters. ‘Despite what you’ve read can you keep an open mind and pass judgement fairly on this man?’ People who can honestly say ‘yes’ to that – they’re good jurors and they should sit in judgement and they will be selected and that’s the law. So, he can complain about it all day long but the bottom line is – a high profile case is not inherently unfair to any defendant, whether or not he causes the publicity.

    Based on this, I will not be a good juror. From on what I have read and the actions I have seen by this man I could not keep an open mind about his innocence. I am not in Will County, nor the state of IL, I do know how to Google…..all the way around I do not qualify. LOL!

  14. Unfortunately, I don’t think Dr. Dan will be the only one writing a book and connecting it to Drew Peterson.

  15. Keeping an open mind does not mean for a juror to ignore the facts. The facts speak against Drew. Even if I had not not read or watched the news at all and were to base my decision only on the (up-to-now leaked) documentation and the timeline, I would say: “Guilty!”.
    Sorry, but Drew did not provide any convicing story to change my opinion. His line of defense is just to accuse people/media and the system, manipulate with evidence and deny, deny, deny… (and make money from the tragedy of his two wives and his children).
    Of course, I can understand that, according to Brodsky, fair judgement means that unless you have videotaped the committed crime, the suspect is innocent.

  16. Cyrhla – you said it perfectly!! Nothing has come out that can even remotely help me think there’s a possibility Peterson wasn’t involved in the demise of Kathleen and Stacy. Again, you’re right that his defense has done nothing but character assassinations and accusations against the people who have come out against him, and to portray himself as the victim.

    Oh, and BTW, I hope the fact that Peterson’s manipulative side shows what a monster he continues to be by ensuring that all of his children are denied any access to their moms’ families. Funny, Peterson and Brodsky claim they went to all the media to tell their side of the story and disspell the bad publicity Peterson was getting. I guess they’re too busy conjuring up dirt on everyone else to realize this only shows more how controlling and conniving he really is. And, it will certainly not work in his favor.

  17. OMG I thought the families were having access now. Maybe some legislators should take a look at this issue.

  18. Hi sweetie
    That makes me feel really ill. It is so wrong wrong wrong. Can there be any doubt that loving contact among all her family would not only be their mothers’ wish, but surest safest route for healing. I am disgusted.

  19. I’m afraid Steven’s hands are bloody here. He is in the position to do the right thing. C’mon, Steve and Mrs Steve, meet them for high tea at a nearby hotel one Sunday. Have a little party, show off your new daughter, even bring a social worker if you must. How easy is that? Mrs Steve, c’mon.

  20. You are not the only one that is disgusted, Bucket. It’s been especially bothering me all weekend since I was jolted back into realizing those kids are wanted desperately in the lives of their moms’ families, but can’t have access to them.

    Sounds like a man (oh, I hate to call him that) that even wants control of those kids while locked away in a cell, when about the only other thing he has control of is his pee stream. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

  21. Interesting that he won’t allow the kids to visit him in jail either. Sounds like a man who likes to control and manipulate their perceptions of reality.

  22. Well, if he was a decent human being in the first place, he wouldn’t be in the position of controlling and manipulating his kids’ family relationships, wheeling and dealing who is worthy in his sick mind. As long as his ass got kissed, it was all good with him. Cross Drew Peterson, you pay the price.

  23. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that he’s doing this. I’m a bit shocked that it’s allowed. It should be taken as a given that he didn’t have their best interests at heart if he is denying them access. Children have a right to contact with their families regardless what one parent says.

  24. Mrs Steve, I’m not even going to ask you to put yourself in Cass’ shoes. Just Anthony and Lacy’s. You two are standing between them and a flood of love and support and attention and reassurance that they need and it’s not your right to do so.

  25. Kind of ironic, isn’t it, that those kids can meet and make relationships with strangers, no matter what their backgrounds or upbringings are, but they can’t be given time with their own relatives, merely because they’re the families and relatives of their deceased mothers?

    No wonder Peterson can’t stand the isolation he told those he was chatting with in court about. He’s left alone to sit in the sewerage he’s created, and he’s paying the price, hopefully. Whether there are those that support him or not, no one can justify him isolating his children from their families like he does. It just shows what a sick nut he is.

  26. This Time Magazine article is a few months old, but has some good coverage and explanations of the hearsay issue, including two cases that Brodsky cited in his Motion: Giles and Crawford.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1897831,00.html

    Those two Supreme Court cases, along with Illinois’s law, may give Will County prosecutors key openings in their quest to invoke some of Savio’s statements. To succeed on that front, prosecutors must first focus on aspects of the Giles ruling that give particular consideration to statements from victims of abusive relationships, including those ending in murder. So in pre-trial hearings, prosecutors must quickly examine Savio’s frame of mind when she crafted her statements. Among the questions they will likely explore: How fearful was Savio for her life, and that her children would be taken away? Did she intend the letter to someday be used as courtroom evidence? Prosecutors will also raise the isolation factor: Savio was probably, for a time, intimidated by the likelihood that her allegations would at least initially be investigated by her estranged husband’s fellow Bolingbrook police officers. “With all of those little facts added together, the judge would have to decide whether the reason he kills her is to keep her from testifying by a preponderance of evidence,” says David A. Erickson, director of the criminal-litigation program at Chicago-Kent College of Law and a former appellate court judge.

  27. Rescue said:
    Sounds like a man (oh, I hate to call him that) that even wants control of those kids while locked away in a cell, when about the only other thing he has control of is his pee stream. Sorry, but it’s the truth.
    * * * * * * * *
    ….we don’t know what kind of shape his prostate is in these days! especially if adjacent organs have been taking a bit of a beating lately. ;-)

  28. I don’t think I’d want my kids to visit me in jail — teens or otherwise.

    Is Stephen Peterson the children’s legal guardian now? Would he be under any obligation to abide by the rules Drew set as far as who can see the children?

  29. What I’m asking is whether Drew’s parental rights had been terminated. I know that he can designate a guardian in writing, but wondered whether Stephen was legally their guardian or whether Drew still had parental rights.

    Can My Parental Rights Be Terminated While I Am In Jail?

    Yes. A parent’s rights over their child may be terminated due to the parent’s abandonment of the child. A parent’s incarceration may result in an abandonment due to the length of the sentence and the lack of any attempt by the parent to be involved in their child’s life. Parental rights may also be terminated if the parent was convicted of a violent crime against their child or any other child.

    http://resources.lawinfo.com/en/Legal-FAQs/Family-Law/Federal/can-my-parental-rights-be-terminated-while-i-.html

  30. I wonder, Noway. Let’s say Mr and Mrs Steve arrange to meet up with family as above. What’s Drew going to do about it? Sack them? BTW *back to school” could be a happy little theme for the get-together.

  31. rights may also be terminated if the parent was convicted of a violent crime against their child or any other child.

    * * * * * * *
    gosh, what about mother???

  32. noway406 :I don’t think I’d want my kids to visit me in jail — teens or otherwise.

    I wouldn’t let anything stop me from seeing my kids. Just personal preference/philosophy, I guess.

  33. But Drew has that advantage: He can choose whether his kids see him. Or whether he sees his kids. Stacy and Kathleen are not that lucky.

  34. bucketoftea :
    I wonder, Noway. Let’s say Mr and Mrs Steve arrange to meet up with family as above. What’s Drew going to do about it? Sack them? BTW *back to school” could be a happy little theme for the get-together.

    This is what I’m wondering.

    Knowing that Drew did not want his kids to see their mothers’ families, as legal guardian (if he is indeed their legal guardian) is Steve under any legal obligation to follow Drew’s wishes?

    If he and the kids ran into (for example) Cass at the grocery store, is he obligated to keep the kids from talking to her (assuming this is the extent of Drew’s wishes).

    Or, if he is now the legal guardian, can he make the decision about who sees the kids and does not have to consider Drew’s wishes at all?

    I’m just wondering if it is up to Stephen or whether his hands are tied by red tape.

  35. I didn’t mean to imply that I didn’t want to see my children, just that I wouldn’t want to expose them to the ‘visiting their mother in jail’ experience.

  36. As far as I learnt, Drew is allowed to have two 30-minute visits a week and only in the Video Visitation Centre. I can imagine such meetings would be very heart-breaking and difficult to understand for his younger kids. Any kids under 17 must be accompanied by an adult person so Drew cannot have older boys visiting him together. Maybe he prefers to spend these 2 x 30 minutes for Christina’s visitations (or another woman he cheated on her) ;)
    I wonder who is on Drew’s visitation list…

  37. Haven’t heard any comments on current visitation. If I remember clearly, DP’s visitation list included Stephen Peterson, Steve Carcerano, Christina, a new ‘Ashley’ and several lawyers from the DP Dopey Dream Defense Dudes.

    SC had some serious stuff going on that was connected with ‘Felony Arraignment’ in Clark County, Las Vegas, Nevada. He lost their 400 Pheasant Chase, Bolingbrook home earlier this year. S.C.’s name has mysteriously vanished from the Will County court schedule !

    Michael Robinson is in the middle of a jury trial in Will County…

    I guess no one cares

  38. Whoa! You think Steve C’s coughed? I would really like to know what’s happening with MR’s trial.

  39. Thanks for the reminder, Judgin.

    ROBINSON MICHAEL 8 31 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 INTIMIDATION/PHYSICAL 1 Jury Trial
    ROBINSON MICHAEL 8 31 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 DOMESTIC BTRY/PHYSICAL 2 Jury Trial
    ROBINSON MICHAEL 8 31 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 BATTERY/CAUSE BODILY 3 Jury Trial

  40. bucketoftea :We knew what you meant, Noway. It would be harrowing.

    Personally, I would choose to have my kids see me, whatever my circumstances, than to stay apart from them. Drew’s kids have already had two moms removed from their life. If I were in Drew’s position, I would be very motivated to see my kids face-to-face to reassure them that Dad is neither missing nor “on vacation”.

    Again, that’s just MO and how I feel. No judgment on how others would want to handle it. :)

  41. Court LAS VEGAS
    Case # 08F14086X
    Defendant’s Name CARCERANO, STEVEN J
    Plaintiff’s Name STATE OF NEVADA
    Department 07
    Case Type FELONY
    Defendant’s Attorney BUNIN, DANIEL M
    Plaintiff’s Attorney DISTRICT ATTORNEY
    Judge JUDGE KAREN BENNETT-HARON
    Date & Time 08/26/2009 8:30 AM
    Proceeding FELONY ARRAIGNMENT

  42. I agree with you Facs. Knowing where you are really is important and they can scare themselves with far worse imaginings than the truth of jail. I’m sorry I think I meant to say could be harrowing, the prospect. We so want to protect them it can sometimes seem a tough call about what you can//should protect them from.

    I’d visit you, Noway.

  43. I wonder what Robinson’s defense can be what with his multiple witness/victims. Did they misinterpret his “friendly advice” as intimidation? Silly girls. ….and then they punched and choked themselves.

  44. Carcerano is in deep doo doo with felony charges, but he hasn’t been massacred by the Drewpy dream team? What’s wrong with that picture? Same with Robinson. Hasn’t deviated from the side of Drewpy, and nary a word is said about him by either his hero or the defense.

    Heh, the defense has slimed just about every one of the State’s witnesses, when their own goof balls are running amuck in the criminal trial courts. Isn’t that just peachy.

  45. Or, can you say h.y.p.o.c.r.i.t.e.s?

    I’d give anything to see what the jury will think about the defense lawyer’s credibility when he’s slicing and dicing the State’s witnesses, whilst his dirt bags are being shuffled in on loan from the Dept of Corrections.

  46. No word as to whether Stacy’s dad has filed for visitation rights to the children????? The Stebics were able to successfully be granted visitation of their grandchildren, I’m surprised we’ve not heard similar motions being filed for at least the two little ones, considering the situation. At this point, if I were a granparent, I would take even supervised visits.

    Heck, if they could potentially go to a jail for a visit with their father, surely the court would find it in their best interest to maintain contact with their missing mother’s side.

  47. I’m pleased to see the family is still searching for Stacy. Someone like DP counts on the story fading and people forgetting. I agree with Cass’s statement regarding it becoming easier to look and search with DP behind bars. Many people are afraid of him, and his lengthy stay in Will County may encourage others to come forward with new leads.

  48. Docsdaughter – What goes on behind the scenes is complicated, I’m sure. Who would know if Stacy’s father is trying to get visitation? I’ll tell you one thing, it takes hundreds of dollars an hour to hire an attorney, and, unfortunately, while the family may anguish and suffer over visitation, money talks, doesn’t it? Because there’s no motions to be seen over the Peterson visitation issue doesn’t mean the family hasn’t tried to do something. Lawyers want to be paid, they don’t represent people out of the kindness of their hearts.

  49. Now that’s something Gloria Allred might like to apply to practice in Illinois for. I don’t think Chrissy has the resources to pay…..or Lisa Bloom…

  50. *sigh* it would be something a dyed-in-the-wool famewhore would avoid. No publicity attaches because family court is private.

  51. I am afraid that unless Drew’s position clears and he is sentenced there is little hope any visitations can be established. Any judge has always to consider the best interest of the kid. If the visitations may cause emotional conflict of interest in the child (what is the fact in our situation), no judge ever establish such contacts. Such visits must be negotiated, not fighted. There must be strict rules followed by the applying party. In this case, for instance, Cass might be not allowed to talk about Stacy disppearance at all.
    No judge is considering my or your feelings but, again, the best interest of the child. He/she can talk to a child above 13 individually but if children are manipulated (as we experienced with Tom in front of TV cameras), there is no way such visits would be granted. Very sad but this is the reality.

    Let’s hope if Steve (or whoever) is the children’s legal guardian when Drew is sentenced, that he will let children visit their mother families. Even for his own convenience :). I wonder if Steve and his wife are ready to bring up the children for longer than just a year or two.

  52. Interesting. Mike Robinson’s trial was set to start on August 31st but is now missing from the Will County Court Schedule.

    This is what was posted for him last week:

    ROBINSON MICHAEL 8 31 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 INTIMIDATION/PHYSICAL 1 Jury Trial
    ROBINSON MICHAEL 8 31 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 DOMESTIC BTRY/PHYSICAL 2 Jury Trial
    ROBINSON MICHAEL 8 31 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 BATTERY/CAUSE BODILY 3 Jury Trial

  53. I noticed that yesterday. It’s been going on forever.
    On another note, is anyone else having problems logging in today. Its been taking me to dashboard when i try to log in.

  54. MR does not strike me as the type to sing like a canary. I wonder if they changed his court date and haven’t updated the website? IDK

    Grandam, I get sent to the Dashboard too. I thought it had something to do with this new format. Was going to ask if there is a setting I need to change or if we don’t have any control over it.

  55. Well, actually when I log in it does take me directly to the dashboard. Must be some WordPress change.

    I just asked it to “remember” me so I don’t need to log in every time.

  56. I couldn’t remember exactly when this happened.

    “Meanwhile, a friend of Drew Peterson’s was released Wednesday [01/16/2008] from the Will County Adult Detention Facility after posting 10 percent of a $50,000 bail after he was accused of beating his ex-girlfriend and her friend, then allegedly threatening a witness. Michael J. Robinson, 34, of Bolingbrook was charged with felony intimidation, misdemeanor battery and domestic battery, according to police and court documents.”

    http://www.acandyrose.com/stacy_peterson_m_robinson_files.htm

    Any idea what the holdups have been in the past?

  57. I mean what has prevented them from going to trial. The court dates kept changing. Maybe I’m not saying it right …

  58. Gee I hope the witnesses haven’t backed out, I would doubt it. Robinson’s Godfather is locked up. I’m not sure anyone’s not the type to give it up under the right circumstances….like being stuffed anyway with violence and Federal intimidation charges…with 3 eyewitnesses/victims. Brodsky hasn’t rushed in on a white charger, has he?

    I hadn’t realised he was out on bail. I hope he hasn’t been able to blow his nose without LE knowing how long, how hard and when.

  59. Cyrhla, the last I had heard they were still meeting but this was months ago.

    Charles B. Pelkie, spokesman for the state’s attorney in Will County, Illinois, said a grand jury indicted Peterson in the murder of Savio, whose death had been ruled an accidental drowning.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/07/peterson.murder.arrest/index.html

    They don’t have to announce when an indictment is handed down AFAIK. And since they know where Drew is :), they don’t really have to do anything right now?

  60. I thought it was passed on to another grand jury, and somewhere I thought I read that it was Wednesdays.

    Anyhow, here’s one article that seems to support this, unless I’m misunderstanding it.

    http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/stcharlessun/news/1583312,Peterson-Stebic-grand-jury-JO052009.article

    See the “Investigation not over” section:

    “Both investigations are being pursued vigorously. Now that the term of the special grand jury has expired, these investigations will be advanced by the regular grand jury that meets weekly in Will County.”

  61. I also remembered that the special GJ had ended but that Stacy’s case had been passed to (for lack of a better term) the regular GJ.

  62. Sorry about the military time on the posts, folks. That isn’t how the time is set up, but that’s how it’s displaying.

  63. It must be part of the theme template?

    Long ago in a job far away, I was required to use military time on my time logs so
    it’s not too hard to figure out.

    Is it central time that is being posted no matter where we are?

  64. Yes, it would appear so since it’s really 10 o’clock in Montana but my post shows 23:03, which is 11:03.

    I barely know what day it is sometimes, so not knowing the time does not matter to me. ;)

  65. Good Morning Everyone. I saw this piece from Matthew Walberg (our hero of the Reem Odeh interview quoting Joel about how they’re all going to be rich with book deals) and Erica Slife. You may remember that Claar broke away with his own political party taking a million bucks with him.

    Bolingbrook mayor lives it up with campaign cash
    August 26, 2009 11:19 PM

    Claar tools around town in a Jaguar. He jets off to China, the Bahamas, Philippines or to California golf resorts. He dines at swanky restaurants. And for entertainment, he’s taken people to a Bears playoff game.

    He is the boss of Bolingbrook, Roger Claar (right), who has brought a big-city style of money, power and influence to serving as mayor of a mid-size suburb.

    The high life is not funded by Claar’s $129,000 salary. Instead, the money comes from his campaign — flush with cash from donors, many of whom have gotten millions in village contracts.

    Since 1999, Claar has taken in more than $5 million in donations, according to records reviewed by the Tribune. His campaign had a balance of more than $1 million in cash and investments, in the latest reporting period.

    Nearly half of his donations came from companies and individuals who have done business with Bolingbrook. Those contributors received more than $300 million in village work — nearly 60 percent of the money that Bolingbrook spent on vendors over the last decade, the Tribune analysis shows.

    “I’m probably tougher on the people that support me,” Claar said. “I tell them they can never do anything that puts me in a position where it looks like pay to play.”

    “Pay to play” has been a long-practiced style of Illinois politics in which businesses make large campaign donations with the understanding they’ll be “repaid” with lucrative contracts.

    Bolingbrook has blossomed from a bedroom community into a retail and commercial hub, partly because of its location near Interstate Highways 55 and 355. It is now home to an Ikea, Promenade shopping center and Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, which opened last year.

    Claar, the mayor since 1986, has not been shy about crediting himself for much of the growth.

    “I don’t hear the criticism, and believe me I’m on the street, as evidenced by the money I spend,” he said. “I could go home and eat a bologna sandwich every night. But I go out to socialize and eat, I talk to people.”

    Claar said people support him financially because they’re pleased with his leadership. Some of his more generous donors agree.

    K-Five Construction Corp. has donated $47,500 to Claar’s campaign in the last decade, and vice president Jennifer Krug said there’s been no pressure to give. She said, “He’s done a terrific job being mayor of Bolingbrook.”

    K-Five has received more than $8 million in village business in the last 10 years.

    “Only the lowest bidder gets the job,” she said. “I can’t stress that enough.”

    Claar was appointed in 1991 to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority board by then-Gov. Jim Edgar, but he resigned in 2000 following controversy over his acceptance of campaign donations from contractors who got tollway business.

    Claar has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

    His name has appeared in federal and state investigations. Last year, a businessman alleged in a federal court filing that he was pressured in 2001 to donate thousands of dollars to Claar’s campaign and selected charities in order to keep his village contracts.

    The man, Gary Lindesmith, was part of a scheme to defraud the village that resulted in the firings or resignations of a dozen Bolingbrook employees. Seven people, including Lindesmith, pleaded guilty to federal charges in the scam.

    Records show his company donated $7,250 to the mayor’s campaign fund from 2001 to 2007 and received more than $908,000 in contracts.

    Claar denied knowledge of the scheme and donated the company’s campaign contributions to the village after Lindesmith was indicted.

    As for his campaign-funded lifestyle, Claar said the car, phone and meal expenditures were the result of work on behalf of the village. He bristled when asked if he was using campaign coffers to fund a luxurious lifestyle.

    “I work my ass off for this town,” he said. “I encourage all the businesses, all the citizens, to the point of being anal. Would you rather that I be entertained by others? … I’d rather buy my own dinner so no one can accuse me of anything.”The mayor said the thousands of dollars spent on trips overseas with local business leaders are designed to build ties with foreign officials. While he could not cite any concrete results from the trips, he defended their value.

    “There were no taxpayer dollars involved, so what’s it to you?” he said angrily. “Can I look at a stack of cash in the clerk’s office that [the trips] have brought the Village of Bolingbrook? No, I can’t. But we’re trying to be part of a full world.”

    Rhonda Reed-Slaughter, who has lived in Bolingbrook for 10 years, said Claar’s voracious fundraising concerns her as a resident.

    “I take issue with that,” said Reed-Slaughter, who ran unsuccessfully for trustee this year. “But me, myself, I feel like I don’t have any power against the guy.”

    Reed-Slaughter said she plans to run for trustee again and has launched a Web site for residents to share village information she says they can’t get elsewhere.

    In the wake of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s scandals involving donors, a law was enacted last year to limit those who seek or receive state business from donating to elected officials who control the contracts. The law does not apply to local officials, but some area governments are considering similar restrictions.

    During the last two decades in office, Claar has not faced a serious political challenge. He’s either run unopposed or crushed the few who have challenged him. In April, he trounced his write-in opponent, taking 75 percent of the vote.

    So why the need for a hefty campaign fund? The mayor once hinted at a run for higher office, but he denied last week any such plans, despite rumors he was weighing a bid for lieutenant governor.

    Since January the campaign has taken in more than $218,000. Claar said that was before his decision not to seek higher office, and that he will “probably not” continue to raise funds as aggressively in the future.

    “I’m not a kid anymore,” said Claar, 62. “I have four more years as mayor. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in the future.”

    State law allows public officials to spend campaign cash on what they want as long as the spending is for political or governmental purposes.

    “You can’t use your campaign fund for personal use,” said Cindi Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. “The question then is, what is the definition of personal use?”

    Records show the mayor spreads a lot of his campaign fund around the community, giving thousands to scholarships, schools and charitable efforts, building goodwill in his town. And he gives generously to the campaigns of other politicians.

    His campaign also spent money on a nonprofit youth group run by his daughter, Lindsey Rivera. Records show the fund purchased a $15,000 van for Heart Haven Outreach, from a donor, Willowbrook Ford. Claar denied any favoritism, saying he solicits donations for Heart Haven because the program benefits at-risk kids.

    “Yes, I have fundraisers for it. And, yes, I lean on the businesspeople to support it,” Claar said. “I believe that these kids need help.”

  66. Just fancy that! Dedicated public servant sacrifices bologna sandwich suppers for the good of his people.

  67. Good morning, everyone. Hiya Bucket.

    Yeah, Fancy that.

    Now, hopefully, we’ll learn that he was more than helpful in helping the State’s Attorney’s Office get to the bottom of just what happened in the Kathleen Savio matter.

    Ya think?

  68. Hiya Rescue

    That would be great! I am pretty sure he knows what went down even if he didn’t at the time…he’s such a hands on kind of guy.

  69. Ah, true dat, Bucket. For such a worldly guy, I’m sure we can rest assured he’s gotten to the bottom of it all and we’ll all be enlightened.

    After all, he is the Big Boss Man, isn’t he?

  70. I still find it horribly depressing that the voters thought they want him. I guess those drunk driving charges have just sort of faded away.

  71. The last part where he says he “leans on businesspeople…” kind of gives you the Godfather image doesn’t it.

  72. A bit off topic but I just relaized that Michael Viner died August 12. Viner was the publisher who quipped, “I’m not sympathetic to Drew Peterson, although I do believe that killing your wife should be a misdemeanor that should be prosecuted. But that’s just personal opinion.”

    Touché.

  73. On my birthday!
    Wouldn’t it be funny if in his next life he slipped into a parallel universe where he gets to be a woman who is beaten and abused and murdered. Or forced into prostitution, or denied any property rights or suffrage, or sexually abused by a priest then sent to a Magdelene home when you give birth to his baby and be forced to march through the streets to feel the shame, or murdered and then thoroughly slimed by the father of your darling babies, or being stalked and terrorised and stolen from by your lying and unfaithful husband before being murdered and your own dear babies manipulated and damaged by their father. Or he could just be an unwanted female infant left to die because she isn’t a boy. And they say feminists don’t have a sense of humour.

  74. Oh, bucket! I spilt my coffee over the keyboard. LOL
    I would rather prefer he paid in this incarnation; chain him in a dark cold prison cellar, feed with water and bread only … or let him sit on an electric chair for a while to save on all of these expenses ;)

  75. Morning, Cyrhla! I was referring to Michael Viner; too late in this life, and I don’t think he murdered anyone, so the electric chair would have been a bit harsh. Sorry about your keyboard. :-)

  76. LOL

    bucketoftea :
    Morning, Cyrhla! I was referring to Michael Viner; too late in this life, and I don’t think he murdered anyone, so the electric chair would have been a bit harsh. Sorry about your keyboard.

    LOL

  77. It’s not often that I decide to send personal emails to folks who’ve already made fools of themselves, but when the story hit about Viner’s comments — I couldn’t resist. I let him know that I wasn’t amused by his comment. He emailed me back telling me I was the one that was nuts, and needless to say he made no apologies for his abhorrent comments in the Peterson case. He claimed his comment was a joke, and anyone with an ounce of sense would recognize it as such. Furthermore, he went on and on to praise himself about all of his wonderful achievements in public service, particularly on behalf of women. When I countered asking him to be specific about what he had actually done to support the notion that women are equal contributors in society and worthy of respect, he responded — “F**k Off, you crazy b*tch!” You can count on it — I’m somewhere near the top of the list of those who are rejoicing at the news of his passing. One less jerk with a big mouth, whose nasty messages need to die with him.

  78. Of course anyone with an ounce of sense knew it was a joke* but you would appear to need more sense than he had to recognise it as utterly inappropriate in that context and NOT FUNNY. I wrote to him also and had the reply about he’s done so much for women, but when I begged his pardon and asked for details I guess I lucked out not to get an answer.

    *Groucho quote, I think.

  79. You see where people like Drew (and a lot of otherwise normal people) learn that locker room all-boys-together-talk complete with disrespectful attitudes is OK.

  80. Has it ever been cleared who provided Stacy’s DNA to ISP when the body at the Big Basin Marina was found? Drew or Cass?

  81. New trial date for Mike R.

    ROBINSON MICHAEL 9 25 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 DOMESTIC BTRY/PHYSICAL 2 Jury Trial
    ROBINSON MICHAEL 9 25 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 BATTERY/CAUSE BODILY 3 Jury Trial
    ROBINSON MICHAEL 9 25 9 404 930 08CF000098 0 INTIMIDATION/PHYSICAL 1 Jury Trial

  82. Thanks Grandam. I was just checking the status of that! Drew in court tomorrow? I don’t know what Return of refers to. And can’t remember what motion if any the judge was going to rule on.

    PETERSON DREW W 10 2 9 402 930 09CF001048 0 MURDER/INTENT TO 1 Hearing
    PETERSON DREW W 10 2 9 402 930 09CF001048 0 MURDER/INTENT TO 2 Hearing
    PETERSON DREW W 9 1 9 402 930 09CF001048 0 MURDER/INTENT TO 2 Return of
    PETERSON DREW W 9 1 9 402 930 09CF001048 0 MURDER/INTENT TO 1 Return of

  83. cyrhla, IIRC they have had Stacy’s DNA since she went missing. I don’t believe it was Drew who provided it but that they got it from other family members. I vaguely remember talking about in on FSP.

  84. Blago’s memoirs The Governor to be published September 8th. You can pre-order it from Amazon via Selig. :roll:

  85. Blago’s memoirs. Bah!

    The money wasted on that piece of crap would be better spent on the ex-gov’s favorite charity. (No, not him.) I may be wrong, but I think Blabit and Sellit are dreaming if they think that junk won’t wind up on the bargain table real, real fast.

Comments are closed.