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Derivative Works from Daniel X. O'Neil

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Free Guinea Pigs

So, I woke up Monday morning and discovered that one of our guinea pigs was a girl. The way I discovered this was that there were four newborn guinea pigs in the cage with the two (previously considered male) guinea pigs I had seen the night before.

I had noticed that Snickers had grown fatter than Pebbles, but that was about as far as my consideration of the matter went during the gestation period.

All 6 are healthy, the parents are separated, in accordance with the back-to-back pregnancy admonitions from various Web sites, and in three weeks time the four of these guys will be ready for new homes. How many can I put you down for?

Patrick Swayze Will Be Back in Chicago This August

Some Chicago filming news from the NYT: Patrick Swayze’s New TV Series Will Proceed Despite His Cancer.

Patrick Swayze, who only a few months ago was found to have a life-threatening case of pancreatic cancer, has recovered enough that his planned drama series for the A&E network will go into production this summer, with him in the starring role.

The series is called The Beast, and it filmed at least 55 separate locations in Chicago last December and November.

"I Got A Guy" and "The Lady Derivation"

Seal of the Office of the Inspector General of the City of Chicago

Yesterday at EveryBlock we launched our first Special Report --  an annotated map of addresses mentioned in the criminal complaints associated with Operation Crooked Code, a "joint investigation of the Inspector General's Office, the U.S. Attorneys Office, the FBI, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has resulted in the arrest of 15 individuals, including 7 City employees from the Department of Buildings and the Department of Zoning, on charges of bribery and/or conspiracy to commit bribery."

See the EveryBlock Special Report on Operation Crooked Code here.

In preparing the data for the report, I reviewed each of the complaints, searching for addresses of the subject properties, alleged bribes, and any other location anyone mentioned while they were on the wire. (Most Unlikely Location For A Bribe: Payless Shoe Source in the State of Illinois Building).

As I read the complaints, I was struck by the continual use of the word "guy". As anyone from Chicago knows, you gotta have a guy. A guy for a haircut, a guy to fix your broken sewer pipe, and guy who knows how to get into concerts, a taxi guy who'll take you to the airport at 5 AM. If you don't have a guy, you better know a guy who's got guy.

If you're looking for unheralded heroes, you'll find one in the unnamed "wrong guy" slash "other guy", apparently an inspector in the Buildings Department, who, according to an alleged bad actor in the case, wanted to "make a name for himself" (i.e. do his job and inspect a property properly). They fixed this problem by getting him off the job and putting their own guy back in ("we just renamed him somewhere being busy").

Below please find every instance of the word "guy" in each of the 8 complaints. Just like in real life, we've got floor guys, boiler guys, and union guys. My guy, these guys, you guys, some guys, and another guy.

One last thing. In preparing this list, I found an interesting verbal variation of the phrase. It's the answer to the question, "what if your guy is a woman?". The answer: "lady". We'll call it "The Lady Derivation". A central figure in the indictments is a female employee of the Buildings Department who must have been pretty important because, “nobody gets anything done unless this lady is here.” Note also that "lady" is often accompanied by adjectives and adjective clauses that indicate she is somehow attractive ("How’s our beautiful lady doing?",  "...so she’s gonna give it to you, okay? A beautiful lady.").

Without further ado, guys and ladies from Operation Crooked Code:

U.S. v, Cladovan

When CLADOVAN asked if he could write a check, CW1 informed him that CW1 could not take a check “because I have appointments, I have to meet up with these guys. I can’t take a check.”

CW1 informed CLADOVAN that CW1 was trying to see if “my guy is around” explaining further “the guy in the Zoning Department to see if we can rush that.”

U.S. v, Garneata

CW1: Okay well we’ll work on something with these guys [city inspectors]. We’ll see how it works out.

SCORTE:     Well I mean I’m going to leave that between you two guys.

SCORTE: All right let me have - - I think, yeah I think it’s better if you guys touch base and clarify that.  I thought you guys talk[ed] about it, because I mean better you guys talk directly.
CW1: Okay, just let him know and then tomorrow I’d like to meet with you guys around 1:30, 2:00 o’clock.

CW1:     What's your max so I know where to cut off when I'm dealing with these guys?

CW1:      I took care of zoning, but then you guys took care of -- I mean the plan was already expedited when I got it.

SCORTE: Yeah, yeah you guys -- let me get out of here.

D. CURESCU:      They, they -- no, the -- some guys that got that piece of paper like I did, they didn't need all these other things. They got away with just that piece of paper.

D. CURESCU:      I could introduce -- I got a guy that he's -- he wants to do. He just called me and he did a building right across the street from Maplewood and I could introduce him to you, and he's a guy that wants to do the same thing.

SCORTE: You guys are all squared away?
CW1: Have your guy call me when the drawings are ready.

D. CURESCU: The hardwood floor guy.
CW1: Oh, Individual H, yeah.

CW1:  And it's showing what you guys had asked for, 15 units.

CW1: Okay. Can you let him [DUMITRU] know that the guy that I deal with, he was on vacation and he just returned. They’re working on getting you guys on the schedule for the inspection.

CW1:  So yeah, so this guy is looking to keep those 15 units. So if you could let me know.
CW1:  Okay. And this guy's willing to give the necessary support on this to get whatever else is available.

CW1:  ...There were some landscape corrections, which I spoke to Individual F [SCORTE’s brother-in-law, who worked for SCORTE] about and he's going to go downtown today and [CW1's Employee Individual G], my guy, has the drawing. 

GARNEATA said that he was out of town, but that he needs to help this guy [DUMITRU CURESCU] because he is his worker’s [VASILE FOFIU’s] brother.  OLIVELLA asked GARNEATA when he would be back in town.

OLIVELLA said that the owner had another guy, TEO [SCORTE], involved as an expediter and that TEO was supposed to be running the job.

On December 17, 2007 at approximately 9:19 am, a call from BENY GARNEATA to VASILE FOFIU was intercepted on Target Phone 1.  FOFIU asked GARNEATA if he talked to the guy [OLIVELLA].

Individual N said that CURESCU was talking only crap with him. Individual N said that he had a job at 1900 Grand Avenue and that the union guys were stopping by all of the time.

GARNEATA: This guy wants to come there [the Granville property] at 11:00 o’clock, Individual M.  But the problem is that I can’t be there at eleven.

GARNEATA: My guy, VASILE [FOFIU], will meet him [Individual M] over there [at the Granville property].

U.S. v, Mendenhall

On October 20, 2007, at 10:37 a.m., Garneata had a conversation with Piekarz.  In summary, Garneata stated that she (believed to be MENDENHALL) called Garneata yesterday around 3:00 and told Garneata to tell Piekarz that the boiler guy is coming over to sign off. Garneata told Piekarz that she (believed to be MENDENHALL) gave that (believed to be a CO) to Piekarz because of Garneata and because Garneata is a “hot stud.”

Garneata said that is exactly what he and Piekarz wanted from day one.  MENDENHALL explained to Garneata that when these guys (believed to be building inspectors) gave her certain things, she had to type what she saw.

Garneata: Oh, where can I see you because I don’t wanna walk in there with envelopes and they’re gonna look at me like, ohh, this guys here.

<The Lady Derivation>

On October 9, 2007, at 3:39 p.m., Beny Garneata had a conversation with an unidentified male.  In summary, Garneata told the unidentified male that MENDENHALL was not in the office today and had been off since Friday. Garneata further stated that he spoke with a named individual (a City of Chicago Department of Buildings employee) who stated, “nobody gets anything done unless this lady is here.”

Garneata: And what’s the lady’s, and what was that lady’s name, something about the one that took care of me?

Garneata: How’s our beautiful lady doing?

Garneata :  I met up with Phyllis and I gave her your envelope, too and Mac’s and some other people so she’s gonna give it to you, okay? A beautiful lady.

U.S. v. Piekarz and Milam

On 10/10/2007, at approximately 8:54 am, a call from (312)617-6446 to Target Phone One was intercepted (Call 315).12  During that conversation, MILAM talked to Garneata about the possibility of getting glass block windows for MILAM’s residence.  MILAM asked Garneata if he knows “any guys south that do glass block.” Garneata responded that he did and asked MILAM when he needed it done. MILAM told Garneata that he needed it done as soon as possible and asked Garneata to have a guy give him a call.

On 10/20/2007, at approximately 10:37 am, a call from (312) 860-0009  to Target Phone One was intercepted (Call 1415).13 During the conversation, Garneata informed PIEKARZ that “she” called Garneata yesterday and told Garneata to let PIEKARZ know that “Monday, between 8 and 12, for the boiler guy. He is coming over, just to sign off.

Later that morning, at approximately 10:45 a.m., a call from (312) 925-4834 to Target Phone One was intercepted (Call 4283). MILAM left a voicemail for Garneata stating that he would call back to answer Garneata about the address Garneata had asked about.  That afternoon, at approximately 1:17 p.m., (Call 4307), Garneata spoke with MILAM, who said there was a hearing scheduled for the address of 620-628 Barry that Garneata was asking about.  MILAM said “the guy’s gonna come out” [the inspector would come out and do the inspection] a week before the hearing, which is scheduled for the 28th. MILAM told Garneata to call him on the 21st to remind MILAM about it.

On 11/20/2007, at 9:51 a.m., a voicemail from (312) 925-4834 to Target Phone One to was intercepted (Call 4987). MILAM left a voicemail message for Garneata about the 620 West Barry property and said that he would talk to “the Conservation guy” to “make sure the guy” gets “over there” [inspector from conservation would be over at the property to do an inspection].  At approximately 9:52 a.m.,  (Call 4989), Garneata called MILAM back, and MILAM asked for a contact name and number to give to the guy.  Garneata said to have him call Garneata.  At the end of the conversation, MILAM said, "Don't forget about the other thing, alright" [possible reference to the Bears tickets MILAM was trying to get from Garneata discussed in Call 5964 below]. Garneata replied, "No sir. Don't worry about it.”

Garneata confirmed that it was.  MILAM said that he was going to have to “ask one of those guys about that.” Garneata asked if MILAM could see if they could “eliminate it” because the property belonged to Garneata's relative.  MILAM responded that he did not think so, but he would see what the conservation inspectors said.  MILAM then asked if Garneata remembered the job "you guys" were doing for him.  MILAM said that he knows they cannot do anything with the deck in the wintertime.  Garneata said he would “take care of it” and that “it's in the works.”  Garneata added that as long as he was around,  MILAM would not have “to worry.”

Later that afternoon, at 2:21pm (Call 8036), Garneata asked PIEKARZ about picking “up that stuff” “for those guys.”

<The Lady Derivation>

On 10/9/2007 at approximately 5:55 pm, a call between an unknown number and Target Phone One was intercepted (Call 286).9 During this conversation, PIEKARZ told Garneata to talk to “Phyllis” [Mendenhall] “first thing in the morning.”  Garneata explained to PIEKARZ that “this lady” had not been in the office that day.

Garneata spoke with MILAM and said that  he hoped MILAM is “happy with the beautiful lady” Garneata sent over to see him [asking if MILAM is happy with the bribe in the envelope that was delivered to him by Mendenhall].  MILAM thanked Garneata.

U.S. v, Valentino

Specifically, CW1 told VALENTINO that CW1 had “just met my guy on Washington.” CW1 had told law enforcement that CW1 was telling VALENTINO that CW1 had just picked up the bribe money from the developer of the West Washington Street property.

U.S. v, Ziroli

The voicemail was consensually recorded. I have reviewed the recording. ZIROLI told CW1 that, “The one on Washington, 2700 Washington, the ahh, wrong guy is assigned to that one but I’ve got somebody moved over so ahhh, it will be taken care of.  The other guy wants to make a name for himself, so we just renamed him somewhere being busy.

ZIROLI then said that the ventilation inspector was “afraid” because “they’re nailing all of the (unintelligible) guys right now” and added “they got six, ah, six plumbers . . . ones going to jail, matter of fact ones getting sentenced today” [which CW1 informed investigators CW1 understood as referring to arrests of other City inspectors for taking bribes in exchange for favorable treatment].


Daniel X. O'Neil: Chicago-based writer and internet developer. I am a co-founder of and the People Person for EveryBlock, a site that pulls together local news and public information. I run dozens of personal projects and websites for clients, and also own half of a poetry book company.


EveryBlock: A news feed for your block.
CTA Tweet: Unofficial Twitter tracker for the Chicago Transit Authority.
CityPayments: Database of all vendors, contracts, and payments that have been posted by the municipal government of the City of Chicago
Wesley Willis Art: Site dedicated to the fact that Wesley Willis was an artist.
Wide Right Turn: An incomplete look at the role of variation in a capitalist society.


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