Outlaws might take fight over confiscated vests to Supreme Court
Members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club might appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court in their lengthy quest to get back leather vests and patches confiscated after a bar fight.
The fight was in 2012, when a group of Outlaws wearing vests got in a brawl with other customers at the Lizard Lounge near Wonder Lake. Three members who were arrested and charged with aggravated battery forfeited their vests as part of a plea deal, but the Outlaws later claimed partial ownership of the patches on the vests in an effort to get them returned.
"It basically boils down to whether it's an effort worth making," Joel Rabb, an attorney for the Outlaws, tells me. "The patches are exceptionally important to my client. Just because they've been seized doesn't mean the organization ceases to exist."
The 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin sided last week with a McHenry County judge who ruled the vests were used "to facilitate street gang activity" in the bar fight.
The appellate panel cited testimony from a McHenry County sheriff's detective who said while the vests didn't directly cause the violence, they contributed to it and enabled the Outlaws members to show dominance by "violent means, if necessary."
Rabb calls that a "stretch." The Outlaws' primary concern, Rabb says, is "the setting of precedent that allows for seizure and confiscation of club paraphernalia."
Helping him cope
Former Naperville Mayor George Pradel says he's lucky he doesn't weigh 500 pounds from all the lasagnas, casseroles and treats residents dropped off at his house after the death of his wife, Pat.
"Going through the loss of my dear wife and best friend in September, I realize that people cared about me because I cared about them," says Pradel, who was mayor for 20 years before retiring in 2015.
Little by little, Pradel says, he's learning to deal with the loneliness of losing a mate he'd been with for 55 years.
Along with keeping a full schedule of civic activities, Pradel has begun to go out to dinner with friends in the evenings, sometimes with daughter Carol. "She's keeping me intact," Pradel says of his daughter.
Adlai E. Stevenson High School basketball players were spotted in Milwaukee over the weekend watching former teammate Jalen Brunson and the Villanova Wildcats (which happens to be my alma mater) take on the Marquette Golden Eagles. Brunson, a freshman from Lincolnshire, was a five-star recruit and ranked No. 22 in the ESPN 100 last year. At Stevenson, classmates recall the 6-foot-2 point guard as being humble about his talents and a bit of a practical joker.
A week after this column reported a private detective was researching the past of House Speaker Michael Madigan's election opponent at the behest of a major donor, a Chicago businessman dropped $170,000 into the race.
The money came from Blair Hull, who made an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 2004, to support the campaign of Jason Gonzales, an Elgin native challenging Madigan in the 22nd House District in the March 15 Democratic primary.
Hull backed GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner against Pat Quinn in 2014. He previously gave $100,000 to a committee that's primarily focused on helping Gonzales.
How's Park Ridge native Hillary Clinton staying calm on the campaign trail this primary season? By recently taking up yoga, longtime Clinton pal Betsy Ebeling of Arlington Heights tells me. Clinton has an instructor who occasionally travels with her and has taught Clinton a routine that can be performed in hotel rooms.
Scientists on the DZero collaboration at Fermilab have discovered a new particle -- the latest member to be added to the exotic species of particles known as tetraquarks. DZero is one of two experiments at the Batavia laboratory's Tevatron collider. Although the Tevatron was retired in 2011, the experiments continue to analyze billions of previously recorded events from its collisions.
Renowned Aurora chef Amaury Rosado told me this week that he's gotten his "head cleared" and "gotten healthy" over the last year after the death of his father. The longtime owner of Chef Amaury's handed over the keys to his sous chef last year.
"I've been lucky to have a hardworking wife that has given me the opportunity to take a time out," Rosado said, noting, "You can't be creative and able to execute your vision unless you're 100 percent there."
But that time out isn't expected to last much longer. Amaury, who's spent the year traveling and reading a lot of cookbooks, plans to open another restaurant in Chicago in the coming months -- what he calls an upscale, modern approach to Puerto Rican cuisine.