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Bill Ruthhart
Works at Chicago Tribune
Attended Eastern Illinois University
Lives in Chicago, IL
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Bill Ruthhart

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Illinois state lawmakers on Thursday handed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel broad authority to create special taxing districts to help pay for four major rail projects, but the mayor and his administration would not detail how much money would be diverted or how it would be spent.

The legislation, which lawmakers passed as part of a compromise on a stopgap state budget and an education funding bill, is designed to help City Hall come up with money it needs to match requirements to receive federal transportation grants and loans, Emanuel said.
State lawmakers on Thursday handed Mayor Rahm Emanuel broad authority to create special taxing districts to help pay for four major rail projects, but the mayor and his administration would not detail how much money would be diverted or how it would be spent.
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Bill Ruthhart

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Bruce Rauner have shared business deals, political donors, vacations and pricey bottles of wine. Now, they're sharing little more than insults.

Our look at how the relationship between two of Illinois' most powerful politicians has soured:
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Bruce Rauner have shared business deals, political donors, vacations and pricey bottles of wine. Now, they're sharing little more than insults.
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WASHINGTON -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel appeared before the nation's mayors Wednesday and spoke on a panel on policing and violence , but did little to address the very issues that have left his administration embroiled in a police crisis back home.

The police shooting of Laquan McDonald, Emanuel's subsequent fight against releasing a dashboard camera video of the incident and a 13-month delay in charging the officer with murder in the case have led to public cries of a City Hall coverup and calls for the mayor to resign.

But in an hour long discussion on policing at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual winter meeting, Emanuel did not mention the McDonald shooting at all. He also did not talk about the Justice Department civil rights investigation into the Chicago Police Department that the shooting spurred. And Emanuel made no mention of the code of silence the mayor has said Chicago cops use to protect each other.
WASHINGTON — Mayor Rahm Emanuel appeared before the nation's mayors Wednesday and spoke on a panel on policing and violence , but did little to address the very issues that have left his administration embroiled in a police crisis back home.
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Bill Ruthhart

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Heal a deep lack of public trust. Cooperate with a federal civil rights investigation into the use of force. Reform a police department with a history of corruption. Deal with some of the nation's most intractable gun and gang problems. And work for a famously demanding mayor now governing in the midst of his most severe crisis.

It's a daunting to-do list for Chicago's next police superintendent, a person Mayor Rahm Emanuel will hire in the coming months to navigate the turbulent environment that has erupted since the court-ordered release of a video showing a white police officer shooting a black teen to death.

Law enforcement experts say the new top cop should have a strong personality, understand police work and its dangerous nature, and recognize past abuses. And if Chicago is to realize true change, they say, it's important that the person brought in have a large measure of independence from the mayor — or at least be working on the same reform goals — and the freedom to make decisions without political influence.

But relinquishing such authority to a strong-willed police superintendent could be difficult for Emanuel, who is known for hands-on governing and asserting tight control over many facets of city government. That includes calling top aides and cabinet members at all hours to question decisions, demand plans and express displeasure.
Heal a deep lack of public trust. Cooperate with a federal civil rights investigation into the use of force. Reform a police department with a history of corruption. Deal with some of the nation's most intractable gun and gang problems. And work for a famously demanding mayor now governing in the midst of his most severe crisis.
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was met by a hostile crowd of 750 people at his first public budget meeting in four years. The forum was dominated by those supporting hunger strikers pressuring Emanuel to reopen a South Side high school. One of the strikers fell ill during a meeting with the mayor afterward and had to be hospitalized.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel faced a largely hostile crowd Monday night as he held his first public budget meeting in four years, with protesters who want to reopen a Bronzeville high school taking another opportunity to showcase their cause.
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Chicago's twist on the three R's - reform, respect and Rahm - drive the education debate in mayoral match up between Chuy Garcia and Rahm Emanuel. 
About 200 Chicago schoolteachers, wearing the red T-shirts their union has embraced as a symbol of solidarity against Mayor Rahm Emanuel , gathered in a Pilsen union hall recently for a workshop that doubled as a political rally.
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Have him in circles
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Bill Ruthhart

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A limited sales job by George Lucas left Mayor Rahm Emanuel as the front man for a museum with a bizarre design and a mysterious art collection on a prime piece of protected lakefront property. It was a sale the mayor couldn't close:
During his decades in politics, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has shown strength in a number of roles.
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For the first time, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has released text messages that show him conducting official business on a city-issued cellphone, a move that comes as he faces sharp scrutiny on what information he makes public after fighting for months to keep the Laquan McDonald police shooting video under wraps.

Emanuel disclosed the text messages in response to an open records request, a decision made as the Chicago Tribune is suing the mayor on the grounds he violated state law by refusing to release emails and text messages sent and received on his personal accounts that pertain to public business. 
For the first time, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has released text messages that show him conducting official business on a city-issued cellphone, a move that comes as he faces sharp scrutiny on what information he makes public after fighting for months to keep the Laquan McDonald police shooting video under wraps.
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel presided over his annual Martin Luther King Jr. interfaith breakfast Friday morning as some African-American religious leaders chose to boycott the event and a handful of protesters outside continued to call for his resignation.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel presided over his annual Martin Luther King Jr. interfaith breakfast Friday morning as some African-American religious leaders chose to boycott the event and a handful of protesters outside continued to call for his resignation.
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to reset how he's handled the most severe crisis of his tenure, giving a determined and at times emotional speech to the City Council on Wednesday in which he pledged to finally end Chicago's entrenched practice of police brutality and apologized for failing to fix the deep-seated issue sooner.

The 40-minute address served as a high-profile platform for Emanuel to again offer a list of the steps he's taken so far, but also tackle head-on a complicated series of challenges surrounding race relations and a deeply-rooted lack of trust many minorities in Chicago have in the officers who patrol their communities.

"We are here today because Chicago is facing a defining moment on the issues of crime and policing, and the even larger issues of truth, justice and race," Emanuel said at the start of his speech in a quiet City Council chamber. "We can either be defined by what we have failed to do — or what we choose to do."

The response to Emanuel's promises of swift action and a better police force, however, reflected the credibility gap the mayor faces on some of the very topics he raised. Normally compliant aldermen offered little more than cautious optimism, and hundreds of protesters who took to the streets outside City Hall dismissed the remarks and continued to call on him to resign.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to reset how he's handled the most severe crisis of his tenure, giving a determined and at times emotional speech to the City Council on Wednesday in which he pledged to finally end Chicago's entrenched practice of police brutality and apologized for failing to fix the deep-seated issue sooner.
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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner calls out Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who fires back with advice for the rookie governor: http://fw.to/GvglIvW  
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner called out Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday as "unwilling" to help him pass his agenda, prompting the mayor to offer the rookie governor advice on how to get out of the budget stalemate he's created.
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Rahm Love? Mayor Rahm Emanuel counters big money criticism by pointing to union support: 'None of these people look like Ken Griffin to me.'  
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday sought to deflect criticism about his $20 million campaign fund stocked with six-figure contributions from wealthy Republican donors by highlighting the support he's received from several unions.
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Have him in circles
195 people
Torrence Borum's profile photo
Amy Guth's profile photo
Diana Dyck's profile photo
Jon Hilkevitch's profile photo
Dawn Rhodes's profile photo
Kaarin Tisue's profile photo
Joe Baugnet's profile photo
Lee Ja Hi's profile photo
Carmen Bella's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Reporter
Employment
  • Chicago Tribune
    City Hall reporter, 2013 - present
  • Chicago Tribune
    Watchdog reporter, 2010 - 2013
  • The Indianapolis Star
    Statehouse reporter, 2002 - 2010
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Chicago, IL
Previously
Indianapolis, IN
Contact Information
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1-312-222-4808
Email
Address
435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL
Story
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Chicago Tribune City Hall reporter
Introduction
Bill Ruthhart is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune who covers Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration and City Hall.

Prior to moving to the City Hall beat in April 2013, Ruthhart worked as a watchdog reporter for the newspaper, focusing on government and political coverage. He wrote extensively about Illinois state agencies, from uncovering repeated failures at the state’s Department of Children and Family Services to exposing revenue and regulatory shortcomings in Illinois’ various gambling expansion proposals. Ruthhart also contributed to the Tribune’s political coverage, writing about the state’s 2012 Congressional races and the 2013 special election to replace convicted former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Prior to arriving at the Tribune in October 2010, Ruthhart worked as a reporter at The Indianapolis Star for more than eight years, where he covered the state legislature, state agencies and most of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ two terms in office. In 2008, Ruthhart worked much of the year from his car, criss-crossing the state to cover Indiana’s presidential primary and general elections.
In 2009, Ruthhart was named the state’s best government reporter by the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for stories that revealed state and federal investigations into hundreds of questionable, high-risk investment practices that lost millions in insurance benefits for Indiana teachers. Ruthhart also was recognized for stories that revealed backroom efforts to kill legislation that would crackdown on animal abuse and the state’s so-called puppy mills.

In 2013, Ruthhart and colleague Christy Gutowski were awarded the Child Welfare League of America’s Anna Quindlen Award for their yearlong series of stories detailing child abuse deaths and the repeated failures of the state’s child welfare agency in protecting children and following federal mandates. (www.chicagotribune.com/dcfs)
Education
  • Eastern Illinois University
    Journalism
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