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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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After years of insisting Chicago police could make do without adding officers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration acknowledged Wednesday that the department needs hundreds more to combat the violence plaguing the city, announcing a plan to hire nearly 1,000 beat officers, detectives and supervisors over the next two years.

Unlike previous promises to add officers to patrol by reassigning existing members of the department, Emanuel's announcement includes a complicated formula that sets a goal of reaching a net gain of 970 officers by the end of 2018. It's a tall order, given that for many years the city has not even hired enough officers to replace those who retire or leave.

In addition, Emanuel still isn't saying how he'll pay for the new cops.

After years of insisting Chicago police could make do without adding officers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel 's administration acknowledged Wednesday that the department needs hundreds more to combat the violence plaguing the city, announcing a plan to hire nearly 1,000 beat officers, detectives and supervisors over the next two years.
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Bill Ruthhart

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel has put off that big police speech for a couple days as he searches for the right words ... and the money to pay for more cops.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has delayed his major speech on policing a couple of days as he and top aides privately grapple with how to put together and present what he's called a multifaceted plan to address the city's surge in violent crime, one that's expected to include hiring more police officers.
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Bill Ruthhart

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Democrat Kim Foxx's latest defense of doing consultant work for an influential Chicago law firm that often sues Cook County: As state's attorney, there would be no conflict of interest for her to make decisions on lawsuits brought by that law firm, because it no longer would be paying her.

Democrat Kim Foxx is doing consultant work for an influential Chicago law firm, but she insisted Monday there would be no conflict of interest for her to make decisions on lawsuits brought by that firm against Cook County should she be elected state's attorney.
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Bill Ruthhart

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Rahm Emanuel messaging 101: Bad news about your police oversight plan and Chicago's worst month of murders in 20 years? Change the subject by floating a vague plan to hire more cops with zero specifics. 
Reeling from Chicago's deadliest month in 20 years and facing criticism about his new police oversight plan, Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to change the subject Friday by floating the vague notion of hiring more cops to fight the city's scourge of shootings.
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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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Bill Ruthhart

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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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With Chicago's violent crime surging, Mayor Rahm Emanuel will hire 500 new cops and promote hundreds more to sergeant and detective. The official announcement will come tomorrow. Our story tonight:


Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to hire 500 additional police officers, promote hundreds of cops to sergeant and detective and spend more on programs that help youth growing up in some of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods, according to several sources familiar with the proposal.
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel, London Mayor Sadiq Khan looked to burnish their political images in a back-patting tour of Chicago today: 
Mayor Rahm Emanuel spent Friday showing London Mayor Sadiq Khan around Chicago, a day of photo ops, sightseeing and idea swapping that both major city politicians tried to use to burnish their public images.
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Kim Foxx, who likely will be Cook County's next state's attorney, has created a potential conflict of interest by taking a job with a law firm that regularly has sued the county. Foxx would have to defend the county in such personal injury lawsuits in the future. And lawyers for the firm -- Power Rogers & Smith -- also have contributed to Foxx's political campaign.

Democrat Kim Foxx has taken a consulting job at a personal injury law firm that often has sued Cook County, creating a potential conflict of interest if she is elected state's attorney in November.
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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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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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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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  • Chicago Tribune
    City Hall reporter, 2013 - present
  • Chicago Tribune
    Watchdog reporter, 2010 - 2013
  • The Indianapolis Star
    Statehouse reporter, 2002 - 2010
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Chicago, IL
Previously
Indianapolis, IN
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1-312-222-4808
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435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL