Will the Real FOP Please Stand UP?
As FOP Scams Chicago Police, Separate Dineen-Created Corporation Takes Dog-And-Pony Show Statewide.
IN CHICAGO, more than 10,000 cops pay their membership dues to an ineffective and Machiavellian outfit known as the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 7. Outside the city, there’s another ineffective and extremely deceptive crew of sleight-of-hand artists known as the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., which claims about 3,000 members statewide.
INTERESTINGLY, BOTH GROUPS, which are separate corporate entities under Illinois law, claim to have no ties to each other – especially during organizing drives. That claim, however, is just not the case.
IN FACT, speaking at a recent labor relations seminar organized by Chicago Kent College of Law, a meekly-spoken young lawyer claimed that the FOP Labor Council is the ‘true union’ of the two groups, while One Percent John Dineen’s FOP Lodge 7 “is just a fraternal organization.” That same lawyer, Wayne Klocke by name, went on to make the less than believable claim that the two groups have “absolutely no ties to each other, whatsoever.”
BUT IN FACT, according to public records on file with the Corporation Division of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, one Percent John Dineen, the fumbling head of Chicago’s FOP Lodge 7, is one of five incorporators of the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc. According to the records, it was about six years ago that Dineen and some of his closest buddies within his FOP cabal filled out the Secretary of State’s incorporation documents, paid the modes fee, and “fathered” the separate corporate entity known as the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., which is the group that lawyer Klocke claims is the only “true union” of the two.
The spectacle of attorney Klocke claiming in a public meeting that his group has no ties to Dineen’s is something akin to a bastard child denying any familial ties to his real father. And, the claim is also made in reverse. On a number of occasions, Dineen and his duplicitous associates have been heard to allege that there is “no connection” between the FOP and the FOP Labor Council.
Why the denial? Why the charade? The only reason that makes any sense to us at the Combined Counties Police Association Is the profit motive. Somehow, we think, Dineen and his buddies must have had dollar signs in their eyes when they incorporated that “true union,” the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc. Although we don’t pretend to know what the remuneration to Dineen is, whether financial or otherwise, we do know that at least two of the original incorporators have paying jobs with the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., while One Percent John remains on the payroll of FOP Lodge 7.
BESIDES DINEEN, the original incorporators of the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., include one Lawrence Rizzo, a retired Lieutenant with the Evergreen Park Police Department, Richard Downs, an Oak Park Police Sergeant, the late Richard Lis, a former Chicago Police Department Detective, and Arthur Stone, the Labor Council’s full time First Vice President and Director. None of these management-oriented types, by any stretch of the imagination, would ever qualify as rank-and -file cops.
BUT SO WHAT? To set up a business for the purpose of making a buck is the American way. We certainly don’t fault One Percent John for that. But we really have to wonder about the pattern of denial that comes from both groups.
Again – and this is just speculation – maybe Dineen denies his true relationship to the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., because he fears the Chicago Lodge 7 members would freak out if they knew he had something statewide going on on the side. After all, Dineen’s Lodge 7 presidency is not all that solidly guaranteed, considering that he squeaked through the last time out with only 36 percent of the Chicago Police vote.
And, in view of the fact that Dineen has been consistently making major concessions to the Daley Administration, his activities on behalf of some other organization – any other organization – could not be expected to be greeted with lots of warm, heartfelt applause by Chicago FOP members. What major concessions, you ask? Well, for starters, how about the contract that led to Dineen becoming known as One Percent John?
As we said, this denial business works both ways. And it’s not by accident that at the same time Dineen pretends not to have any relationship with the Illinois Fop Labor Council, Inc., guys like counselor Klocke hold up their end of the same fiction. Why? We don’t know. Maybe they’ve seen too many cops and robbers movies. Maybe they just like to engage in elaborate conspiracies.
EITHER WAY, both the Dineen-led FOP Lodge 7 and the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., (the fraternal group and the true union, as the man said) are in serious need of the kind of help they’re not likely to get from their usual sources. Both groups are pretty much under the control of their lawyers, rather than their dues-paying members, which means that virtually every minor beef as well as every major contract negotiating effort winds up in expensive and futile arbitration.
AT THE CHICAGO KENT College of Law labor relations seminar, lawyer Klock’s partner, one Thomas Sonneborn, another apparently well-intentioned but obviously over-his-head attorney, reported that his group had “won” only four of 13 so-called “interest arbitration” cases that the Labor Council got involved in.
In a mind-boggling series of statements, one after another, this FOP Labor Council lawyer told his audience that he “tries to avoid bargaining” as a means of winning new contract improvements. Pointing to a management lawyer who was on the same panel, a guy from the union-busting law firm of Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson, counselor Sonneborn said. “I would rather negotiate with Mr. Baird here any day than with any of our members.”
Sonneborn followed that mind-blower with the observation that “it’s always easier to deal with a management negotiator one-on-one than to try to make sense out of dealing with a group of rank-and- file members at a meeting.” Then, he went on to declare that “arbitration is not the place to get a breakthrough” in the negotiating process. This is the same guy who insisted several times that police strikes are “against the law,” which, apparently, would leave only the tooth fairy as a source of contract improvements for the police.
SONNEBORN, APPARENTLY unaware that his incredible statements might get back to some of the cops who pay dues to the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., openly reported that his inept outfit “always” loses arbitration disputes that involve holidays or vacation claims. He said they won seven and lost seven cases involving insurance matters that went to arbitration. In general, all the figures that attorney Sonneborn so blithely threw out at the Chicago Kent College of Law seminar served only to reinforce the fact that arbitration is an expensive farce, designed primarily to provide employment for lawyers while consistently stiffing union members.
AND, IN THE latest intrigue, we have the incredible spectacle of the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., proposing to ask the Cook County Sheriff for a new contract with only a 4 percent increase for the approximately 400 Sheriff’s Police. What makes this outrage so indefensible is the fact that the Illinois FOP Labor Council Inc., circulated a secret memo outlining their piddling 4 percent plan. That memo, instead of going to all the 400 or so Sheriff’s Police, was distributed to only about eight or ten members of that particular bargaining unit.
As the Illinois FOP Labor Council, Inc., lawyer said, he would rather deal with one management type than with a group of his own members. And yet, this is the same pro-arbitration pitchman who claims to represent – to speak for – police all over the state.
FROM WHERE we at CCPA sit, it looks like Dineen’s bastard child bargainers figure to ask the Cook County Sheriff for 4 percent, then take a handout of about 2 percent or so, or whatever the Sheriff and the Cook County Board will throw their way. Of course, if they get lucky, maybe the Cook County Sheriff’s Police deal will wind up in arbitration which will provide employment for lawyers on both sides of the table for the next year or so, while the cops just sit by, adding up their losses.
WITH DINEEN personally, his arbitration fiascos are all handled by the big bucks law firm of Asher, Gittler, Greenfield, Cohen and D’Alba. Arbitration is a specialty with this highly-paid, highly degreed bunch and they, too, were represented among the non-stop verbalizers at the Chicago Kent College of Law Labor Seminar. Amazingly, all these guys push arbitration as the only way to win contracts and influence other kinds of disputes. But as Dineen’s own sorry record shows (why do you think they call him One Percent John?), and as the figures that Sonneborn rattled off make painfully clear, they never win anything worth winning.
SO THEN, the next time the subject of arbitration is brought up by anybody on the payroll of any FOP unit anywhere in Illinois, all we at CCPA can suggest is that you run, don’ walk, to the nearest exit. Otherwise, be prepared for a hopeless, time-consuming, money-devouring process that is destined to fail even before it gets started.
AND FINALLY, the FOP’s Frick and Frack disguised identity hustle reminds us of that old TV game show where the contestants would all claim to be someone else. Then, at the end of the show, after all the misleading clues were dropped and all the blatant lies were told, the host would ask, “Will the real – whatever the person’s name was – Please Stand Up?
For the benefit of police all over the state, we at CCPA would ask the same thing: Will the real FOP Please Stand Up?
BUT THEN, knowing One Percent John and his cohorts, that might just be asking too much.