Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Exclusive- Thomas Rowan and The Murder of CTA Bus Driver John De Preist: Alderman Burke's Racist On The City of Chicago Payroll

In March of 2012 , the Chicago Sun-Times had a big front page story on Thomas Rowan one of the most corrupt police officers ever to walk the streets of Cook County. Powerful Chicago Alderman Ed Burke has put Rowan back on the city of Chicago payroll as chief investigator with the Council’s Finance Committee. To recap:
Former Cicero Police Supt. Thomas Rowan took the Fifth 29 times when questioned under oath about whether he took part in setting up a Cook County commissioner for a bogus arrest — once the focus of an FBI investigation.

Rowan has been accused of threatening an officer with the loss of his job for cooperating with that FBI investigation.

In another matter, Rowan allegedly retaliated against a different cop by pulling back-up officers from her after she was sent out on a potentially violent call.

For another Cicero cop, though, Rowan was quite helpful.

Rowan wrote a letter to a federal judge on behalf of a violent Cicero officer, allegedly on the mob’s payroll, who is now in federal prison.

None of that stopped Rowan, 68, from getting a new job in recent months — with the Chicago City Council, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
A former Chicago Police Officer contacted the Chicago Sun-Times about what they missed in the above story. More on Rowan's checkered background was supposed to be part of a follow up story. Did Alderman Ed Burke convince the Chicago Sun-Times editors not to do another story on Rowan? Well, here's a little more background on Thomas Rowan from The Chicago Tribune Jul 29, 1960 page 12:
Eight youths indicted as accomplices of William Weber, who was convicted Dec. 11 and sentenced to 14 years in prison for slaying a CTA bus driver, were discharged by Judge William V. Daly in Criminal court Thursday. They had been charged with murder and with being accessories before the fact of murder.

They are Thomas Eckstrom, 17, of 7616 Jefferey av.; Robert Zang, 20, of 7251 Oglesby av.; John Burke, 18, of 7844 Coles av.; Thomas Rowan ,16, 7941 Blackstone av.; Thomas Bowler, 18, of 7281 Oglesby av.; George Shutter, 16, of 1143 E. 83d st.; Bruce McFadden ,19, of 8918 Exchange av.; and Robert McDonald, 17, of 7936 Ridgeland av.

Daly found all not guilty in a bench trial.
We can confirm from a former Chicago police officer who lived near Thomas Rowan that he is indeed the the Thomas Rowan listed up above. This was a big ink story back in the day. African-American CTA bus driver John DePriest was murdered just because he was black. His widow Dannette De Priest had to view here husband being murdered. The Chicago Tribune reported on Aug 2, 1959 Section One page 7:
A coroner's jury returned a verdict of murder Saturday in the shooting of a CTA bus driver after his widow described the crime and identified a 16 year old youth as the killer.

Mrs. Dannette De Priest, 28, collapsed as she told of her husband's death. She was revived and brought back to the witness stand in the county morgue and then pointed William Weber Jr., 8317 Merrill av.
Thomas Rowan is an expert on the subject on where the bullet that killed John De Priest came from. The Chicago Tribune on November 6 , 1959 Section Part 5 page 2 explains the setup:
Weber's statement told tersely how Weber, another boy, and two girls tried to board DePriest's bus earlier in the day, but De Priest would not wait for them.

When Weber shouted at DePreist, the statement related, DePriest stopped his bus ad jumped out of it, shouting at the youngsters and brandishing a pop bottle, "making motions like he would hit us."

Goes Home, Gets Gun

"So," Weber went on, " I went home for a glass of milk and a piece of cake and took a gun out of my desk drawer and put three .22 bullets in my shirt pocket. I was with a boy friend and went to another boy friend's house . We gathered a few friends together because we had a fight with a bus driver."
Alderman Ed Burke could have hired thousands of other people for the chief investigator with the Council’s Finance Committee, especially in this bad economy. But, instead he hired someone with this racist background . Alderman Burke can't deny knowing about the DePreist murder it was rather prominent news. But, still Thomas Rowan is on the payroll. Should Alderman Burke be slating judges in Cook County? Should Alderman Burke have a law license? We know that Chick-fil-A doesn't represent "Chicago values". Does Thomas Rowan represent "Chicago values"?