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A look at Triton's main players

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Bill Dwyer View Drop Down

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    Posted: 10/April/2014 at 11:42am

Just a reminder of how things work in Proviso and Leyden townships and at Triton.

This copy is from work I did at Pioneer Press in 2010, entitled Who's Who of Proviso-Leyden Ties, along with colleagues David Pollard, Todd Shields and editor Jennifer Clark. Cathryn Gran and Mark Lawton contributed.

As the recent news of the 12-to-27 percent raises at Triton show, the song remains the same. 

Mark Stephens

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Triton College. Brother to Bradley Stephens, mayor of Rosemont. Son of the late Don Stephens, former mayor of Rosemont.

Mark Stephens owns Bomark Cleaning Service Corp., which has millions of dollars worth of contracts to handles the janitorial work at most of Rosemont's large convention venues, including the All State Arena. Bomark has contributed $342,000 to political concerns, most of it in the past 10 years. The lion's share, over $130,000 went to brother Bradley's committeeman fund, another $26,000 to the Rosemont Voter's League, and $15,800 went to the Leyden Township Republican organization.

Mark Stephens is treasurer of both the Bradley A. Stephens Committeeman Fund and the Rosemont Voter's League. Bradley and Mark also control the Regular Leyden Township Republican Organization fund.

In 1991, Mark Stephens spent $70,000 to win his president seat at Triton. He has been re-elected three times.

Mark Stephens' Triton vice-chair is Donna Peluso, the executive director of the Veteran's Park District.

Mark Stephens has received $31,000 from his brother Bradley's committeeman fund as well $4,400 from Peluso and her consulting firm, $4,400 from Storino, Ramello, Durkin (where Bradley was formerly employed as a lawyer); $5,000 from Stanley Kusper's law firm, and $6,600 Triton marketing director Tom Olson.

Since 1999, Bomark, Friends of Mark Stephens and the Bradley Stephens Committeeman Fund have funneled $14,850 to Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico.

Donna Peluso

Donna Leoni Peluso is executive director of the Veterans Park District.

Since 1992, Peluso has served as a Triton College trustee and is vice-chairman of the Triton board.

She has long served as a paid consultant to the village of Melrose Park through her DAL Consulting business, which was incorporated in December 2003. In 2009, DAL was paid $30,000 by the municipality.

She is tied to Triton administrator Tom Olson who is an elected commissioner and treasurer for the Veterans Park District.

Her father, George Leoni was executive director of the park district for 30 years until a board change over in 1997. She took over as executive director after a Mayor Ron Serpico-backed slate regained control of the park district board in 2003.

Peluso has contributed a total of $44,495 to political organizations the past 11 years, personally and through her DAL Consulting business, including $15,495 to Ron Serpico. Peluso or funds she controls also gave $4,350 to the Rosemont Voter's League between 2000-2003, and four contributions totaling $4,000 to Triton College chairman Mark Stephens.

She also gave Elmwood Park state Rep. Angelo "Skip" Saviano $2,750 over the past five years.

Sean Sullivan

Vice president for business services at Triton College. Maine Township District 207 High School board president Sullivan was hired by Triton in 1995 as an assistant to Triton's associate vice president of affirmative action and human resources. In 1997, he was promoted to Interim Executive Director of Marketing.

When his boss, Roy McCampbell, resigned in January 1998, Sullivan was appointed Triton vice president for business services

In August 1999, McCampbell's wife, Mary Jane Goldthwaite, filed a libel/slander suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Triton and several officials related to statements made about her and her termination by the school. In October 2000, Goldthwaite filed a four-count federal civil rights lawsuit against Triton, alleging a hostile work environment and sexual harassment by Sullivan, and retaliation by the college for her reporting the harassment.

The college negotiated a sealed out-of-court settlement with Goldthwaite and her husband, McCampbell, who was acting as one of her attorneys.

McCampbell and Goldthwaite continue to work closely with Triton and Sullivan. McCampbell is a director of the Triton Foundation; Goldthwaite serves as secretary. Sullivan is the foundation's treasurer.

Of the $24,300 in political contributions Sullivan has made since 2001, $4,600 went to Triton Chairman Mark Stephens, $1,700 to the Rosemont Voter's League, and $1,400 to Ron Serpico.

Tom Olson

Park commissioner Veterans Park District.

A 30-year Triton College employee and current executive director of marketing for the college.

Olson serves as board treasurer of the Veterans Park District board, where Donna Peluso works as executive director. She is vice chairman of the Triton Board.

Olson earns about $85,000 at Triton. In addition, in 2009 Olson received $10,917 from Melrose Park as an employee and another as $22,150 as a vendor.

Olson has made 68 political contributions totaling $47,380 between 2001 and June 30, 2010.

Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico got 22 of the contributions totaling $18,630, while Mark Stephens, chairman of the Triton board of trustees, received nine donations totaling $10,000.

Another $9,000 went to the Rosemont Voter's League, a political fund chaired by Mark Stephens for his brother, powerful Rosemont mayor Bradley Stephens, as well as $1,000 directly to Bradley Stephens' committeeman fund.

In early 2006, Olson, who had been making $65,200 a year, was promoted to Triton executive director of marketing, which paid $78,000, a nearly 20 percent increase over his previous position. He then received a 4 percent raise to $81,120.

Ron Serpico

Mayor of Melrose Park since 1999.

He is a practicing attorney.

"Everybody from Melrose Park knows everybody from Melrose Park," Serpico told attorney Todd K. Hayden during a 1999 deposition for Veterans Park District lawsuit involving him.

For 20 years Serpico served as attorney for the Veterans Park District that serves Melrose Park, Franklin Park and Northlake. He has been an attorney for the Melrose Park Library Board and the Village of Stone Park.

Serpico also earns $42,000 annually for serving as a commissioner on the state Court of Claims, which rules on formal monetary claims made against the state.

In September 2008, the FBI raided Melrose Park Police Department, leading to convictions of Police Chief Vito Scavo and three police department members, including Ric Cervone -- a School District 89 board member.

Serpico hired contractors Donna Peluso (father is George Leoni and was park district director for 30 years) and Thomas Olson who are connected to Veterans Park District and Triton College. He is connected to District 89 through Cervone (police department) and Marie Urso (whose husband was former public works director for Melrose Park).

Melrose Park has paid contractors Anthony Bruno, Al Ronan and lawyer Michael T. DelGaldo.

In the last five years, Serpico's campaign funds have taken in $843,000.

Citizens for Ronald M. Serpico gave him $41,000, and he paid himself $81,000. His contributors include Ronan, $4,900; Mark Stephens, $4,000; Peluso, $8,050; George Leoni, $3,000; DelGaldo, $13,700; Giglio, $7,250; Thomas Olson, $9,500; Police Chief Sam Pitassi, $3,750; HSBC North America, $3,000; Storino, Ramello & Durkin, $2,150; RedSpeed, $2,750: Anthony Calderone, $1,500; IFPC Security, $1,550; Sean Sullivan, $1,000; and D&P Construction, $11,500.

In 2002, Serpico received loans totaling more than $42,000.

Anthony Calderone

Mayor of Forest Park for more than 11 years, following one term as a village commissioner.

He owns Illinois Alarm Service, which provides video security technology.

In late 2006, Calderone's business received an $836,000 contract to install security hardware at all of District 89's schools. The contract was approved by the school board, where Ric Cervone was vice president.

His campaign received $70,000 through 2008, and he received nothing until this month when he counted $4,000 in contributions.

Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd, which does engineering work for the village, contributed $10,000 between 2001-07. Storino Ramello and Durkin, who act as the village attorney, gave him $3,800.

He also received $2,500 from two companies owned by convicted felon Anthony Bruno. During Calderone's first term, he hired Bruno as a consultant on a water project similar to Melrose Park's water project but smaller in scale. Bruno was paid $100,000, but the project never made it to its second phase.

Note: In 2013, Calderone's appointed village clerk, Vanessa Moritz, was elected to the Triton Board. 

Facts are a bitch and the truth most hurts the liars
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