Lester: Suburban lawmaker says he knew Comey as precise, methodical
State Rep. Scott Drury says he won't pass judgment on James Comey's actions during the ousted FBI director's final months in office.
But Drury, a former assistant U.S. attorney from Highwood, describes the man he met years ago as precise, methodical and committed to the federal department of justice.
Drury told me this week that Comey led a training seminar for federal prosecutors in South Carolina in 2003.
Drury recalls the longtime bureaucrat stressing the importance of taking careful notes on sensitive subjects as well as having a witness, or backup, accompany you to sensitive meetings.
Both topics have been the subject of speculation as Comey prepares to testify before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in the coming weeks.
Comey was the chief official leading a criminal investigation into whether President Donald Trump's advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the 2016 presidential election. Comey was fired May 9 by the president, who deemed him a "crazy nut job," according to news reports.
Looking through a filter
"I'm watching it like everyone else," Drury says of the scrutiny over Comey's firing. "But as I'm seeing it play out, I can see if he was taking notes and he was doing what he was doing, why he was doing that. I believe if he was true to his word as he was talking to us, that he wants the Department of Justice above all to come out looking good," Drury said.
The gift of health
The Duchossois family presented the University of Chicago Medicine with the single largest gift in its history this week -- $100 million.
Family members say the money is to be used for wellness, not simply treating diseases after they're diagnosed. Half the money comes from Duchossois Group Chairman Craig Duchossois and his wife Janet, of Chicago. The rest is from the family foundation.
Patriarch and Arlington Park Chairman Richard L. Duchossois' first wife, Beverly, died of cancer, as did his youngest son, Bruce.
Another bidder in 14
A Warren Township High School District 121 board member says he'll run against Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano.
Jim Walz, of Gurnee, will run as a third-party progressive in the 14th District, which sweeps around the outer suburbs from Gurnee to Plainfield. Walz says he has a number of events planned to meet with voters in the coming weeks.
Batavia teacher Victor Swanson plans to run as a Democrat against Hultgren. Swanson's grandfather Glen Palmer was Kendall County Republican chair for nearly 30 years until the 1970s, but Swanson says he's disenchanted with the GOP.
Epstein, Kasper, some tunes
Those attending the Hot Stove, Cool Music Chicago concert are in for a treat from Chicago Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper, if clips from the private recordings he's occasionally shared are any indication.
Kasper, of Glencoe, is part of the lineup of musicians, artists and sports figures coming together for the concert to benefit The Foundation To Be Named Later, started by Cubs President Theo Epstein and his twin brother Paul.
Expect Kasper and Epstein to be playing guitar. Tickets for the concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m. June 2 at Metro in Chicago, start at $75 and are available at www.metrochicago.com.
Michael Phelps' massage
Speaking of fundraisers, a number of attendees for Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps's Golf. Give. Gala at the St. Charles Country Club stayed at the Herrington Inn in Geneva last weekend, I'm told. That included Phelps himself, who wound down from the stress of the weekend Tuesday by getting a massage in the spa.
In the past the Herrington has had guests including Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe and Mikhail Gorbachev.
Honoring local heroes
Glueckert Funeral Home operators are inviting community members to "honor their heroes" by marching with them in Monday's Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade.
The Arlington Heights funeral home personalizes banners with the names of veterans and active duty service members, which are carried by volunteers as part of the parade entry. Owner Jackie Glueckert tells me between 150 and 200 participants are expected this year.
The parade, which draws officials from around the state, steps off at 9:30 a.m. from Sigwalt Street and Arlington Heights Road. It proceeds to Memorial Park at Fremont Street and Chestnut Avenue for an 11 a.m. ceremony honoring Arlington Heights heroes from the Civil War through Afghanistan. For information, call (847) 253-0168.