RES­I­DENCY RULE RUCKUS

Chicago F OP pres­i­dent can­di­date’ s subur­ban home prompts ques­tions

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - BY ANDY GRIMM Staff Re­porter | KEVIN TANAKA/ FOR THE SUN- TIMES

Chicago Po­lice Of­fi­cer Kevin W. Gra­ham once pick­eted with the Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice car­ry­ing a sign that called for end­ing the res­i­dency re­quire­ment for Chicago cops: “If the city wants to save money, lift res­i­dency re­quire­ment,” it read.

In 2013, he and his wife sold their split- level house in Edge­brook on the city’s North­west Side— and bought amore ex­pen­sive four- bed­room house in Lin­colnshire, about 25 miles out­side the city lim­its in Lake County.

Now, Gra­ham wants to head the city’s largest po­lice union, aim­ing to unseat FOP Pres­i­dent Dean An­gelo in a high- pro­file runoff that ends March 29.

And even though Gra­ham has a subur­ban ad­dress, he in­sists he’s rent­ing his sis­ter’s Chicago condo, liv­ing there in full com­pli­ance with po­lice depart­ment rules.

Gra­ham also is ac­cus­ing An­gelo of try­ing to turn the Gra­hams’ subur­ban home, pur­chased for $ 617,000, into a cam­paign is­sue. In a re­cent post on the blog for Gra­ham’s “Blue Voice” slate of FOP can­di­dates, Gra­ham de­nies he lives out­side the city — a po­ten­tially fire­able of­fense — and calls his ri­val a “rat,” say­ing An­gelo is spread­ing ru­mors about where he lives.

The blog post came as Gra­ham was ig­nor­ing re­peated in­ter­view re­quests from Chicago Sun- Times re­porters, who’d found he no longer owns a house in the city and has his name on the wa­ter bill for the Lin­colnshire house.

Records also show Gra­ham’s wife was reg­is­tered to vote from the Lin­colnshire ad­dress and that Gra­ham was reg­is­tered from a 900- square- foot base­ment apart­ment in West Town, a near West Side Chicago neigh­bor­hood. Two cars Gra­ham owns aren’t reg­is­tered to ei­ther ad­dress, but to the 19th District po­lice sta­tion where he works.

Af­ter the blog post sur-

faced, Gra­ham reached out to Sun- Times re­porter and colum­nist Dan Mihalopoulos — not the re­porters who’d reached out to Gra­ham ini­tially.

“I have al­ways lived in the city as is re­quired,” Gra­ham told Mihalopoulos on Thurs­day. “I’ve al­ways fol­lowed the rules of the Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment.”

When the Gra­hams sold their Edge­brook home in May 2013, the buyer was re­tired Chicago Po­lice of­fi­cer Les Smule­vitz, an un­cle of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Gra­ham told Mihalopoulos he did not know Smule­vitz was re­lated to the mayor un­til af­ter Smule­vitz had agreed to buy it. He also said he has oc­ca­sion­ally been sta­tioned in front of Emanuel’s house, as have “90 per­cent” of pa­trol of­fi­cers in the 19th District, where he has worked for 20 years.

Gra­ham, 54, has voted us­ing his West Town ad­dress since 2013, in­clud­ing this past Novem­ber. His wife has been reg­is­tered at the Lin­colnshire ad­dress, records show. The Gra­hams claim a home­stead ex­emp­tion on the prop­erty tax bill for the Lin­colnshire house.

He de­clined to dis­cuss how of­ten he is at the Lin­colnshire house. “I’m not di­vorced. I’m a Catholic,” Gra­ham said. “My wife can live wher­ever she wants. . . . The sit­u­a­tion with my wife and I is no­body’s busi­ness.”

Gra­ham said he moved out of the base­ment apart­ment af­ter it flooded “about a year ago” and now lives in a Lake View con­do­minium owned by his sis­ter. He ad­mits he voted us­ing the West Town ad­dress five months ago, but told poll work­ers he had moved be­fore they gave him a bal­lot.

Gra­ham said po­lice of­fi­cers of­ten reg­is­ter their cars and driver’s li­censes at their work ad­dress to pre­vent their home ad­dresses from be­ing placed in pub­lic data­bases.

City or­di­nances re­quire nearly all city em­ploy­ees to live within the city lim­its, with po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tions in­ves­ti­gated by the city In­spec­tor Gen­eral’s of­fice. That of­fice didn’t re­turn mes­sages seek­ing com­ment. Gra­ham and his al­lies on the Blue Voice slate have ham­mered An­gelo over the most re­cent union con­tract with the city, and for not stand­ing up for the depart­ment’s rank- and- file as the CPD has come un­der un­prece­dented crit­i­cism from ac­tivists and the U. S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice.

Blue Voice can­di­dates won six slots in the FOP elec­tions, and Gra­ham fin­ished sec­ond in the vot­ing for pres­i­dent, forc­ing the runoff.

An­gelo last week de­nied he was in­volved in rais­ing ques­tions about Gra­ham’s ad­dress.

“This has been the ugli­est elec­tion in years,” An­gelo said. “I don’t know if it’s the so­cial me­dia or what. . . . I’m sure this has been dif­fi­cult for [ Gra­ham’s] fam­ily.”

An­gelo and his wife live in a split- level house Edi­son Park, about a block from the city bor­der with Niles, prop­erty records show.

| KEVIN TANAKA/ FOR THE SUN- TIMES

Chicago FOP can­di­date Kevin Gra­ham’s house in Lin­colnshire

The house in north­west subur­ban Lin­colnshire owned by Chicago Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice can­di­date Kevin Gra­ham ( inset, left).

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