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Mick Dumke

Reporter

Photo of Mick Dumke

Mick Dumke is a reporter for ProPublica Illinois. He came to ProPublica after two years on the Watchdogs team at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he reported on the dismantling of public housing, the impacts of the state budget crisis on prisoner re-entry and the police department’s use of a secret watch list. Before that, he spent almost a decade as a politics writer and editor for the Chicago Reader. Among his investigations, he reported on racial disparities in drug enforcement and the privatization of Chicago’s parking meter system and other public assets. He has also worked as a reporter and editor at the Chicago Reporter magazine, taught social studies at an alternative high school and studied religion at Northwestern University and McCormick Theological Seminary.

At Chicago’s City Council, Committees Are Used to Reward Political Favors and Fund Patronage

Without new oversight and accountability, City Hall cannot “escape corruption, mismanagement and waste,” the city watchdog says.

Cook County Judge Loosens Unusual Restrictions on Publishing Details of Child Welfare Case

Calling her previous order “overbroad,” the presiding judge of the child protection division says ProPublica Illinois is free to report on the case but can’t disclose the identities of the children.

Chicago’s Inspector General Finds the City’s Gang Database Is Riddled With Errors

The database has been accessed more than 1 million times, including some 32,000 times by immigration officials. Police said they will fix the database but not erase it.

Cook County Judge Keeps Limit on Publication in Place in Child Welfare Case

The presiding judge of the child protection division of juvenile court says she will rule soon on ProPublica Illinois’ request to lift ban.

Promises, Tamales and Even Truth-Telling: Chicago’s Mayoral Race Hits the Final Stretch

In the campaign to succeed Rahm Emanuel, candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle talk neighborhoods and look for votes.

Cook County Judge Blocks ProPublica Illinois From Publishing Details of Child Welfare Case

In moving to shield minors, the judge weighs a challenge to the First Amendment right to publish.

Chicago’s Election Signals Break from the Past — in Wards and at City Hall

In the 49th Ward, a newcomer from the left unseated the once progressive Joe Moore. And mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle tried to distance themselves from Rahm Emanuel, although the two top finishers have their own ties to the political establishment.

At Chicago City Hall, the Legislative Branch Rarely Does Much Legislating

The mayor dominates the City Council while aldermen reign over the “fiefdoms” of their wards.

Cook County Takes Steps to Erase Its Regional Gang Database

Commissioners are set to pass a law banning the database and requiring it to be destroyed.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain

Many welcomed the announcement that the sheriff took the database offline. But the office has resisted calls to destroy it immediately or publicly explain other details of its plans.

The Laquan McDonald Shooting Keeps Exposing Critical Flaws in Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act

After Chicago officials denied records requests from the police shooting, the attorney general’s office did little to push the city to make documents public.

The Election Is Over. And Now the Next Elections Begin.

After Tuesday’s bluebath, Democrats dominate. But what comes next?

In Illinois Governor’s Race, Rauner and Pritzker See a Clear Need to Promise Transparency

The Freedom of Information Act backlog starts with offices around the state, including the governor’s.

Citizens Count on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act but Keep Getting Shut Out

The office of the public access counselor was supposed to enforce open government laws. Nearly a decade later, it’s backlogged and frequently ignored.

Note to the Next Mayor: Chicago Is a City of the World, But We Want the Neighborhoods Fixed, Too

In the community where Officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald four years ago, residents worry about policing, crime and inequality.

Protests and Blaming the Media. Sound Familiar? That Was During the ’68 Democratic National Convention.

Archived letters to former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley bring up familiar concerns about unrest, policing, political divisions and “propaganda.”

Illinois House Candidate Will Walk for Votes — And Has To

Challenger Amanda Biela takes on the “Madigan machine,” and copes with a divided Republican Party.

Like Chicago Police, Cook County and Illinois Officials Track Thousands of People in Gang Databases

Gang files at other agencies include missing information and dead people.

The Administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel Keeps Monitoring Protesters

Chicago police and City Hall tracked anti-Trump demonstrators — and now state legislators want to let them use drones.

Amid Affordable Housing Dispute, Conservatives Seek a Home in Chicago

Groups tied to Illinois Policy Institute and talk show host Dan Proft back GOP candidates on city’s Northwest Side.

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