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IAPA to honor Alderman Sposato, 3 others

The Italian American Police Association will honor a foursome of stalwart souls at an Oct. 26 dinner dance at Elmcrest Banquets in Elmwood Park. (312-415-1202)

The following profiles were provided by the organization:

Alderman Nick Sposato • Man of the Year Award

38th Ward Ald. Nicholas (Nick) Sposato grew up around Belmont and Harlem avenues and is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Northwest Side. Ald. Sposato is currently serving his third term. He was the first firefighter elected to the City Council and the first elected in two different wards. In 2011, he beat the machine in a runoff to become alderman of the 36th Ward. After being mapped out of his district, he ran for 38th Ward alderman in 2015. Against seven opponents, he won the race outright without needing a runoff. For his present term, he ran unopposed.

Ald. Sposato has the privilege and responsibility to serve as the chairman of the Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation Committee of the City Council. Some of Ald. Sposato’s accomplishments include building new playgrounds at Shabbona and Hiawatha parks, building additions at Canty and Bridge elementary schools and bringing Taft Freshman Academy and Rickover Naval Academy to the 38th Ward.

Ald. Sposato distinguished himself as a Chicago Park District Junior Citizen Leader award recipient in 1975 and has continued to dedicate his life to serving and assisting others. He has a comprehensive understanding of our political process and knows how the decisions made in city government impact the lives of average citizens. His many years of community service and work with civic leaders have provided him with an in-depth understanding of the diverse aspects of the 38th Ward.

Ald. Sposato served on the Sayre Language Academy LSC, (the first CPS to re-establish itself as a community school from a magnet school), with the firm belief in the importance of education and the need to invest in public schools to assure a high-quality education for our future community leaders. As a parent volunteer, he also spent many years as the president of the Trinity High School Fathers’ Club.

Ald. Sposato was a recognized member of both the Montclare-Elmwood Park Chamber of Commerce and the Montclare-Elmwood Park Lions Club who has worked diligently to build trust and maintain positive relationships among area businesses and residents. As a Chicago firefighter of 18 years and a five-term elected steward, Ald. Sposato forged strong relationships with his fellow firefighters.

Known as a dedicated public servant and a man of strong convictions, he strives to promote equality for his fellow citizens by serving as an advocate for the less fortunate in the community. Ald. Sposato is a firm supporter of the police. He hosts yearly “Support Your Local Police” rallies and raises money for police charities. He was a devoted volunteer for the Knights of Columbus food pantry, Chicago Fire Fighters/Catholic Charities Christmas Toy Parade, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Salvation Army and the Lions Club. Ald. Sposato and his wife of 38 years, Diana, are supporters of Animal Care and Control, having adopted three dogs: Dexter, Stella, and Hazel.

Alderman Sposato was recognized by Concordia University-Chicago with the 2010 Outstanding Community Leader Award for his continued and enthusiastic support of his community. He was honored as Man of the Year by the Montclare-Elmwood Park Chamber of Commerce in 2005 as well as Man of the Year by the Montclare-Elmwood Park Lions Club in 2007. In 2013, he received a legislative award from the Friends of the Park. He was named Civilian of the Year by the Polish American Police Association in May 2019. Ald. Sposato remains an independent thinker and fierce advocate for the people of the 38th Ward.

Capt. Jason LoCoco • Lifetime Achievement Award

The son of Charles and Barbara LoCoco, Jason LoCoco was born and raised in Cicero. He attended Nazareth Academy High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Drake University while playing football and rugby.

In 1999, he joined the Illinois State Police as a member of Cadet Class 97. After graduating from the Illinois State Police Academy, he was assigned to District 15. In 2001, he transferred to District Chicago, where he was promoted to sergeant in 2008 and master sergeant in 2011. In 2014, he was promoted to lieutenant as the operations commander of District 21 Ashkum. In 2017, he was assigned as the interim commander of District 7 East Moline and District 17 LaSalle. In 2018, he was promoted to the rank of captain as the district commander of District 17 LaSalle, which covers nearly 3,000 square miles of LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.

In the course of his career, Captain LoCoco has received department commendations, department service ribbons and a Trooper of the Year nomination. He was the recipient of a Chicago Police Joint Operations Award and two VFW Meritorious Service Awards. He is a five-time recipient of the AAIM DUI Top Cops Award and the AAIM DUI Excellence Award. He received three IDOT Top DUI Enforcement Awards and an IDOT DUI Achievement Award.

Jason lives in the southwest suburbs with his wife, Marie, and sons, Nico and Enzo.

Judge William B. Raines • Distinguished Service Award

William Raines has served as served as a judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County from August 2014 to the present. His current assignment is the Criminal Division at 2600 S. California Ave. in Chicago. Before winning election to the bench, he was the founder and principal of the Law Offices of William Raines, with practice areas that included criminal and civil matters.

As a Government Affairs Counsel for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, he coordinated anti-fraud measures with federal and state law enforcement agencies, and as a Special Counsel for Fraud Investigations for Fremont Compensation Insurance Co., he coordinated criminal prosecutions nationally for workers’ compensation fraud and managed regulatory compliance nationally.

He served as an assistant state’s attorney in the Narcotics Prosecutions Bureau for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and as a police officer and investigator for the Oakland Police Department, investigating the Crack House Abatement Unit, Drug Task Force, Background Investigations Unit, Fugitive Warrant Investigations. He also served as a Field Training Officer and Evidence Technician. Before that, he served as a Deputy Sheriff for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, engaged in Warrant Investigations and Felony Court Security.

He has served on insurance fraud task forces for five states, and the U.S. Attorney’s Health Care Fraud Task Force for three of those states.

Carl Liture • Distinguished Service Award

Carl Liture was born and raised in Chicago and served in the Navy during World War II. A machinist mate 3rd class, he was assigned to the USS Shangri-La, a newly commissioned carrier that saw plenty of action in the Pacific Theater. One of the highlights of his military career was witnessing the official surrender of the Empire of Japan. The Shangri-La was anchored behind the Missouri in Tokyo Bay, and Liture watched from an upper deck as Emperor Hirohito signed the papers.

Liture married his high school sweetheart, Norma Mirabelli, and the couple had two children, Carl and Sandra.

After the war, he worked as a streetcar conductor for the Chicago Surface Lines for 10 years and then for 30 years as a patrolman for the Chicago Police Department. He began working for Thillens as a check cashier in 1953 and still drives a truck for the company at the age of 93.

He is a longstanding member of the Italian American Police Association and the Filippo Mazzei Post No. 1 of the Italian American War Veterans, and he’s also a member of the Disabled American Veterans American Legion and the American Legion. For the last 12 years, he has participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at Navy Pier to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7.

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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.