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July 24, 2017

Frank Capuzi Illinois Workers Compensation email scandal Video

Racist emails scandal moves beyond Chicago as Illinois opens investigation into state employee's role

State officials are investigating a longtime employee whose personal email address is a source of racist, sexist and anti-gay emails at the center of the Chicago water department's burgeoning scandal, including a fake "Chicago Safari" tour making light of the shootings of children in black and Hispanic neighborhoods

The state began a review into Frank Capuzi -- an investigator with the Workers' Compensation Commission and son of a former Republican state lawmaker -- following Tribune inquiries into offensive emails forwarded from his address to a water department boss and others.

The state's actions mark the first time the email scandal has created fresh headaches for another government body.

"The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission is currently investigating the highly offensive and inexcusable email messages from one of its employees," said commission spokesman Ben Noble. "After a complete and thorough administrative review, the commission will determine what actions may be appropriate."

Capuzi hung up on a reporter and did not respond to follow-up emails sent to his work and personal addresses. He has worked for the state since 1975 and makes more than $114,000 per year.

Capuzi, 62, was a longtime GOP committeeman on the West Side, having won the 26th Ward post as recently as 2008 and the 27th Ward at least as far back as the early 1980s, according to records from the Chicago Board of Elections.

The "Chicago Safari" email was among at least four of the most offensive ones that circulated among water department bosses that came from Capuzi's personal address.

The city redacted the address in the messages released via open records requests. The Tribune through interviews and sources, confirmed it was Capuzi's personal AOL address. It is the same email address Capuzi listed in the past as a contact for his political work.

Even though Capuzi didn't use his government email address, Chad Fornoff, executive director of the state Executive Ethics Commission, said that this type of matter should be referred to the executive inspector general for investigation into whether any violations of state law, rules or policies have occurred, including conduct unbecoming a state employee.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration's code of personal conduct states, in part, that employees should conduct themselves "with integrity and in a manner that reflects favorably upon the state." That code, a union bargaining agreement and the state ethics law are all part of the review, the commission said.

The Rauner administration confirmed that the Workers' Compensation Commission had launched an investigation. The commission is a quasi-independent body with members appointed by the governor and currently has six Republicans and four Democrats. "The administration was not previously aware of these emails, and the language used is inappropriate and unacceptable," said Rauner's spokeswoman Laurel Patrick.

The revelation of how the offensive messages found their way into the water department comes amid the city inspector general's ongoing investigation into the sharing of racist, sexist and anti-gay emails among city water workers and their bosses.

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson's findings have led to five high-level water department bosses being ousted, including Commissioner Barrett Murphy; his deputy, William Bresnahan; and Paul Hansen, a district superintendent and the son of former Democratic Ald. Bernie Hansen (44th). The Tribune reported earlier this week that a private contract employee was caught up in the scandal and has been blocked from working on city projects.

The Tribune, under a public records request, had obtained nearly 1,300 emails from the water department, including several emails forwarded from Capuzi to Hansen.

The Tribune found that at least four offensive emails shared with Hansen and others came from Capuzi's address. The email threads include the names as "Frank Capuzi," "Frank" and "F. Capuzi."

A July 2013 email with the subject line "Chicago Safari Tickets" states that if "you didn't book a Chicago safari adventure," for the Independence Day weekend, "you missed" the shootings of a 5-year-old boy and two others in West Pullman; the shooting of a 7-year-old boy in Chatham; and the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy in Humboldt Park.

"We guarantee that you will see at least one kill and five crime scenes per three day tour. You'll also see lots and lots of animals in their natural habitat. Call and book your Chicago Safari today," the email reads. An image shows four white people in safari gear taking pictures of several black people trying to break into a car.

The emails states that safari guests will stay in a hotel with triple deadbolt locks and window bars, but the safari guides cannot "guarantee Bell Hops won't run off with your luggage." The safari promises the rooms will be "99% free of drug needles and crack pipes."

The Tribune on Friday obtained the Chicago safari email, uncovered as part of the inspector general's investigation, through a public records request.

Another titled "Watermelon Protection" was sent to Hansen in July 2014 and included an image that depicted a scarecrow, dressed in a white KKK robe and pointed hood, amid a watermelon patch.

Hansen, in turn, forwarded the email to Murphy. "I don't understand," Hansen wrote in the email to Murphy.

There is a March 2014 email received by "F Capuzi" then forwarded by "Frank" to Hansen with the subject line "The World's Shortest Essay -- Gotta Love the Texas School Systems."

The email contained a joke that spares few in its offensiveness. It refers to an essay contest held for Texas teens that had to include elements of religion, royalty, racism, disability and homosexuality. The "winning" essay read: "My God," cried the Queen, "That one-legged nigger is a queer."

In turn, Hansen forwarded the email to Bresnahan and two other water department bosses.

Paul Hansen was a supervisor in the water department who allegedly used his city email to negotiate firearms deals. (July 18, 2017)
An April 2017 email forwarded from Capuzi's address announces that "Today is Heterosexual Male Pride Day!" It makes that declaration after showing a series of photographs of steaks grilling, a row of beer taps and a naked woman.

The body of the email states: "To all of my friends who are tired of taking a BACK SEAT to gays, lesbians, homosexuals, trans genders, women soldiers, bra burners, female boy scouts, women libbers, tree huggers, and eco-commie-environ-freaks, the looney left, Greens, social justice warriors and worse of all -- those fucking Democrats!"

Hansen could not be reached for comment. Capuzi's boss, Robert Ruiz, said he did not know about the emails and declined to comment further.

Paul Finamore, a Chicago area businessman and longtime friend of Capuzi, was listed as receiving some of the emails and said he was appalled at the content when shown the watermelon protection and the shortest essay emails.

"Oh, my God," Finamore said after he reviewed the emails at the Tribune's request. "I don't remember seeing anything of this, to tell you the truth."

Finamore, the chief executive officer of Hairline Creations Inc., said Capuzi was a groomsman for his 1989 wedding party and that the two had hunted together.

"This man is a racist," Finamore said. "You've got to know this guy. He's a good, good guy."

rlong@chicagotribune.com

tlighty@chicagotribune.com

July 22, 2017

Enjoy this video exposing Alderman Burke and IWCC Corruption with Fran Coconate

Paul Hansen 7208 West Olive Rooting out more City Hall racists: Taxpayers funded this orgy of prejudice

It started with a complaint that a Chicago water department superintendent was using a city email address to conduct private firearms transactions. The inspector general's investigation turned up a lot more. Besides negotiating to buy or sell four guns and five cars, Paul Hansen traded racist emails with other supervisors and visited websites not related to his job -- some containing sexually explicit materials -- on "thousands of occasions" in a four-month period.

On city email, on a city computer, on city time.

He also forwarded a confidential workplace violence complaint filed by a subordinate to the employee accused in the complaint, according to IG Joseph Ferguson's report.

The top bosses who were looped in on some of those emails didn't put a stop to them. Sometimes they even joined in. Photos of naked women, jokes about fucking watermelon, a picture of an African-American baby in a bucket described as a swimming pool, a message with the subject line "U Know U Be In Da Hood" -- it was all just another day at the office at the Department of Water Management.
A trove of emails obtained earlier by the Tribune contained more of the same: a Confederate flag, a reference to "negro midgets," a crude joke about an employee needing "an inflatable doughnut on the chair" after a Gay Pride weekend. It's the kind of stuff you'd expect from fourth-grade boys with pigs for parents. And it was all happening on your dime, taxpayers.

Here's the other outrage: Nobody is surprised. The water department is larded with workers that somebody sent. In 2006, the department was the focus of a federal corruption trial that showed how then-Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration rewarded campaign workers with jobs, promotions and overtime. Daley's patronage chief, Robert Sorich, maintained the secret "clout list," rigged interviews and falsified documents to grease the hires.

In one of the emails, Hansen, the son of ex-44th Ward Ald. Bernie Hansen, bragged about his ability to "swing elections."

"The water department has been staffed at its highest levels by persons whose social or political connections were their chief or only qualification for the job," Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, chairman of the City Council's black caucus, said this week. "The emails have exposed that these individuals hold black Chicagoans in contempt."

The good news is that Mayor Rahm Emanuel isn't having it. He's made a clean sweep of top management, including Water Commissioner Barrett Murphy, a personal friend.

Hansen and Thomas Durkin, general foreman of plumbers, were told to quit or be fired. Both quit. (The IG's report didn't name them, but Tribune reporters identified them through City Hall sources.) Others should follow. Managers and supervisors will undergo training about workplace discrimination, and an outside firm is studying how to address and prevent such conduct citywide.

That's all good. If this is how the bosses behave, then bigots at all levels are emboldened, and workers who are offended or victimized feel they have no recourse. The city needs to make sure its employees feel safe -- and obligated -- to report such behavior. That means providing the mechanisms and the training to make it happen.

Changing the culture also means aggressively rooting out the bad actors, and we suspect there are many more. Yet the IG's report notes that its access to emails is limited by city law department protocols. The IG "must submit requests for emails using limiting search terms and date ranges" and must reduce its request if it gets too many hits, the report says.

As journalists, we're familiar with such roadblocks; they're meant to keep us from reporting things that would embarrass public officials. What purpose could they serve in this case? The law department ought to remove those barriers and let the investigation go as far and as fast as it can.

In a federal lawsuit filed last month, a group of African-American water department employees say they were denied promotions, subjected to racial slurs and sexually harassed because of their race, and that their bosses "have done nothing" about it.

The city should pull out all the stops to address those complaints. Too many people at the water department got their jobs for the wrong reasons and never had to worry about losing them. They ought to be nervous now.

July 21, 2017

Please help a City of Chicago Department of Water Management Victim of Injustice

John Ware City of Chicago Go Fund Me.jpg Please help City of Chicago Hoisting Engineer Foreman John Ware make it through a troubling time as justice is nowhere to be seen at the Chicago Department of Water Management. Maybe John C. D'Amico can dip into his many extra paychecks. People need to eat. Maybe Andy Anderson can find a way to give a penny or two. We do not expect Paul Hansen to help anymore.

July 19, 2017

Sun-Times Water Department bigots versus institutional racism in Chicago

Paul Hansen City of Chicago We've got racists in the Water Department. What a shock. This is Chicago, which is part of America. We've got racists preaching from pulpits, writing laws and driving buses, too. The real shock is that such ugly in-your-face, old-school racism, as well as homophobia and sexism, were allowed to fester and grow within the city's Water Department, an apparent dumping ground for political hacks. People in charge looked away. They said nothing. The other real shock is that some people still think this is where bigotry begins and ends in America, with the louts who sound like Klan members, when, in fact, the most insidious forms of discrimination today are institutional. By all means, let's drive the bigots out of the Water Department, and their spineless managers, too. But let's take an even firmer stand on a second local scandal in the news this week -- the way property values are assessed in Cook County to favor the rich and stick it to the poor. Let's put an end to that as well. In a report released this week by City Inspector General Joe Ferguson, we learned more about how one particular goof at the Water Department, district Superintendent Paul Hansen, the clouted son of a former alderman -- no surprise there -- banged out racist emails the way nice people send out birthday wishes. In one email about Chicago's high murder rate, Hansen joked about a fake "Chicago Safari" package that would guarantee tourists "at least one kill and five crime scenes" and views of "lots of animals in their natural habitat." Hansen and a couple of other Water Department employees were fired or forced to resign, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel also collected the resignation of the department's top boss, Barrett Murphy. But given the department's obvious culture of tolerance for bigotry, we can't imagine the housecleaning is over. Changing a culture take changes in leadership throughout the ranks. Meanwhile on Tuesday, while testifying before the Cook County Board, county Assessor Joseph Berrios said nothing to convince us that his office doesn't have a serious problem of institutional racism. After the meeting, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said she's going to hire an outsider to "review" how Berrios' office does real estate assessments, but nobody needs another study. That's a way to look concerned while doing nothing. Repeatedly over years, civic watchdogs and investigative reporters have exposed how the county's way of assessing real estate values, which determines how much everybody pays in property taxes, is mysterious, arbitrary and stacked in favor of people and businesses that can afford high-priced tax lawyers. If further proof were needed, the Chicago Tribune published a deeply detailed series of reports last month that showed how the assessor's office uses a mishmash of formulas to overvalue low-priced homes while undervaluing high-priced ones. The pattern hits minority communities particularly hard. "We are systematically over assessing homes in poor communities -- the people that can afford it less -- and it's time to fix it," Robert Weissbourd, president of an economic development consulting firm, complained to the County Board. No worries, Mr. Weissbourd. They're doing a study! The pathetic truth is that Berrios' office for seven years has had on hand a better model to assess property values but has never fully used it, if at all. Weissbourd's firm helped devise the state-of-the art model, with funding from the MacArthur Foundation. It would significantly reduce the degree to which assessments shift the tax burden to those who can least afford it. Forget about the study, President Preckwinkle. Tell your pal Joe Berrios to forsake the dark arts and start using the new model. When you get down to it, baked-in institutional racism is more repulsive than some throwback bigot in the Water Department.

July 17, 2017

Chicago Tribune's Ray Long and Todd Lighty expose the Chicago Department of Water Managment

In a city scarred by a deep and troubling history with guns, a supervisor in the scandal-plagued water department used his city email account to negotiate firearms deals and make light of deadly Fourth of July violence in black neighborhoods by offering "Chicago Safari" tours, a new watchdog report revealed Monday. The latest development in the ongoing investigation, which the Tribune first disclosed in May, emerged as Inspector General Joseph Ferguson detailed how ousted district water superintendent Paul Hansen emailed with individuals over personal purchases or sales of at least four firearms and five cars. Those emails about firearms started the investigation over his use of a government account for personal business, which is against city rules. And it quickly spread to other emails sent by Hansen, who is white and the son of a former alderman, to other water department bosses, according to City Hall sources. In his quarterly report, Ferguson revealed a fresh string of anti-black emails sent to multiple high-ranking water department workers that touted a fake "Chicago Safari" package. It cited the number of shootings during a July Fourth weekend and guaranteed tourists would observe "at least one kill and five crime scenes" and also see "lots of animals in their natural habitat." Hansen's racially charged emails included messages to fellow workers purported to be in "Ebonics," sometimes called American black English, and a picture describing a swimming pool for a small African-American child who sits in a bucket filled with water while holding a slice of watermelon, the report found. Ferguson also cited Hansen's "Watermelon Protection" email that featured a picture depicting a Ku Klux Klan scarecrow guarding a field of watermelons, part of a cache of racist, sexist and homophobic emails the Tribune first disclosed online Friday. A second figure noted in the report for anti-Muslim and anti-black emails was Thomas J. Durkin, the general foreman of plumbers who resigned recently after being placed on administrative leave while under investigation. Neither Hansen nor Durkin were named, but the Tribune was able to identify them through City Hall sources, the description of their activities and job status listed. Newly released racist, sexist emails show scope of scandal at Chicago's water department Hansen and Durkin could not be reached immediately for comment. The inspector general's quarterly report comes as Mayor Rahm Emanuel finds himself fighting the proliferation of firearms in the city and facing the fallout from another deadly July Fourth weekend in Chicago. As Emanuel seeks to recapture support from African-American voters still upset over his handling of the 2014 fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald, the mayor and his aides have stressed that he installed a new commissioner and sought to remake the culture in the long-troubled department. Still, Ferguson's report raised questions about whether he found all the troubling emails. Ferguson said the mayor's Law Department imposes restrictions that do not allow "unfettered access to city emails," which has hampered the investigation. He said the Law Department requires that his office submit requests for emails using limited search terms and date ranges. "Given the lack of direct access to emails," Ferguson said that his office "cannot be certain it has identified all relevant documents." Lawsuit alleges racism at roiled Chicago water department Bill McCaffrey, a Law Department spokesman, said restrictions on email searches are needed to protect the integrity of the inspector general's investigation, any attorney-client privileges and the city's "limited resources." "The protocol allows up to 20,000 emails to be produced at a time, however, we greatly exceeded that count in this investigation and have accommodated similar requests every other time the Inspector General has requested a larger search," McCaffrey said. Hansen's misuse of a city computer was so prevalent that, in one four-month period alone, he called up sexually explicit, age-restricted YouTube videos and visited other internet sites unrelated to city business on "thousands of occasions," the report found. Durkin also was cited for sending and receiving sexually explicit photos and videos on his city email account. Emanuel aides have defended the mayor, underscoring his response to the investigation that has toppled Hansen, whose father is former 44th Ward Ald. Bernie Hansen, Durkin and three others. The biggest casualty came in May when Emanuel collected the resignation of water Commissioner Barrett Murphy, a friend of the mayor whose wife, Lynn Lockwood, is a former chairman and treasurer of one of Emanuel's political funds and is close to his wife, Amy Rule. At the time, the mayor's office said Emanuel acted "quickly and decisively" by asking Murphy and top deputy William Bresnahan to step down after learning of what was then an 8-month-old Ferguson investigation. "Mayor Emanuel has been clear that the conduct uncovered by the OIG's investigation does not reflect Chicago's values and will not be tolerated, which is why he acted swiftly to address the issue and bring in new leadership at the Department of Water Management," spokeswoman Shannon Breymaier said Monday in response to the report. And Emanuel's newly installed water department Commissioner Randy Conner, an African-American, said his agency "has a zero-tolerance policy on racism and sexism" and "will continue to take all appropriate measures to fully enforce this policy up to and including termination, or separation" from the department. The City Council's chairman of the black caucus, Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, said he is glad the investigation is continuing and bringing the issues to light. "I'm hoping under new leadership that they can address this head-on and eliminate that cancer that was eating away, permeating. right through the department." In late June, Durkin, the general foreman of plumbers, and John "Jack" Lee Jr., a district superintendent, were placed on administrative leave pending disciplinary decisions and now have resigned. Durkin sent email from his city account that referred to Muslims as "rag head c--- suckers," according to the inspector general. He also suggested that people should have thrown grenades at a black Italian politician instead of bananas, the report said. In Monday's report, it was Hansen's attempt to make light of a spike of violence in largely black neighborhoods during a previous July Fourth holiday that figured prominently. The report said Hansen's email to multiple high-ranking water department officials started with the subject line: "Chicago Safari Tickets." The report doesn't name the recipients. "If you didn't book a Chicago Safari adventure with us this 4th of July weekend this is what you missed," the report quoted the email as saying. The date of this email and others were not provided in the report. The comment was followed by lists of the number of people shot in South and West side neighborhoods including Englewood, Garfield Park, Austin, Lawndale, South Shore and Woodlawn. "Remember all Chicago Safari packages include 3 deluxe 'Harold's Chicken' meals a day," the report quoted Hansen's email as saying. "We guarantee that you will see at least one kill and five crime scenes per three day tour. You'll also see lots and lots of animals in their natural habitat. Call and book your Chicago Safari today." Four white people in safari gear are depicted as taking pictures of several black people who are trying to break into a car, the report said. Durkin replied to the safari email with a message that described African-Americans as "wild animals" who are "untamed," the report said. Among the email's photographs, the report said, was one of a "wheelbarrow full of watermelons with a sign stating, "Apply for a Credit Card. Free Watermelons.'" It was sent to a high-ranking official with the subject line: "U Know U Be In Da Hood." The email with the African-American child in a bucket and a piece of watermelon came with a message: "As an apology -- Paula Deen Opens Swimming Pool for Youth." A celebrity chef, Deen became the object of widespread ridicule when she said in a 2013 deposition that she used a racial slur. Deen, who was dropped by the Food Network, later apologized. Ferguson said both Hansen and Durkin were designated as having resigned in lieu of discharge, and they will be placed on the ineligible-for-rehire list. In another water department case, Ferguson recommended that a chemist who allegedly harassed a current water worker and a former employee be fired. Ferguson alleged the chemist made multiple derogatory text messages and phone calls, citing him for "aggressive and threatening behavior," according to the report. The department fired the chemist, who is fighting the termination. Chicago Tribune's Hal Dardick contributed.

Alderman Tom Tulley's Boytoy City supervisor called African-Americans 'wild animals' in email: IG

The son of a former Chicago alderman used his city email account to buy or sell "at least four firearms and five cars" and send hate-filled emails describing African-Americans as "wild animals." Inspector General Joe Ferguson on Monday issued a quarterly report with several explosive new allegations about a Department of Water Management employee whom sources identified to the Sun-Times as former District Superintendent Paul Hansen. Hansen is the son of former longtime Ald. Bernard Hansen (44th), who presided over Wrigleyville during the Cubs' marathon battle for lights at Wrigley Field. The son's checkered past with the water department includes allegations that his political clout helped him get his job back after a DUI conviction. As the Chicago Sun-Times was first to report, Ferguson originally uncovered the racist, sexist and homophobic emails circulating in the water department while investigating allegations that Paul Hansen had used his city email account to sell guns. New disclosures include a claim that the now-fired employee sent an email with the subject line "Chicago Safari Tickets" to multiple high-ranking water department colleagues. "If you didn't book a Chicago Safari adventure with us this 4th of July weekend, this is what you missed," the email states, listing the number of people shot in Englewood, Garfield Park, Austin, Lawndale, South Shore, Woodlawn and other neighborhood plagued by gang violence. It concludes: "We guarantee that you will see at least one kill and five crime scenes per three-day tour. You'll also see lots and lots of animals in their natural habitat." Yet another email with the subject line, "Watermelon Protection" includes the image of a Ku Klux Klan robe on a stick in the middle of a watermelon patch. Another under the subject line, "U Know U be In Da Hood" contains several photos, including one of a wheelbarrow full of watermelons with a sign that states, "Apply for a Credit Card. Free Watermelon." Hansen was further accused of: "repeatedly" sending sexually explicit photos and videos; using his city email account to negotiate personal purchases or sales of at least four firearms and five cars and using a city computer to access websites unrelated to city business on thousands of occasions over a four-month period, including accessing sexually explicit videos on YouTube. Hansen hung up on a Sun-Times reporter seeking comment on the new allegations. Ferguson's quarterly report also reveals a Water Management chemist "harassed" a former and current employee "through the transmission of multiple text messages and phone calls that included derogatory and threatening messages." The alleged harassment occurred "after both employees had already filed multiple complaints--including with the Chicago Police Department, the Department of Human Resources, and OIG -- against the chemist for aggressive and threatening behavior toward them. Newly-appointed Water Management Commissioner Randy Conner followed Ferguson's recommendation to fire the chemist, only to have the fired employee file a grievance. Arbitration is ongoing. Another now-fired Water Management supervisor was accused of sending racist and hateful emails that referred to Muslims as "rag head ---suckers" and describing African-Americans as "wild animals" who are "untamed" in response to Hansen's "Chicago Safari" email. The fired supervisor also suggested that people "should have thrown grenades at a black Italian politician instead of bananas," Ferguson wrote. Last month, a housecleaning in the department at the center of the Hired Truck and city hiring scandals swept out Commissioner Barrett Murphy, managing deputy William Bresnahan and Hansen. Sources said Murphy was held responsible for the chain of racist and sexist emails; Murphy was among those receiving the emails but did not discipline the employee. Ferguson's investigation is ongoing and is almost certain to trigger more high-level firings, City Hall sources said.

July 15, 2017

Rahm Emanuel orders Niggers out of the Yard, Department of Water Management

Chicago Niggers in the Yard.jpg The City of Chicago is under full attack after finding out just a few of the violent racist emails that are circulating at the Chicago Department of Water Management. The City of Chicago is subject to more lawsuits in the future thanks to the great reporting of Chicago Clout. Chicago Clout is going to help every lawyer in Chicago that is going to give honest government back.

The City of Chicago under Rahm Emanuel has the Mosquito program.

"Crews led by the Chicago Department of Water Management and others are dropping larvicide briquettes down all 210,000 catch basins on the public way. The slow-dissolving briquettes will, for the next five months, prevent large amounts of mosquito larvae from developing into biting adults. Additionally, the Department of General Services is ensuring treatment of over 3,000 catch basins not on the public way."

The real program is a political program to Southside reverends to supply blacks in need of a temporary job. Rahm Emanuel supplies money and taxpayer funded goodwill to his benefit. One Chicago employee with clout will take the minivan (leased) with a van load of blacks and make sure the work is completed. The program helps high ranking black commissioners keep the political clout train rolling. The Jackson Family got a taste of this loot.

Many of the black kids were treated like crap and told not to use the bathrooms and stay away from the regular white and Hispanic crews. They were treated very poorly. One supervisor would always call them niggers. The fuckin niggers are here again. The high ranking North District boss said, "I'll get rid of those niggers". Many of the workers would laugh. One black kid had an accident after he was told, "take a shit somewhere else". The way these black kids were treated was something out of a horror movie. I reported this behavior but nothing was done.
The Inspector General has known about Paul Hansen for years and nothing was done. The Chicago law department has had complaints about the rigged promotion of Paul Hansen, and nothing was done. Maybe Alderman Tunney will return my calls and he can explain why he put told Rahm Emanuel to put Paul in as District Superintendent. Maybe Plumbers Local 130 can explain their part in this mess.
I will have some more items for your interest. I hope the lawyers contact all those black kids and get them some relief. I've got some video for the upcoming election. Change. Frank Coconate is going to have some more action soon. "revenge is a dish best served cold"

New Emails Show Racist, Sexist Culture In City Water Dept. Paul Hansen Cray Cray

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Another round of emails released late Friday by the city of Chicago reveal more racist and sexist exchanges among some of the top officials in the Department of Water Management as recently as April a month before some were forced out, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. Earlier emails, part of a months-long investigation by City Inspector General Joe Ferguson, led to Water Management Commissioner Barrett Murphy, Managing Deputy William Bresnahan and District Superintendent Paul Hansen losing their jobs. The latest batch of emails contain homophobic slurs in addition to anti-black and anti-woman comments. Some of the most striking exchanges include an image of a scarecrow dressed in a KKK robe in a watermelon field, a picture of a nude woman used to celebrate "heterosexual male pride day" and comments mocking gays. The email containing the KKK scarecrow was forwarded from Hansen to Murphy in July 2014 with the subject line "Watermelon Protection." Included in the email, which Hansen had received from someone else, was the photo and this statement: "God is great, beer is good ... and people are crazy. I'm guessing this would be considered politically incorrect." Hansen then added this: "I don't understand." Another racist email Hansen shared with Murphy was sent in February 2013 in response to a request from ComEd for city employees to halt work near a power line serving a fire station, schools and a senior citizen home. "I think the only thing that the line does not feed is the center for the severely challenged negro midgets, you know the place, its where we hired all those laborers from 7 years ago," Hansen wrote. In an email Hansen received April 19, 2017 - just a month before he lost his job - there were pictures of steaks on a grill, beer taps on a bar and a woman bearing her breasts along with this message: "To all my friends who are tired of taking a BACK SEAT to gays, lesbians, homosexuals, trans genders, women soldiers, bra burners, female boy scouts, women libbers, tree huggers and eco-commie-environ-freaks, the looney left, Greens, social justice warriors and worse of all - those f---- democrats! In yet another email, dated March 11, 2014, Hansen shared with Bresnahan a story about a 16-year-old Texas boy who purportedly won the world's shortest essay competition by writing about religion, royalty, physical disability, racism and homosexuality. The email claimed the boy won a scholarship to a Texas university for writing this: "My God," cried the Queen, "That one-legged n--- is a queer." When Hansen was asked Friday night if he would like to comment on the newly released emails, he said, "If you're looking for a comment, you can forget it" and hung up. A voicemail message left for Murphy was not immediately returned. Shannon Breymaier, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said in a statement the mayor is "fully supportive" of recently appointed Water Management Commissioner Randy Conner's actions to provide additional EEO training to the department's managers and supervisors. Late last month, several current and former water department employees filed a federal lawsuit accusing the city and top Water Management officials of creating "a hostile and abusive work environment based on race that includes violence, intimidation (and) retaliation," the Sun-Times reported.

July 14, 2017

Paul "has been" Hansen gets Barrett Murphy love connection at North District Water

Paul Hansen Barrett Murphy Final.jpg
Barrett Murphy gave Paul Hansen the North District Superintendent promotion over much more qualified licensed employees. Paul Hansen had a rigged promotion if there ever was one. The City of Chicago Law Department covered up for this this when complaints were made. Ole Barrett is kicking himself in the ass now!! Gee, Paul Hansen was a great pick, eh you unemployed ass wipe. Alderman Tunney also used his muscle to put Paul Hansen in as the top dog at the Department of Water Management. Luci Pope Cozzi Anderson went to visit Paul Hansen at his office and the curtains were closed. Luci was accused of deleting Paul emails and covering up for this clown for years. Now that bribes from contractors is in the FBI laps, more fun and game are in order. Barrett told the entire North District how Paul Hansen would be great for the Department on June 8, 2011. Every promotion since the Shakman release from Federal Oversight resulted in Blacks, whistleblowers, and those with no clout, has been a joke. Maybe Luci Pope and Jennifer Isban can get fired soon. All of Paul Hansen discipline writeup are now going to be reopened, and in Federal court the way things are going. Please see an excellent article in the Chicago Tribune. Remember, if you are black or a whistleblower, please call Patrick McDonough or email chicagoclout@gmail.com. If you got a bad injury settlement, please email chicagoclout@gmail.com Attorneys are on standby. I also want to know why did the FOIA officer at the Department of Water Management hide email demands of Paul Hansen years ago? Fire all of them.

Hal Dardick, Ray Long and Todd LightyContact Reporters
Chicago Tribune Luci Pope Cozzi Anderson

City emails newly obtained by the Tribune cast light on the scope and offensiveness of racist, sexist and anti-gay slurs by politically connected supervisors at the top levels of the Chicago water department.

An image of a Ku Klux Klan "scarecrow" amid a watermelon field, a picture of a naked woman on a beach and off-color comments about gay people found their way into inboxes between early 2013 and April -- a month before an investigation of the emails led to high-ranking officials losing their jobs at the Department of Water Management.

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The emails, among nearly 1,300 provided by the city in response to a request under the Illinois open records law, include more overtly sexist and anti-black messages than those in an earlier, more limited batch obtained by the Tribune that also contained anti-Islamic insults. And the new emails for the first time reveal homophobic statements.

They also show that they were sent and received during a years-long period without any sign that supervisors, including recently ousted department Commissioner Barrett Murphy, did anything to quash the troubling chatter. And in at least one case, Murphy forwarded an offensive email to another department employee.

Many of the emails obtained by the Tribune go to the heart of an ongoing investigation by the city's inspector general. The original sender of many of them is former district superintendent Paul Hansen, the son of a onetime alderman whose political connections go back to the administration of former Mayor Richard M. Daley. In one 2015 email not long after the elections for City Council and mayor, Hansen boasts of his ability to "swing elections."

Lawsuit alleges racism at roiled Chicago water department
That was sent to Murphy, whose City Hall connections also date back to the Daley years but grew under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The mayor and Chicago first lady Amy Rule are friends with Murphy and his wife, Lynn Lockwood, the onetime chairman and treasurer of one of Emanuel's political funds. Murphy also received many of the racist, sexist and homophobic emails.

For Emanuel, the scandal raises issues he'd rather put behind him as he starts to gear up to make a bid for a third term in office in the 2019 elections. And it comes with risks of political peril among key groups of voters that he has worked hard to cultivate: women, gays and African-Americans.

Emanuel has tried to restore his reputation in the city's historically vote-rich African-American community, after the 2015 release of a police dash-cam video of a white police officer shooting black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times.

2 more Water Department supervisors put on leave in email investigation
The mayor also has toiled to put an end to clout at City Hall. But the political connections of the supervisors involved in the email controversy harken back to the era when Donald Tomczak controlled the water department that became a focus of a 2006 federal corruption trial. Emanuel first ran for Congress during the Tomczak era, and political troops loyal to Tomczak helped the mayor win his first elected office. And Murphy, Hansen and other members of the group show up on a clout list presented at the federal corruption trial held 11 years ago.

Emanuel has taken steps to address the email controversy, starting in May when he appointed Randy Conner, an African American, to lead the department after the resignations of Murphy, Hansen and deputy commissioner William Bresnahan. Attempts to reach all three for comment were unsuccessful.

At the time of their resignations, mayoral spokesman Adam Collins said the mayor acted "quickly and decisively" by asking for Murphy's resignation after learning of what was then an 8-month-old probe into the emails by city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson. That investigation started as a review of emails about gun deals tied to Hansen that ultimately led to the discovery of the offensive emails.

In early June, after those initial resignations, the Tribune obtained emails sent by Hansen that included racially insensitive, anti-Islamic and sexist messages, and the department's newest commissioner announced that all managers and supervisors in his department would be provided with additional training on federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations designed to prevent discrimination in the workplace

In late June, Thomas J. Durkin, the general foreman of plumbers, and John "Jack" Lee Jr., a district superintendent, were placed on administrative leave pending disciplinary decisions. They have since resigned, according to a department spokesman. Attempts to reach Durkin and Lee for comment were unsuccessful.

A week after they were placed on leave, a federal lawsuit was filed alleging that African-American employees of the Chicago water department routinely were denied promotions, subjected to racial slurs and sexually harassed because of their race.

In response to questions about the latest emails obtained by the Tribune, Emanuel spokeswoman Shannon Breymaier said the mayor "acted swiftly" to show his intolerance for the behavior and that "the folks implicated have been removed." She said he backs efforts by the new commissioner to step up equal employment training for department managers and supervisors. "Finally, the move to take immediate action is completely consistent with the mayor's efforts to eliminate clout at City Hall so that city employees are hired based on what they know, not who they know," Breymaier added.

One jarring example of a racist email was forwarded from Hansen to Murphy in July 2014. It was titled "Watermelon Protection" and included an image that depicted a scarecrow, dressed in a white KKK robe and pointed hood, amid a field of watermelons. "I don't understand," Hansen stated in his message to Murphy.

Another racially insensitive email dates back to February 2013, when Hansen was replying to an email that Murphy first forwarded to him. The original message concerned an "urgent request" from ComEd to stop work near an alternate power line serving schools, a fire station and senior citizen homes until the main line was fixed so those facilities wouldn't lose their electricity feed if it were accidentally damaged.

In response, Hansen wrote: "I think the only thing that the line does not feed is the center for the severely challenged negro midgets, you know the place, its where we hired all those laborers from 7 years ago." Murphy then forwarded that message to another department employee.

Even an August 2015 note from Murphy describing an equation for calculating the circumference of a circle drew a convoluted, racially charged attempt at humor from Hansen.

Hansen's message referred to the sex organs of white and black men, Caitlyn Jenner, Bill Cosby, a Confederate flag, and Dorothy and the Tin Man. Within minutes, Hansen then forwarded the same distasteful message to Durkin, whose response included: "I'll have to get back to you with my answer after I discuss this with the All Powerful OZ."

Hansen also distributed emails with an anti-gay tenor, including a February 2013 reply to Murphy, who in oversized letters noted that the Gay Pride festival and parade would be split over two weekends. It also was sent to Bresnahan.

One minute later, Hansen replied it meant someone might be absent from work and would need an "inflatable doughnut on the chair" when he returned.

Hansen in October 2015 sent Murphy a link to a YouTube video titled "Redneck Homemade Bikini Contest." The video depicts several scantily clad women on a wooden stage with a male emcee kicking of the contest by saying, "Here she is guys ... let's hear it."

Hansen in March 2014 forwarded to Durkin, Lee and Bresnahan a joke that spares few in its offensiveness. It refers to a "world's shortest essay contest" held for Texas teens that had to include elements of religion, royalty, racism, disability and homosexuality. The "winning" essay read: "My God," cried the Queen, "That one-legged nigger is a queer." Lee later responded, "I'm crying."

The emails obtained by the Tribune show that as recently as April, Hansen was receiving offensive emails. An April message sent to Hansen referred to "HETEROSEXUAL MALE PRIDE DAY!"

It makes that declaration after showing photographs of steaks grilling, beer taps and a naked woman, and is preceded by this introduction: "To all of my friends who are tired of taking a BACK SEAT to gays, lesbians, homosexuals, trans genders, women soldiers, bra burners, female boy scouts, women libbers, tree huggers, and eco-commie-environ-freaks, the looney left, Greens, social justice warriors and worse of all -- those f------- Democrats!"

One email was sent by a deputy human resources commissioner in October 2014 to several water department supervisors, including Murphy, who was first deputy commissioner at the time. It suggested they should take part in "respectful workplace" training on the issues of harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

"Although (the Department of Human Resources) has not made this training mandatory," it states, "there are several reasons that each supervisory employee should receive this training."

The emails also show that Murphy often forwarded to his wife various news summaries, including one in August 2015 where Emanuel announced city worker health care benefits will cover gender reassignment services. "What the......," Murphy commented.

Murphy's connections to City Hall predate the current mayor. He worked for Daley in multiple capacities, including in the mayor's office, and first started at the water department in 2004, when Tomczak reigned.

During the 2006 trial of Robert Sorich, Daley's patronage chief, a once-secret clout list with names of politically connected people seeking jobs and their sponsors was entered into evidence. Murphy's name appears on the list as the sponsor for one person seeking a job.

Murphy gained influence under Emanuel, who promoted him to first deputy commissioner in 2011 during the early months of his administration. In April 2016, Emanuel appointed him commissioner of the department -- a position that proved relatively short lived because of the email scandal that surfaced in May.

Hansen, son of former longtime Ald. Bernie Hansen, 44th, also appears on the clout list as someone who sought a promotion.

During the trial of Sorich, prosecutors charged that Daley administration officials handed out jobs, promotions and overtime work to those who campaigned for Daley and his allies. Sorich was convicted for his role in a hiring fraud scheme to rig interviews and falsify documents.

Hansen, in one water department email sent to Murphy in March 2015, boasted of his political prowess in the context of a recently concluded City Council race on the Northwest Side. "I told you I could swing elections," Hansen wrote.

Other water department email senders and recipients who showed up on the clout list include Durkin. The sponsor listed for Durkin was Tomczak, who was sent to prison after pleading guilty in 2005 to commanding a political army of patronage workers and taking almost $400,000 in payoffs from companies that wanted business from the city's corrupt Hired Truck Program.

July 6, 2017

Chicago Clout joins Frank Coconate to expose Racism at the Chicago Water Department

Please email chicagoclout@gmail.com or frankcoconate@yahoo.com

Housecleaning at Water Department spurs request for police protection

Two African-American former employees of the city's Water Department are so afraid of what could happen if they testify against a co-worker, they are seeking police protection.

David Reed and Christopher Harris said they complained about the racist and violent culture at the Water Department for more than a decade, but their complaints fell on deaf ears.

"We tried to get relief. We contacted management, talked to the city's Inspector General's office, and the EEOC, and nothing happened," Harris told me.

"Now the same individual that they allowed to intimidate us and harass us, they have subpoenaed us to testify against," Reed said.

Anthony Nguyen was fired in May. The men are being asked to appear on Friday and again on Aug. 10 before an arbitrator in a hearing in which Nguyen is trying to get his job back.

The forensic scientists claimed they were harassed, threatened and intimidated by Nguyen and others and described a work environment where they were taunted with insults and racist cartoons even after they left the department.

A spokesman for Inspector General Joe Ferguson would not comment on this case.
Reed and Harris are now reluctant to testify, citing safety and health concerns.

"They apparently told him that we are responsible for him losing his job. We are afraid of this guy," Reed said.

"We have expressed that concern to the corporation counsel. They say there is nothing they can do. The police can give us special attention for two weeks and that's it. After that, we are on our own. The way the city operates, they get us to testify, and after two weeks and something happens, they'll say: 'Go away,'" Harris told me.

The men claim that even after they left the water department -- Reed retired and Harris is on leave of absence -- Nguyen sent them racist texts and emails and made threatening phone calls in the middle of the night.

Harris said he has an order of protection against Nguyen that is still in effect.

I was unable to reach Nguyen on Wednesday.

But a spokesman for the city's law department said Nguyen's firing is not related to the department's shake-up over racist emails.

"The City of Chicago does not tolerate harassment of any kind. Department of Water Management officials enacted progressive disciplinary actions against Anthony Nguyen, which eventually resulted in his termination. He is appealing his firing, and we will strongly defend his separation from the City of Chicago," said Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city's Law Department.

The "racist email scandal" has resulted in the firings of several high-level managers, including the former Department of Water Management Commissioner, Barrett Murphy, who has close ties to the mayor.

The Inspector General's office stumbled on the offensive emails while investigating allegations that the son of a former alderman had used his email account to sell guns.

Last week, the department's African-American employees filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the city of "unlawful policies, patterns and employment practices to create and proliferate a hostile and abusive work environment based on race that includes violence, intimidation, and retaliation . . ."

The behavior Reed and Harris said they endured while working for the water department appears to fit that pattern.

Harris said he got a call from the Inspector General's office encouraging him to testify at the arbitration hearing.

"They basically said if we didn't testify, Anthony Nguyen could get his job back and he should never have been hired and should never be reinstated," Harris said.

Reed argues that the racist behavior is nothing new.

"We've been saying this ever since 2005. [Nguyen] was able to do all this without being reprimanded. I don't trust any of them. They are offering us nothing. We can't get our jobs back, any health benefits or protection. The city really doesn't care," he said.

It is unfortunate that these men had to wait so long for entrenched racism in the city's water department to be addressed.

Hopefully, the city can give these men the assurances they need so no other employee has to go through what they did.

June 30, 2017

Lawsuit Says Black City Employees Faced Racial Slurs, Were Denied Promotions At Water Department

A new lawsuit filed Thursday against the city claims that black employees of Chicago's Water Department were discriminated against, sexually harassed, denied promotions and spoken to with racial slurs.
The lawsuit was filed by seven employees, some current, some former, with hopes of earning class-action lawsuit status to extend its impact. The filing paints a disturbing picture of racism inside the water department, including alleging that the employees were regularly subjected to racial slurs and other demeaning language, including the n-word and being called "you people." Additionally, " "Black female employees are called bitches and whores on a regular basis," according to the suit. The Sun-Times has published the suit here.
The suit follows recent leadership changes at the Water Management Department and the release of racist and sexist emails written between ex-department heads. The city recently appointed Randy Conner as the new water department commissioner; Conner, who is African American, was promoted to replace Barrett Murphy, the ex-comissioner who recently resigned with two other colleagues after an inspector general report revealed racist and sexist emails were being sent among department employees.

Lawsuit Alleges Discrimination in Chicago's Water Department

CHICAGO (AP) -- Black workers at Chicago's Department of Water Management have filed a federal lawsuit contending they were routinely denied promotions and subjected to racial slurs.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court also asserts blacks were also sexually assaulted because of their race. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven current and former employees of the department, and it seeks class-action status.

The lawsuit alleges that when complaints were filed about a hostile work environment, black workers were "subjected to unfair, arbitrary and capricious discipline for speaking out."

The complaint comes weeks after the leadership at the water department was shuffled after a probe uncovered racist and sexist emails shared among department supervisors.

City officials did not have an immediate response to the lawsuit.

The love keeps on giving at the City of Chicago Department of Water Management. Rahm Emanuel is very mad. Very mad. Rahm Emanuel wants to fire all the workers on cocaine and stop the drug sales at the Water Department. It will never happen.

June 29, 2017

Lawsuit Follows Shake-Up At Chicago Water Department DOWM

(CBS) -- Seven employees of Chicago's Water Department filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday morning, claiming they were denied promotions, subjected to racial claims and sexually harassed because of their race. CBS 2's Sandra Torres has details. "I feel less than the man that I am when I'm talked to disrespectfully," says 57-year-old Derrick Edmond. He refers to the treatment he's received while working at the south water purification plant. He's among the Water Department employees in the suit who say, in part, "black employees are humiliated, harassed, and threatened daily by co-workers." "In 2017, many black people at the Water Department still cannot go to work and make a living without being subject to a hostile work environment," Edmond says. Edmond has been working as an operating engineer at the plant for over 30 years. In the lawsuit, he claims: -supervisors denied him promotion opportunities because of his race. ADVERTISING -they called him the "N" word and referred to him as "you people." -he was disciplined in retaliation for speaking out against his treatment in the department. "All of their stories are consistent from top to bottom," attorney Vick Anderson says. In May, Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Water Department Commissioner Barrett Murphy after an investigation uncovered racist and sexist emails. Attorneys say employees now want justice. "This lawsuit falls on the heels of our mayor of our city having to acknowledge that the culture of the Water Department is indeed hostile and abusive," William C. Martin says. "This is the next step in this admission process." Two plaintiffs are women and five are men; attorneys say at least 30 others have reached out to them with similar claims. A spokesperson for Emanuel issued this prepared statement in response to the lawsuit: "The City of Chicago has no tolerance for discrimination of employees in any form, and while we cannot comment on this lawsuit specifically, the City does not take any allegations of this nature lightly. The Mayor recently appointed a new commissioner and is committed to providing the support and resources necessary to implement changes and address issues at the Department of Water Management." Patrick McDonough, a City of Chicago Department of Water Management employee has complained of discrimination to two decades. Frank Coconate joins the lawsuit.

Chicago Water Management Employees File Discrimination Lawsuit By Charlie Wojciechowski

Archie High 2017-06-29_19-13-18.jpg

Chicago Clout's Archie High tells all.
Derrick Edmond has been an employee in the Chicago Department of Water for over 30 years, but he's now part of a federal lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against management of the agency.
Edmond, an employee at the Sawyer Water Purification Plant on the South Side, is one of eight employees filing suit against the agency.
"Personally, I feel like a little bit less than a man than I am when I have to be talked to disrespectfully, especially after 33 years and an impeccable work record," Edmond said.
The lawsuit alleges a long-standing and wide-ranging pattern of racial discrimination inside Chicago's Department of Water Management.
According to the suit, Edmond and others were assigned less desirable shifts and days off, given less desirable work assignments, denied promotions and transfers and were intimidated and harassed because of their race.
"They came to us and told us they had been living in a poisonous environment, literally living in the sewer," attorney Victor Henderson told reporters.
The lawsuit comes on the heels of the resignation of former Chicago water commissioner Barrett Murphy, who left his office amid reporters of an inspector general's investigation into racist and sexist emails by the department.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case say that resignation was a good start, but more must be done to correct what they say has been decades of discrimination at the department.
"We have filed this lawsuit because in 2017, many black people at the water department still cannot go to work and make a living without being subjected to a hostile work environment," Edmond said.
The plaintiffs in the case allege that the environment not only made it difficult to come into work on a daily basis, but also held them back in their careers with the department.
"All of their stories are consistent, from top to bottom," Henderson said. "We are hoping the city responds favorably because they have already taken some action."

Water Dept. employees file lawsuit, allege black workers 'spit on,' ignored daily

CHICAGO -- Seven African-American employees in the Chicago Department of Water filed a class action lawsuit in federal court today. The plaintiffs say they were subject to a poisonous work environment where black workers were "spit on" and ignored every single day.

In the complaint, the workers claim they were passed over or denied promotions in favor of white employees or workers from other plants, and were not given the opportunity to transfer if they were unhappy.

They allege they were subjected to racial slurs and sexually harassed because of their race.

Two employees who spoke to reporters today -- one a 30 year veteran, the other a 40-year veteran of the department -- say they were nameless and faceless every day while they were responsible for bringing millions of Chicago residents fresh water. Today, they say, they are no longer voiceless.

The plaintiffs are seeking more oversight within the department. They are not putting a monetary number on specific damages yet.

The plaintiffs' attorneys say they've already gotten calls from more than 30 other Water Department employees saying they, too, were subject to what they're calling a "hostile work environment" for decades.

Water Management employees file federal lawsuit

CHICAGO 06/29/2017, 12:02pm A bronze plaque hangs outside of Chicago's City Hall
A group of employees have filed a class-action lawsuit over workplace conditions at the city's Department of Water Management.
Fran Spielman

The pre-emptive strike didn't work.

On Thursday, four current and two former Water Management employees filed a federal lawsuit against the city and the department at the center of the Hired Truck and city hiring scandals.

The lawsuit accuses the city and top Water Management officials of "deliberate and unlawful policies, patterns and employment practices to create and proliferate a hostile and abusive work environment based on race that includes violence, intimidation, retaliation, constructive discharge against the plaintiffs and the class of similarly situated former and current" employees.

It seeks "unpaid wages, liquidated damages, attorneys fees and declaratory and injunctive relief."

Named plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit were identified as: current employees Derrick Edmond, Katherin Ealy, Craig Robinson, Eddie Cooper Jr. and Robert T. Laws Jr.; and former employees Vicki Hill and Adebola Fegbemi.

All six are African-American, and according to the lawsuit, all "have been subject to the ongoing and continuing violations of a hostile work environment and/or deliberate acts of discrimination during their employment based on their race."

Indeed, the suit claims the on-the-job actions against the plaintiffs "weave a tapestry of hostility that dominates every aspect" of their job.

That tapestry includes getting less-desirable shifts and work assignments and being denied promotions, transfers, overtime and training opportunities.

Black women were routinely referred to as "bitches and whores," the suit contends. Those who dared to complain about the discriminatory treatment of African-Americans were also punished with "unfair, arbitrary and capricious discipline, plaintiffs claim.

And in spite of a shake-up touched off by the offensive emails that has already swept out five high-level managers, the city has "done nothing to remedy" the toxic environment, the suit contends.

Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.

At his confirmation hearing earlier this week, newly-appointed Water Management Commissioner Randy Conner assured sympathetic aldermen that he would "change the culture" in a department with a history of intolerance and scandal.

Conner is named as one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. So are: former Commissioner Barrett Murphy; former Ald. John Pope (10th), who is now a deputy commissioner in the Department of Water Management and three other high-ranging department officials.

Last month, a housecleaning in the Department of Water Management at the center of the Hired Truck and city hiring scandals swept out Murphy, managing deputy William Bresnahan and district superintendent Paul Hansen.

Sources said Murphy -- whose wife is a close friend of Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule -- was held responsible for the chain of racist and sexist emails sent by an underling whom the commissioner failed to discipline, even though Murphy was among those receiving the emails.

The Chicago Sun-Times was the first to report that Inspector General Joe Ferguson uncovered the racist, sexist and homo-phobic emails circulating in the Department of Water Management while investigating allegations that Hansen had used his city email account to sell guns.

Murphy's ouster was a stunner, even in a city department with a history of corruption that's notorious for its ugly, hate-filled culture.

That's because it came at the risk of losing two close friends.

Lockwood once chaired a political fundraising committee for the mayor. She's an Emanuel appointee to the Chicago Public Library board who helped organize the 2012 NATO Summit for the mayor and had a one-year, $160,000 consulting contract with the tourism agency known as Choose Chicago.

Last week, two more high-level supervisors were placed on administrative leave pending termination proceedings.

Thomas J. Durkin, a $106,599-a-year general foreman of plumbers, has been placed on administrative leave without pay while Water Management Commissioner Randy Conner decides whether to follow Inspector General Joe Ferguson's recommendation that Durkin be fired. Conner who is African-American, has been given carte blanche in a department with an ugly history of corruption and intolerance.

Sources said Durkin was accused of "sending and receiving" the same kinds of racist, sexist, homophobic and Islamaphobic emails that have already triggered the ouster of three other Water Management bosses.

John J. Lee Jr., the $128,088-a-year superintendent of the Water Management's south district, has also been placed on administrative leave tied to the email scandal.

Durkin and Lee have since resigned.

Black workers denied promotions, called racial slurs at Chicago water department: lawsuit

African-American employees of the Chicago water department routinely were denied promotions, subjected to racial slurs and sexually harassed because of their race, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday that could further roil a department that's become a racially charged problem for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court, comes weeks after a leadership shakeup at the Department of Water Management as a months-long watchdog probe that ferreted out racist and sexist emails shared among department supervisors.
The suit was filed on behalf of seven current and former employees of the department, and it seeks class-action status, which if granted could expand its scope. The employees alleged they were denied promotions and transfers, given less-desirable work assignments, harassed and wrongly fired in some cases because of their race.
It further states that department workers routinely used racial slurs or racially charged phrases, including the n-word and "you people," to refer to black employees, according to the lawsuit. "Black female employees are called bitches and whores on a regular basis," the filing reads.

And when they filed complaints about a hostile work environment, they were "subjected to unfair, arbitrary and capricious discipline for speaking out," the lawsuit alleges. Department officials "have done nothing to remedy the hostile work environment," it adds.
The lawsuit asks for a judge to rule that department officials violated federal fair labor laws, bar further discriminatory contact, and provide lost wages and back pay to the allegedly harmed employees.
City officials did not have an immediate response to the lawsuit.

A day before it was filed, Emanuel and the City Council were singing the praises of newly appointed water department Commissioner Randy Conner, an African American man from the South Side who was promoted amid the shakeup and confirmed by aldermen Wednesday. Conner is named as a defendant in the lawsuit because of his new role, but there are no specific allegations in the 40-page filing that accuse him of any specific wrongdoing.

Conner was appointed by Emanuel to replace Barrett Murphy, a friend of the mayor's who resigned his post as the result of a city inspector general's investigation that turned up the racist and sexist emails. William Bresnahan, who was managing deputy commissioner, and Paul Hansen, who was a district superintendent, also resigned.
The Tribune earlier this month first reported that Hansen sent to Murphy and Bresnahan emails in early 2014 that included anti-Islamic and racially insensitive language.
Hansen also sent an email that included sexist language as he made fun of a colleague in response to a lengthy message that colleague sent to Hansen about a frozen water main.
In addition, Thomas J. Durkin, the general foreman of plumbers, and John "Jack" Lee Jr., another district superintendent, later were replaced on administrative leave pending disciplinary decisions as a result of the probe.

hdardick@chicagotribune.com