March 9, 2017
Office of the Attorney General
State of Illinois
Lisa Madigan, Attorney General
500 South Second Street
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Attention: Laura Harter, Assistant Attorney General
Re: Request for Review- 2017 PAC 46448
Thank you for your letter dated today. I have attached all documents for your reference
to save you time.
I am a member· of the press, registered with the Chicago Police Department. I have for
years attempted to obtain records from the Department of Water Management
(DOWM). The DOWM uses stalling tactics. The DOWM has been in the crosshairs of
several Federal investigations and several employees have been sent to jail. It is my
opinion; the same conduct and behavior is continuing. FOIA is to expose the secret
dealings and politics that control the DOWM.
If you go to my website, \V\V\v.chicagoclout.com you will see I am involved in several
stories that are of public interest. One is the death of an DOWM employee involved in a
cave-in. For almost two decades, I have reported official complaints to the Illinois
Department of Labor. A man is dead, his family will never see him again due to the
inactions of the DOWM and the IDOL, to make shoring a reality. I was also the victim of
safety violations at the DOWM. Nothing has changed.
Chicago taxpayers pay millions of dollars to injured city workers that cannot show up to
work due to negligence at the DOWM. Some injured workers are also subject to
retaliation depending on their politics or lack of politics. The DOWM has a "job search"
program with no clear-cut policies. My original request was for one month of these
searches so I can determine if the taxpayers are receiving a good "bang for the buck". I
also want to make sure all injured workers are subject to the same rules and regulations.
I broke down the prior request to one week while I am waiting for your original ruling.
The weekly document total of that request is 24 pages submitted by injured workers.
Only six employees were required to submit weekly job searches per his FOIA response.
Mr. Litherland's (FOIA officer of DOWM) document preparation math does not add up.
His time request is unsubstantiated. In this day and age, a public department with an
almost billion-dollar budget still using primitive paper management practices, seems
unlikely. The paperwork should always be made into a PDF, not faxed and stapled.
I was accused by Gary Litherland on "being on a fishing expedition". Mr. Litherland also
wanted to release all 750 pages if I was willing to forego all supporting documents. I
want to have all documents to make a clear and concise report to the public. Gary
Litherland does not release documents in a timely manner. His department does not
have enough workers or his department is side stepping FOIA.
My requests will hopefully enlighten folks that have had unfavorable experiences in
workers' compensation system run by Alderman Burke, the Chicago Committee on
Finance, and. the Department of Water Management. Thanking you in advance, I remain
As a City of Chicago Department of Water Management (DOWM) employee, I am concerned about the lack of movement towards removing Lead from the Potable Drinking Water Supply (PDWS) in Chicago. Not long ago, I made a FOIA request to investigate the private contractors entering and leaving the Jardine Water Purification Plant (JWPP) on Chicago's downtown lakefront. The City fought my FOIA, so I asked Attorneys Loevy and Loevy to assist me in the fight. Matthew Topic of Loevy and Loevy did his best, but a Judge bought the City's argument; if they disclose their contractors in and out of JWPP, Chicago's PDWS would be in peril. If you know how Judges are picked in Chicago, the ruling was not a surprise. A second look will happen now that Donald J. Trump is in office.
Chicago needs to do something regarding Lead in the PDWS. During the FOIA process regarding this contentious issue, the DOWM represented that they are responsible for the safety of all PDWS in Chicago, from when it is processed at JWPP until it exits the taps (Supply to all final users). Since that is the case, the taxpayers of Chicago stand to lose billions in Lead related PDWS lawsuits. I assure you, the Chicago Inspector General has done nothing to protect the PDWS of poor Blacks and Hispanics. Sad to say, but each and every day millions are drinking Water tainted with toxins. Many other municipalities are making headway to replace the Lead Water Services, i.e. Flint, MI. Remember; the coating inside lead piping only works if the Water Service is not disturbed. The current lawsuits state: when a new Chicago Water Main is replaced, a substantial amount of Lead is introduced into the Water Supply. What the lawsuit doesn't know is that when the Lead Water Services are disturbed in any manner, the Lead is released and absorbed for children to drink in schools, i.e. Jose De Diego Academy, Chicago. When a Water Main break happens, the protective coating is disturbed, once when the Water Main is shut down and again when the Water Main is returned to service. When the piping is jolted severely, the coating is released into the Water Supply. People wonder after a Water Main repair is made, why the aerators in their home faucets are blocked. Now you know. After the DOWM works on a fire hydrant, shuts down a Water Main, makes any type of repair to the PDWS, the lead is again absorbed into the Water. Immediate Lead testing is needed each and every time an adjustment is made to the PDWS system. Not long ago, Alderman Tunney had a belt buckle and caution tape in his building's Water Supply. That was covered up. When a private contractor turned a new Chicago Water Main on, all the contents were released including; condoms, dirt, oil, grease, sand and debris of every type. Incompetence!
Chicago's Potable Drinking Water Supply is in danger. So, when you see any Chicago Department of Water Management trucks working on the Domestic Water Distribution System (DWDS), make sure you have your Water Supply tested. You will live longer. Demand that Mayor Rahm Emanuel hires more Certified Plumbing Inspectors, provides more Water sample testing, and make sure the DWDS is safe for all of Chicago. See you at final contamination.
We all know about Vocamotive Vocational Rehabilitation Training. The City of Chicago has hired them to provide ways to reduce the millions Chicago pays in Workers Compensation benefits. Alderman Burke has hired a bunch of political hacks to work on his Committee on Finance. Dog walkers, dog groomers, hair dressers. Alderman Burke even hired a male stripper. Many folks that work for Alderman Burke have no schooling in Insurance Claims, workers' compensation, investigations.
When that happens, Chicago Taxpayers pay millions more to hire professionals and consulting companies to pick up the slack. Claims drag on, City of Chicago Lawyers handling claims quit, and claims get bogged down. This costs Chicago taxpayers millions more. In case you read Chicago Newspapers, you will find Chicago investigative journalism has completely gone down the toilet. Chicago Journalist only print what Rahm tells them to. How sad.
Last year Vocamotive provided support services to the City of Chicago Committee on Finance to the tune of $500,000.00 dollars. That would have provided many more patronage workers for Alderman Burke, but no political donations. Vocamotive provides legal assistance to the Committee on Finance because their legislative aides are incapable of doing the job. In fact, Monica Somerville and Luana Olivas-Montoya should be fired if they cannot train the staff to do a complete professional job for the broke taxpayers. I would not expect much from Monica Somerville, she was fired as a Law Department Attorney after suing her boss for sexual harassment. She skipped the "Do not hire List". Alderman Burke likes what he sees in her.
Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Vocational Training people get paid about $15.50 per hour. Vocamotive charges an astounding $85.00 through $105.00 per hour. Vocamotive also charges Chicago taxpayers hundreds of dollars for loaning cheap computers, and hundreds more for basic Microsoft classes. Chicago pays massive rates for travel time, talk on phone time, and wait time. The billing is better than lawyer rates.
Please look at the attached rates. Click on READ MORE What a mark-up. And you wonder why Alderman Burke is a millionaire and Chicago is Bankrupt. Where is Rahm Emanuel? Where is Inspector General Joe Ferguson?