Looks Like Todd Lighty nailed the Hammer on the head of City Hall Whistleblowing

Survey says Chicago city workers less likely to blow whistle on misconduct Todd Lighty
Chicago city workers are less likely to report job-related misconduct than their counterparts elsewhere, largely because they don't believe the problem will be fixed and they fear retaliation from bosses, a new survey by Mayor Richard Daley's hiring compliance office reveals.
The snapshot into City Hall work culture found that Chicago employees report only one out of every two instances of misconduct that they witness. Workers for other local governments, however, were more likely to disclose on-the-job wrongdoing, reporting two out of every three instances of misconduct.
Anthony Boswell, the executive director of the mayor's Office of Compliance, said he is going to create new initiatives, including training programs, to address Chicago workers' concerns about being retaliated against.
"If people think nothing will happen when they report misconduct or if people believe they will be retaliated against, then they are likely to say nothing," Boswell said. "We are going to work on that."
Boswell said city workers need to be encouraged to report even mistakes that may not amount to misconduct and be assured they won't be punished.
The survey also found that a paltry 17 percent of Chicago's workers believed they will be rewarded for following compliance and ethical standards.
Boswell ordered the survey, which cost approximately $40,000. The survey took the pulse of more than 1,800 workers and was conducted in August and September by the Ethics Resource Center, a private, nonprofit organization. The survey's error margin is 2.2 percentage points.
You can read the survey here. Other highlights include:
* Eighty-one percent of Chicago's workers said the primary reason they don't bother reporting misconduct is because they believe nothing will be done about it. Of those who reported misconduct, 26 percent said they were retaliated against.
* Only 62 percent of Chicago's workers believe City Hall has a strong culture of compliance and integrity. That's far below that of workers for other local governments from around the nation, where, overall, 80 percent believed they have a strong, ethical work culture.
* The most likely misconduct witnessed by Chicago workers involved abusive behavior, 27 percent; lying to employees, 21 percent; discrimination, 20 percent; hiring violations, 15 percent; and conflicts of interest, 15 percent.
* Chicago's workers were less likely to report hiring violations, sexual harassment, and on-the-job abuse of email and the Internet.
* The survey found that 93 percent of city workers were aware of the Office of Compliance, which Daley created in 2007 to promote ethical conduct. But workers surveyed said they were less likely to seek guidance from that office than from other city resources.

6 Replies to “Looks Like Todd Lighty nailed the Hammer on the head of City Hall Whistleblowing”

  1. The elves of scandals past: Where are they all now?
    John Kass

    December 17, 2009

    ‘Tis the season to sip some hot cocoa and ask the two big questions:

    What happened to all the elves who make politics so interesting around here? Where are they now?

    For the elves of the Chicago Way, it’s been a rough year. One by one, our old friends are gone.

    But two of the most industrious elves, Don Tomczak, 74, and Robert Sorich, 46, are getting ready to walk out of federal prison.

    Tomczak, the corrupt former city water boss, was convicted of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. He also ran an illegal patronage army for Mayor Richard Daley and helped former U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Tomczak, get elected. As White House chief of staff, Emanuel is now the most powerful elf in all the land.

    Tomczak is scheduled for a July release. By next month, he could be in a federal halfway house near you. Surely Emanuel will host a banquet, with sweetmeats and sugarplums, to celebrate Tomczak’s release.

    Sorich, Daley’s patronage boss from the 11th Ward, is scheduled to be released in November. He could be eligible for work release in May.

    After a “Free Robert” fundraiser in a Bridgeport church basement, an 11th Ward priest told me that Sorich could be compared to Jesus Christ, because both were accused of felonies. Talk about your holiday spirit.

    And all this time, Sorich kept his mouth shut. So, will the mayor stuff Sorich’s stocking with a six-figure job?

    Meanwhile, the mayor’s senior elves are lying low. His political brains, Tim Degnan and Jeremiah Joyce. His favorite developers, Michael Marchese and Tommy DiPiazza. And his two favorite truckers, Mike Tadin and mayoral fashionista Fred Bruno Barbara.

    Their stars once shined bright. Now they hide their light under a bushel. What, Freddy, no fruitcakes?

    If you’re looking for signs of hope, then look no further than the tale of former Chicago Fire Department Lt. Jeffrey “Matches” Boyle, sentenced to prison for arson.

    In November, Cook County Judge LeRoy Martin Jr. gave Matches an early gift: Matches can keep his $50,000 yearly city pension, though he did admit setting almost 20 fires.

    It makes you cry, like when Jimmy Stewart hears the bell in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and all the precinct captains begin to sing.

    Unfortunately, some elves have decided to hang up their pointy green shoes.

    Former Ald. William Banks, 36th, was once the chairman of the Committee on Zoning. His nephew Jimmy is a successful zoning lawyer. The Tribune ran a series, “Neighborhoods for Sale.” The FBI became interested.

    Not that any of these things are connected, but a few months ago, Billy retired. Yet in true Chicago fashion, he transformed his driver, John Rice, into his successor.

    Just picture Billy rushing home with a big fat goose under his arm, shouting, “Dearest John! I have made you this day! Merry Christmas every one!”

    It reminds me of another heartwarming tale. A few years ago, one of the 36th Ward political hacks was staying in a $760 room at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, not bad for a low-level employee. The worker was arrested by Chicago police, in possession of marijuana and a revolver with the serial number filed off.

    At the police station, the political worker spit in the face of a female sergeant, earning him the nickname “Spittles.” Then Ald. Banks appeared and had a quiet chat with the commander.

    The charges were reduced to a misdemeanor, and Banks and Spittles went home. I wonder if they’re still together, caroling in front of the bungalows on Grand Avenue, noses pink as cherries as they fa-la-la.

    With Billy’s brother, Democratic Ward committeeman Sam Banks, said to be ill, the new boss of the 36th Ward is none other than that highly amusing elf himself, a funny guy, state Sen. James A. DeLeo, D-How You Doin?.

    Jimmy had a hard year. For starters, his hairy ventriloquist’s dummy, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was indicted on federal corruption charges. Jimmy’s other buddy, Republican power broker William Cellini, also was indicted.

    Now Jimmy is putting it out that he’s thinking of retiring and hanging up his own little elf shoes, even though his elven boots are probably handmade. A while back, I told you that the FBI is interested in Jimmy’s activities.

    But he hasn’t been charged with a thing. Decades ago, the feds made a big stink of $40,000 in frozen cash in his kitchen freezer. But all that frosty cash turned out to belong to Jimmy’s friend, a car thief. So there.

    Jimmy? At least send a card. Let me know how you doin? And that goes for all the little elves. Every single one. Taxpayers care about all of you.

    Like they say around the Christmas tree when the presents are opened:

    It’s the thought that counts.

  2. I’m sure the Kass family has got some skeletons in their closet.He always such a hard hitting journalist.OOO what are we cooking on the grill next week.Beer can chicken.standing rib roast.Hard hitting facts not likely.

  3. I would love to hear all the stuff that “I didn;t do it” John Rice is doing wrong! Please tell me more like the gift he was wanting, for example the $200 check he wanted people to give him thru the Alderman Banks, how about that one !!

  4. Silence is the golden rule in city politics

    December 19, 2009

    BY CAROL MARIN Sun-Times Columnist
    Who hired Angelo Torres? Shame on me, I haven’t asked in a while.

    But a headline last week (“City Silence on Misconduct Riles Daley”) made me smack my forehead with “I should have had a V8!” clarity. I suddenly remembered what is too important to forget. That for five years, n-o-b-o-d-y at City Hall has ever answered that question.

    ยป Click to enlarge image Carol Marin

    On Thursday, the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reported that a new survey conducted by the city showed city workers aren’t too keen on blowing the whistle when they see misconduct. In other major urban areas, two-thirds of municipal workers reported wrong-doers, but in Chicago only half did.

    City workers gave two reasons for clamming up. One, they didn’t believe anything would change. Two, they were afraid it would be the whistleblower who got whacked.

    The mayor offered an animated reaction to WLS-AM’s Bill Cameron at a taping of his Sunday show, “Connected to Chicago.”

    “If they feel that way — that nothing’s gonna change, we don’t need both of ’em,” said Daley. “We don’t need the person who’s cheating [or] the other person not doing anything about it.”

    No, sir, we don’t.

    So, mayor, who hired Angelo Torres?

    It was 2004 when we first learned the name and began asking the question. Torres was the former gang member who ran the city’s corrupt Hired Truck program until the Sun-Times broke the scandal and the feds moved in.

    The city that now hugs whistleblowers has never blown the whistle on this one.

    Not even the mayor’s own former head of Streets and Sanitation, Al Sanchez, has spilled the beans. And that’s saying something, since Sanchez has been indicted, convicted and is bracing himself for a trip to Club Fed.

    And so, it was funny in a dark sort of way to read what one city official told reporter Spielman about the results of this new survey.

    “They underscore the need for more management training,” he said, “to drive home the point that whistle-blowing is not only welcome, but encouraged.”

    Management training?

    How about starting with the city’s Law Department and its boss, Mara Georges?

    Georges, citing “attorney-client privilege,” has thus far refused to supply the city inspector general with information about how a former mayoral aide, Charles Bowen, got a $100,000 no-bid consulting contract in 2006 in apparent violation of the city’s ethics and contracting rules.

    It’s the mayor’s Law Department that clammed up here. And so for the first time ever, the inspector general of Chicago has taken the whistleblower-loving Daley administration to court.

    This battle sends its own clear message about whistle-blowing when the potential whistleblowers occupy the upper echelons of the administration.

    Inspector General Joe Ferguson, in his lawsuit, wants the court to require Georges to reveal who hired Charles Bowen and why, telling the court it “has been unable to determine who bears responsibility for the critical decision to contract with the former employee.”

    But Georges told the City Council last month, “I do not think I can do my job and do it effectively for you if my client, including those people [aldermen] in this room, think that whatever they tell me is going to be turned over to the IG.”

    Boy, the aldermen must have loved that. Especially since they made sure, by ordinance, that they were exempt from the IG’s investigative reach. Expect them to be ready, willing and able to do what Georges says she will ask them to do if she loses in court. That is to pass another ordinance that says her “privilege is sacred.”

    And to think we consider “Silent Night” just a Christmas song.

    It’s not.

    It’s our own year-round official city anthem.

  5. Aint all of this an amazing shameless state we are in. Daley winds up controlling everybody. Sandi Jackson was supposed to be an independent caped crusader. Now she too kisses Daleys ring just like old man Jessie sr. I moved out of Chicago last month but still travel to the city to work. I go out of my way to buy gas in the suburbs and do not shop in Chicago anymore although shopping there would be easier on me. I think of Daley and it stops me from spending money in Chicago. I am planning on moving to Florida where there is no state taxes. But this Obamacare will make all the states raise their taxes. The supreme court will reverse a lot of Obamacare because the Government cannot mandate we buy anything. They can’t force us to make purchases. And the state senators whose states don’t have to pay the medicare portion in Obamacare because they were bought off for their vote will make that provision negated. Obamacare will be gutted.

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