The Chicago Inspector General was told to “Stand Down” while Rahm Emanuel is using Chicago Water Department Employees for political purposes. The crew said they waited over three hours for Rahm to show up in the newly issued clean clothes for the photo op. One Water Department Plumber said, we are working our tails off and this crew is sitting around smiling. The trench was left open and a kid could have fallen in and died. The Chicago Inspector General did nothing again and only retaliates against whistleblowers (snitches) The Chicago Law Department should stand at home plate and demand no more photo secessions while on city time. Misusing the City emblem and city trucks for political purposes is just straight up cray cray. Photo by trey.
Rahm Emanuel is using Chicago City Workers for backdrops and photo ops to bolster his run for the upcoming Mayoral Race. City Workers were attempting to pick up garbage and complete their tasks when a Commissioner ordered them to wait all morning for Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Media to take pictures for the news. City Workers that were black and Hispanic were ordered to the front for pictures. Workers wore City Uniforms and the trucks were clean as a whistle. One City Worker said, he did not see a fly or a foul smell for once. This beats pickin up trash said one employee. The Inspector General has told Rahm and City employees to keep away from the press. The Law Department is very angry as Rahm is making lawsuits against the city run afoul. Rahm used the Water Department for photo shoots for years. It is a backdrop for votes. One City commissioner said” it is Rahm being Rahm”. The Inspector General is still not going after Rahm for using City funds for his personal use. Joe said, “I still got a job”. Photo by Nancy Stone of the Tribune.
October 22, 2014
Michael Ferro Chairman
350 N. Orleans St., 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
Dear Mr. Ferro:
I’ve worked for almost two decades at the Chicago Sun-Times because it had a soul.
The home of eight Pulitzer Prizes, this newspaper once set up a tavern to expose graft at City Hall and later listened to a grieving mother who wanted justice for her late son after the system failed her miserably. It has stood for hard news. It has stood for independence.
The Sun-Times is stocked with dedicated reporters, editors and columnists, who work every day with integrity, long hours and not enough pay. They are more than colleagues. They are my friends. They are my family. They are the soul of the Sun-Times.
But today, I’m faced with a difficult decision due to the disturbing developments I’ve experienced in the last two weeks that cannot be reconciled with this newspaper’s storied commitment to journalism.
At issue is the Sun-Times/NBC5 report about LeapSource and its fired female CEO, a story for which I proudly shared a byline with Carol Marin and Don Moseley. The piece focused on litigation involving the former executive, who alleged Bruce Rauner, while a director of the company, threatened her, her family and her future job prospects.
With the backing of our editors and supported by sworn testimony and interviews, the piece took us nearly a month to vet, report and write. It was approved by the legal departments at both the Sun-Times and NBC5 and was posted online simultaneously with Carol’s Oct. 7 broadcast report on NBC5. It was a Sun-Times story done in the finest traditions of the paper.
Prior to publication, the Rauner campaign used multiple tactics to block it, including having campaign staffers vowing to “go over” our heads. We are accustomed to such tactics.
But what does not come with the territory is a campaign sending to my boss an opposition-research hit piece-rife with errors-about my wife, Ann Liston. The campaign falsely claimed she was working with a PAC to defeat Rauner and demanded a disclaimer be attached to our story that would have been untrue. It was a last-ditch act of intimidation.
Yes, Ann does political consulting work for Democrats. But she has not been involved in the Illinois’ governor’s race and has focused on out-of-state campaigns. She and her business partner have gone to great lengths to prevent potential conflicts of interest, including creating a legally binding firewall that prevents Ann from participating in, strategizing in, or financially benefiting from the Illinois governor’s race. For that work, her partner formed a separate corporation with its own bank account that didn’t involve Ann in any way. In January, before we were even married, I presented this information to Sun-Times management and received approval in writing to move forward.
Faced with the Rauner campaign’s ugly attack, Sun-Times Publisher and Editor Jim Kirk immediately told the Rauner campaign that this “assault” on my integrity “border[ed] on defamation” and represented “a low point in the campaign.” In other statements, Kirk called the campaign’s tactic “spurious” and “sexist.”
Yet despite such strong rebukes, two days later, I was yanked from my beat as I reported on a legislative hearing focusing on Gov. Pat Quinn’s botched Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. My reporting for that day was then removed inexplicably from the Sun-Times website.
I was told to go on leave, a kind of house arrest that lasted almost a week. It was pure hell. Kirk told me that his bosses were considering taking me away permanently from the political and Springfield beats. He offered up other potential jobs at the paper, all of which I considered demotions. Because of my unexplained absence from my beat, colleagues started calling, asking if I had been suspended. Or fired.
Through all this, I simply wanted to get back to my beat, but the paper wouldn’t let me. And, Carol and I were instructed not to contact you or Tim Knight about the Rauner campaign’s defamatory allegations.
For guidance, I called Patrick Collins, a former federal prosecutor whose name is synonymous with ethics in Illinois. His involvement brought about an abrupt shift in the company’s tone from penalizing me to reinstating me. Ultimately, the company pledged I could return to the job with “no restrictions.”
Yet, on the first day back, I was advised I shouldn’t have a byline on a LeapSource-related story “right out of the gate” even though it was a legitimate follow-up to our initial story. While later relenting and offering me a contributing byline after I protested, the newspaper had failed an important test: It was not permitting me to do my job the way I had been doing it for almost two decades.
Was all this retaliation for breaking an important news story that had the blessing of the paper’s editor and publisher, the company’s lawyer and our NBC5 partners?
Does part of the answer lie in what Kirk told me – that you couldn’t understand why the LeapSource story was even in the paper?
Days later, the newspaper reversed its three-year, no-endorsement policy and unequivocally embraced the very campaign that had unleashed what Sun-Times management had declared a defamatory attack on me.
Readers of the Sun-Times need to be able to trust the paper. They need to know a wall exists between owners and the newsroom to preserve the integrity of what is published. A breach in that wall exists at the Sun-Times.
It’s had a chilling effect in the newsroom. While I don’t speak for my colleagues, I’m aware that many share my concern. I’m convinced this newspaper no longer has the backs of reporters like me.
I appreciate the recent, public statements of support by Kirk, an honorable man with solid news judgment who got the LeapSource story into print. But, ultimately, I don’t believe he called the shots here.
We reporters have a healthy suspicion of both parties and candidates. It’s our job. It’s regrettable that this issue has emerged in the homestretch of an important election in Illinois, but respectfully, this isn’t about either candidate or the election. It’s about readers and their trust in us. So my decision could not wait. I hate to leave, but I must.
And so, it is with great sadness today that I tender my immediate resignation from the Sun-Times.
Notable Chicago Whistleblower Faces Retaliation, Says Off-Duty Cop Assaulted Him
October 15, 2014
News, Rebel Pundit
The man responsible for blowing the lid off the biggest scandal during the tenure of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, says not only was he assaulted by an off duty Chicago Police Officer but the incident was made to look like he was in the wrong.
Pat McDonough is a plumbing inspector with the Department of Water Management (DWM) for the City of Chicago, in 2005 he discovered and became the main source for the award winning Chicago Sun Times series on the Chicago Hired Truck Scandal.
On July 30, 2011, McDonough led a team of three (DWM) employees to investigate a complaint from a homeowner that a City of Chicago water sewer had caused the homeowner’s flooded basement on the 7700 block of West Clarence.
After inspecting the sewer system on that block, McDonough told the homeowner, Kevin Mullane, the problem wasn’t in the city’s sewer system. When Mullane, a Chicago Police Officer, insisted his basement be fixed, McDonough explained that he was a plumbing inspector and not allowed to fix plumbing problems.
“You are not going to leave here until you pump out my basement,” Mullane told McDonough, according to transcripts from a Chicago Inspector General (OIG) investigation report.
At that point all parties agree that Mullane followed McDonough who ordered his crew into the truck. A verbal altercation followed and then McDonough and Mullane both claimed the other became physical.
After police were called to the scene, McDonough and his two crew members repeated the same story: Mullane followed McDonough, pushed him to the ground, and wouldn’t allow the truck to leave.
While waiting for the police to finish their report, McDonough said an elderly neighbor who was outside mentioned to him that Mullane was a police officer. McDonough told Rebel Pundit, at that point he feared the incident would be covered. Please go to rebel pundit for the rest of the story link is here:http://rebelpundit.com/notable-chicago-whistleblower-says-off-duty-cop-assaulted-him/#comment-32520
It is almost that time again to vote for the folks that will help you and your family. In Chicago, the case could be made for to vote for the person that will help himself and his friends to your money. The 44th Ward has been poorly run by Tom Tunney. Tunney involved himself in pushing promotions for former Alderman Hansen son, the DUI kid Paul Hansen. The Chicago Inspector General has never accounted Tunney for this blatant shakman violation. Tunney was also able to cover for City worker transgressions and let his pals off the hook for serious crimes. The 44th Ward is a money making machine for Tunney, but now is the time for fresh leadership. Also if you ate Tunney’s cinnamon rolls piled up on the dirty floor, you’d think you ate dry flour. I will never eat there again. I hope my friends in the 44th Ward look at the issues and I hope Tunney starts making good food for a change. Dump the Dummy. Mark Thomas, owner of The Alley Stores in Lakeview, has reinstated his campaign for alderman of the 44th Ward.
The campaign was temporarily suspended earlier this year while Thomas recovered from a corrective surgical procedure. The campaign officially restarted on September 27th, and in that short time period has gathered more than the minimum number of signatures to qualify for the ballot in the February municipal election. Thomas has also raised several thousand dollars from members of the community and loaned the campaign $25,000 to get started.
Mark Thomas has been an entrepreneur and community leader in the Lakeview neighborhood for over 40 years. He is the owner of several area businesses, including The Alley Stores, a jewelry manufacturing facility and a screen printing business. He was a founding member of the Central Lakeview Merchants Association, served as the Executive Director of K.E.B.I.C., a city-funded chamber of commerce, and is a member of the East Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, North Halsted Business Alliance and the GLBT Chamber of Commerce. He also volunteers as a member of the Quarterly Industry Leaders Reporting Board of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank and on the board of Local First Chicago.
Thomas is challenging incumbent Ald. Tom Tunney to represent the 44th Ward. Tunney is a local entrepreneur and owner of Ann Sather restaurant, and was appointed to the city council by then-mayor Richard M. Daley in 2003. Thomas proposes an alternative vision for representing the ward that focuses on civic engagement and a more hands-on leadership style that includes working with local police to clean up crime in the community.
City of Chicago Police Detective Kevin Mullane accused City of Chicago Department of Water Management Plumber and State Inspector Patrick McDonough of roughing him up at the 7700 block of West Clarence on July 30, 2011. Kevin Mullane showed up at a Hearing to tell his side of the story on October 8. 2014. It was a City of Chicago Human Resources Board appeal hearing. A visually shaken Detective Mullane recounted his story. Just prior to his testimony, a City Attorney was furious McDonough was videotaping the Hearing. Patrick McDonough was ordered to stop videotaping despite his permission by the Hearing Board to do so. Some of the witnesses refused to have themselves videotaped for fear of being on YouTube or Chicago Clout. An emergency complaint was put into Lisa Madigan’s States Attorney Office for a ruling. Sarah Pratt, Public Access Counselor, Office of the Attorney General, 500 S. 2nd Street Springfield, Illinois 62706 is fully apprised of the complaint. When questioned, Patrick McDonough said, “the taxpayers of the City of Chicago should not only know what their employees are doing, but also know what the Inspector General, and the Human Resources Board rulings are in these cases. Top Gun Union Attorney John Toomey did a great job defending the accused. I suggest you all enjoy more legal football on November 5, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. Special thanks to Attorney and advocate Rachel Goodstein for the watchful eyes!!!