Chicago Inspector General gets the ointment applied by Daley
Read this important article by Todd Lighty and Laurie Cohen of the Chicago Tribune, If you are busy, let me explain, Daley cannot control Hoffman of the Chicago Inspector General and now wants an agency that will rat out what David Hoffman is trying to accomplish with limited funds. Mayor Daley wants to control everything, just like he controls the 11th Ward newspapers that hide all the crime, drugs, and prostitution in Chicago's 11th Ward. Enjoy this masterpiece.
City hiring plan blasted
Critics say sudden court filing skirts earlier settlement
By Todd Lighty and Laurie Cohen | Tribune staff reporters
August 17, 2007
Just months after agreeing to settle a long-running court battle over politics in city hiring, Mayor Richard Daley's administration submitted a plan Thursday that critics say violates the agreement and would limit the role of the city's inspector general in policing hiring.
City Hall abruptly filed in federal court its new plan to keep politics out of city jobs, despite failing to resolve a dispute over how the city would monitor hiring.
Under the agreement signed this year, the city was not supposed to file the plan if any disputes remained, said Michael Shakman, the attorney who for decades has tangled in court with the city over hiring. Shakman said he was taken aback by the city's filing, which he said violates that agreement.
"The city should withdraw the plan and do what the court order says," he said.
Jodi Kawada, a spokeswoman for Daley, said the city had not broken its agreement with Shakman. Kawada said the federal judge who oversees the case in court would settle any outstanding disputes.
Daley's administration reached its agreement with Shakman in March as a way to end a federal consent decree that bans politics from most city hiring decisions. City Hall agreed to the settlement after federal authorities won convictions last year against Daley aides for operating a massive hiring-fraud scheme that rewarded the mayor's political allies with jobs and promotions.
As part of the agreement, which was approved by the City Council, the mayor issued an executive order against political hiring. The city also created a $12 million fund for people who have been discriminated against because they lacked political clout to get a job or promotion.
The agreement called for a new hiring plan, covering nearly all facets of city hiring procedures, to be filed with U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen as early as April 30. Noelle Brennan, previously appointed by Andersen to monitor city hiring, was supposed to report to the court any "impasse" regarding the proposed plan, and the judge would mediate the disputes.
For months, Shakman, Brennan and the city have been unable to agree on a hiring plan. The main sticking point has been whether Inspector General David Hoffman would oversee city compliance with hiring procedures. But Daley has proposed creating a new office of compliance to oversee the hiring system.
Under the agreement, Hoffman is in charge of investigating complaints from job applicants and city workers. Shakman and Brennan also want Hoffman to be in charge of overall compliance, including auditing personnel practices of City Hall departments and absorbing some of the duties now handled by Brennan.
Daley appointed Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, in 2005 in the midst of the hiring scandal to beef up an office long regarded as ineffective. Unlike other top mayoral aides, Hoffman has no political ties to Daley and serves a fixed, four-year term.
Although Hoffman was appointed by the mayor, Andersen has said that Hoffman has shown independence from "the normal chain of command" in the Daley administration.
Shakman said Hoffman should oversee compliance because "the city has not proven itself to be trustworthy to administer its own employment policy." Shakman said he would ask the city to withdraw the hiring plan.
Brennan's lawyer, Ines Monte, said the monitor agrees that "oversight of the new plan needs to rest with the most independent part of city government. That's the inspector general's office." Monte said she will respond to the city's plan in court.
Kawada said the proposed compliance office would not weaken the role of the inspector general in investigating wrongdoing. "The compliance department will complement the existing functions" of the inspector general, Kawada said. "We anticipate the two departments working together."
Hoffman declined to comment on the dispute. But Daley's decision to create an office with similar powers to those of the inspector general is the latest in a series of setbacks for Hoffman.
Daley this year rejected Hoffman's request for additional investigators to probe allegations of hiring abuses. Daley's aides also turned down Hoffman's recommendation to fire Christopher Kozicki, a senior city official with political connections to the mayor, for his role in rigging the hiring of an unqualified teenage building inspector.