The City of Chicago Taxpayers paid for a slew of high price lawyers investigating allegations of improprieties by the Chicago Department of Water Management employees in the North District. One employee was Paul Hansen, the son of Bernard Hansen, a retired Chicago Alderman, now a registered lobbyist in Chicago for a up and coming bank. Paul Hansen sure moved up the chain of command mighty quickly prior to the FEDS moving in on Shakman Violations in Chicago. Yesterday, Paul Hansen gave a big huggly snuggly to a high ranking Water official that just experienced an unfortunate loss of a family member yesterday. At least one interview was held in Donald Tomsczak's old office which was quite ironic. I am concerned said one source; Mayor Daley should only have us talking to lawyers employed by the City. This bill should be a whopper, but due to Chicago record high gas prices, Chicago taxpayers will pick up the tab one way or another. Patrick McDonough.
As many of you know (oops, you do not) Alderman Banks is on vacation for two weeks. I asked if Alderman Banks asks for favors on behalf of caulkers in the Chicago Department of Water Management's North District. I also asked if they ever violated the Shakman decree. I am happy to say they responded, "they abide by the Shakman Decree explicitly". Mike S. stop asking for favors or they will report you! Get your tools and do your job! More on this later! Patrick McDonough.
Please hang in there until we get Chicago Clout fixed up. We have a new webmaster and we have many advertisers. I hope you support WBBM Channel 2 News in Chicago. I did not have them advertise prior because of the possible conflict of interest. Dave Savini is one of Chicago's top Investigators and working with him was a pleasure. People have died in fires from the lack of any water in the Fire Hydrant. I have had lawyers contact me for more information. The funds from this website will go towards our new webmaster and the improvement of video equipment. We will also give a large sum for legal assistance to Municipal Workers that are in a bind. Please hang in there with us. We are also preparing a donate section so you can help us help others. Lawyers such as Frank Avila, Ivan Tomic, Russ Stewart, and Loevy and Loevy, have helped with fees for those less lucky. Fees for legal review and research have been funded out of Victor Crown and my pocket. I hope you donate because you might need this service in the future. Patrick McDonough.
Make sure you read about the D'Amico family. I will have more on this later. Maybe they thought I forgot about the Kilbourn and Elston Election Day miracle! It is a Sokol Community Center visit by the States Attorney during election day that brings back those dreams!
County clout for ex-cons
'FRIENDS AND FAMILY' | Stroger hands jobs to 2 brothers of lawmakers
May 19, 2008Recommend (50)
BY STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
Both have criminal records and both are brothers of state legislators.
Now, both have been personally hired by Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.
James D'Amico (left) and Myron Colvin, both brothers of lawmakers and both with a criminal past, were recently hired by Todd Stroger.
More Metro & Tri-State headlines
Cook County Employees
Clout connection: Brother of state Rep. John D'Amico
Job: Director of facilities management
Criminal record: Pleaded guilty in 1996 to making threatening calls
Clout connection: Brother of state Rep. Marlow Colvin
Job: Grant writer in county's POET job training program
Pleaded guilty to assault charge James D'Amico is the county's new $127,000-a-year director of facilities management, responsible for the upkeep of county buildings. He's the brother of state Rep. John D'Amico (D-Chicago) and nephew of Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th).
Myron Colvin is a $56,609-a-year grant writer in the county's scandal-plagued job training program known as POET. He's the brother of state Rep. Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago), Stroger's best friend.
Rep. Colvin spent 21 years working for the county, and now his wife and two brothers are on Stroger's payroll.
Stroger spokesman Eugene Mullins stood by the two hires, saying each man is extremely qualified, though he didn't respond to a request for their resumes. Mullins says both filled vacancies Stroger is empowered to fill with whomever he chooses.
But a critic says Stroger's choices are signs of patronage hiring patterns that have seen the board president hire or promote many of those closest to him.
"This is more evidence that the 'Friends and Family' hiring plan is in full swing," said Jay Stewart of the Better Government Association, adding, "It is clear that he isn't going to reach beyond his inner circle" to fill top jobs.
"Anybody who we hire, [critics] seem to have a problem with," Mullins replied.
D'Amico has been a county employee for 24 years and most recently served as county facility management's deputy director.
In 1996, he pleaded guilty to making threatening phone calls in the heat of a political race. That came in the midst of a massive federal ghost-payrolling investigation at City Hall that involved his family and saw several convictions.
He has had no legal troubles since, chalking it up as "being young" -- and he gets high marks from colleagues.
Colvin, meanwhile, initially said he didn't remember being arrested, despite weapons and assault charges on his record. After several questions, he admitted to pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in 1989 after a club fight. He, too, chalked it up to "youth." Colvin, a DePaul University graduate, has had no other legal troubles.
Pointing to a recent county ordinance urging contractors to give second chances to ex-convicts, and a similar federal bill, Mullins said, "This is just an example of how President Stroger leads by example
I have to give credit where credit is due, nice job Chicago Office of the Inspector General. Chicago Teamsters got a big second chance when the Hired Truck Scandal hit. Many part time employees, (seasonal) at the Chicago O'Hare Airport are now full time employees. Many of the MTD drivers knew of the upcoming drug test thanks to their boss. If you think HDO is still not a force with the drivers you are sadly mistaken. Much of Chicago Licensing agencies are still very corrupt, people are allowed to take tests that are not legally qualified. Mayor Daley's Chicago Building Department needs an overhaul as corruption continues. Someone tell those guys to stop taking bribes and insist the work completed for taxpayers is done correctly. Make sure you read Fran Spielman's article below. Patrick McDonough
City's drug testing chief fired for errors
'VERY SERIOUS REPORT' | Left 800 truck drivers off list of employees who receive random checks
May 11, 2008
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter email@example.com
The longtime chief of the City of Chicago's drug testing program is being fired for inadvertently excluding more than 800 truck drivers from the pool of city employees who must undergo random tests for alcohol and drugs.
Russell Baggett, a $68,328-a-year project coordinator in the city's newly created Office of Compliance, is also accused of violating federal regulations by allowing employees who failed to show up for work on the day of their random tests to skip them.
More than 800 truck drivers with commercial driver's licenses were left out of the testing pool because of Baggett's alleged oversights, sources said.
They said there was no evidence Baggett played favorites or got anything in return. But his decision to alert supervisors -- or liaisons from participating departments -- one day before random testing had the potential to get back to the designated employees. Such warning might have allowed city workers leery of testing to take the day off.
'Appropriate action' vowed
Anthony Boswell, the Denver attorney hired to run the Office of Compliance, said he considers the inspector general's report so serious that he immediately removed Baggett from control of the drug testing program and has started termination proceedings against him.
He said he has also ordered a sweeping outside audit.
Asked whether public safety was placed in jeopardy because of Baggett's alleged oversights, Boswell said, "It's pretty clear there was that potential. Absolutely. It was a very serious report. It puts people on the road at risk, and we're taking it very seriously.
"We will take appropriate action. ... We've already spoken with a number of experts to look into our program and what we need to do to make sure the protocol complies with all applicable law."
Baggett could not be reached for comment. He is a 14-year city employee who worked in the Human Resources Department before shifting to the Office of Compliance when Mayor Daley created that office to oversee city hiring and other regulatory issues. The move was widely viewed as an end-run around the inspector general.
Inspector General David Hoffman launched the investigation of the city's drug testing program in response to a tip long before the Office of Compliance was created.
Transportation expert Joseph Schweiterman, director of DePaul University's Chaddick Institute, said he considers the alleged infractions in the city's drug- and alcohol-testing program "more than a routine oversight."
"Given the licenses-for-bribes scandal, this is a sensitive area," Schweiterman said. "Policies need to be beyond reproach. Federal funding is at stake when programs run afoul.
"The federal government requires random drug testing because transportation safety is so easily compromised. Employees have to be tested to protect other motorists from poor decision-making and impaired driving."
At the least, the city could face fines for violating testing mandates. Federal transportation grants come with strings attached. Drug testing regulations must be followed to the letter. The city tests for alcohol and drugs four times a year, after choosing randomly from a pool that's supposed to include all eligible employees.
A former city of Chicago Employee was carried away by ambulance from the Department of Human Resources at Chicago City Hall today. Many people have no concept of the stress involved in attempting to get your job back. Politics played a part in this man's termination. Many families lose homes, savings, and pensions from losing a job. This man was in a hospital fighting for his life earlier in the day. I hope Mayor Daley looks into the fate of Gary S******. Mayor Daley looked the other way when his son was involved in a Sewer Scandal, maybe he should look out for a young man that refused to take a drug test for moral and ethical reasons. Some people refuse to take a drug test because they know how the City of Chicago is run under Daley. It would be a shame if the person that made the accusations against Gary proved to be in a position he should not have been in. I hope this man will return to work after a fair trial. Patrick McDonough.