Chicago Clout Honors Fran Spielman Again
Fran Spielman is a Chicago Reporter that follows up on investigations. The Mayor Daley Administration is used to corruption and investigations just fading away. Read this article that shows the Department of Water Management that does not spend money wisely. The billing has increased dramatically since employees have made threats. Read the extended entry below. This security company has some major props somewhere John Daley! Patrick McDonough.
Security in limbo at filtration plant FILTRATION PLANT | 7 months after guards were accused of sleeping on the job, the city still hasn't picked a company to supply replacements June 1, 2008Recommend (4) BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter/ email@example.com A security company whose unarmed guards were yanked out of Chicago's water-filtration plants amid accusations the guards slept on the job and abandoned their posts is -- seven months later -- still guarding pumping stations, district yards and trailers because City Hall has yet to find a replacement. The unexplained delay in finding a substitute for Honor Guard Security has allowed city watchmen who temporarily replaced Honor Guard at the most-sensitive posts -- the Jardine and South filtration plants -- to pile up overtime at a time when such pay has been frozen for most other city employees. » Click to enlarge image City employees have replaced Honor Guard Security workers at the Jardine water filtration plant. Despite the city's budget crunch, one watchman racked up $7,066 in overtime in March. Montel Gayles, the city's chief procurement officer, couldn't be reached for comment. (Brian Jackson/Sun-Times) Despite the city's budget crunch, one watchman was paid $7,066 in overtime in March and $14,144 during the first three months of this year. Chicago police officers are also helping to guard the city's filtration plants. The contract delay has also allowed Honor Guard to continue guarding Water Management pumping stations, district yards and trailers, all considered less security-sensitive. Montel Gayles, the city's chief procurement officer, couldn't be reached for comment. Deputy procurement officer Claude Humphrey said that "all bids are still being evaluated" from last fall, when a replacement for Honor Guard was sought. Humphrey said he's waiting for Gayles to "give me a final determination on how to move forward." Other sources said the contract might be re-bid, which would further delay finding a replacement and boting Honor Guard. "I don't know what the problem is," Humphrey said. Water Management spokesman Tom LaPorte said that, for now, "Given their past performance, we are closely monitoring Honor Guard Security employees and are satisfied that our facilities are secure." Earlier this year, Water Management was poised to replace Honor Guard with SkyTech Enterprises Limited. The $8.6 million contract calls for at least 120 guards to provide around-the-clock security at Water Management facilities. SkyTech was the third-lowest of at least 10 bidders but was deemed the "lowest qualified, responsive, responsible bidder." The Chicago company spent two years providing armed security for Great Lakes Naval Training Center. SkyTech President Tony Rakestraw said he has since posted an $867,000 bond but remains in limbo. "I'm totally puzzled," Rakestraw said. "I have no reasonable explanation for why I've gotten no further feedback since I presented the bond, which cost me $33,000." The Chicago Sun-Times reported last Oct. 22 that Honor Guard's unarmed employees were abruptly removed from the Jardine and South filtration plants and replaced with city employees serving as watchmen. That came after surveillance cameras captured dozens of instances in which the company's guards were either sleeping on the job or absent from their posts, officials said. Four days later, angry aldermen demanded to know why the company was still guarding pumping stations, district yards and trailers.