Chicago City workers are facing the ax while Mayor Daley is in Denver partying while Barack Obama is kissing Joe Biden's wife on the lips. Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony or as the song goes. Chicago politicians were hugging and praying to God Obama gets the White House before Patrick Fitzgerald finds anymore corruption. Meanwhile I want to assure you, Chicago Clout is still uncovering corruption and waste. Yesterday I saw another one of Mayor Daley's contractors laughing it up in the middle of the street. I believe they were doing work for Mayor Daley's patronage heavy MBE "Hired Truck" replacement program called "Private Drain Program". In fact one of the pictures was of the workers making a muscleman pose, a chunky older man. I hope the Chicago Taxpayers enjoys the future city worker replacement. This company enjoys a massive multi-million dollar contract doing the work that private contractors did just a few years ago. http://188.8.131.52/objGW/OMImages/888/00002JNK/IMEDGE~1.PDF
The original contract was for about 4,500,000.00, but the contract was upped another 2.5 million. It sure pays to be disadvantaged with Mayor Daley. Emil Jones a former sewer inspector benefited from this arrangement. This company also gives money to elections in the suburbs; maybe Chicago had an interest in elections in Stone Park. In this picture you will see a man wearing a City of Chicago employee uniform. The Chicago Department of Water Management has given away many city vests to private companies and the persons responsible should be fired for that foul act. City Construction Company, Inc. has a group of workers laughing and joking on Chicago's taxpayer's dime. I asked the company who sends the work assignment over to them, their secretary said, "They just fax them over". According to city documents Suzanne Kim handles that contract. I was told, "Charley Johnson sends the work over", by a man by the name of Mohammed of City Construction. I called the company and asked, "Are you Union?". She lady answering the phone said, "Not sure, I guess so". Hired Truck Scandal was loaded with non-union companies because many got around the law by claiming to be a MBE. I hope a City of Chicago Inspector signed off on the work completed, we will find out. When the City of Chicago is going broke, how can they hand away over $7,000.000.00 in just one contract affecting the North Side of Chicago? How can a contractor be disadvantaged with millions of dollars in Chicago Taxpayer's contracts? I guess it pays to be poor in Chicago? I also hope you go to this City of Chicago link and ask why the company is not on this list, http://www.cityofchicago.org/Transportation/contractors/
Photo by Patrick McDonough.
Campaigning on the job
Witness says Sorich told her to get out the vote for Daley, allies
By Dan Mihalopoulos and Michael Higgins, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporters Laurie Cohen and Matt O'Connor contributed to this report
May 18, 2006
In a meeting at his City Hall office, the patronage chief for Mayor Richard Daley directed Mary Jo Falcon and her group of Asian city workers to help the mayor's re-election effort, Falcon testified Wednesday.
In election after election, Falcon said, Daley aide Robert Sorich instructed her group to walk Chicago's wards, knocking on doors to get out voters for the mayor and other candidates in North Side neighborhoods.
"There were more Asians or immigrants in those precincts," Falcon told jurors in the federal corruption trial of Sorich and three other former Daley administration officials.
As the prosecution's first witness, Falcon vividly detailed how she recruited her underlings in the city's Sewers and Water Management Departments for hands-on, street-level campaigning. Patronage hiring, a hallmark of the classic Chicago political machine, is at the center of the trial, and Falcon's testimony suggested a close link between politics and hiring.
Sorich and his three co-defendants are accused of rigging city hiring and promotions in favor of pro-Daley political workers such as Falcon's foot soldiers, who helped politicians ranging from presidential contender Al Gore to Chicago aldermen.
Shortly before Daley was re-elected in 1999, Falcon said, she met with Sorich and Suzanne Kim, a city official who led a Korean-American group of precinct workers. At the City Hall meeting in the mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, where Sorich worked, Falcon said Sorich asked the women to deploy their troops to the 39th Ward on the Far North Side for Daley.
Falcon's group consisted of about 30 Asian-Americans, almost all of them city workers, she said.
She would shut the door of her office, Falcon said, when she asked workers in her departments to campaign during their time off the job for the mayor and candidates he endorsed. "I would ask them to knock on doors" on weekends to ask people to vote for Daley, said Falcon, who was born in the Philippines.
When Rahm Emanuel was running successfully for the Democratic congressional nomination, she again answered the call from Sorich: "They needed some Asians to be at a rally that the Korean-American group held, if I could bring some Filipinos there."
Falcon made clear that her group and others sometimes worked for politicians that they did not even like. Falcon said she and Kim grudgingly agreed to commit their forces to help re-elect Ald. Patrick Levar (45th) "because Mr. Sorich asked us."
Kim, now an assistant commissioner in the Water Management Department, did not return calls seeking comment Wednesday.
Falcon also said she used her city phone on paid time to organize workers to call voters for Lisa Madigan, now the Illinois attorney general. Jurors were shown a list that Falcon said she kept in a notebook.
According to the list, Fleet Management Department workers helped make calls for Madigan on a Monday, Sewers Department workers on that Tuesday, Transportation Department workers on Wednesday and Water Department workers on Thursday.
She never spoke to the mayor's official campaign managers in the 1999 or 2003 elections, and she could not name them, she testified. "I dealt with Robert Sorich," Falcon said.
It was Sorich who received a city job application from a political worker in Falcon's group, she said. The Transportation Department soon gave the job seeker seasonal work, Falcon testified. She said she thanked Sorich.
That was one of more than 10 meetings with Sorich to discuss how he could help her political allies "go forward"--the City Hall jargon for getting a job or a promotion, she said.
Several city departments had their own pro-Daley political groups, which often were organized along racial lines, Falcon said.
Daley, who has denied knowledge of any wrongdoing, was in China Wednesday. The city's top lawyer declined to comment.
For years, the mayor denied suggestions that patronage hiring and machine politics remained alive in Chicago. "My political organization is myself," he said last year.
On cross-examination, Sorich's lawyer, Thomas Anthony Durkin, questioned Falcon about Daley, eliciting her praise for the mayor. Falcon acknowledged that she liked the mayor, had been proud to introduce him at a public event and believed he favored diversity in hiring.
She also acknowledged that prosecutors had asked her about what her higher-ups knew about hiring practices. But when Durkin asked whether prosecutors had ever asked whether Daley was involved in creating hiring lists, Falcon replied, "I don't remember that question, sir."
Falcon said a grand juror had asked her that question. When Durkin asked for more detail, prosecutors objected and U.S. District Judge David Coar sustained their objection.
Falcon testified Tuesday that she falsified documents to make sure that the city offered plum union posts to people on "blessed lists" from Sorich as well as his aide and co-defendant Timothy McCarthy. The practice ended and the city hired on merit only after it became clear that federal authorities were investigating possible City Hall corruption, she said Wednesday.
Falcon told jurors she met last year with McCarthy, who had replaced Sorich, to discuss openings at the city's water purification plants. That time, she said, "He gave me names but also told me, `Go screen and just pick whoever I thought was best.'"
Falcon resigned as the Water Management Department's personnel director in June.
She testified under immunity from prosecution, saying she cooperated with authorities out of "fear of going to prison."
She said when the FBI searched her city office last year, she did not think she had committed a crime, although she "thought there was something wrong with what I was doing."
Falcon conceded that Sorich never told her to falsify records to get favored job candidates on the payroll. Sorich also did not tell her to lie on forms where she swore that hiring had been done in compliance with a decades-old federal court decree against patronage.
She did it anyway, she said, "because that was my job and that was part of the culture."