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October 30, 2010

Philip Bernstein stands up to Blockclubs, Harry Osterman and Carol Ronen Video

John Garrido on Chicago Clout, Candidate for 45Th Ward Alderman Video

October 29, 2010

Chicago Inspector General covered this up, more Daley Corruption

Human Resources Board Policy Keeps Convicted Employees on the Payroll By Michael Volpe On September 23rd, 2010 Jose Hernandez became the fifteenth city building inspector to be convicted of taking payoffs in what's been termed operation crooked code. Yet, according to Bill McCaffrey, spokesperson for the buildings department, Hernandez continues to draw a paycheck. Worst of all, McCaffrey says this occurs because Hernandez was able to manipulate a mandate put in place by the Human Resources Board. This board has had its own history of corruption, the latest involved a Reverend, Lucious Hall, who was taking money to look the other way on cases involving city workers with clout. This rule allows anyone facing formal charges to appeal any potential final termination until their sentencing. Yet, all of these folks are still fired though not terminated. What that effectively means is that they draw a paycheck without doing any work. In fact, when this was first revealed, the city actually had these guys go back to work supposedly doing menial administrative work. Of course, Hernandez is not the only building inspector to do this. That's what's happened in the cases of Michael Reese and Mario Olivella, both convicted of bribery related charges. Reese, convicted in the fall of 2009, remained on the payroll until August 15th 2010. Meanwhile Olivella is still on the payroll. They remained on the city's payroll according to the same rules set up by the Human Resources Board. McCaffrey referred to that rule as making him "frustrated", however that was the reason given for why they remained (or remain) on the payroll so long. McCaffrey said that most city employees stay on the city's payroll until they are sentenced, not convicted, because that's when the Human Resources Board considers the legal process over. Reese was finally sentenced in August and so his termination was finalized on the 15th of August. Olivella has yet to be sentenced and so he still remains on the city's payroll.. Each made about $90,000 yearly. Meanwhile, at least two others who were also convicted and sentenced were fired long before that ever happened. In the cases of Travis Echols and Jon Chamberlain, both were terminated around a year before they were sentenced. This dichotomy is peculiar and McCaffrey didn't immediately return an email for explanation. In the simplest of terms, this happens because of something we all cynically the Chicago Way. If we wanted to understand it more broadly, one way to do it is to examine the records of the two that got a pass. You'd expect that since they got a pass, their record prior to this should be strong. If it wasn't, you'd say the whole process is corrupt. Both Olivella and Reese were convicted of taking bribes while working for Building Department as part of the larger Operation Crooked Code sting run by the FBI starting in 2007. This is a sting started after the FBI caught Dave Johnson, a building department employee of taking bribes. Johnson flipped, wore a wire, and testified for a significantly reduced sentence. From there, it blew into an operation that nabbed dozens of dirty officials, expediters, and users of the buildings department. Johnson is part of another of Chicago's doorways to corruption, the so called Clout List. That's a list of about five thousand names of city employees and where they got the clout to get their city job. In order to get clout for a city job, one had to perform enough political activity for a person or entity with clout. The list was developed by disgraced former Daley deputy Robert Sorich. Sorich was one of several top Daley deputies to be imprisoned in connection to the Hired Truck Scandal. Another name on this clout list is the name, Mario Olivella. According to the list, Olivella got his clout from the Local Plumber's Union. Johnson got his clout from Jesse White. Hernandez, who worked for the city since 1988, wouldn't be on this clout list, which was reserved for those that initially got jobs in the beginning of the last decade. Meanwhile, within Operation Crooked Code, all three are linked by Catherine Romasanta. Romasanto was what those in this business called an "expeditor". It was her job to move the process of receiving the multiple licenses necessary to move real estate forward as quickly as possible. The field of expeditors displayed the kind of corruption we here in Chicago are used to. Romasanta received a reduced sentenced after she testified against Hernandez, Reese and Olivella's trials along with the trials of several other inspectors. Both Ollivella and Reese were also among more than a dozen city inspectors implicated in 2005 of accepting $100 gift cards from expiditors like Romasanto. On January 5th, 2010, Mario Ollivella was convicted of two counts of bribery and conspiracy. It's alleged that Ollivella took bribes to look the other way on issues with a property at 1637 W. Granville In fact, former department of buildings inspector Charles Walker remembers that Olivella inspected 1637 W. Granville at least once before the time frame of the bribes he was convicted.. Meanwhile, plumbing inspector Michael McGann says that Olivella also covered up a contaminated water leak at Jose De Diego Grade School on the 1300 block of North Claremont in 2007. "Yes, without a doubt from the beginning! Mr. Olivella went behind my back after my two page violation notice was submitted to Chief Frank Bathauer and PIC Olivella. Both Olivella and Deputy Peter Ousley went behind my back to the school to discredit my inspection report through a meeting with the principal. The principal, Alice Vera however, was not having any of their rhetoric. Ms. Vera explained to Olivella and Ousley that we (the principal, the building engineer, the Chief engineer on speakerphone, the regional manager and Inspector McGann) had consensus at our meeting days before and had agreed all the violations would be abated over the Thanksgiving holiday by a Licensed Plumbing Contractor! Both Olivella and Ousley told Ms. Vera that I was out of control and caused hysteria regarding the seriousness of the violations! Mr. Ousley went even further and played down the serious context of the violation notice in an official City of Chicago Memo letterhead! Mr. Ousley left the Department of Buildings shortly after writing this memo!" Olivella wasn't through. Finally, a conttactor was called but Olivella signed off on an all good order days later. Here's what McGann said happened next. "The very next day (on January 11, 2008) the Department of Health shut down the school due to dangerous water quality!! This speaks volumes regarding the incompetence and arrogance of a person who was handed the position by the Plumbers Local Union 130 Business Manager James T. Sullivan. There was no regard for seniority or qualifications of all the candidates (including myself)! Mr. Olivella's oversight regarding the water quality is huge and must be highlighted as 1,100 children's welfare and well being were on the line! This school had a full kitchen for supplying lunches, drinking fountains throughout the hallways and a swimming pool with full showering capabilities!" Incredibly, it was McGann and not Olivella that would ultimately face punishment as a result of this incident. The department of buildings gave McGann first a three and then a fifteen day citation. Meanwhile, the FBI first indicted Olivella two months following the end of McGann's second suspension. When McGann heard that Olivella was still on the city payroll six months after being convicted of taking bribes, he was unfortunately totally unsurprised, " No, this is the City that works! The bribes, contractor kickbacks and payoffs were only the beginning. The illegal monies were used to take trips to Las Vegas to gamble, among other things! When someone is indicted they continue to receive their paychecks until they are convicted!! He was totally unsurprised to hear that Olivella took bribes to look the other way since, "that's exactly what he did when I inspected that property earlier." He was totally unsurprised to hear that Olivella took bribes to look the other way on that same address since, "that's exactly what he did when I inspected that property earlier." In fact, he says both Olivella and Reese have the same habit, "As soon as I would write up a violation, they (Reese and Olivella) would downgrade or totally eliminate them." Walker says he also has experience with corruption perpetrated by Michael Reese. He once inspected a building on 5835 South Indiana. On January 19th, 2005, the fire department wrote up a violation of that building saying, "squalors living in building." This triggered a building department inspection that wound up being conducted by Walker. When he came to the building he found at least ten people inside. Walker concluded after the inspection that this property should be considered a hotel or other multi unit residence. He was shocked to learn that the building was in fact zoned as a single family dwelling. He immediately submitted a report with Reese noting that among a series of violations. On September 25th, 2006 that same property filed for a permit with the city. At the time of this permit, tt was still listed as a single family dwelling and the expeditor on this permit was Catherine Romasanto. Walker says he was fired from the Building department after he missed a crack in scaffolding on a building at 937 West Belmont. He says that it was more than a year before that crack was fixed on that same building. Walker is also not surprised that both were still on the city's payroll long after they'd been convicted of taking bribes while performing their duties. "The building department is a criminal enterprise. The higher ups are insulated." While there appears to be no rhyme or reason why it is Hernandez, Olivella, and Reese got a break and all the others lost their income earlier, in fact, there's a twisted logic to all this. First, all three have clout. Olivella and Reese are on the clout list and the only reason Hernandez isn't is because he's been a city employee so long he would appear on a list that would have been made many years before the clout list, which was made in the early part of 2000's. Also, all three of their cases were complicated. In the cases of several of those that were dismissed already, only the Inspector General's office of the City of Chicago was running the operation. In fact, most of those that got out early, only "dipped their hands in the cookie jar" once so to speak. The cases against Hernandez, Reese and Olivella were much more complicated, involved the FBI, and often involved informants wearing wires. Of course, it's the second that's more difficult to prove. So, that allowed all three to stay on, especially since the FBI didn't necessarily want to share what they had on each until they had to for trial, not to get them fired. That's really beside the point. The idea that some board with a history of corruption would allow for such a rule should offend everyone reading this. We should all demand that the rule be changed immediately.

October 28, 2010

Dave Savini exposes broken street lights all over Chicago

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2010/10/28/repeated-street-light-outages-leave-residents-in-dark/ Click this link for Dave Savini's story.

Chicago Clout presents Steve Funk Video hosted by Michael Volpe

Jack Higgins hit the nail on the head with his Rahm Emanuel jest.

Rahm by Higgins for halloween

October 26, 2010

"Edgy in Edgewater", Chicago's 48th Ward Block Club Meeting

Phil Bernstein in Action 48Th Ward debate Tonight was a meeting of the minds in the Chicago Edgewater neighborhood. This was an EBNA block club meeting, an open meeting, at Edgewater Presbyterian Church. Phil Bernstein, a candidate for 48Th Ward Alderman, gave a well thought out presentation. the various issues showed he took the time and was prepared to debate. The guests and block members are well educated, community minded, and very sophisticated. Many of these community activists were not at all pleased with some of Phil's prior posts on one of his websites. Like a shark swimming in circles, some members waited to strike. The debate was very good for our community, many people were hungry to put in their two cents. Some of the exchanges were downright rough and tumble. The 48Th needs more debates and soon. The block club members are an important part of the 48Th ward. Phil deserves credit for his honest approach and making the case as Alderman. Phil would make a much better Alderman than Harry Osterman when it comes to an intellectual approach to issues, but Harry has more political savvy. Phil is new to the game and this takes time. I made a video of tonight's meeting and hope to have it for everyone. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

October 22, 2010

Harry Osterman and Patrick McDonough clash on Labor Issues Hi-Def Video

October 21, 2010

Harry Osterman was 45 minutes late for 5415 North Sheridan Rally

5415 North Sheridan Chicago/ Harry Osterman Rally It was a very bleak attendance for Harry Osterman, a multiple candidate for offices, at 5415 North Sheridan in Chicago. The meeting was scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and Harry was lucky to have 10 people in attendance. I was glad to go because I cover City of Chicago issues, workers issues, and labor issues. I brought government workers concerned with their jobs and furlough days. After a couple of questions, one of the guys in attendance threatened me and harassed Joe Yost. The man stated he was on the board and acted very difficult. (For lack of a better word). The staff at the building was very professional and very courteous towards me at all times. I have a video of the event and did not understand Harry Osterman's strange behavior towards me and others asking questions. I will put a rant video together that would make Rich Miller of Capitol Fax proud. I think the future video will speak for itself. Politicians need to remember, people are out of work and they want the questions answered. And being 45 minutes late with no phone call is just unprofessional. It just gets thing started in the wrong direction. Or as one guy that greeted Harry Osterman said, "Your Late!" Photo by Patrick McDonough

October 19, 2010

Chicago Clout with Scott Lee Cohen Video #2 with Patrick McDonough

October 17, 2010

Cook County Board President Candidate Roger Keats Video

October 15, 2010

Dane Placo finds Tommie Talley secret hide-out. Department of Water Management Bust-out caught.

October 14, 2010

Dane Placko busts Tommie Talley at Cook County/ John Daley Goon

Chicago City Workers and Local 130 Plumbers protest Todd Stroger to fire Tommie Talley

Rally to Fire Talley.jpg City of Chicago Political hack, Chicago Department of Water Management Boss, and John Daley Goon, Tommie Talley, was under fire today at the Cook County Department of Transportation. These workers showed up at 6:30 a.m. to demand Tommie Talley's immediate termination . Chicago Plumbers want to know how the Plumber's Local 130 allowed this man a journeyman's card despite never working a day as a plumber. According to a Local 130 Plumber, "You can buy a Plumber's License in Chicago if you know Dan McLaughlin, James Sullivan, or Robert Ryan". "It is great; you don't need to know shit about Plumbing". Tommie Talley was ordered to see the Office of the Inspector General after the "Hired Truck Scandal Broke and Mayor Daley ordered a phony investigation". The Chicago Inspector General Alexander Vroustouris let many of Daley's political hacks off the hook, the F.B.I let many of these goons off the hook, and continue to raid the taxpayers last few pennies. Please tell Todd Stroger to review the way Water Department Women were treated and given preferred positions thanks to Talley. Union Local 1092 black women were given inside office jobs despite possible Shakman Violations. We will "Rally to Fire Talley" no matter where the County hides him", declared protesters today. Tally also allowed some workers paid lunch with clout. The next protests are scheduled downtown at the Cook County Building. Photo by Patrick McDonough Stroger's newest hire was fired from city job Allegedly ordered water crews to do private work. October 14, 2010 BY LISA DONOVAN AND FRAN SPIELMAN Staff Reporters ldonovan@suntimes.com The Daley administration fired him earlier this year amid allegations he dispatched city water crews to do repair work on private property, but Tommie Talley has returned to government work -- this time for lame-duck Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. On Tuesday, Talley began working as a $90,000 a year administrative analyst in the county's highway department, said Marcel Bright, a Stroger spokesman. Details about his job duties weren't available, but Talley does serve in a position exempt from the court-ordered ban on political hiring and firing, Bright said. That means he serves at the will of the board president. "This individual never should have been hired because of his past with the city. We are not here to collect bad apples," said Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, a Democrat. Suffredin also questions whether Stroger has the right to hire someone to a Shakman-exempt job after attorneys recently accused the Stroger administration of violating a federal court order curbing political hiring and firing. Talley served as the $127,824 a year deputy commissioner in the city's Water Management Department until the beginning of the year, when he was fired for allegedly ordering city crews to work on three jobs on private property. In the 2006 trial that culminated in the conviction of Mayor Daley's ex-patronage chief Robert Sorich, Talley was named in testimony as helping rig city hiring, but he was never charged. In 2005, he was suspended for 15 days for failing to exercise proper supervision over employees accused of participating in a payroll scam. Talley has long-standing ties to mayoral brother and Cook County Commissioner John Daley's 11th Ward Regular Democratic Organization. Reached Wednesday, John Daley said: "I had nothing to do with his hiring -- the first time I heard about it was from you." Asked whether Stroger would comment on the criticism of Talley's hiring, his spokesman Bright said: "He doesn't comment on every hire." A call to Talley's home wasn't returned.

October 13, 2010

Is Chicago Media asking the tough questions to Rahm? The Video

October 11, 2010

Is Mayor Daley's contractor Christy Webber wasting water?

Christy Webber Wasting Water/ Chicago Clout Today was another mess for Chicago taxpayers thanks to scams by Mayor Daley friends and family contracts. Anyone driving down Peterson Avenue near Keating would have witnesses an accident that might have been caused by a water leak from the Landscaping maintained by Christy Webber Landscapes and Central Sprinkler Company. I have made Chicago Clout insiders aware of another one of Mayor Daley's preferred contactors making unneeded expenses for broke Chicago taxpayers. This massive tanker of water uses two workers to drive around and water plants despite it being late in the season. The two workers were watering the plants on October 8, 2010. Not a bad thing you say? Before you start you hating, The City of Chicago paid to have a sprinkler system installed. The Sprinkler system is maintained by Central Sprinkler from Elk Grove. Some of these sprinklers are flooding Peterson causing dangerous conditions. Why in the hell would Daley hire a company to take Chicago City Water from a Fire Hydrant, load the water into a tanker, and then hire two workers to water plants? Why does this scam really stink to high heaven? Why does the sprinkler system not work? Who approved this contact extra? Are idiots running Chicago? Why are the Chicago drivers in danger as they cruise through Peterson Avenue? Today, Chicago City workers were not paid, but Daley's private contractors continued to do nothing? The Chicago Unions controlled by Daley really did a number on everyone, again. Photo by Patrick McDonough

Chicago Clout presents Cook County Board candidate Tom Tresser Video

October 10, 2010

Lets get involved with Bob Fioretti for Mayor in Chicago New website

http://www.fiorettiforchicago.com/ It is good to see Bob Fioretti taking on the mess Daley has left all of us. We are having a drive to get Bob on the ballot October 11, 2010 tomorrow. Join us in the 48th Ward, 5300 North Broadway at 10:00. Join Chicago City Workers tired of lousy management. 10:00 a.m.

Daley shoveling taxpayer'smoney to private companies before he skips out of office.

National Sewer Company On October 7, 2010, at about 10:47 a.m. Mayor Daley sent National Power Rodding out with City Department of Water Management employees to investigate a hole on Laurence Avenue near Alderman "Hired Truck" Laurino's offices. The Department of Water Management employee allowed this company to attach a hose to the Fire Hydrant with-out backflow protection despite Municipal Advocates General's multiple demands for Water Safety in Chicago. The end of the hose was sticking into the hole made by a sewer wash-out. Many people wonder why they get sick after drinking Chicago's water. The city engineer was informed by me, channel 7 news, and the Chicago Department of Environment of the multiple violations to Chicago's drinking water requirements. Nothing was done. The engineer said, "the department is still working on complaints I have made before". If you review the websites watched all day by the Plumbing Inspector in charge of these contractors, you will find complete and total negligence to the taxpayer's drinking water. Also, the Chicago Office of the Inspector General is not investigating due to lack of manpower and Daley's mismanagement of the Department. The Federal Government has let all of us down due to politics. I am still waiting for an interview into complaints made about Smith contractors. I am still waiting for an investigation into the water quality tests from a high rise building on Diversey Avenue. How many more cover-ups can the department continue to make? Private contractors left caution tape, belt buckles, sand, debris, with wood dirt and leaves for people to drink in water mains. Daley departure cannot happen soon enough, time to look deep into all these political hacks destroying Chicago. Photo byPatrick McDonough an his day off, again.

October 8, 2010

Will Daley leave Chicago soon enough? We he take his suburban Contractors?

M&A Cement Works, Inc 1/ Chicago Clout Many Chicago taxpayers are out of a job. Jobs are nowhere to be found. While this happens, many high profile Chicago bigwigs enjoy the high life at the Drake Hotel. Obama might not understand the desperate conditions in Illinois. This is another company working on Chicago Streets. The company is located in the suburbs. If you look close, you will see many OSHA violations. The concrete dust is everywhere and the worker has no respiration protection device. This company is M&A Concrete Works, Inc. Some suburban cities are not happy with this company. http://openline.blogspot.com/2006/06/fleecing-of-aurora-ma-cement.html Now they are working in Chicago. This was on Cicero Ave. a State Road. I hope this company gives some campaign contribution into Daley's friend and family plan. I hope some Chicago City workers and Unions take notice. Photo by Patrick McDonough

Chicago Clout introduces Philip Bernstein to the 48th Ward in Chicago

Philip Bernstein Chicago Clout.jpg Philip Bernstein is running for 48th Ward Alderman against lifetime politician Harry Osterman. Philip wants to bring real professional, management to the ward, and give a voice to the over 62,000 residents who currently are not being heard by their government. Additionally, Philip wants to bring an independent, analytical voice to City Council, and participate in the improvement of that body with the objective of improving the management and efficient functioning of the city government. Bernstein is a trained economist, with over 2 decades of experience owning and running a small business, and has over 2 decades of experience in the management of large scale civil projects, some of which have benefitted the City of Chicago. I hope everyone gets involved to remove corruption in the 48th ward. Philip website is http://bernsteinforalderman.com/default.aspx Photo by Patrick McDonough

October 7, 2010

Chicago Clout, Enrique Perez, Aldermanic Candidate for the 2nd Ward Video

October 5, 2010

John Garrido Aldermanic Candidate of Chicago's 45th Ward Video on the way

John Garrido Chicago Clout 45th ward 48th ward Please enjoy this picture of John Garrido, Candidate of the 45th ward. Rumors of Patrick Levar stepping down are all over, are they true? Nice picture if I do say so myself!

October 3, 2010

Chicago Department of Water Management assist in major crash

Chicago dead body/ Chicago Clout Saterday morning was full of additional work for City of Chicago Derpartment of Water Management employees, Patrick McDonough, Ron Bober, and Al Treadwell. The man has hit with such force, it knocked him a few houses from the intersection. His pants were knocked nearly off. He had multiple trauma. The lady driving was in a panic. There was lots of blood everywhere. Our crew assisted until the police and Chicago Fire Department arrived. The police asked the CFD to "Step-up". I have some pictures of our crew in action. This is not the first, nor the last. I hope the department shows some appreation to these all American heroes. Photo by Patrick McDonough. accident October 2, 2010 at 6300 West on Belmont.

October 2, 2010

Why does Chicago let Contractors steal water Video, Daley's friends steal water