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May 29, 2017

What is Going on at the Chicago Department of Water Management?

May 26, 2017

Laura Washington Two jobs. And more B.S. from the Sun-Times.

That's all it took to spur six black aldermen to convene a news conference last week, in praise of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

OPINION

On Wednesday, the members of the Chicago City Council stepped up to the microphones to "thank" Emanuel for appointing African Americans to lead two major city agencies.

The aldermen -- Michelle Harris (8th), Derrick Curtis (18th), Michael Scott (24th), Walter Burnett (27th), Carrie Austin (34th) -- "are among Emanuel's staunchest City Council supporters," the Sun-Times' Fran Spielman reported.

They praised the mayor for moving quickly to replace Water Department Commissioner Barrett Murphy, who resigned in the wake of allegations of racist, sexist and homophobic emails that circulated in the department.

Emanuel replaced Murphy with Randy Conner, an African-American, and appointed Samantha Fields to replace departing budget director Alexandra Holt.

"We're here to say `thank you' -- to say that it's a job well done, but it is not a job finished," Scott was quoted as saying. "We want to continue moving African-Americans up the ranks through this city."
Not just two jobs. Two big-shot jobs. These appointees are highly-paid, highly-employable bureaucrats in service of the mayor.

Speaking of jobs, Illinois now enjoys the dubious distinction of having the highest black unemployment rate in the nation, according to a new report from the Illinois Policy Institute.

In 2016, African Americans suffered a 12.7 percent jobless rate, compared with Latinos at 6.7 percent and 5 percent for white residents.

Only 51 percent of black adults in Illinois had some type of employment, shows the Institute's analysis of data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Most probably live in black Chicago, in the same West Side and South Side neighborhoods those aldermen serve.

I wonder if the aldermen asked their constituents how they felt about that study? And what do they think about the tsunami of troubles for black Chicago? African Americans are on the receiving end of seemingly chronic police misconduct and abuse cases, vividly personified by the heinous police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

Black Chicago suffers most from violent, murderous street crime, expressway shootings and carjackings. Our children are hostage to a public school system that is flirting with bankruptcy.

Yet, apparently, black Chicago has come such a long way that some aldermen are already endorsing Emanuel for reelection.

The man hasn't even said he will seek a third term.

At the press conference, Austin said Emanuel should get credit where credit is due. "When he does something negative, nobody is short on printing that. But when he does something positive, everything is silent," she was quoted as saying. "So we felt that we should be the ones to speak out when he has done something forward-thinking."

Can't we do better than two big-shot jobs?

How about enacting more effective policies and legislation that will address the vast needs of their neighborhoods? Now?

Instead of issuing meaningless endorsements, how about getting in the mayor's face? How about pounding the podium, every day, in outrage at the poverty, violence and hopelessness so many of their constituents live with, every day? And demanding resources from Springfield and Washington?

How about remembering who you work for?

May 21, 2017

Sun-Times misses the point with Joe Ferguson Clown Prince of the Inspector General

Joe Ferguson, Chicago Inspector General first in line to steal credit. Ole Joe, tells everyone he separates the wheat from the chaff. When a Chicago City workers calls, or emails the O.I.G. you would expect an investigation. You would expect an interview to obtain a proper response to your concerns. I know for a fact when David Hoffman, the outstanding inspector general ran things, his staff was top notch and professional.
Not the case for phony Joe Ferguson, the psychic inspector general that know everything. Emails are not returned. Joe has not done a fucking thing about the corrupt promotion system still in place at the Department of Water Management. Joe covered up for Paul Hansen for over a decade.

But what we do know is the following, Joe Ferguson tips off the Sun-Times on a regular basis. Joe Ferguson tips off all departments when he faxes over inquires for information.
Joe Ferguson does not expose Chicago Commissioners that stall and refuse to discipline workers. When you ask for a FOIA from the Inspector General, they stall. Same treatment when you file complaints against corrupt FOIA officers covering up crime in Chicago. One thing we know for sure, Joe retaliated against whistleblowers and is a puppet of Rahm Emanuel. Most of the challenged I.G. complaints are dismissed in court as a farse. Most I.G. employees are part time pass through college grads waiting for a real job. But don't worry, Joe will be the first in line to pose for pictures and take credit he does not deserve. P.S. Joe, remove that ugly mole from your nose.


Sun-Times Editorial Board
Just when you think Chicago municipal government is fully joining the modern world, somebody tugs open a closet door and out tumble the patronage hacks, the mopes who sleep on the job and the two-bit office bigots who really should shut up.

Feels like old times, you know?

That's how we felt last week when we learned that goofs in the city's Department of Water Management had been caught bouncing around emails that were racist, sexist and homophobic.

EDITORIAL

We can't say we were surprised. The Department of Water Management has a long history of corruption and bigotry. But didn't this stuff pretty much end when a federal court killed patronage politics? Once a judge handed down a series of rulings beginning in the late 1970s, known as the Shakman decrees, that banned hiring based on family or political loyalty, Uncle Al in Streets and San could no longer hire Cousin Bob or protect him when he screwed up.

Or so we thought.

We asked Don Rose, the veteran political consultant.

"Somehow, a few old-style patronage havens continue to exist," he said with a shrug. "We'll have these little sewers around for a few years."
Elected officials, Rose said, are loath to give up "what few patronage privileges remain."

In the meantime, all we can do is hold people to account when the sewage bubbles up.

On that score, Mayor Rahm Emanuel had no choice but to fire Barrett Murphy, the head of the Department of Water Management. Murphy may be more new school than old school, or so we're told, but he was aware of the offensive emails and apparently did nothing about them.

The very way the emails were discovered by City Inspector General Joe Ferguson tells you something about the department's continued hinky ways. Ferguson was investigating allegations that an employee was using his city email account to sell guns. Who uses the company email to sell guns?

And the employee in question was Paul Hansen, a son of former longtime Ald. Bernie Hansen.

Paul Hansen, as reporter Fran Spielman notes, has the kind of checkered past that once was common among a certain substrata of clout-protected city workers. Among the classic knocks against him -- this really is old-school Chicago -- is that he allegedly used political clout in 2010 to get his job back after a DUI conviction. Given that part of Hansen's job was to drive around town to check on work sites, you might wonder about that.

But, then, this is the same Department of Water Management run 14 years ago by a deputy commissioner, Donald Tomczak, who went to prison for utterly ignoring all that Shakman stuff and doling out jobs, promotions and overtime to an army of political workers. It's the same department at the center of the Sun-Times' 2004 "Hired Trucks" investigation, in which we learned the city was hiring private truck companies with excellent political connections to do little or no work.

When Emanuel fired Barrett last week, he acknowledged that the Department of Water Management still has its issues. He said there should be a "reset button hit as it related to the culture."

The good news is that the Department of Water Management, by anybody's honest reckoning, is no longer the norm among city departments. It is more of a cultural zombie, popping back to life just when you thought it might be dead. Federal court orders, federal prosecutions and political evolutions, such as how local elections are funded and fought, have led to dramatic reforms.

Key to that progress has been the creation of an office of inspector general by many units of local governments, including Ferguson's office for City Hall.

Even as the old ways die out, the best inspectors general remain on zombie patrol.

May 16, 2017

ABC 7 News Chicago Sources: Racist emails in department lead to firing of Chicago water commissioner

William Bresnahan Final Chicago Water Dept.jpg CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Water Management Commissioner Barrett Murphy was fired Friday, due to a series of racist emails sent within his department according to sources. First Deputy Transportation Commissioner Randy Conner will replaced Murphy in the role. Sources close to the situation in the Water Department told ABC7 Eyewitness News that as head of the department, Murphy was held responsible for a series of racist emails sent within the department. Murphy was fired because he failed to discipline those involved. "We were made aware of an IG investigation into the culture at the water department. The mayor acted quickly and decisively, asking for the commissioner's resignation and appointing a new commissioner to lead the department forward and change the department's culture," mayoral spokesman Adam Collins. Two high-level employees within the Water Department officially resigned Friday.

(AP) Chicago Water Commissioner Resigns Amid Probe Into Emails

Paul Hansen City of Chicago 2.jpg CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago's water department commission has resigned in the wake of reports he was under investigation into alleged racist and sexist email messages. A spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday cited the probe by the city's inspector general for the departure of Barrett Murphy. Adam Collins says Emanuel "acted quickly and decisively" in asking for Murphy's resignation after learning of the probe into the water department's culture. A mid-level Water Department manager, Paul Hansen, has also resigned. Agency spokesman Gary Litherland says he did not know the reason for Hansen's departure. Randy Connor, who had been at the Chicago Department of Transportation, will replace Murphy, who rose to the $170,000 a year post last year.

Chicago Water Commissioner Resigns Amid Email Probe: Reports

Chicago Water Commissioner Barrett Murphy abruptly resigned on Friday afternoon, and details have begun to emerge over what caused his sudden departure.
According to reports from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, Murphy resigned at the request of Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he became aware of an inspector general investigation into alleged racist and sexist emails sent by the former commissioner.
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"We were made aware of an IG investigation into the culture at the water department," Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins told the Tribune. "The mayor acted quickly and decisively, asking for the commissioner's resignation and appointing a new commissioner to lead the department forward and change the department's culture."
Murphy will be replaced by Randy Conner in the role of water commissioner, according to reports. The investigation into the emails centers around Murphy's failure to discipline employees that were sending the allegedly racist and sexist emails, and the IG investigation has been going on for eight months, according to the Tribune.
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"I want to thank Barrett Murphy for his many years of public service, and I wish him well in the future," Emanuel said in a statement. "Randy Conner's extensive track record of experience strengthening City infrastructure and improving City services for residents will allow him to hit the ground running at the Department of Water Management."
Murphy is just the latest in a run of high-profile officials to leave the water department this week. William Bresnahan, the agency's deputy commissioner, also resigned, as did Paul Hansen, a district superintendent of water distribution.

Chicago water commissioner resigns amid IG probe into racist, sexist emails

Chicago's water commissioner has resigned amid what City Hall sources say is an inspector general investigation into racist and sexist email messages sent at the agency.

Out is Barrett Murphy, who made $170,000 a year leading the Department of Water Management after taking the job in April 2016. He's a city government veteran who is married to Lynn Lockwood. She's the former chairman and treasurer of one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's political funds, as well as a friend of Chicago first lady Amy Rule.

The Emanuel administration on Friday afternoon cited the watchdog probe in explaining Murphy's abrupt departure.

"We were made aware of an IG investigation into the culture at the water department," Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins said. "The mayor acted quickly and decisively, asking for the commissioner's resignation and appointing a new commissioner to lead the department forward and change the department's culture."

One of the City Hall sources said the investigation has been going on for eight months. Collins said the mayor recently was made aware of the probe. A spokeswoman for Inspector General Joseph Ferguson declined to comment.

Two other Water Department managers resigned this week. William Bresnahan, the agency's managing deputy commissioner, resigned, Collins said. And Paul Hansen, a district superintendent of water distribution and the son of former 44th Ward Ald. Bernie Hansen, resigned Thursday, said water spokesman Gary Litherland.

Attempts to reach Murphy, Bresnahan and Hansen were unsuccessful Friday.

One veteran Water Department employee, Patrick McDonough, said Friday that he repeatedly has complained to the inspector general's office about the department's workplace culture and about top bosses covering up for politically connected workers, including Hansen.

In April 2010, Hansen was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in northwest Illinois, according to public records from Jo Daviess County. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving. City payroll records show that he was promoted to his current position in December 2010, which is after the case was resolved.

Murphy succeeded longtime Water Commissioner Tom Powers last year. Before that, Murphy was a deputy in the Department of Water Management. He had worked for Mayor Richard M. Daley in the Aviation Department and as the city's project manager to prepare for possible Y2K computer problems, a predicted calamity that never came to pass.

Replacing Murphy at the water agency is Randy Connor, who had been at the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The Emanuel administration released the news of Murphy's resignation mid-afternoon
Friday, a time politicians typically try to bury bad news as the public's attention turns toward the weekend. It also came a couple hours after they announced other, less troublesome personnel moves at City Hall.

The mayor reappointed Ferguson to a third term as inspector general, and announced that Budget Director Alexandra Holt was planning to leave to pursue other endeavors after six years on the job.

Four years ago, when Ferguson was closing out his first term, it wasn't clear that he would be reappointed. Ferguson had been critical of many mayoral initiatives. After Emanuel did reappoint him, Ferguson eventually decided to stay longer, and the relationship between mayor and watchdog became less frosty.

On Friday, Emanuel suggested they have come to something of an understanding.

"He plays an important role for the city in constantly making changes and asking some core questions, and Joe knows there are places where we strongly agree, and there will be places where I have a different perspective," Emanuel told the Tribune after an event to honor 25 City Colleges graduates from the Chicago Star Scholar program who received $5,000 scholarships from CME Group to continue their education at four-year institutions.

"(Ferguson) has to have his perspective, and I have to have a slightly wider lens to look at," Emanuel added.

The mayor said he would "beyond miss" Holt, who has been his only budget director. Holt helped the mayor push a series of tax, fee and fine increases that helped narrow the city's annual budget gaps while providing a way to pay for revamping the city's aging water system and significantly increase contributions to the city's financially ailing employee pension funds.

Emanuel said Holt served a "very long time" in a tough job and "can leave with her head high that the city is healthier and stronger financially, and she brought a sense of professionalism that I will miss."

Holt, who said she planned to take some time off after 20 years of working at City Hall, had a slightly different take.

"It's time for somebody who can come in with some fresh ideas and take the next step," Holt said. "I just wanted to give someone else the joy of doing the job."

Holt will be succeed by Samantha Fields, the current commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Gun deal emails spurred city probe into racist, sexist Water Department messages

Emails about gun deals played a key role in a city inspector general's investigation that led to last week's shake-up at the Water Department, sources familiar with the probe said Monday.

One source with knowledge of the investigation said the City Hall watchdog initially began looking into emails regarding the gun deals and uncovered several that were sexist and racist, including messages about former President Barack Obama that dated back a year or two.

The disclosure that racist emails were sent about the nation's first African-American president added another layer to the scandal, given that Obama called Chicago home and his first White House chief of staff was Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, who last week was appointed to a third term by Emanuel, is continuing his investigation of the Department of Water Management, City Hall sources said. One source said more agency employees were summoned for interviews and that workers were "lawyering up."


The gun deal emails were found on the computer of Paul Hansen, a City Hall source said. Another source said the inspector general seized Hansen's computer as part of the investigation, which began about eight months ago. Hansen, the son of former 44th Ward Ald. Bernard Hansen, resigned Thursday as a district superintendent of water distribution, officials said.

Barrett Murphy, who was water commissioner since April 2016, resigned Friday amid the probe at the agency he led. He's a city government veteran married to Lynn Lockwood, who is the former chairman and treasurer of one of Emanuel's political funds, as well as a friend of Chicago first lady Amy Rule.

In addition, officials confirmed Friday that a top deputy, William Bresnahan, also resigned.

The Water Department is an agency long rattled by negative headlines under Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration, which was rocked by the Hired Truck scandal and an illegal jobs scam operated under former top water official Donald Tomczak, who served time in prison.

Under Tomczak, jobs and promotions were handed out in exchange for political work that created an army of ground troops for multiple politicians, including Emanuel in his successful 2002 bid for Congress.

Now Emanuel faces his own crisis. On Monday, the City Council Black Caucus called for an audit of the department "to get to the root of the culture of racism" and requested "additional diversity in promotion."

"While we are deeply disturbed by reports of blatant racist language and behavior by these high-level city employees, we only wish we could say we are surprised," said 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer, the caucus chairman. "The pervasive culture of racism at the Water Department has been an open secret for years. We hope that this moment can serve as a wake-up call for all those in the department and in other departments where this behavior is still tolerated or even encouraged."

At an unrelated event Monday, Emanuel said he was made aware by Ferguson's office of a problem with "one particular employee" and "in that process, it exposed a culture in the Water Department workplace" that doesn't represent city values.

Emanuel said Murphy, the water commissioner, agreed there should be a reset in the culture at the agency, which is now headed by Randy Conner, who moved over from the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Hansen could not be reached for comment Monday. In April 2010 he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in northwest Illinois, according to public records from Jo Daviess County. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving. City payroll records show that he was promoted to his most recent position in December 2010, which is after the court case was resolved.

Racist Water Department emails found during probe of alleged gun sales CHICAGO 05/15/2017, 07:03pm

Fran Spielman
Inspector General Joe Ferguson uncovered racist and sexist emails circulating in the Department of Water Management while investigating allegations that the son of a former alderman had used his city email account to sell guns, City Hall sources said Monday.

Paul Hansen, a now-fired, $122,280-a-year district superintendent in the Department of Water Management, is the son of former longtime Ald. Bernard Hansen (44th). The elder Hansen presided over Wrigleyville during the Cubs' marathon battle for lights at Wrigley Field.

On Monday, Paul Hansen refused to comment about the gun or email investigation before hanging up on a Chicago Sun-Times reporter.

His checkered past with the Department of Water Management includes allegations that his political clout helped him get his job back after a DUI conviction.

Sources said it was during the course of an eight-month-long investigation into allegations that Hansen was using city emails to sell guns that Ferguson stumbled upon the hate-filled emails that triggered Friday's housecleaning in the department at the center of the Hired Truck and city hiring scandals.


Barrett Murphy, head of the Chicago Department of Water Management, was fired last week. | Sun-Times file photo

Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Water Management Commissioner Barrett Murphy, whose wife is a close friend of the mayor's wife, Amy Rule, and accepted the resignations of Hansen and the department's $148,380-a-year managing deputy William Bresnahan.

Sources said Murphy was held responsible for the chain of racist and sexist emails sent by an underling whom the commissioner failed to discipline, even though Murphy was among those receiving the emails.
He could not be reached for comment. The inspector general's office refused to comment.

Emanuel was tight-lipped when asked Monday to define the role he accused Murphy of playing in the email scandal. But he referred obliquely to the broader investigation of alleged gun sales.

"We were made aware from an IG report on one particular employee. But in that process, it exposed a culture in the Water Department and in the workplace that, in my view, does not represent what the city's values are," the mayor said.


Mayor Rahm Emanuel also accepted the resignation of William Bresnahan (shown in 2004). | File photo

"Barrett agreed that there should be a re-set button hit as it related to the culture, which is why I'm pleased that Randy [Conner] is assuming that leadership and the IG work continues at this time."

Sources said the racist and sexist emails mark an ugly new chapter in a politically incorrect department that has more than its share of them.

They include racist references to now-former President Barack Obama; perverse comments about women and gay people, and someone distributing an image of an African-American deputy commissioner in charge of water distribution that depicted him with a gorilla face.

Murphy's firing was a stunner because of his close ties to the mayor.

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley hired Murphy in 1999 as Chicago prepared for the potential Y2K terrorism threat that never materialized. Murphy's wife, Lynn Lockwood, is an Emanuel friend who once chaired a political fundraising committee for the mayor.

Lockwood had a one-year, $160,000 consulting contract with the tourism agency known as Choose Chicago. She was an aide to former first lady Maggie Daley and worked for the city cultural affairs department. Emanuel appointed her to the Chicago Public Library board in March 2012.

On Friday night, hours after being summarily dismissed, Murphy and Lockwood received an award from the Crossroads Foundation of the Francis Xavier Ward School for their work in promoting a Catholic education and in helping to raise money that was used, in part, to provide scholarships for disadvantaged children, many of them minorities. The prestigious Catholic school was started by Maggie Daley.

Sources said Lockwood delivered an acceptance speech through tears. She told associates that her close friend, Emanuel's wife Amy Rule, was texting her throughout the bittersweet and humiliating Friday night ceremony at a downtown hotel.

The award and the contribution it symbolized for the high-profile couple underscored the surprising nature of the allegations against Murphy.

"These emails are not consistent with who they are. They're socially conscious people," said a source who has known Murphy and Lockwood for years.

Yet another source who knows Murphy well was less tolerant, even though the now-former commissioner has not been accused of writing any of the hateful emails -- only receiving them.

"If he was trying to fit in with the culture [at the Department of Water Management], shame on him," the source said.

Ald. Edward Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee, said the image of a commissioner who looked the other way when racist and sexist emails were being circulated by underlings does not jibe with the Barrett Murphy he knows.

"My experience with Barrett Murphy has always been terrific. I thought he was a great city official who had a great record of accomplishment in whatever role he filled in the city government. And I wish him well in his future," Burke said.

Burke was asked whether the new scandal would revive calls to privatize the Department of Water Management that Emanuel put to rest shortly after taking office by doubling water and sewer rates to rebuild the aging system.

"That's an enterprise fund. It's heavily dependent on bond proceeds. There's probably so many restrictions in the bond documents that gets them their funding that to undertake something like that would be a major change in the form of government which might even require a referendum," the alderman said.

The Department of Water Management has long been notorious around City Hall for its history of corruption and an ugly, hate-filled culture.

In 2005, a housecleaning in the department at the center of the Hired Truck scandal swept out then-Water Management Commissioner Rick Rice and nine politically connected underlings accused of participating in a payroll scam.

The brother-in-law of Cook County Commissioner John Daley and the relative of a key Hired Truck figure were among those purged for allegedly falsifying attendance records over a two-month period -- maybe longer -- by swiping each other in and out.

First Deputy Water Commissioner Donald Tomczak was convicted of doling out jobs, promotions and overtime to an army of political workers who worked for Daley-backed candidates, including Emanuel. Support from Tomczak's illegal army helped elect Emanuel to Congress in 2002.

In 2010, Hansen was allowed to return to his then-$97,760-a-year assistant district superintendent's job after an unpaid leave triggered by a DUI arrest that stripped him of his driver's license.

A valid driver's license was essential to his job, which called for supervising water and sewer projects, deploying personnel and equipment and inspecting job sites.

According to the police report, Hansen was driving west on Route 20 in Galena when he was pulled over for speeding. When the officer got behind him, Hansen allegedly kept going and increased his speed to more than 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. He also was observed repeatedly crossing the center line, police said.

After pulling Hansen over, the officer reported, he smelled alcohol on Hansen's breath and that he had glassy eyes, slurred speech and a "slight stagger" or "sway."

Asked if he'd been drinking, Hansen acknowledged having "about four or five beers at a bar," police said. He twice refused a field sobriety test and was placed under arrest. At that point, he asked if "something could be worked out" stating that he knew Terry Kurt, the state's attorney for Jo Daviess County, the police report states.

At the sheriff's office, he refused a Breathalyzer test. That refusal carries an automatic 12-month suspension of driving privileges for first-time offenders.

Hansen was charged with speeding and driving under the influence, but pleaded guilty June 9 to a lesser charge of reckless driving. He was fined $1,500 and sentenced to a one-year probation.

Hansen's unpaid leave had begun after the Chicago Sun-Times raised questions about his arrest and looked into reports from co-workers that the former alderman's son was having foremen and laborers chauffeur him around and take him to and from work. At that time, Ferguson was trying to determine how Hansen did his job without a license, sources said.

Allegations of Racism, Sexism and Gun Dealing in City Water Department

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a major shake-up in some key departments late Friday. The city's water commissioner resigned, and on Monday more details emerged about alleged gun dealing, racist and sexist behavior by a politically connected subordinate. Also, the city's budget director has decided to leave, which has some aldermen concerned about how the city will solve the CPS funding crisis. The resignations and firings came as a surprise late Friday, specifically the resignation of the city's Water Commissioner Barrett Murphy and two high-ranking subordinates, William Bresnahan and Paul Hansen. More information has been revealed to Chicago Tonight about a troubling culture at the city's Department of Water Management. Sources say Hansen, son of former 44th Ward Ald. Bernie Hansen, was allegedly using city email to sell some of his guns and hunting equipment to Water Department employees. Sources in the Water Department have called Hansen a clouted hire who rose to the ranks of district superintendent without having a plumber's license. He, Bresnahan and Murphy are also said to have been involved in circulating racist and sexist emails around the department, described to Chicago Tonight as having hate-filled and demeaning language. There is an investigation into these allegations by the inspector general; on Monday, Emanuel said he and the water commissioner had agreed to part ways. "We were made aware from an IG report on one particular employee, but in that process it exposed a culture in the Water Department that in my view does not represent what the city's values are," Emanuel said. "Barrett agreed there should be a reset button hit as it relates to the culture." The mayor appointed Randy Conner, who comes from Streets and Sanitation, as the new Water Department commissioner. The City Council Black Caucus on Monday said they were deeply disturbed by the alleged culture at the department. "The pervasive culture of racism at the Water Department has been an open secret for years," said Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward). "We hope that this moment can serve as a wake-up call for all those in the department and in other departments where this behavior is still tolerated or even encouraged." And another alderman says it raises concerns about protecting clouted workers at all costs. "Every citizen should be appalled by it, especially that they were allowed to keep working there," said Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward). "We need to make sure that the human resources department is actually doing their job and rooting this activity out and firing people." BUDGET DIRECTOR RESIGNS Friday's resignation of Budget Director Alex Holt is also causing consternation. We spoke with a few aldermen concerned about the timing, especially as the mayor's office considers a possible emergency bridge loan from the city to keep Chicago Public Schools open. Holt had been on the job since Emanuel first took office in 2011 and had waded through several budget crises and helped come up with reforms to stave off the city's municipal pension bomb, although many of those reforms still have yet to be approved by Springfield. Holt is replaced by the director of business and consumer affairs, Samantha Fields. Waguespack wondered whether she was up to such a gargantuan job. "My biggest concern is that we're going into this issue of CPS funding and we don't have someone at the helm that understands government finances, these are going to be very tough decisions coming up and we need very good information moving forward," Waguespack said. The mayor on Friday also announced the reappointment of Inspector General Joe Ferguson to another four-year term - which means the new Police Inspector General Laura Kunard will now start her job in the coming weeks. She had been holding out until she knew that Ferguson, the guy that picked her, had job security of his own. Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz

Chicago Water Department Racists Paul Hansen

As a current City of Chicago Employee, I can testify the outrageous behavior at the City of Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is again passing the buck because his office has received many letters laying out the anti-black behavior. Much of the racism was covered up by the water department lawyers. Investigations went nowhere. Most were, Non-founded". The investigation took months and years. Most people involved looked the other way. In the North District, many of the emails were also sent to Paul Hansen's hand chosen foreman and hydrant, and specialty crews. Luci Pope-Cozzi-Anderson, a clout heavy commissioner was seen at Paul Hansen's North District Office for closed door cover-ups and email deletion parties. She is part of the cover-up. Luci was dating many Department of Water Management employees and made many promotions in quick order for her current husband Andy Anderson. The O.I.G. considered this and found nothing wrong. (Joe Ferguson is an idiot). The many private meetings between Luci Pope-Cozzi-Anderson fueled rumors of her and Hansen the next big item. Luci also visited Paul to be closer to home at quitting time. Paul wrote up people to cover-up for his criminal activities. All his write ups must be deleted from peoples records. It was used to keep blacks down. Paul Hansen was always a problem at the water department. His behavior is rude, full of lies, spiteful, and downright evil. He always got away with physical fights. Calling women "bitches" was par for the course. One black women was of interest to Paul and after failed advances, was sent to the Central District. Paul would drive into the yard with his massive SUV in a cloud of dust. He probably thought this was cool. He left in a cloud of dust when removed from work May 4, 2017. The incident of an assault of an old man punched till he passed out was covered up. Paul assaulted a young mother on Halsted Street and the entire report was sent to the Mayor's office and the Inspector General, nothing was done. Reports of racism and rude behavior was covered up by Joe Ferguson for years. Now Joe wants credit to a problem he allowed to fester. Several years ago, I talked to Alderman Tunney, and he took credit for Paul's promotions despite Shakman rules. The water department was installing an new water main for Rahm Emanuel so Rahm kept his mouth shut. We will release proof of all my claims when the media is done with the story. The Department of Water Management should immediately promote a black Superintendent at the north district and fire Luci Pope Cozzi with her husband Andy Anderson. Chicago Clout has made many FOIA requests years ago into Paul Hansen and it unveiled Paul working with 44th ward staff on city time with city equipment. FOIA officer Gary Litherland also blocked many FOIA request to cover up for Paul. Fire Gary Litherland for his constant lies and cover-ups. Clean up the department and promote blacks that deserve it. Enough is Enough. The water department also needs to investigate their unfair treatment of injured workers. More on that soon. Next time you hear blacks turning on Fire Hydrants, you will never hear again the "Monkees and the Ni$%ers are at it again".