Chicago City Workers Must Read Laurie Cohen Todd Lighty Chicago Tribune Shakman Update

CHICAGO TRIBUNE 1. City hiring cases flood court Auditor: More time needed to check clout-abuse claims Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2007 Section: Metro Edition: Chicagoland Page: 3 Zone: C Source: By Laurie Cohen and Todd Lighty, Tribune staff reporters

After being swamped with last-minute claims from people who say they lacked the political clout to get jobs in Mayor Richard Daley’s administration, a court-appointed official said Monday that she probably will need more time to determine how much — if anything — each is owed.

Friday was the deadline for filing claims under an agreement between the city and lawyer Michael Shakman to end Shakman’s long-running court battle against political hiring at City Hall. The agreement required the city to set up a $12 million fund to pay as much as $100,000 each to employees and job-seekers who were denied jobs, promotions, transfers and overtime work because they did not have political connections.Noelle Brennan, the court-appointed official who has monitored city hiring for the last two years, said 1,451 people filed claims alleging that they were harmed by the city’s actions between the beginning of 2000 and the end of last May. Brennan did not know the total value of the claims filed but said requested awards are probably more than $12 million.

More than 600 of the claims came into Brennan’s office on Thursday and Friday — some as late as the final deadline of midnight Friday. As a result, Brennan, who was scheduled to decide on award payments by the end of December, said she would likely ask a federal judge for an extension.

“I think this will be an enormous undertaking,” Brennan said. “The universe of information that we have to investigate to substantiate these claims is very, very large and we want to be able to verify all claims that are submitted accurately and fairly so that everybody gets the award they are entitled to.”

Under the decades-old Shakman civil decree, the city pledged to keep most hiring decisions free from politics. However, Brennan and federal authorities investigating a criminal job-rigging scheme at City Hall have found that administration officials routinely violated the court order.

The people who filed claims with Brennan contend they suffered because of City Hall’s policy of political favoritism.
Archie High, a laborer in the city’s Water Management Department, filed a claim in September for $100,000, alleging that he was passed over twice for promotions because he lacked clout.

“They asked me who my clout was. I said I’ve got experience. I don’t need clout,” said High, who has been with the city for 33 years. “They said, ‘Yes you do.’

“I shouldn’t have to go out there and knock on doors for some politician to get a job.”
Despite the influx of last-minute claims, Shakman said he thinks far fewer people filed with Brennan than were actually harmed by political hiring. Shakman believes many people didn’t file because they weren’t aware they had been victims of a rigged hiring process. In addition, some current city workers were afraid they would face retaliation by their bosses if they filed claims, he said.

Shakman said his agreement with the city prohibits such retaliation, but “people are not sure how much reliance they can place on a court order.”

(Response) Thank you very much to Chicago Tribune for publishing this atricle. Again, I am sure a proper investigation will never be undertaken. Every Chicago employee should be asked about their personal experience. A complete record should be made and never will. Mayor Daley will get off the hook again. Chicago will never understand Demoracy with the Daley “family” in power Patrick McDonough

5 Replies to “Chicago City Workers Must Read Laurie Cohen Todd Lighty Chicago Tribune Shakman Update”

  1. October 2, 2007 (CHICAGO) – More than 1,400 people say they were denied jobs with the City of Chicago because they didn’t have enough political clout, according to a court-appointed monitor.

    Earlier this year, the city settled a nearly 40-year-long legal battle to stop political hiring at City Hall.
    The $12 million settlement will go to those who say they have been discriminated against in the city’s hiring process. But the monitor believes those who submitted claims for the year 2000 to last May is more than $12 million.

  2. Shakman is a typical Shyster lawyer who is ripping off the taxpayers.

    Nothing will change until Daley gets indicted.

    Working for the city sucks unless you are a Daley relative or 19th or 11th ward. Even HDO has no clout anymore.

  3. 1,443 victims of rigged hiring?
    ‘RAMPANT’ PATRONAGE | Claims seek share of $12 million fund

    October 2, 2007
    BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
    More than 1,400 people have staked claim to the $12 million fund created to compensate victims of City Hall’s rigged hiring system, a federal monitor said Monday.

    “It tells me what everyone has known all along: Political patronage continued to run rampant” in spite of the Shakman decree, said Ald. Joe Moore (49th).

    Attorney Michael Shakman’s landmark lawsuit was supposed to end political hiring and firing, but didn’t.

    Shakman suspects the number of victims is greater than 1,443. But some people are afraid of retribution, some chose to file their own lawsuits and others were unaware the reason they didn’t get the job was the interviews were rigged, he said.

    Referring to the 2006 trial that ended in the conviction of Mayor Daley’s former patronage chief, Shakman said, “We know from the [Robert] Sorich trial that it was a wholesale process of rigged interviews and illegal hiring.”

    The $12 million fund is part of a settlement that allows the city to get out from under the Shakman decree on Dec. 31, 2008, if it can prove substantial compliance at that time.

    Individual awards, capped at $100,000, will apply only to those who can prove they’ve been bypassed for jobs and promotions since Jan. 1, 2000.

    On Monday, federal hiring monitor Noelle Brennan said 1,443 people filed claims by Friday’s deadline and “hundreds” of those claims poured in at the end of last week.

  4. For some reason you fear my comments. Brennan has sucked up too much money for doing nothling.Daley is a much fairer man and a better man than you. Didn’t Daley fire his own cousin for screwing up. Sir you and your side kick ******** are jealous of our great Mayor, and want to be like him.If you bums quit complaining and work harder,maybe you could get ahead.

  5. 11th man. hmmm?

    hey , does anyone out there know why folks do not sign their names? hmm!

    my name is Carl Segvich

Comments are closed.