Patrick J. Levar is currently serving his sixth full four-Year term as Alderman of the 45th’ Ward in the City of Chicago. As Alderman, he also is Chairman of the City Council Aviation Committee which has responsibility for the oversight of Chicago’s Airport System, including O’Hare International Airport, and Midway “This is From Levar’s website. “I know nothing”. Patrick McDonough
]]>Inspector probes O’Hare terminal deal
AIRPORT | Chief’s son worked for company hired to manage it
October 15, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter email@example.com
Chicago’s inspector general has launched a sweeping investigation to determine whether the company that manages O’Hare Airport’s international terminal got favored treatment because the city’s terminal operations chief had an ethical conflict.
Assistant Aviation Commissioner Jim Sachay abruptly resigned his $96,216-a-year job earlier this month after an audit of the contractor’s August invoices showed Sachay’s son worked for Airport Property Management Group.
The city’s ethics ordinance prohibits city employees from exercising contract management authority over a company that employs a relative.
Sachay not only rode herd over APMG while his son was working for the contractor — a fact he failed to disclose to his superiors — he also served on the evaluation committee that reviewed rival bidders and recommended APMG in March for a new, five-year, $45.2 million contract, officials said.
Sachay’s name appears on the secret clout list kept by Robert Sorich, Mayor Daley’s convicted former patronage chief. According to the list, Sachay was sponsored for the job he has held since 1990 by former state Rep. Ralph Capparelli (D-Chicago).
After discovering the alleged ethics violation in an audit, Aviation Commissioner Nuria Fernandez asked Inspector General David Hoffman to conduct “a full investigation into the selection process that led to the award to APMG,” Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride wrote in an e-mail to the Sun-Times.
The probe also is aimed at determining how Sachay’s son got the job and whether co-workers may have similar conflicts. Sources said Hoffman will look to see if Sachay approved change orders or other excessive payments that did not match services the contractor was providing.
“Once they’ve investigated, we’ve requested that they make a determination and recommendation as to the legitimacy of the award to APMG” and whether the contract should be re-bid, Pride wrote.
The ‘Hired Truck’ effect
Asked why it took this long to discover a conflict that may have been going on for years, Pride explained that APMG’s most recent contract is a “cost plus fixed fee” award that requires a higher level of documentation.
“Prior contracts with APMG were ‘lump-sum,’ ” she wrote. “The vendor was not required to provide the same level of detail.”
APMG is a combined venture of Globetrotter Engineering, Tishman Midwest Management, Louis Jones Enterprises and Span Tech Inc.
Disclosure documents filed with the city show Span Tech’s secretary and chief operating officer is former top mayoral aide John Kosiba. He was the highest-ranking official to testify at the 2006 federal corruption trial that culminated in Sorich’s conviction on charges of rigging city hiring.
Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association, questioned why Sachay’s alleged conflict went “undiscovered for so long.”
“When you have these kinds of relationships between city employees and city contractors, it makes you wonder what was the basis for the contract being given out in the first place? Was it the best company or the personal relationship?” he said.
The fact an audit uncovered the conflict shows that “increased scrutiny” on City Hall is “having an impact,” Stewart said.
“Four or five years ago –before the Hired Truck scandal — I doubt anything would have happened,” he said.