Excellent article by Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times. Michael McGann is one of the most intelligent Plumbing Inspectors in the City of Chicago. I read his report and he is 100% correct in his review of the troubled plumbing in the Chicago School. Read here: ‘They’re trying to make me the fall guy’ SCHOOL’S WATER WOES | City inspector may be disciplined for faxing report on dangerous plumbing to principal
November 30, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter [email protected]
An $85,068-a-year city plumbing inspector who uncovered “two pages worth” of building code violations that left 1,100 children at Jose de Diego Community Academy without water for weeks is facing disciplinary acton for faxing a copy of his inspection report to the school’s principal.
Michael McGann, a 14-year inspector assigned to the city’s Department of Buildings, said he gave the Oct. 24 report to de Diego principal Alice Vera so she could use the information to try to expedite repairs that had languished for weeks, endangering students at the 116-year-old school at 1313 N. Claremont.
He can’t believe he’s being punished for it, simply because the embarrassing story of his bosses’ bureaucratic bungling — that prompted the school’s 14 water fountains to be taped shut for weeks — ended up in the Nov. 23 Sun-Times, with a copy of the inspection report posted on the newspaper’s Web site.
The report contained two pages of code violations with “dead-ends everywhere … uncirculated distribution lines that connected to and endangered” the integrity of the drinking water system, McGann said. It was faxed to Vera earlier this month.
“It’s a disgrace. They’re being exposed for not doing their job and, because I’m the one who made the inspection, they’re trying to make me the fall guy, the scapegoat,” said McGann, 52. “They should have processed the violation notice immediately . . . . Instead, they sat on it and did nothing.”
Water reportedly back on
He added, “The principal was frustrated. . . . Nothing was happening. . . . She called me and we kept in communication. . . . It had gone weeks without any word from any of my superiors about getting the water back on in the building so the water was safe for the children. So, I sent her my report so she would know the severity of the violations and how they were to be resolved. . . . My motive was to protect the health and safety of the children of the school.”
Buildings Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey said McGann faces disciplinary action — to be determined after hearings that got under way Thursday — for violating internal rules that prohibit preliminary inspection reports from being shared with outsiders until approved by higher-ups. “Inspection reports are subject to review by immediate supervisors and chiefs. Until the report is approved, it is still a draft document. Once it’s finalized, it can be distributed outside the department,” he said.
Vera could not be reached for comment.
Last week, de Diego officials told the Sun-Times they had been instructed to ration water since Sept. 14, when a water main broke outside the school in the Humboldt Park/Wicker Park area. That meant giving students as little as a half a glass of water a day for eleven weeks straight.
According to McCaffrey, the water was turned back on at de Diego on Monday after new “check valves that prevent water from flowing backwards through the system” were installed to remedy concerns about “dead-end piping.”
The school is also planning to take other steps to “remove some of the pipes that just end,” he said.
Sounds like whistleblower retaliation, and I know whistleblower retaliation.
But remember, dead ends must be removed, check valves do not correct dead ends, Patrick McDonough.
Photo by Jean Lachat, Patrick McDonough
Expert Analysis by Patrick McDonough. Please enjoy this exclusive photo of a boiler system in the Jose de Diego Community Academy in Chicago. The Chicago Department of Water Management got a sock in the eye when a water main break was handled by the North District Department of Water Management. The North District suffered multiple embarrassments after drug, gambling, prostitution, hired trucks, and multiple investigations have surfaced the last few years. The North District workers include many Caulkers and Foreman that are not Licensed Plumbers, a political favor that will continue to plague the Department and the Taxpayers of Chicago. Chicago needs the Water Department to review who made the water main repairs, and make sure the proper procedures were followed when a water main is shut down. More on this later. Please click below to read the article. Plumber’s Local 130 must “Protect the Health of the Nation” and review what was done at the water main break. I reviewed the PDF report by the Chicago Plumbing Inspector and reviewed multiple pictures of the boiler room. Why is the CPS hiring handymen and Pipefitters to handle work requiriing Licensed Plumbers. I want Tom McManus and Tom Durkin to investigate on behalf of Plumber’s Local 130 members sitting at home with no work. Photo by Chicago Clout Investigator General Team.
Mayor Daley and the rubber stamp alderman have destroyed the powers of the Inspector General. Anthony Boswell a corporate lackey knows the chain of command well. Feed the information up the ladder and do what you are told. Remember Chicago City Workers, you will now have two departments to fight if you targeted by the Daley Administration. Your chance of getting your job back after a termination will be reduced. I suggest if you are a loafer to get some clout and quick. Read this article by Gary Washburn of the Chicago Tribune.
Commissioner Frank Avila is on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. He was elected to this post in 2002. On December 14, 2007, Commissioner Frank Avila will host a show to inform children on what happens to water after it comes out of a faucet. My sons helped Commissioner Avila tape some Public Service Announcements (PBAs) last week. I cannot wait for this children’s show to broadcast, if you have some children that would like to be on the show, please contact me asap. You might have a star for a child. Pictured with the Commissioner is Michael McDonough on the left and David McDonough on the right. Photo by Patrick McDonough
Commissioner John Spatz of the Department of Water Management kept mum when the questions were flying from Chicago’s Channel 2 news hit regarding the “Rainblocker Vortex” nightmare. Many Chicago basement are flooding because of a poorly implemented and under-engineered design. Mayor Daley should know many Sewer Workers have been helping Channel 2 News and are providing information on the weaknesses of the “Rainblockers”. Thanks guys, you get a gold star, keep exposing fraud, watch this video, http://cbs2chicago.com/local/home.floods.rainblockers.2.569235.html
Special thanks to “Deep Water” for his assistance. Special thanks to Amy Le a friend of mine. Patrick McDonough.
Make sure you stay tuned as the mangy flea bitten carcases continue to head to jail for corruption in the Hired Truck Scandal. Mr Resa is going to jail because he lied. He is a former Water Department of Water Management employee hired for political reasons. The FEDS have a long way to go to to expose the corruption and clout at the City of Chicago. I am sad to admit, I will help them along soon. Hired Truck Scandal are not over yet. Patrick McDonough.
One of the items on my list has been to continue to put the light on the Shakman Violations that have continued in the Department of Water Management. Basically the posting of positions has been a sore point with me. The Department od Water Management has held up job posting for over a week in many cases. The scam works this way. A Job posting gets a date and the Unions are notified. The Shakman Monitor is also notified. I was told both are notified by E-mail. Amazing how this is always done proper. Then, after held up in the Water Personnel Department for a week, the worker’s notification is made (posted). This gives advance notice to the insiders. This is a violation to the Shakman Decree. I have made numerous calls to the New and Improved Chicago Inspector General regarding this matter. Two postings of note are up for rebid, the Superintendents of Sewer and Water. This should make it fair for everyone. I am sure the “Banks Boy” might be a little upset, but so be it. The last post of note was the Plumbing Inspector positions, six. (6) This one was held up for a three day period prior to posting. Ms. Harris received a call the day of the posting from me regarding the lack of public posting. This position for the first time ever was posted on time in the Building Department. The notice to the water department facilities was held up. Progress is slow and I think someone should be fired for continuing to hold up job postings. Maybe the Inspector General should visit Luci Pope and get to the bottom of this. When a job is well done, I complement, nice going David Hoffman and the Chicago Inspector General. Patrick McDonough.
Watch this Video, click here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5246416885298981024 This is a City of Chicago Street Sweeper. The Chicago Employee parked his street sweeper next to this fire hydrant and washed his street sweeper. The water shot high into the sky. The entire intersection was drenched and flooded. This is a waste of water. There are pressure washing companies from Cicero that come to various Chicago Department of Water Management sites and clean the trucks. They may not be Union companies with Unions Workers, but if the Chicago Union Business Agents do not care, why should you. Video by Patrick “Deep Water” McDonough.