Chicago Clout and Patrick Daley Update

The heat is on Patrick Daley big time. The Chicago Department of Water Management Vactors are out rusting and Metropolitan Sanitary Services are taking Chicago City Workers jobs and pensions. The Feds are on this one big time, I will write more on this issue in three weeks. Mayor Daley, will you go to jail for your son? More on some contracts soon. Patrick McDonough.

7 Replies to “Chicago Clout and Patrick Daley Update”

  1. Funding questions travel with Daley
    Corporate sponsors of trips could be concern, group says
    By Gary Washburn | Tribune staff reporter

    The sniffles and a persistent hack prevented Mayor Richard Daley from planned visits to Paris, Madrid, London and Berlin earlier this month, but they didn’t keep him from boarding a plane for Milan, the last destination on what was to have been a whirlwind European trip.

    It was only the latest of several official visits to the northern Italian city this year for Daley. But then that shouldn’t be surprising: Chicago’s mayor has become quite the world traveler.

    Western Europe, Eastern Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East? Been there, done that.

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    And there’s no end to Daley’s travel horizon, especially as Chicago vies to host the 2016 Olympics, and international schmoozing is considered a big part of the game.

    The travel isn’t cheap—one European jaunt this year cost upward of $100,000— and it’s paid for mostly by corporate interests. Because taxpayer money isn’t involved, Daley’s office says it doesn’t track the bills.

    But the outside funding raises questions about possible conflicts of interest, asserted David Morrison, deputy director of the watchdog Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

    If Daley “knows someone else is footing the tab, there may be an inclination to say or do things [on their behalf] that might not be in the public interest,” Morrison said. “If the trip is worth doing, then taxpayers ought to pay for it…If a public official is going, the cleanest source of revenue is public revenue.”

    Jerry Roper, president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, sees no conflict.

    “This builds on the marketing of Chicago and the region internationally,” he said. “When you get the spotlight on Rich Daley . . . we get the attention of presidents of countries. I can remember sitting in [former French President Jacques] Chirac’s living room when they signed the sister cities agreement with Paris.”

    Daley has been quick to dismiss any notion he should be spending less time girdling the globe and more time managing the city he was elected to oversee.

    “I hope you don’t infer just because I take a trip in regards to the Olympics or something else, I’m wasting time. …You are always working in regards to your bid process and describing what Chicago can be, [and] the USA. This is on behalf of the United States of America, not just Chicago,” said Daley in October during an Olympics-related event.

    The mayor closes out 2007 with five overseas journeys under his belt, exceeding by one his total for 2006 when ports of call included Amman, Jordan, Tel Aviv, Beijing, Athens, London and Barcelona. Olympics aside, Daley typically goes abroad for speaking engagements, to promote Chicago for business and travel and generally to heighten Chicago’s profile as an international city.

    When the mayor traveled to the Middle East last spring, he met with local officials to talk about security, education, programs for women and youth and water issues, according to his office. In Beijing in May, the conversations were with officials and business leaders to market Chicago as a global business partner and discuss education, infrastructure and plans for the Olympics. The Chinese capital hosts the Games next summer. Daley also talked Olympics when he visited two other cities in October, Athens (the 2004 host) and London (2012).

    In the recent trip to Milan, Daley was invited to an event hosted by that city’s mayor, to be attended by business and government leaders.

    The mayor usually travels with two or three aides, a group that often includes press secretary Jacquelyn Heard.

    The costs are covered entirely by private funds, according to the mayor’s office.

    An economic development trip to Ireland, Italy, Monaco and Spain last spring, for example, was paid for by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. For an earlier trip to Milan, it was the Rockefeller Foundation, which hosted a summit there.

    The Jewish United Fund paid for part of a Middle East trip last year, the remainder by the not-for-profit Sister Cities program, which promotes cultural, educational and business ties with a list of Chicago “sisters” abroad that has now grown to 27, including Milan.

    Daley has visited 16 of Chicago’s sister cities since becoming mayor in 1989, and the program has been a frequent source of funding for his travel over the years. The money comes from fundraisers, individual donors and corporations, program officials said. The law firm of Baker & McKenzie, which has offices in Paris, helped pay for a Sister Cities trip to the French capital this year for a delegation that included Daley. United Airlines contributed plane tickets for the mayoral trip to China.

    Donations by businesses account for half to three quarters of contributions, said Vallie Szymanski, head of Chicago’s Sister Cities program.

    Some government officials over the years have taken heat for out-of-town trips. So far at least, Daley’s excursions have generated only mild criticism, though some recent barbs have come from Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

    Smarting himself from recent criticism for attending a hockey game in Chicago while the Illinois House was defeating a measure to help Chicago area mass transit agencies, Blagojevich took a poke when Daley was in Milan earlier this month.

    “It would be very helpful to have the mayor help us during crunch time to get the legislature to pass a solution for the Chicago Transit Authority,” the governor told WLS-Ch. 7.

    The next day at a news conference Blagojevich made sure everybody was aware the mayor was away from home.

    “Before Mayor Daley left for Italy, I think he had it right,” the governor said. “We ought to get the legislature to pass the solution to the CTA before the end of the year.”

    Daley earlier had said his brief absence would be a non-factor in the long-running quest for funding from Springfield.

    The mayor’s international travel plans for 2008 have not been disclosed. But that is not unusual. Apparently sensitive to the potential for criticism for being away, Daley’s office often doesn’t formally announce trips, or does so shortly before he departs.

  2. Look its ( ) at it again.He just cant stay away from the cameras.He should be more worried about finding a job to support his family than making up stories about the Daley administration….Whats up with that Monopoly guy!!!!!!!

  3. Christopher Kozicki admits to fixing testing results for city job applicants, then gets promoted. After Kozicki confessed that he helped the well connected get inspector jobs in the Department of Buildings, Inspector General David Hoffman recommended that the planning department fire him. But Mayor Daley overruled Hoffman, with city officials explaining that ousting Kozicki would send the wrong message to whistleblowers. Kozicki, who used to be a driver for Mayor Daley’s younger brother, county commissioner John Daley, ended up with a higher-paying job. Planning department officials wouldn’t return calls for comment on what qualifies Kozicki for a $130,000-a-year position.

  4. Fired city worker to get his job back Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | 10:30 Patrick McDonough claims whistleblowing got him axed

    By Ron MagersJanuary 17, 2006 —

    A Chicago Water Department worker who claims he was fired because of his whistle-blowing in the Hired Truck scandal will be getting his job back. Patrick McDonough’s attorney is calling for an apology from Mayor Daley.
    “The mayor should give Patrick McDonough an award,” said Frank Avila, McDonough’s attorney. “The mayor should call Patrick McDonough in and apologize to Patrick McDonough.”
    McDonough met with his attorneys Tuesday night. They gave him the details about Tuesday’s favorable recommendation by a city personnel board hearing officer.
    McDonough was fired last April for allegedly living outside the city. The hearing officer Tuesday ruled that the city’s surveillance of McDonough was “fatally flawed.”

    McDonough says his problems began with a complaint to his supervisor in 2001.
    “I told my superior that we had way too many trucks on the job site and we were wasting the taxpayers’ money,” said McDonough.
    “He told them what was going on and they did nothing about it,” said Avila. “What was his reward for trying to save the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars? They terminate him.”
    McDonough says he has spent tens of thousands of dollars in winning his case and he is “financially ruined.”
    “I don’t think I should be punished financially and with medical bills for doing what was the right thing,” McDonough said.
    The hearing officer has recommended that six months of McDonough’s back pay be withheld for his alleged failure to cooperate with the city’s investigation. The city personnel board will act on the hearing officer’s recommendations later this month.
    (Copyright ©2007 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

  5. Tomczak: ‘Made’ candidates got city jobs Tuesday, June 06, 2006 | 6:07 PM By Sarah SchulteJune 6, 2006 (Last Updated: 5:46:03 PM) — Defense attorneys in the corruption trial of Mayor Daley’s former patronage chief cross-examined the No. 2 man at the Chicago Water Department. Donald Tomczak testified about the hiring system at city, which prosecutors say favored people with political connections.
    Before defense attorney Tom Durkin had his shot at Tomczak, the 70-year-old spent much of the morning providing damaging evidence in the government’s case against Robert Sorich. Tomczak’s testimony is part of a plea bargain he cut with the government in his role in the Hired Truck scandal.
    Tomczak looked relieved after he finished testifying against his former co-workers and friends. As a key witness for the government in their case against former top Daley aide Robert Sorich and three others, Tomczak let his attorney do the talking.
    “Testifying for two days in a federal courtroom is not easy for anybody. I think it was extremely hard for Mr. Tomczak to do what he did, he’s over 70 years old and it’s been a very hard two days,” said Patrick Cotter, defense attorney.

    For years Tomczak was the No. 2 official in the city Water Department. Despite that, Tomczak testified that he nor his boss, the commissioner, had the authority to hire or promote Water Department employees. Tomczak said Sorich and his boss’s at the intergovernmental affairs office, known as mayor’s patronage office, always had the final say.
    Tomczak testified he was forced to promote a worker that Tomczak said had somewhat of a drinking problem. Tomczak said, when given a list of candidates for a job, it was not usually the most qualified person that got the job, it was the candidate who was the best political worker.
    Tomczak referred to those who got the jobs as, “being made.”
    Tomczak himself recommended workers from his political organization for jobs and promotions. The 70-year-old testified that he would give out overtime as a reward for employees that worked hard on political campaigns.
    Tomczak also admitted that interviews were rigged and ratings forms were falsified to make sure certain candidates got the job.
    “He told the truth when the government was asking the questions and he told the truth when the defense was asking the questions. The rest is up to the jury,” said Cotter.
    Defense attorney Tom Durkin said his job was to pick candidates to make sure the work force was diversified. But when Durkin asked Tomczak if Sorich never asked about the qualifications of the candidates.
    Under cross-examination, Durkin did get Tomczak to admit the hiring system at City Hall didn’t start and end with Robert Sorich.
    Tomczak will be sentenced at some point soon for his role in the Hired Truck scandal. He faces up to four years in prison.
    You can see the ABC7 report by clicking on the video icon above. You will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to view this video. You can get it FREE by clicking here. NOTE: Video clips will only be available for 5-days from the date

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