Shakman Victories Continue for Chicago City Workers

Enjoy the article below. More lawsuits for Chicago City Workers at Taxpayer's expense. Patrick McDonough.
Chicago judge OKs plan to bar political patronage hiring Friday, January 18, 2008 | 5:50 PM CHICAGO — A federal judge approved Friday a plan to end political patronage hiring at Chicago's City Hall after modifying it to require officials to log all contacts about hiring from aldermen or the mayor.
U.S. District Judge Wayne R. Andersen also warned city officials that court-ordered monitoring of their hiring practices will not end until they stamp out the tradition of giving city payroll jobs to campaign workers.
"Court oversight will continue until the city is in substantial compliance," Andersen said in his eight-page order.
Patronage — the practice of giving city jobs to doorbell-ringing precinct captains who get out the vote for the mayor and his allies — has been part of Chicago politics since anyone can remember. A court decree banning it has been in effect for decades but has been all but ignored.
Andersen approved a patronage-ending blueprint submitted by the city with one modification. The plan requires city officials to report calls involving hiring to a newly appointed hiring process compliance monitor.
City officials wanted such reports to be made only if such calls represented "an improper contact based on political reasons or factors from any elected official." Andersen said that placed too much responsibility for deciding what was improper on those getting the call.
He ordered officials to log all calls involving hiring.
But Andersen found in favor of city officials on another issue.
Andersen already has appointed Chicago attorney Noelle Brennan as the monitor to oversee efforts to end patronage practices. But the blueprint he adopted Friday calls for a separate, hiring process compliance monitor to be hired by the city to oversee the plan.
Brennan and critics of City Hall such as attorney Michael Shakman had wanted the compliance monitor to report directly to the city's inspector general, David Hoffman, a well regarded former federal prosecutor.
Andersen said Hoffman "appears to be doing an excellent job." But he agreed with city officials that there was no reason why the new compliance monitor should not report to the head of the city office of compliance.
He said that would work as long as city officials were sincere in trying to make the process work.
"He's more optimistic than I am about the willingness of the city to change its ways," said Shakman, for many years the most outspoken critic of the patronage system. He said he doubted that there has been "the kind of change in culture you need to make reforms stick."
The battle over patronage hiring at City Hall has been raging in the courts for decades. It was Shakman who in 1969 filed a lawsuit that is still alive before Andersen seeking to wipe out the patronage system.
Shakman filed the suit after he was beaten in a race for delegate to the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention. He blamed the help his opponent got from a horde of precinct captains and other doorbell ringing campaign workers who had jobs on the city payroll.

2 Replies to “Shakman Victories Continue for Chicago City Workers”

  1. I find it amazing that the federal monitor says rigged hiring is still rampant but what did she expect. City workers are still in charge of who gets hired. Were federal monitors giving the job interviews. NO. Were federal monitors doing background checks on prospective employees. NO. Were federal monitors in the human resources department going over applications to see who was the best qualified for the job. Of course not. So miss Brennan just what were you monitoring. Having a monitor sit in the room during the interview was a joke. You might as well have had Bozo the clown in there. What did you think the interviewer was going to ask the applicant “by the way who do you know” while he was sitting there. As I have said all along this was all a big scam. The monitor was never there to monitor hiring they were there to give the impression they were monitoring hiring. How else could this be going on right under her nose if they were really there to fix things. The only way rigged hiring is ever going to be rooted out is to have an independant company do the interviews and hiring. Otherwise it’s business as usual in good ol’ corrupt Chicago.

    (Response) A job well done. More on this soon.

  2. “City workers are still in charge of who gets hired.”

    “The only way rigged hiring is ever going to be rooted out is to have an independent company do the interviews and hiring.”

    The only way… to remove those committing the frauds.

    By denying them reelection.

    When a limb is rotten, filled with putrid decay, you cut it off, you don’t put a band-aid on it.

    When cancerous cells exist, a body with a strong immune system destroys them. A body with a weak immune system allows cancerous cells to flourish, thus, sickening the entire body, leading to eventual death.

    Our body politic is infested with the cancerous cells of dishonest individuals.

    Any treatment, other than strengthening our political immune system, is doomed to failure.

    The citizens are their own immune system, akin to each citizen/voter being an individual white blood cell.

    In the body, when the white blood cells fail to identify and eliminate cancerous cells, the result is a diseased condition, eventually leading to the death of the body.

    In the body politic, each citizen/voter must dedicate themselves to doing the job of eliminating the cancerous individuals infesting our governments.

    The citizen/voters have failed ion their duty to Democracy.

    Thus, we have what we have.

    Whining about the cancers infecting our governments and occasionally removing a few cancerous individuals does nothing to cure the patient, does less than nothing to return the body politic to a state of authentic health and only pacifies the body politic into thinking that they are healthy.

    Just how sickened does the body politic need to get, before the immune system of the majority of citizen/voters will take action?

    Every election, we, the citizen/voters, have the opportunity to purge our political body of these defective elements.


    Will we ever have the courage, determination and intelligence to do so?


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