Chicago Department of Water Management Bosses double dipping

Governor Blagojevich is on the right direction as he points to some politicians that enjoy two full time jobs, both on the public payroll. I have for quite some time brought to your attention John "Hired Trucks and Hiring Scandal" D'Amico and Rep. Luis Arroyo, both double-dipping deluxe. I have gone to The Capital Fax Blog and made many posts for years on this subject. Chicago Clout another top of the line Chicago Political website knocked this arrangement many times. John D'Amico family has a fuzzy past, mob dealings, and the Laurino family. Again, when I hear of John D'Amico, I want to watch the Godfather and watch the crime family go "legit".
John D'Amico has enjoyed favorable promotions (rigged) and a pot full of cash when he ran for office. Hired Truck companies, Unions, liquor interests, gambling interests, and other shady goons came out of the woodwork to pony up. D'Amico has his State Rep. cards printed before he won the seat. City of Chicago Department of Water Management workers worked Election Day and the precincts. In pact election officials stopped D'Amico and his brother from breaking election laws. His goons still get preferential treatment in positions and overtime. John D'Amico is a "made" man at the Department of Water Management. $165,547.00 is a nice yearly sum for two part time jobs. As Chicago City workers face layoffs, D'Amico, a caulker, told Rich Miller of Capitol Fax "[Gov. Blagojevich said] "They fear their leader, Mr. Madigan, and if Mike Madigan tells them to vote a certain way, they will tell you privately, and I've had these discussions with a couple of state reps, one of whom said, 'I'm afraid if I vote for the jobs bill I'll be fired from my job at Streets and Sanitations [sic]. I'm afraid I'll lose my job.' " […]
D'Amico said he told the governor that he has been in the union for 26 years and there's no way he could be fired over a legislative issue unless they first canned a whole bunch of people with less seniority to get at him. Rep. D'Amico said he told the governor he opposed the capital plan because Mayor Daley was against it. D'Amico told me he informed the governor that he didn't fear losing his job over the capital bill. […]
A source close to [Congressman Rahm Emanuel] confirmed everything D'Amico said."
What a great Guy! Right dudes!
Rep. Luis Arroyo is a Mell guy and I like Mell. However my sources tell me Luis Arroyo enjoy fun and games near the offices of high ranking officials at the Jardine Plant, a great place to hide people doing nothing all day. I hope to give you more information on the projects administrator-manage jobs. John Daley's secretary enjoys the apx. $100,000.00 job doing data entry and the Tadin family enjoy two of the jobs.
Right thing to do — or is it revenge?
DOUBLE-DIPPING | Critics say gov's bid to bar some lawmakers — all of them Dems — from holding 2nd posts done out of 'spite'
August 31,
BY CHRIS FUSCO Staff Reporter
When Michael Frerichs won election to the Illinois Senate in 2006, he could have kept his job as Champaign County's auditor.
But Frerichs quit the county post, largely because he didn't want voters in his Downstate district to perceive him as feasting at the public trough.
"In my part of the state, if I tried to have both jobs, I eventually would have neither job," the Democrat explained.
Not all Illinois lawmakers think like Frerichs, though. In the last decade, dozens have served in the General Assembly while also working city, county and township jobs.
Now, however, Gov. Blagojevich wants to limit so-called double dipping by legislators as part of his controversial rewrite of a state ethics bill. In a letter to the General Assembly last week, the governor wrote that "dual government employment creates the potential for a conflict of interest because a legislator's duties to his or her constituents and his or her public employer are not always consistent."
Blagojevich, however, isn't proposing an outright ban on the practice. Lawmakers who have other government jobs as elected officials, state university professors, police officers or firefighters could continue to hold those jobs.
That would mean only half of the 20 lawmakers who have two government jobs would be forced to leave one of them, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows (see graphic).
Nine of the 10 legislators who would be forced to quit a job are House Democrats — a statistic that has prompting lawmakers in both parties to accuse the governor of using the double-dip issue to exact political revenge. House Democrats have staunchly opposed the governor's legislative priorities this year, even though they're in the same political party as Blagojevich.
"The governor had no problem with us having these jobs before this year," said Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-Chicago), an employee of Chicago's Planning Department. "It's obvious he's targeting us out of spite."
Legislators also are taking issue with Blagojevich's semantics, contending they can't technically double-dip because Illinois law prohibits them from being paid more than once by a public body during the same hour.
Illinois is among seven states to handle dual employment this way, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Other states' rules vary widely (see map), reflecting the trick bag lawmakers are in when it comes to balancing conflicts of interest with their rights to earn a living.
State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago) said she earned less than 10 percent of her $52,081 salary as an administrative assistant at Cook County's Provident Hospital last year because she spent so much time in Springfield. Her legislative salary is $74,027.
"I make no apologies," Flowers said. "If I have to have another job to make ends meet, so be it."
Legislators also note that the General Assembly is supposed to be a part-time post and that many members work in the private sector.
Sen. William Peterson (R-Long Grove) is among the 10 lawmakers who would be allowed to keep his second job under the governor's proposed rules. He has been the elected supervisor of Vernon Township for more than 30 years.
Peterson, however, is not seeking re-election to his $83,804 Senate seat this fall so he can focus on his $90,000-a-year township job.
The two jobs "worked well together until the last couple of years," when the spring legislative session went well beyond its traditional time limits, Peterson said.
Peterson and other lawmakers predicted the Legislature will try to block the governor's rewrite before the end of the year. If lawmakers refuse to accept Blagojevich's changes but do not vote to block them, the original ethics bill they sent him would die.
The double-dip rules mark an effort "to get back at the House Democrats," Peterson said. "Certainly it makes it even more so when he's exempting elected officials."
Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero countered that politics has nothing to do with the governor's proposed rules. He also said it's fair to allow elected officials to keep their second jobs because they serve at the will of voters, not Mayor Daley or Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Working a city or county job could place legislators "in an awkward position" to choose between their bosses and their constituents on important issues, Guerrero said.
Contributing: Dave McKinney

4 Replies to “Chicago Department of Water Management Bosses double dipping”

  1. D’Amico’s lineage cuts both ways
    Family has had clout–and scandal
    By John Chase
    Tribune staff reporter

    March 11, 2004

    Born to a family steeped in Chicago politics, John D’Amico seemed destined to run for public office.

    His grandfather was Anthony Laurino, the late patron of the Northwest Side’s vaunted 39th Ward Democratic Organization. His aunt is Laurino’s daughter, Margaret Laurino, the ward’s current alderman. And his uncle is Randy Barnette, the party’s ward committeeman.

    The family connections have helped D’Amico, a Chicago Department of Water Management foreman, become the apparent frontrunner over attorney Dennis Fleming in the Democratic primary for an Illinois House seat that has opened up due to redistricting.

    But as D’Amico tries to make his case to voters in the 15th District, which serves parts of Chicago’s Northwest Side and sections of Lincolnwood, Niles and Morton Grove, he is finding that his family’s history cuts both ways.

    Both of D’Amico’s parents served time in federal prison in the 1990s as part of a massive city and county ghost-payroll scandal. His grandfather was indicted as part of the scandal that allowed people to collect government paychecks for little or no work, but he died before his case went to trial.

    D’Amico himself is also facing questions about his oversight of a seven-member city crew suspended in January for sitting around on the job. The incident came to light as the city delved into its scandal-plagued Hired Truck Program.

    He also has taken campaign contributions from trucking companies the city suspended last month for wrongdoing related to the scandal.

    Fleming, 52, has begun hammering D’Amico on his family’s notorious history in a series of mailings delivered to voters’ homes.

    “What I’m trying to do is give the people of the 15th District a choice, as opposed to voting for another member of the Laurino clan,” he said.

    But D’Amico seems to be leading–if the hundreds of green-and-white campaign signs peppering neighborhood lawns are any indication.

    Still, questions do remain.

    D’Amico’s father, also named John, was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison in 1995 for concealing ghost-payrolling schemes from authorities. His mother, Marie, served 18 months for holding no-show jobs in three different government agencies over a 12-year period, all the result of the clout of her father, Anthony Laurino.

    Today, the two are busy baby-sitting their three grandchildren while John D’Amico and his wife work and he campaigns, D’Amico said.

    “They made a mistake and they paid the ultimate price,” he said of his parents. “That’s something that doesn’t go on anymore and that was a serious mistake. But that’s all my opponent has got to run on.”

    As far as criticisms that are being aimed at D’Amico himself, he said he was busy overseeing other jobs and was unaware what the crew that was suspended was doing. Though D’Amico himself was not reprimanded, he doesn’t think the others should have been punished as harshly as they were.

    “I didn’t think they deserved that. From what their [work] sheets said, they were doing their job, but those couple of days I had a lot of things to oversee,” he said. “You can’t always go to every job and check everything out.”

    D’Amico also acknowledged accepting $1,000 in donations from Chica Trucking Inc. and $300 from Blaz Cartage Co., two Chicago firms suspended as part of the Hired Truck scandal.

    He said he has already returned the Chica donation and plans to give back the one from Blaz. “I didn’t ask anyone to give donations, a lot of these people are personal friends,” he said. “I know them. I’ve gotten to know them over many years. Over the years you develop a friendship.”

    But Fleming doesn’t call those friendships–he calls them conflicts of interest. “It just doesn’t seem right,” he said.

    While Fleming said he isn’t part of the ward machine, he doesn’t pretend to be a “lakefront liberal” either. He’s worked for a number of Cook County Democratic Party stalwarts, including State’s Atty. Richard Devine, Sheriff Michael Sheahan and Mayor Richard Daley.

    “One of the advantages I think I have is I know these people,” he said. “I know them, but I’m not beholden to them. That’s the difference.”

    But D’Amico, a graduate of Weber High School, said he’s confident he will win. He said that in addition to having the backing of the ward’s Democratic Party, he has lived in the 15th District his entire life.

    “I know the 15th District. I’ve been walking and talking to people about this race since August, and people are really beginning to respond,” he said.

  2. New job after layoff often tougher to find, pays less
    ILLINOIS | 17-week search, 13% lower wage the norm in ’07

    September 1, 2008Recommend (1)

    BY FRANCINE KNOWLES [email protected]
    This Labor Day, Chicagoan Cassandra Reza has less cause for celebration. After getting laid off at Enesco when it shuttered its Elk Grove distribution facility, it took her nine months to find another job, and it was for 15 percent less pay.

    Her situation isn’t unique. According to government statistics and those who assist the unemployed in finding work, it’s taking longer for workers who’ve been axed to land new jobs, and when they do, it’s often for less pay and benefits.

    » Click to enlarge image Cassandra Reza, with her children Jeffrey and Melissa, needed nine months after being laid off to find a new job. Now she keeps getting laid off just before benefits kick in.
    (John J. Kim/Sun-Times)

    RELATED STORIESSavage: Job concerns this Labor Day

    Nationally, the average time the unemployed were out of work in 2007 was 16.8 weeks, and in July 2008, it rose to 17.1 weeks, according to federal data. But the number of people who’ve been out of work 27 weeks or more had shot up 28 percent in July from a year earlier, says outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas CEO John Challenger.

    The Illinois Department of Employment Security couldn’t provide 2008 data on how long it’s taking the unemployed to land jobs in the state, but it said last year, the average was 17.3 weeks, a little higher than the national rate. The unemployment rate in Illinois has surged from 5.1 percent a year ago to 7.3 percent in July.

    The National Employment Law Project notes that in July, 14,752 workers in Illinois exhausted their six months of unemployment benefits without finding work — the most in any one month in four years.

    As for pay, 45 percent of U.S. workers who lost jobs from 2005 to 2007 and were re-employed took pay cuts, a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report reveals. One in four suffered earnings losses of 20 percent or more.

    Among Illinois workers who lost their jobs in 2007, 66 percent were working this year, but on average they were making 13 percent less than their last job, according to data from IDES labor market economist Mitch Daniels.

    In some sectors, Illinois workers took bigger pay cuts:

    • • Of those employed in mining and construction, only 25 percent of them had landed jobs, and it was for 43 percent less pay.

    • • The 68 percent of those in financial activities who found work took a 33 percent pay cut.

    • • The 63 percent of workers in wholesale and retail trade who were re-employed took a 20 percent pay cut.

    Before her job was cut, Reza had worked for 25 years at Enesco, maker of Precious Moments collectibles. She worked the day shift handling shipping and receiving duties, made $15.30 an hour and had full benefits, she said. She landed a new job in the distribution facility of another company last September with a starting salary of $12.93. The company provides benefits to employees after 90 days.

    “I’ve been laid off twice,” she said of her new employer. “Every time I get close to the 90 days, they lay me off.”

    When called back to work the last time, her pay bumped up to $14.47 because she agreed to work a second-shift job (5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.), she said. But her pay is still 5 percent less than she made at Enesco, and given that she has two children, the hours aren’t family friendly, she noted. She also fears she’ll be laid off again before she hits the 90-day threshold.

    Challenger said his company is seeing more clients taking longer to find jobs and accepting lower pay.

    “In the last 12 months, the number of people who are unemployed has increased by 1.6 million people [nationally],” he said. “That does represent competition. Employers know they have more people to look at. There’s less pressure on them to raise their pay. They can find good people who might take less.”

  3. September 04, 2008 | 7:59 AM CHICAGO — A former Chicago plumbing inspector has pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to a postal inspector as part of a federal investigation of bribery.
    Forty-one-year-old Eric Reyes told U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle on Wednesday that he knowingly made false statements. Reyes could be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison at a hearing scheduled for November.
    According to prosecutors, Reyes tried to get a letter of intent from a licensed plumber to accompany a permit for a multiunit building that a co-worker was handling.
    Reyes denied he took such action when he was questioned about it by a postal inspector.

  4. Is he related to Victor?? if so, he is related to Virginia, who has half of the city contract to install the remote read water meters, her company name is Toltec

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