It was not too long ago when I had a conversation with a frustrated City of Chicago, Department of Water Management employee Thomas Morris. I have tried to help many people go in the right direction to make sure their disputes against the City of Chicago get resolved in a fair and reasonable manner. A common theme is evident almost every time, the offended person made multiple attempts to address the issue with grievance forms, conversations with bosses and management. By the time people come to me they are very frustrated, bitter, and wits end. The conversations with Thomas revealed a very upset Hoisting Engineer that had about as much as he could take. I assist him in the right direction and the process to make corrective measures have begun. I wonder why Chicago Unions sit on the sidelines while employees fight alone. One of the better Unions representing Chicago City Workers is the Laborers Union 1092, I give that Union under the LoVerde leadership the highest rating. Thomas Morris is pictured with Michael J. Greco, his Attorney. Possible Co-counsel includes Russ Stewart, a Federal Level Attorney of the highest ethical standards. I wish good luck to Mr. Morris in his attempts to enforce his legal rights. Mayor Daley should be aware of this and other disputes costing Chicago Taxpayers millions of dollars due to managers that take political consideration before common sense. Taxpayers will be on the hook for millions more! The Shakman Violations in Chicago never stop! Photo taken by Patrick McDonough at Patrick Daley’s old business (MSS). Than business is boarded up now!
11 Replies to “Thomas T. Morris and Michael J. Greco Fight for Workers Rights in Chicago”
Subpoenas probe deals by Obama ex-boss and Daley pal Davis, plus Rezko, Cellini
February 1, 2009
BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
A federal grand jury has subpoenaed records on dozens of low-income housing projects built over the last 30 years by indicted businessman William F. Cellini, convicted political fund-raiser Tony Rezko and City Hall insider Allison S. Davis.
The mountain of documents the grand jury wants from the Illinois Housing Development Authority includes two projects in which President Obama has acknowledged playing a minor role. Both of those projects involved Rezko, a former fund-raiser for Obama. One of them included Davis, who was once Obama’s boss at a small law firm.
Allison Davis, pictured in 2003, has yet to start work on a high-rise for low-income seniors approved by the Illinois Housing Development Authority five years ago. Records on the project have been subpoenaed.
A federal grand jury also has demanded that the Illinois Housing Development Authority turn over records on a dozen other people:
* Nicholas Hurtgen, a former investment banker awaiting trial on corruption charges.
* Brian Hynes, a lobbyist who once represented the state agency.
* Chris Kelly, a close friend and adviser of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
* Mark Kirincich, president of Commonwealth Realty Advisors, a company started by William Cellini.
* Robert Kjellander, a lobbyist, Republican Party heavyweight and close Cellini pal.
* Milan Petrovic, a lobbyist and Blagojevich buddy.
* Paul Rosenfeld, an IHDA lobbyist and Blagojevich insider.
* Marvin Traylor, a lobbyist and Cellini associate.
* John Wyma, a lobbyist and longtime Blagojevich associate.
* Kelly King Dibble, former IHDA executive director and relative of President Obama’s adviser Valerie Jarrett.
* Darren Collier, an ex-IHDA staffer.
* Michael Todd, an ex-IHDA staffer.
The grand jury is the same panel that’s investigating alleged corruption under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
It issued the subpoena Sept. 29, 2008, newly released records show.
Four months later, IHDA officials are still gathering the documents, memos, e-mails and other records involving “more than dozens” of low-income housing projects funded by the state agency, said IHDA attorney Mary Kenney. “It’s a very large production,” said Kenney.
Cellini — a powerful Republican Party figure ever since he served as transportation secretary under then-Gov. Richard Ogilvie in the late 1960s — has been getting deals at IHDA since 1976, when James R. Thompson was elected governor.
Cellini’s companies have gotten more than $90 million in loans from IHDA, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported. New Frontier — one of his companies — has built or managed thousands of apartments paid for by the state agency. Among them: Lake Shore Plaza, 445 E. Ohio, which is the only Cellini project specifically mentioned in the subpoena.
Cellini, 73, of Springfield, is awaiting trial on federal charges that he tried to extort Hollywood movie producer Tom Rosenberg to make campaign contributions to Blagojevich in exchange for state pension business. According to Rosenberg’s testimony at Rezko’s trial last year, the scheme was hatched in a meeting of Cellini, Rezko, Davis and Blagojevich’s close friend Chris Kelly.
Attorneys for Cellini, Rezko and Davis didn’t return calls seeking comment.
Rezko was convicted of wide-ranging corruption involving state government deals and has been cooperating with federal investigators.
Rezko, 53, got his first deal from IHDA after he helped Jim Edgar’s successful campaign for governor in 1991. Rezko got the funding after hiring Cellini’s partner, Robert Kjellander, to lobby the state.
In all, Rezko got more than a dozen deals from IHDA, often with the help of Davis’ law firm, Davis Miner Barnhill, a small firm that specialized in helping developers get government funding for low-income housing.
Obama was a lawyer with the Davis firm. The president has said he did six hours of legal work in 1995 on one of the deals now under scrutiny by the grand jury, helping Rezko and his business partners — Bishop Arthur Brazier and the Rev. Leon Finney — turn an abandoned nursing home in Hyde Park into low-income apartments.
Six years later, Rezko’s company stopped paying the mortgage. IHDA foreclosed on the property in 2001, as Rezko’s low-income housing empire began to collapse, falling into physical and financial ruin.
Davis has long been one of Mayor Daley’s top allies in the African-American community. Davis left the law firm in 1996 to become a developer, getting IHDA funding for four projects.
Among those was a senior citizen building he and Rezko built at 4801 S. Cottage Grove, just outside the Illinois Senate district Obama then represented. Though the project was outside his district, Obama wrote letters in 1998 to IHDA and city officials, urging them to give Davis and Rezko government funding for the project. Obama has said he didn’t remember writing the letters, which he has called “form letters” sent out by a staff member.
Five years ago, when former Rezko employee Kelly King Dibble ran IHDA under Blagojevich, the agency agreed to give Davis as much as $11 million to build Cleveland Tower, a high-rise for low-income seniors. Davis has yet to begin construction on the project at West Chicago Avenue and Cleveland, for which IHDA has given him a two-year extension.
Cleveland Tower is the only Davis project named in the federal subpoena. It’s being developed by Neighborhood Rejuvenation Partners, a company that listed the mayor’s nephew Robert Vanecko among its principals in documents it filed seeking government funding, the Sun-Times has reported. The mayor’s office and a Vanecko spokesman have said that Vanecko merely did consulting work for the company.
Davis, 69, and Vanecko, 43, are partners in a start-up real investment company, DV Urban Realty Partners. Five city pension funds have invested $63 million with the Davis and Vanecko company.
(Response) Lets not forget Patrick Dalet and the Sewer Deal, still waiting!
5-year water bill for city worker
INVESTIGATION | Ordered to pay 5 years of bills
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January 31, 2009
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter email@example.com
A city inspector whose brother is Chicago’s former zoning administrator has been ordered to pay more than five years’ worth of water bills after building a new home without installing a water meter.
Richard Kus, an $85,680-a-year electrical inspector for the city Buildings Department, had a water meter installed last week at the home he built in 2003 in the 5500 block of South Natoma. It was installed after the inspector general’s office requested inspection and billing records for the home.
Kus has been a city inspector for eight years and is the brother of former zoning administrator Ed Kus.
How a home without a water meter passed muster with Richard Kus’ fellow inspectors in the departments of Buildings and Water Management is being investigated by city Inspector General David Hoffman, sources said. Hoffman declined to comment. Richard Kus could not be reached.
“If he didn’t have a meter installed, and he wasn’t receiving a water bill, it’s safe to assume that he knew he wasn’t paying for water,” said Bill McCaffrey, Buildings Department spokesman. “Once we complete an investigation, we’ll determine what the discipline will be, if any.”
A permit for the water meter was issued in 2003, but it was never picked up by the contractor at the Water Management meter shop. Contractors are supposed to install meters within 14 days after a permit is issued. Water Management spokesman Tom LaPorte declined to comment.
Water Management plans to bill Richard Kus for water dating to 2003, based on lot size and the number of faucets, toilets and hose connections.
Since the mid-1970s, all commercial properties and newly constructed homes and residences undergoing major renovation have been required to have meters.
The missing water meter is the latest embarrassment for the scandal-scarred Buildings Department. Operation Crooked Code — a joint city-federal investigation of the Departments of Buildings and Zoning — has already resulted in charges against 23 people, including 15 city employees, and more indictments are expected. Nine of those defendants have been convicted. Charges include accepting cash bribes, free remodeling and tickets to sporting events in exchange for ignoring building code violations or speeding up paperwork.
Pat at times the unions are just as culpable as the city for the systemic abuse and corruption.
Consider that it is an unfair labor practice to cause an employer to discriminate against a bargaining unit member. Didn’t the unions favoring certain individuals on the clout list discriminate against union members who were excluded from the list?
My union selects steward and assistant stewards on my jobsite. Historically many individuals on my job who were selected as stewards and assistant stewards have been promoted to foreman. These appointments are largely determined by political considerations.
Don’t forget that the most embarassing hiring faux pas involved the 18 year old son of a union official. The Building Inspector debacle was the catalyst that focused the publics attention on hiring abuses within city government.
The unions seemed content with the status quo insofar as the hiring and promotional processes were concerned. Alderman Thomas Allen (38th), who is heavily supported by my union has consistently been one of Federal Monitor Noelle Brennan’s harshest critics. There is a strong undercurrent that is resistant to the implementation of reform measures. It’s reminiscent of foot soldiers circling and protecting the fort from further attack.
After the implementation of reform measures, the caliber of those recruited during the last two hiring cycles was remarkable. All served apprenticeships and in addition some had contractors licenses. A vast improvement over those who garnered a job via “recommendations” of a dubious nature.
Unfortunately some of the men were recently laid off, a casualty of the worsening economy and budget cutbacks. I’m certain that my union did everything humanely possible to save as many bargaining unit jobs as they could with the present administration.
While I’ve had my differences with my business agent, many in fact, he was visibly shaken at the prospect of union members losing their job.
In some instances, unions seem to be more effective at representing groups rather than individuals, especially those who have incurred the wrath of city supervisors. In some cases the abuse is aided and abetted by the union.
It’s very frustrating to experience bullying and harassment on the job. Some city bosses seem to relish making people miserable. The culmulative effects of the abuse are compounded by the indifference of union representatives. When we pay our dues, it is done with the expectation that terms of our contract will be enforced impartially.
I’ve walked many miles in Mr. Morris’ shoes and I have empathy for what he is experiencing. Going through the legal process is an arduous, expensive, emotionally draining, time consuming proposition with no guarantee of relief. I hope that Mr. Morris finds a quick and equitable solution to his labor difficulties.
For Immediate Release Roberto Garcia – 312.402.7459 (Cell)
January 30, 2008 or Ana Maria Montes de Oca-Rojas – 708.712.0202
State Board Of Elections Begins Investigation Into Larry Dominick
− Political Fund Purchased Business Property Owned By Larry Dominick, Inc. −
CHICAGO – The Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) has begun a review of the financial dealings of Larry Dominick’s political action committee fund after a complaint was filed detailing the improper use of funds for a private business venture and the existence of a separate undisclosed political account.
“According to corporate documents released from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, Cicero Town President Larry Dominick and Cicero Town Attorney Michael Delgaldo started a private For Profit corporation for Larry Dominick on March 7, 2006. On March 8, 2006, Larry Dominick’s political fund reported a $120,350.84 transfer of funds to David Cwik for the purchase of a business property on 35th Street to be owned by Larry Dominick’s personal business corporation,” said Roberto Garcia. “Apparently they tried to use similar names for Larry’s political fund and Larry’s private corporation to avoid suspicion, but it is clear that political funds were used to fund a private personal business venture, which is expressly prohibited by Illinois state law.”
The $120,350.84 transfer of funds to Larry Dominick’s personal corporation is income which should be taxed at the rate of 39%, or $46,936 for the 2006 tax year. It is unknown whether Larry Dominick or his corporation paid those Federal income taxes to the United States Internal Revenue Service or if the corresponding corporate taxes were paid to the State of Illinois. Dominick also paid his property taxes on the building through the political fund in 2008 in the amount of $7,408.66, which is also taxable income.
“Separately, Larry Dominick’s attorney Richard Means disclosed in a document submitted to the Cicero Electoral Board that Larry Dominick had a “separate ballot access account” which is not disclosed to the State Board of Elections as required by law,” said Garcia. “If what Dominick’s lawyer said is true, they have a slush fund which they don’t report to the government, which is a violation of the Illinois Election Code. Slush funds were outlawed over 35 years ago but the news apparently hasn’t reached Cicero Town Hall yet.”
The Illinois State Board Of Elections will schedule a closed preliminary hearing to establish the nature of the offenses before the February 24, 2008 primary, after which all hearings on the matter will be open to the public. The State Board of Election will determine whether the transactions should be referred to Illinois Attorney General for prosecution. The matter has also been referred to the United States Department of the Treasury – Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald.
Tom is a nice guy, fun to work with. He does a nice job!
This is a good guy Mr. Tommy Morris, The city of Chicago, has no morals on how it effects other persons lives, lets take for instance, the Dominick (@#@###)This guy has so much clout! That the city knew about his violent temper when he was fighting with Mr Randazzo, He cold cocked him on the chin while he was driving, But the interesting thing was that Mr. Randazzo was going right for the playground area where there were little kids playing on the swings there (it was a T-intersection)with their mothers, Now imagine the possibilities if Mr. Randazzo was not thinking about those children in the school parking lot, he was driving a “Vactor truck” (Huge Truck)And its weight was in the vicinity of 80,000 lbs fully loaded. Which it was!! But I just heard he had a hearing and the city has done nothing to him in this hearing. The City knows he is “nuts” in my opinion. Also Pat he has threaten to shoot you and throw a moltof cocktail threw you windows! and Mr. Randazzo too. I also heard he brought a shotgun to work, Mr. Anton has filed charges against him, but the city has done nothing about that either.
I feel this guy might show up one day and just kill everyone! when will the city open its eyes Pat? when some one gets KILLED? or Burnt. There are witness’s to these remarks he said. I like to order you guys some Bulletproof vest to wear, you guys are Fighters!!
Chicago mayor calls city workers clock watchers
CHICAGO – Chicago Mayor Richard Daley gave a not very complementary opinion of city workers while explaining why he sold four of the city’s assets for $6 million.
Daley said Wednesday city employees are “clock-watchers” who don’t think about customers. He contends workers in the private sector are going to make sure the customer is satisfied.
Chicago’s sell-off of city assets started with the Skyway, continued with downtown parking garages and Midway Airport and culminated with the December sale of Chicago parking meters.
Daley’s actions have been criticized by other politicians, including several running for White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s 5th Congressional District seat.
Daley said it is good to think outside the box. He pointed out the cash allows the city to keep building while other cities are cutting back.
Time for Mayor Daley to leave the country again!
Daley’s kid Patrick must have stepped into a lot of dog doo doo because he is hiding from the state of Illinois. He is no-where to be found. If time keeps going by without an indictment of him or Rich Daley then it is clear that Patrick Fitzgerald for some reason is covering up for the Daleys. You do not see Fitzgerald going after Daley’s top men the way he is gunning for Blago or the way he did George Ryan. SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE! Need I say (“Prosecutorial Misconduct”!) I love Fitz, but something is not looking proper here. I am not an idiot!
(Response) The Daley’s mob outfit plays the waiting game well. We are entitled to answers, it is public money!
Hello Patrick McDougha,
This is to Mr.Ryan,
Fitz has Mr. Daley, He is waiting for the court case of Alfredo, they are squeezing him!! he will talk !! so this way with Al’s testimony they can add more charges to Daley and Daley’s kid, This is what I believe, they are going after Daley’s Kid (Patrick) and Daley will try to make a deal for his kid, But what kind of deal will he make, will he call Obama for help? This is already done Fitz already has enough on Daley he is just waiting for the right time to go Public! wait its COMING!!! Be patient, he is going to jail.
for that dominic thing with no k, don’t you stupid people think that if he had a gun he would be long gone(GET A LIFE)!!!!!!!!
dominic is a good guy i work with him for many years and he is not stupid nor dumb to be acting like this at work……PEOPLE LIKE ANTON like to make money/randazzo………..randazzo is a shit talker and needs a huge wake up call. leave dominic alone he is a hard working man!
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