Posted on July 30, 2009 by chicagocloutNo more Meters, No more Games, No more Layoffs, No more Daley Protest Chicago July 29, 2009
8 Replies to “No more Meters, No more Games, No more Layoffs, No more Daley Protest Chicago July 29, 2009”
The hispanic protesters were on the ball. I noticed Charles Walker, Patrick McDonough, David McDonough, and Michael McDonough in the mix.
By Chuck GoudieJuly 29, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Chicago may be known as the city that works but to become one of its workers, it still helps to know somebody.
The old line that ward bosses “don’t want nobody that nobody sent” was no joke when it came to a man named Dennis Henderson.
As the I-Team found, Mr. Henderson’s admitted political clout still has him on the hiring line.
Dennis Henderson works for the city of Chicago water management department.
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Henderson is a house drain inspector. He is paid #92,000 a year base salary. But life hasn’t always been this lucrative for Mr. Henderson. Before getting hired by the city in 1996, he worked as a grocery store produce clerk for 15 years. Then he met his guy, known as HDO, the Hispanic Democratic Organization which Henderson joined even though he is not Hispanic. He joined because he heard that if you did political work for HDO, you could get a city job. At least that is what Henderson testified in a city hall corruption case more than three years ago. He especially wanted a house drain inspector’s job, Henderson testified, one of the best jobs with the city.
Click here to watch coverage of inspector Dennis Henderson testifying in the 2006 Robert Sorich trial.
Click here to read a transcript of Henderson’s testimony in the Sorich trial
“We called Henderson for strategic purposes,” said Pat Collins, former federal prosecutor.
Patrick Collins was a wunderkind lawyer in the U.S. attorney’s office in 2006. He led the successful prosecution of Mayor Daley’s patronage chief Robert Sorich who had personally promoted Henderson to drain inspector because of his political work for the Hispanic Democratic Organization.
“We thought it was a compelling story for the jury to see how a guy’s history with the city and his promotions were so extricably intertwined with his work with HDO,” said Collins.
After testifying three years ago, Henderson ducked into a taxi and wouldn’t talk. This transcript of his sworn testimony shows that he admitted campaign and election work had “a lot to do with it,” his hiring.
Nevertheless, three years and two months later, Henderson is still employed by the city where he clouted his way into a job.
GOUDIE: “I’m doing a story on why you still have your job after your testimony in that federal case.
HENDERSON: No comment.
GOUDIE: Are you surprised you’re still working?
HENDERSON: No comment.”
Henderson’s own city business card was the reason the I-Team started working this story. He had left it with this northwest side couple last spring after briefly looking over a mysterious geyser had submerged their basement and backyard in raw sewage.
“I don’t think he knew where the sewer was and that’s his whole job,” said Maureen Chiavola, sewer victim.
We reported last week on how city water officials had bungled the Chiavola family’s sewer situation and returned this week to tell them that the first inspector on the scene was a political hire and experienced grocery clerk.
“I lived here all of my life, I know how it goes. Sometimes it’s who you know. It’s the city that works for one another,” said Tony Chiavola.
HENDERSON: “Sir, I come to work, I do my job…”
Whether Henderson does his job, it is a job he admits getting illegally.
“What the city does with Dennis Henderson from an employment context is purely their decision and the federal government didn’t try to intervene in that in any regard,” said Collins.
What the city of Chicago has done with Dennis Henderson is nothing.
A statement from water commissioner John Spatz says Hnderson “meets all qualifications for the job he has held for seven years” and is “an employee in good standing.”
Former federal prosecutor Collins says there was evidence in the Sorich trial that at least 300 city workers obtained their positions as did Henderson,; hitting Chicago taxpayers like the Chiavola’s twice; once to pay Henderson’s near six figure salary and again for the damage to their property, all of it thanks to clout.
“If you took employment action against the Dennis Henderson’s of the world I’m not sure you could field a work force in some of these larger departments,” said Collins.
City officials said they wouldn’t discuss Henderson’s testimony in a criminal case. That would be the testimony where Henderson admitted getting his job under the table.
And water commissioner Spatz, who last week said he was simply too busy to speak with ABC7, this week said he wouldn’t talk about an employee’s work history.
One city official is apparently concerned about Henderson: Inspector General David Hoffman who is said to have recently questioned Henderson. Hoffman’s office would not comment.
I see in the video a disgraced former Building Inspector, a City of Chicago Plumbers who name is on the clout list and who actually poland. I will put a bullet in your head if I catch you fucking with HDO, prick.
Response to Chuck Goudie Request for an Interview
We respectfully decline your request for an interview with Commissioner John F. Spatz, Jr.
We do not think it appropriate to publicly discuss the work history of an employee in good standing with the City of Chicago.
We would note that Mr. Henderson’s hiring predates the merger of the Departments of Water and Sewers. He was hired in November, 1996, as a Sewer Laborer. After five years of experience, he was promoted to House Drain Inspector in March, 2002.
We also would point out that Mr. Henderson meets all qualifications for the job he has held for seven years (see below).
We will not comment on testimony given in a criminal case.
We also understand that you have inquired of Mr. Henderson’s about his attendance at a Cubs’ game on April 23rd. We have looked into this and determined that he met the customer’s contractor on that date for the televising of the private drain at 6631 W. Albion (the first call to 3-1-1 did not come in until April 30th). The contractor’s equipment was not working properly, so Mr. Henderson was told he would receive a call when the contractor was ready to proceed. Mr. Henderson had made prior arrangements for a half-day of vacation that day, and he took it. The call from the contractor did not come until days later.
With respect to the parking placard: Our Plumbing Inspectors and House Drain Inspectors are issued such placards, along with clear and extensive instructions. The placards are to be used only for temporary parking on residential streets where parking permits are required. They are explicitly prohibited from using them at parking meters or outside of their official duties and work hours. Each employee signs for the placard and is responsible for its appropriate use. It remains property of the City of Chicago.
CLASS TITLE: House Drain Inspector
Training and Experience. Two years of progressively responsible experience in the inspection or construction and repair of drains and sewers, or an equivalent combination of training and experience. A valid State of Illinois driver’s license is required.
Knowledge, Abilities and Skill. Knowledge of sewer and drain construction methods and materials. Knowledge of applicable provisions of the Municipal Code. Knowledge of departmental rules and regulations.
Ability to read and interpret blueprints. Ability to prepare simple reports. Ability to use appropriate instruments to determine line and grade for drains.
Skill in dealing effectively and courteously with the general public. Skill in the application of the methods and procedures of sewer and drain inspections. Skill in following oral and written instructions.
Funny thing is, Dennis Henderson is the most competent house drain inspector working for Water Management
Laid-off city drivers protest Chicago’s shift to private firms
Firm tied to insider among those getting contract
By Dan P. Blake and Dan Mihalopoulos | Tribune reporters
August 1, 2009
About 60 recently laid-off Chicago truck drivers picketed Friday at a city facility on the South Side, protesting that politically connected private companies are now doing work public employees performed for Mayor Richard Daley’s administration.
The protesters were among 141 drivers fired last month in a cost-cutting move after their union refused to accept unpaid furlough days and a reduction in overtime pay.
Under a deal that went into effect July 1, the city hired private contractors to haul construction debris from city work sites for the Water Management Department. Among the companies chosen was Reliable Asphalt Corp., which received a $158 million, three-year contract.
Reliable owner Michael Vondra has donated tens of thousands of dollars to local politicians, including Daley, the Democratic organization in the mayor’s 11th Ward power base and the pro-Daley Hispanic Democratic Organization. City records show Reliable’s lobbyists on the deal are Victor Reyes, a former Hispanic Democratic Organization chairman and top mayoral aide, and David Bonoma, son of Daley’s longtime secretary.
“This is the second phase of Hired Truck,” said laid-off driver Alex Kantrowitz, referring to the City Hall program that was disbanded amid federal bribery charges.
Since the demise of the Hired Truck program, the city had used its own trucks and drivers to haul construction debris, said water department spokesman Tom LaPorte.
He said it made better sense for the city to use the same companies that provide materials to its work sites to also haul away debris.
MR.THOMAS P CLAIR OF LOCAL 726 OF THE TEAMSTER RETIRE AS OF FRIDAY JULY 31 2009 AND MORE TO COME.IS HE GOING TO TESTIFY FOR THE GOVERNMENT ABOUT HIS FELLOW UNION OFFICIALS AND LET’S NOT FORGET MR.DENNIS GANNON. IT’S ABOUT TIME.
(Response) I was told to keep this hush hush National Teamsters takes over City Hall truck drivers’ union
Posted by Dan Mihalopoulos at 4:06 p.m.
The local labor group that represents City Hall’s truck drivers was taken over today by the Washington, D.C.-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
In a telephone interview, IBT spokesman Galen Munroe confirmed the move affecting Teamsters Local 726.
“Local 726 was put into trusteeship today,” Munroe said. “Beyond that, we can’t comment.”
Local 726 leaders did not return calls seeking comment. City sources said the local’s top official, Tom Clair, resigned Friday.
Last month, Clair and other local leaders rejected Mayor Richard Daley’s demands for pay cuts, including unpaid furlough days and compensatory time off instead of overtime pay, which is promised under the union’s contract with the Daley administration.
Daley then laid off 141 city truck drivers whose duties include driving garbage trucks and snow plows. The Teamsters were one of two labor groups that declined to make contract concessions.
City truck driver Vince Tenuto Jr., who lost the last union election to Clair in 2007, said today he and other members had brought allegations of wrongdoing against the local’s leadership to the attention of union officials in Washington.
But Tenuto said he supported the local leadership’s rejection of the mayor’s demands.
“This does not hurt the Teamsters,” Tenuto said. “Daley will not beat the Teamsters.”
I am a man of my word.
I do solute Andy Shaw. He is a big Dem but he was always objective in reporting about the crooks. Then he retires to run the better government assoc. he turned out to be as real and sincere about all this corruption as he came across this way on channel 7. Pat, all these busts and corruption stories including the clouting at the schools and the little people continue to get fired while king Richard aka father of crooked son Patrick Daley, and he still sits on his throne. We are the fools you know.
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