It seems like a couple of white kids hooked up with a gangbanger to score some drugs around Division and Cicero Avenue in Chicago, Sunday February 7, 2010. I do not know what tipped off the Chicago Police Officers, but the dude in the red stood out. When the police cuffed these three, they were very sad. These police officers were very courteous and professional. Just say no to drugs, just like Oprah does to food and texting! Photo by Patrick MCDonough
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Mayor Daley proposes giving city inspector power to investigate aldermen
Aldermen fear political witchhunts
February 8, 2010
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Mayor Daley on Monday transferred control over city hiring to his corruption-fighting inspector general, but touched off a political firestorm in the process — by proposing that the inspector general be empowered to investigate Chicago aldermen from this day forward.
Twenty years ago, Daley tried to give the inspector general the power to investigate the City Council, only to be shot down by aldermen concerned about political witchhunts.
Those same fears apply today — even though the 2011 election is fast approaching and voters have had their fill of political corruption.
“That would mean the executive branch would control the votes of the aldermen. That’s the same type of power J. Edgar Hoover tried to get over Congress [so he could] use that power to blackmail Congress,” said Ald. Bernard Stone (50th).
Although former Inspector General David Hoffman frequently embarrassed Daley, Ald. Ed Smith (28th) argued that the office is “under the mayor’s thumb.”
“I just don’t think you should carte-blanchely give people the opportunity to investigate people they don’t like. If they’re adverse to something we’re doing and they want to dig up stuff on you, they’d look hard enough and create something,” Smith said.
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) praised Daley for embracing the ordinance he introduced a year ago. It includes a minimum funding level for the inspector general’s office — one-tenth of one percent of all local operating funds — and a requirement that sustained findings and quarterly hiring reports be posted on the Internet.
“If you keep your nose clean, you have nothing to worry about,” Moore said.
Daley acknowledged that he needs 26 votes to approve the change and that it’s an uphill battle.
“When you say, I insist — I wish it was that easy. People are much more independent today,” he said.
But, the mayor argued that last week’s guilty plea by his longtime ally, Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) “broke the camel’s back.”
“After the Carothers issue, people are losing confidence in government. We have to re-assure the public that there is independence, accountability, transparency and honesty in government,” said Daley, whose administration has been buffeted by the Hired Truck, city hiring and minority contracting scandals.
As for aldermen concerned about political retribution, Daley said, “I don’t have the political power to conduct political witchhunts. … They don’t come to me and tell me about investigations. … This is an independent inspector general’s office.”
Inspector General Joe Ferguson called the mayor’s proposal a “watershed moment” in Chicago history.
“The mayor’s proposal comes to grip with core structural reforms necessary to root out patronage and corruption in the city,” he said.
Daley created the $4 million-a-year Office of Compliance in 2007 because he didn’t trust then-Inspector General David Hoffman to police city hiring.
But, he acknowledged Monday that the office “did not yield the results we hoped for.” Stripping the office of its hiring functions is expected to strengthen the mayor’s argument to get out from under the costly and burdensome constraints of the Shakman decree.
Federal hiring monitor Noelle Brennan and attorney Michael Shakman have accused Compliance Chief Tony Boswell of ignoring blatant violations, covering up hiring irregularities he’s supposed to correct and failing to discipline employees who refuse to toe the line.
The mayor refused to say whether he would follow Ferguson’s recommendation that Boswell be suspended for 30 days for allegedly mishandling an intern’s sexual harassment complaint.
‘People are losing confidence in government,’ mayor says, while conceding it was a mistake to give oversight of hiring to Office of Compliance
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Blackmail and Extortion
Richard M. Daley
Executive Branch By Hal Dardick and Todd Lighty, Tribune reporter
February 8, 2010
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As yet another Chicago alderman admitted to being a crook, Mayor Richard Daley dusted off a 20-year-old idea on Monday and proposed giving the city’s inspector general the power to investigate City Council members.
When Daley created the inspector general’s office in 1989, aldermen overwhelmingly voted to exclude themselves from being investigated by the new office. The inspector general can investigate any part of city government, aldermen said, except aldermen.
Daley said Monday he decided to act now after his council ally, Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers, pleaded guilty in federal court last week to accepting bribes for aiding a developer, becoming the 29th alderman convicted of crimes since 1972.
“I think after the Carothers issue, people are losing confidence in government,” Daley said. “It broke the camel’s back.”
Daley’s proposed ordinance is sure to rankle many aldermen — concerned over an incursion by an already powerful mayor and worried about political witch hunts.
Daley’s actions Monday also could help the mayor move closer to ending federal court oversight of the scandal-plagued system for hiring city workers. The proposal, which Daley plans to introduce at Wednesday’s council meeting, would dramatically shift power between City Hall watchdogs.
The mayor conceded he made a mistake by giving oversight of city hiring to the Office of Compliance he created in 2007. In an about-face, Daley is proposing moving those duties to the inspector general.
Ald. Bernard Stone, 50th, said Daley can give hiring oversight to whomever he wants but Stone said he’s against the inspector general investigating aldermen. Stone had accused the previous inspector general of overstepping his bounds when an investigation led to the prosecution of Stone’s ward superintendent.
“The executive branch should not be able to oversee the legislative branch because the executive branch can use it to blackmail the legislative branch,” Stone said. “That’s the same thing J. Edgar Hoover did to Congress.”
Stone said the fact that 29 aldermen have been convicted shows there’s no need for more scrutiny. “Law enforcement is doing an excellent job in sending crooked aldermen to jail,” he said. “Why do we need someone to duplicate that?”
Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st, said he doesn’t know yet if he’ll support Daley’s proposal.
Brookins echoed Stone. “It seems like everyone is doing a great job,” Brookins said. “A friend of mine in the FBI says they have our seating chart and all 50 of our pictures.”
Many aldermen have long opposed the notion of the inspector general peeking into their affairs. Similar efforts last year by aldermen didn’t have the mayor’s backing and died in committee.
Ald. Joe Moore, 49th, who got 11 aldermen to join his failed proposal last year, predicted Daley would succeed where he had failed. “His winning percentage is close to one thousand,” Moore said.
Moore said voters are fed up and angry over government scandals. “The mayor continues to struggle with abuses in hiring,” he said. “And we have another alderman going off to jail.”
Daley’s proposal would punish city workers and contractors who fail to report corrupt activity. It also calls for the office’s investigative reports — which are currently secret — to be posted on the Internet, minus the names of those involved.
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, who though he is appointed by the mayor is considered more independent than the compliance office, supported the expansion of his powers.
“The proposal announced by the mayor … constitutes a watershed moment in the history of the city,” Ferguson said. “This proposal comes to grips with core structural reforms necessary to root out patronage and corruption in the city of Chicago.”
In a January report, Ferguson said “the dangers of political hiring remain real and constant” and complained that a city ordinance barred him from investigating aldermen. He said that has prevented him from looking into a November Tribune article detailing how aldermen had put family members, campaign operatives and others with political connections on a stealth taxpayer-funded payroll.
City Hall is operating under a decades-long consent decree aimed at keeping politics out of most personnel decisions. A federal judge appointed a monitor in 2005 to oversee hiring after federal authorities accused Daley’s patronage chief and others of circumventing that decree by rigging hiring to reward the mayor’s political allies with jobs, promotions and overtime.
Daley has said he plans to ask the court this year to end oversight, arguing that the city was in “substantial compliance,” a legal threshold for ending court involvement.
Michael Shakman, the lawyer whose lawsuit 40 years ago resulted in the Shakman decree governing city hiring and firing, said Daley had taken a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.
The city still needs to complete its hiring plan, which would set in place the process by which new employees get hired, based on merit or by lottery and not based on whom they know politically. Shakman said the Daley administration also needs to tackle the issue of contract workers who function as city employees in apparent violation of hiring rules.
Shakman also called for Daley to get rid of Anthony Boswell, the head of the compliance office. “No one has any confidence in Boswell,” he said. “I don’t, the monitor doesn’t, and it’s clear the mayor doesn’t. He’s got to go.”
Boswell could not be reached for comment Monday, and his lawyer declined to comment. Daley refused Monday to answer questions about Boswell’s future.
Ferguson and Boswell also have tangled. Ferguson last month concluded that Boswell and his top deputy mishandled a 2008 sexual harassment complaint from an intern at the 911 center. Ferguson said the two men repeatedly disregarded city policies and showed favoritism toward the 911 supervisor by trying to find him another city job and a new intern.
He recommended to Daley that the men be suspended for at least 30 days. The top deputy resigned his post.
Boswell’s lawyer, Jamie Wareham, has said the inspector general’s investigation was politically motivated by the desire to take over many of Boswell’s duties. Wareham said it was a “classic Chicago power grab.”
Where is Daleys nephew and sons indictment. If I was a loser without a job I would live in front of the federal building with a big sign and a bullhorn until either Daleys son gets indicted or Patrick Fitzgerald gets indicted for aiding and abetting a felony investigation.
Patrick Daley redeployed by Army to undisclosed location
February 9, 2010
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter/fspielmanMayor Daley disclosed today that his son, Patrick Daley, has been redeployed by the Army to an undisclosed location.
The mayor said it was “hard for any family,” and hard for Patrick, a reservist, who was forced to leave his job in Moscow. Mayor Daley refused to disclose where his son was sent, saying Patrick “doesn’t want publicity. It’s his life. It’s not your life.”
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Mayor Daley announced today that his son, Patrick Daley, has been redeployed by the Army to an undisclosed location.
Patrick Daley enlisted in the Army in 2004, shortly after graduating with honors from the University of Chicago’s MBA program. At the time, he told Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, “It took me a while to learn that there’s also a virtue in selflessness. And I believe that virtue is to serve your country.”
The crooked Patrick Daley went into the army after a deal was worked out to avoid prison. Get the FOIA requests and find out.
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