Randy Conner gets out the bullhorn at the Department of Water Management: Hispanics and Whites want Hansen return

Commissioner Randy Conner Chicago final.jpg
On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Commissioner Randy Conner, led a posse of underlings that currently lead the Chicago Department of Water Management. The Chicago Water Department has decades of second-rate losers that have been promoted by second-rate racists. You can not change the culture of the water department because cancer runs too deep.

At the 7:00 a.m. meeting Conner declared with a bullhorn to his lips, Get on the train or the train will run you over. Conner tried to make himself a tough-talking wise guy and made it clear he was running the show. If he had any brains, he would have kept his low-profile job, but dangle a few pennies, and these people jump. Conner must not have paid attention to all the Commissioners terminated since I started at the department.

Conner is not ready to control the click that makes all the decisions at the water department. Conner does not know he is a puppet. Conner does not have what it takes to lead this ragtag circus.

At the meeting, Conner went on to do damage control and say Michael Dwyer was not fired because of what was printed by Fran Spielman. Fran Spielman hit the nail on the head. A full-blown cover-up continues at the FOIA Department and Commissioner Conner is still trying to stop FOIA requests from being fulfilled.

The North District has some great workers, but the management has stunk for twenty years. Conner told the workers the North District is the worst district. It is also the whitest. Conner seems to be a racist and ignorant to the culture that has rotted the Department of Water Management. Conner thinks Facebook pages of blacks working happily at the Department of Water Management is going to fix things. Conner has no power to remove the private contractors that control the Water Department. The 11th Ward, M…. Management, and private contractors control the Department. If you think the companies that contribute to Alderman Burke and Rahm Emanuel are going to get forced out, you are sadly mistaken.

Conner, please stop all those private meetings with employees promising them the moon. Please also tell Wallace Davis to stop making promotional promises. While you are at it, make sure you stop the mistreatment of black women that get hurt on the job. Forcing out black single mothers is crude and low class. Also, keep your bullhorn close to your other bighorn.

Alderman Burke toast, Hispanic Alderman in the works 14th Ward

If you thought for a moment that the City Council’s most powerful aldermen would ride off into the sunset after 50 years in politics to avoid a difficult election he could lose, think again.
Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee, is running for re-election.
“Why would you wonder?” Burke asked reporters Monday.
Burke has a political bulls-eye on his back after his brother, state Rep. Dan Burke (D-Chicago), was defeated by 26-year political newcomer Aaron Ortiz in a race dominated by Edward Burke’s property tax reduction work for the riverfront hotel and condominium that bears the name of President Donald Trump.

But Ald. Burke said Monday he does not believe his brother’s March 20 defeat is a prelude to his own political demise.
“He carried the 14th Ward. Not by enough to overcome the other areas. But fortunately, the people in the 14th Ward did vote for him,” the alderman said.

Ortiz was part of a coordinated campaign led by Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, the Cook County commissioner who easily won the Democratic primary in the 4th Congressional District after being anointed by retiring U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez.
Even more humiliating was the fact that Edward Burke managed to carry his own 14th Ward for his younger brother by just 62 votes. That’s the same 14th Ward where Garcia captured 64 percent of the vote in a 2015 mayoral run-off against incumbent Rahm Emanuel.
On the day after that upset, Clem Balanoff, head of Our Revolution Illinois, a grass-roots political organization that grew out of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, made a bold prediction:
“We are coming after Ed Burke,” said Balanoff, who managed the Ortiz campaign.
“Whether he sees it or not, the handwriting is on the wall. Ed Burke will not be aldermen come May of 2019. … We have a young, energetic movement going on the Southwest Side of Chicago. There’s no room for smoke-filled, backroom politicians like Ed Burke, who are only serving themselves and not the public.”
Balanoff and Garcia could not be reached for comment on Burke’s decision to run for re-election.
On the day after the election, Garcia was asked whether he intended to field an aldermanic challenger against Burke.
He would say only: “The Burke dynasty is sunsetting. It’s sunsetting against the emergence of a Latino community that wants to make its voice heard and its vote felt. … This is only logical. The community is seeking to ensure that its vote begins to approximate the population that lives in those communities.”
Burke has run unopposed in 10 of the last 11 elections. He sits on a massive campaign war chest and has never won less than 70 percent of the vote.
But even his political allies have acknowledged that Dan Burke’s March 20 defeat was a gut-punch that should prompt Edward Burke to at least entertain the thought of political retirement and working with Garcia to find a suitable Hispanic replacement.
That would require burying a 19-year-old hatchet. Burke was instrumental in the Illinois Senate race that saw Antonio Munoz defeat Garcia.
“He has an opportunity to put in a progressive Latino and ensure that whatever legacy he has in the 14th Ward will continue. If he doesn’t, he can stay and possibly lose — particularly if Chuy backs someone against him,” a Burke ally told the Sun-Times.
“Ed has to make a decision as to whether he wants to dictate the circumstances of his departure. If he doesn’t give a shit about that, then hubris sometimes will make you stay a little too long.”
For Burke, it would be difficult to voluntarily relinquish the trappings of power he covets so much.
As Finance Committee chairman, he wields enormous influence over legislation, even when he abstains from votes because of the conflicts posed by having dozens of law clients doing business with the city.
His fundraisers are packed. He is squired around the city by bodyguards, though Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut his security team in half.
But during the heat of his brother’s failed fight for political survival, sources said Burke told more than one political associate: “This isn’t fun anymore.”
On Monday, Burke made it clear that the remark was not a prelude to political retirement.
That’s no surprise to retiring Ald. Mike Zalewski (23rd).
“I don’t believe for a second that Ald. Burke is interested in leaving,” Zalewski said last week.
Pointing to the avalanche of tax increases that aldermen have approved to solve Chicago’s $36 billion pension crisis, Zalewski said, “Everyone is gonna have to campaign a little harder next time. Ald. Burke is well aware of that. And I think he’s ready for it.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel demanding political contributions from City Contractors

Rahm Emanuel Official Photograph

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been given recordings of high ranking City employees getting fired. Apparently, Mayor Emanuel told his commissioners to record their firing of employees that brought unneeded attention to the City of Chicago. Emanuel is also shaking down contractors and demanding political donations for his upcoming election. Rahm is beside himself with the status of the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Fire Department, and the Department of Water Management. These departments have always provided workers for elections, money for campaigns, and needed signatures for petitions. According to the Mayor’s staff,” Rham is beside himself”.

Many contractors, including law firms, are being asked to “pony up” to face the onslaught from powerhouse Paul Vallas, Garry McCarthy, Willie Wilson, and Troy LaRaviere. Some recordings have been provided to Chicago Clout and will be released just before the election. Rahm Emanuel has been on a traveling spree around the world on the taxpayer’s dime. Rahm travels first class and enjoys having a posse of cops around to make him look big.

I look forward to this next election in Chicago. The voters want the issues this time, not the b.s. That is a tall order for the Chicago media that has been in Rahm’s favor as the election day draws near. Joe Ferguson will do nothing and continue to be a puppet for Rahm.

A final salute to Michael Dwyer General Superintendent DOWM North District

If you read the below column by Fran Spielman, you have a great interpretation of the Department of Water Management. The City of Chicago Department of Water Management is the worst run water department in the United States. In the article, Fran Spielman laid out the termination (firing) (AKA retirement) of Michael Dwyer. Michael was in my opinion, one of the best foreman in the Department. The Department of Water Management rarely promotes people that are capable of leadership. When Michael was foreman, he was very competent although sometimes too demanding. Michael was very loyal to the Chicago Water Department and seemed thankful for his job. Not long ago, Michael was a shooting star and went from Assistant District Superintendent to Superintendent, to General Superintendent. (a non-union position)

When Michael was my boss, he was very direct but knew how to be thankful for a job well done. Michael also expected a certain amount of work. A good boss has a reasonable amount of expectations from people under his authority. When Michael was an Assistant Superintendent, his manners were outstanding. He made requests from the Investigator Crews and always prioritized by need, not by political connections. I never saw him request an emergency investigation because of an Alderman, or Commissioner special demand. So, in my regard, I rate him extremely high in the type of person that should lead.

I was not around when Michael Dwyer became Superintendent. I heard from many workers he was too demanding and making changes the political folks did not want. “He is stepping on the wrong toes”. I just want everyone to know, they fired Michael Dwyer. Plain and simple. I remember Michael was severely injured when he fell into a ditch years ago. There is a certain group that really run the Department of Water Management, I am going to do a story on these slobs. Just absolute scum. My friends at the Jardine Plant told me, Michael Dwyer was given an ultimatum of firing or retiring in just a few minutes. Time for Chicago Clout to work these scumbags out of a job a.s.a.p. Count on it. Randy Conner appointed Michael Dwyer, so this is on him.

More evidence of hate-filled culture: another Water Management honcho resigns

Fran Spielman @fspielman | email

The Water Management Department replacement for the district superintendent at the center of a racist, sexist and homophobic email scandal has, himself, resigned to avoid being fired.

“There is no room at DWM for intolerance of any kind. Any allegations of inappropriate behavior are taken very seriously and investigated immediately,” department spokesperson Megan Vidis wrote Friday in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The Department of Water Management (DWM) was in the process of investigating reports of an incident involving Michael Dwyer, the General Superintendent of the North District when he chose to retire.”

Contacted Friday, Dwyer was asked to respond to allegations that he referred to a co-worker with a slur against Polish Americans.

He would only say, “I retired for health reasons. I’m retired now. I prefer to stay that way. I prefer not to answer anything.”

Pressed on whether he had used that derogatory term — or any other in the workplace, Dwyer said, “I’m not gonna reply. I just retired. I’m waiting for my papers to come. I had some medical issues suddenly come up that I can’t really deal with too much and work at the same time, unfortunately. I retired because I don’t feel good.”

Dwyer’s retirement — and the investigation that may have precipitated it — underscores how deeply-rooted the hate-filled culture at the department is and how difficult it will be to eradicate.

Dwyer replaced Paul Hansen, the son of a former alderman, as the Water Management’s $122,280-a-year north district superintendent.

Sources said it was during the course of an eight-month-long investigation into allegations that Hansen was using his city email account to sell guns that Inspector General Joe Ferguson stumbled upon the hate-filled emails that triggered a housecleaning that flushed out Hansen, Water Management Commissioner Barrett Murphy and several of Murphy’s top deputies.

In a follow-up report, Ferguson accused a high-ranking deputy whom sources identified as Hansen as describing African-Americans as “wild animals.”

Hansen was further accused of sending an email with the subject line “Chicago Safari Tickets” to multiple high-ranking Water Management colleagues.

“If you didn’t book a Chicago Safari adventure with us this 4th of July weekend, this is what you missed,” the email states, listing the number of people shot in Englewood, Garfield Park, Austin, Lawndale, South Shore, Woodlawn and other neighborhood plagued by gang violence.

It concluded: “We guarantee that you will see at least one kill and five crime scenes per three-day tour. You’ll also see lots and lots of animals in their natural habitat.”

Yet another email with the subject line, “Watermelon Protection” included the image of a Ku Klux Klan robe on a stick in the middle of a watermelon patch. Another under the subject line, “U Know U be In Da Hood” contains several photos, including one of a wheelbarrow full of watermelons with a sign that states, “Apply for a Credit Card. Free Watermelon.”

Hansen was also accused of using his city email account to negotiate personal purchases or sales of at least four firearms and five cars and using a city computer to access websites unrelated to city business on thousands of occasions over a four-month period, including accessing sexually explicit videos on YouTube.

Earlier this week, former Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan shined more light on the hate-filled culture at Water Management laid bare in the racist, sexist and homophobic emails.

The investigation by Khan’s “Project Six” focused heavily on a Water veteran chemist on the Jardine and Sawyer Water Filtration plans who remain on the job to this day, despite a decade-long history of discriminating against and intimidating African-American co-workers.

The incidents include: writing the word “Judas” on the calendar of a black co-worker who dared to report the alleged harassment, placing “makeshift crosses in front of the lockers of complaining African American employees and placing copies of Mein Kampf, the autobiographical book written by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, on the desks of black co-workers.

During a previously undisclosed 2009 incident, the chemist was further accused of “urinating into a coffee cup, placed the cup into an oven to dry it out and replaced the cup on the desk” of a black co-worker so he would drink from it.

According to Khan, the chemist’s personnel file showed he was formally disciplined ten times for serious offenses between 1998 and 2017. Those punishments include a five-day suspension for sexual harassment in 1999 and a seven-day suspension the following year for “verbal abuse and explosive behavior.”