Chicago Department of Water Management demands Plumbing Inspector Retire

Chicago Water Department Plumbing Inspector.jpg City of Chicago Department of Water Management employees at the Jardine water Plant gave a sigh of relief when they found out a couple of days ago, Plumbing Inspector Johathon P. Brennan decided to retire. Mr. Brennan was allegedly subject to a one-year investigation by the Chicago Inspector General’s Office. The Inspector General is a second-rate organization that drags on investigations with poor results. This might be the exception. According to video obtained by Jardine Plant security, a man with a crazy stupid look (Mike “Butch” Tierney) entered the Jardine Filtration Plant and met with Burt Resco to place Johathon on Administrative Leave. August 2, 2017. Some people like Carl Jackson and Michael Tucker could use a new Plumbing Inspector a.s.a.p. However, we know the Plumber’s Local 130 must approve the new Plumbing Inspector, so it again another political assignment. This would be a good job for an injured Plumber, but insider say the position is already spoken for. It is ironic that Michael Tierney a fat union goon, was accused of taking bribes while he was the North District Superintendent, a job just held by Paul Hansen. I would not let Tierney anywhere near the Jardine Plant, but phony contracts that pay the democratic political machine must be protected. Maybe John C. D’Amico should step in when he sees Plumbing Inspectors calling receptionists “Nigger”, but he has to protect his two jobs making $250,000.00 per year. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he was sorry and asked media outlets to keep the story mum. I think the Mayor of Chicago needs to provide psychological services for employees now. As a City of Chicago Plumber, I would like to apologize to my fellow black employees and those that accept this behavior as normal. Alderman Burke needs to keep his clout boys under control.

Reginald Williams Sr. Blows whistle on CDOT, Alderman Burke, Monica Somerville and the IWCC

On January 7, 2013, city worker Reginald Williams Sr., who has worked with the Department of Transportation for over 20 years was injured on the job.

He was a passenger in an 18-wheel city truck when the driver miscalculated the height of a viaduct and ran into the overpass. The impact injured everyone riding in the cab and an ambulance was dispatched.

The next day, Williams was instructed to go to Mercy Works for Occupational Medicine and see the doctors that are part of the city’s workers’ compensation network.

Shortly after his accident, Williams applied for workmen’s compensation and was immediately awarded monthly benefits that started the same month of the accident, January 2013 and lasted until December 2014.

In a letter dated January 14, 2015, Monica Somerville, Director of the Workers’ Compensation Division, stated that Williams was to complete the paper work to be reinstated to “full duty” work in an “unrestricted capacity.” The letter was based on a Dr. Levin’s Independent Medical Examiner’s (IME) report that was written on December 3, 2014.

Dr. Levin, in addition to that report, also wrote a 53-page report addressed to a Patricia O’Connor chronicling Williams’ medical history throughout the life of his claim. The report is a compilation of all the visits that Williams made to the doctor’s office regarding his conditions while he received benefits, benefits that lasted for twenty-three months.

“I contacted my attorney and asked how could they terminate my benefits. He said it was based on the MRI report and the doctor’s opinion that I was able to go back to work full time,” Williams stated. “I told my attorney that someone was lying and he said we have to wait to see the report.”

Williams ended up firing his first attorney and hiring another after weeks went by with no progress on his case. Subsequently, he hired another attorney who also didn’t make any substantial progress and he too was fired after several months.

After obtaining a copy of the report, according to Williams, he came to the conclusion that Dr. Levin had incorrect information about his shoulder that wasn’t injured in the accident and somehow this information was used to justify terminating his case.

Attorney Mark Weissburg, who isn’t affiliated with the case, but specializes in Social Security and Workers’ Compensation is all too familiar with the decision to terminate clients.

“The City would have to explain its decision making process. Some employers fire injured workers as a way of scaring the remaining employees so they don’t report work injuries,” Weissburg said. “Other times an employer fails to follow the law and acts in ways that are contrary to the word and intent of the Workers’ Compensation Act.”

Throughout the 53 page report, it’s indisputably noted that Williams continues to experience severe back pain, and is commented on by several of the doctors that Dr. Levin uses in his final report.

“I continue to be in constant pain while taking Norco and Dr. Levin knows that I am,” Williams said. “I am sad that my request for surgery has been denied even though I did everything the city told my doctors to do. Just when I thought the city was about to approve my surgery, Dr. Levin said I didn’t need it. And my benefits were terminated.”

Attorney Weissburg said, “I’ve seen employers make decisions that not only hurt the injured worker, but are also not in the employer’s own best interests. When there are reasonable questions regarding the facts of a work injury, those should be investigated, but when it is clear that a worker was injured at work, the appropriate benefits should be paid in a timely manner.”

The question some ask is how the city of Chicago and one of its affiliated doctors says it is okay for a city employee, who is taking one of the most powerful pain killers known to man, to return to work in “full duty” in an “unrestricted capacity.”

The warning label for Norco states: “This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how Norco will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.”

The Chicago Defender attempted to contact Dr. Levin, Monica Somerville from Workers’ Compensation and Mr. Williams’ attorney, George Argionis, all declined to comment on this story.

State worker retiring amid probe of racist emails in water department scandal

Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission Picture.JPG

A veteran state employee whose personal email address was a source of racist, sexist and anti-gay emails that circulated among bosses in the Chicago water department is retiring, state officials said.

Frank Capuzi’s decision to retire effective Monday comes as the state began a review of his conduct following Tribune inquiries into offensive emails sent from his address to a high-ranking water department official and others. Among those emails was one describing a fake “Chicago Safari” adventure tour that made light of the shootings of children in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Capuzi, an investigator with the Workers’ Compensation Commission, “gave notice of his retirement” on Thursday, said commission spokesman Ben Noble.

Noble indicated that the commission’s investigation was not over and said that Capuzi left on his own. “Capuzi freely exercised his right to retire,” Noble said. “The commission cannot comment on an ongoing investigation. It takes seriously these allegations.”

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Diana Rickert, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner, confirmed that Capuzi is leaving his state job. “We take these allegations extremely seriously, and we’re not going to tolerate any type of misbehavior that we are aware of,” she said.

Capuzi, 62, has worked for the state for more than four decades and makes more than $114,000 per year. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

He was a longtime GOP committeeman on the West Side, having won the 26th Ward post as recently as 2008 and the 27th Ward at least as far back as the early 1980s, according to records from the Chicago Board of Elections. He is the son of a former Republican state lawmaker, Louis Capuzi of Chicago.

Racist emails scandal moves beyond Chicago as Illinois opens investigation into state employee’s role
Earlier this month, the Tribune revealed that Capuzi’s AOL address was a source of emails at the center of a widening scandal in the city’s water department. The “Chicago Safari” email was among at least four of the most offensive ones that circulated among water department bosses that came from Capuzi’s personal email address.

Even though Capuzi did not use his government email address, ethics experts told the Tribune that this type of matter should be looked into to determine whether any violations of state law, rules or policies have occurred, including conduct unbecoming a state employee.

The Rauner administration’s code of personal conduct states, in part, that employees should conduct themselves “with integrity and in a manner that reflects favorably upon the state.” That code, a union bargaining agreement and the state ethics law are all part of the review, the commission said.

Racist emails show Chicago official joked about ‘safari’ tour to see violence in black neighborhoods
City Inspector General Joseph Ferguson uncovered a string of racist, sexist, anti-gay and anti-Muslim emails while investigating another matter in the water department. His findings led to five water department bosses being ousted, including Commissioner Barrett Murphy; his deputy, William Bresnahan; and Paul Hansen, a district superintendent and the son of former Democratic Alderman. Bernie Hansen.

The Tribune obtained nearly 1,300 water department emails from the water department via a public records request, including several emails forwarded from Capuzi’s address to Hansen.

The Chicago Safari email, sent in July 2013, states that if “you didn’t book a Chicago safari adventure,” for the Independence Day weekend, “you missed” the shootings of a 5-year-old boy and two others in West Pullman; the shooting of a 7-year-old boy in Chatham; and the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy in Humboldt Park.

“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. Call and book your Chicago Safari today,” the email reads. An image depicts four white people in safari gear taking pictures of black people trying to break into a car.

Others included a July 2014 email titled “Watermelon Protection” that included an image of a scarecrow dressed in a white KKK robe amid a watermelon patch; an April 2017 email titled “Today is Heterosexual Male Pride Day;” and a March 2014 email about an essay contest that had to include elements of religion, royalty, racism, disability and homosexuality. The “winning” essay read: “My God,” cried the Queen, “That one-legged nigger is a queer.” Chicago tribune Ray Long

Chicago Clout demands documents from the Department of Water Managment

March 9, 2017
Patrick McDonough

Office of the Attorney General
State of Illinois
Lisa Madigan, Attorney General
500 South Second Street
Springfield, Illinois 62706

Attention: Laura Harter, Assistant Attorney General
Re: Request for Review- 2017 PAC 46448

Thank you for your letter dated today. I have attached all documents for your reference
to save you time.

My response:
I am a memberĀ· of the press, registered with the Chicago Police Department. I have for
years attempted to obtain records from the Department of Water Management
(DOWM). The DOWM uses stalling tactics. The DOWM has been in the crosshairs of
several Federal investigations and several employees have been sent to jail. It is my
opinion; the same conduct and behavior is continuing. FOIA is to expose the secret
dealings and politics that control the DOWM.
If you go to my website, \V\V\ you will see I am involved in several
stories that are of public interest. One is the death of an DOWM employee involved in a
cave-in. For almost two decades, I have reported official complaints to the Illinois
Department of Labor. A man is dead, his family will never see him again due to the
inactions of the DOWM and the IDOL, to make shoring a reality. I was also the victim of
safety violations at the DOWM. Nothing has changed.
Chicago taxpayers pay millions of dollars to injured city workers that cannot show up to
work due to negligence at the DOWM. Some injured workers are also subject to
retaliation depending on their politics or lack of politics. The DOWM has a “job search”
program with no clear-cut policies. My original request was for one month of these
searches so I can determine if the taxpayers are receiving a good “bang for the buck”. I
also want to make sure all injured workers are subject to the same rules and regulations.
I broke down the prior request to one week while I am waiting for your original ruling.
The weekly document total of that request is 24 pages submitted by injured workers.
Only six employees were required to submit weekly job searches per his FOIA response.
Mr. Litherland’s (FOIA officer of DOWM) document preparation math does not add up.
His time request is unsubstantiated. In this day and age, a public department with an
almost billion-dollar budget still using primitive paper management practices, seems
unlikely. The paperwork should always be made into a PDF, not faxed and stapled.
I was accused by Gary Litherland on “being on a fishing expedition”. Mr. Litherland also
wanted to release all 750 pages if I was willing to forego all supporting documents. I
want to have all documents to make a clear and concise report to the public. Gary
Litherland does not release documents in a timely manner. His department does not
have enough workers or his department is side stepping FOIA.
My requests will hopefully enlighten folks that have had unfavorable experiences in
workers’ compensation system run by Alderman Burke, the Chicago Committee on
Finance, and. the Department of Water Management. Thanking you in advance, I remain

Chicago Clout

Chicago Alderman Burke’s Vocamotive Charge Chicago massive Rates

We all know about Vocamotive Vocational Rehabilitation Training. The City of Chicago has hired them to provide ways to reduce the millions Chicago pays in Workers Compensation benefits. Alderman Burke has hired a bunch of political hacks to work on his Committee on Finance. Dog walkers, dog groomers, hair dressers. Alderman Burke even hired a male stripper. Many folks that work for Alderman Burke have no schooling in Insurance Claims, workers’ compensation, investigations.

When that happens, Chicago Taxpayers pay millions more to hire professionals and consulting companies to pick up the slack. Claims drag on, City of Chicago Lawyers handling claims quit, and claims get bogged down. This costs Chicago taxpayers millions more. In case you read Chicago Newspapers, you will find Chicago investigative journalism has completely gone down the toilet. Chicago Journalist only print what Rahm tells them to. How sad.

Last year Vocamotive provided support services to the City of Chicago Committee on Finance to the tune of $500,000.00 dollars. That would have provided many more patronage workers for Alderman Burke, but no political donations. Vocamotive provides legal assistance to the Committee on Finance because their legislative aides are incapable of doing the job. In fact, Monica Somerville and Luana Olivas-Montoya should be fired if they cannot train the staff to do a complete professional job for the broke taxpayers. I would not expect much from Monica Somerville, she was fired as a Law Department Attorney after suing her boss for sexual harassment. She skipped the “Do not hire List”. Alderman Burke likes what he sees in her.

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Vocational Training people get paid about $15.50 per hour. Vocamotive charges an astounding $85.00 through $105.00 per hour. Vocamotive also charges Chicago taxpayers hundreds of dollars for loaning cheap computers, and hundreds more for basic Microsoft classes. Chicago pays massive rates for travel time, talk on phone time, and wait time. The billing is better than lawyer rates.
Please look at the attached rates. Click on READ MORE What a mark-up. And you wonder why Alderman Burke is a millionaire and Chicago is Bankrupt. Where is Rahm Emanuel? Where is Inspector General Joe Ferguson?

Vocamotive City of Chicago Rates.pdf