Fired city inspector is back at work
'BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST' | His job was to bust people for working with no permit — he did side job with no permit
December 23, 2009
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
A $93,840-a-year Chicago plumbing inspector caught doing a side job with no permit, city license or secondary employment form allowing him to perform the "side job" is back on his main job.
The Human Resources Board, which is appointed by Mayor Daley, has overturned James Kendrick's firing and converted his punishment to a five-month suspension without pay, which he has already served. Kendrick returned to work Thursday for the first time since July 17. He refused to comment.
The board agreed that Kendrick's behavior "warranted substantial discipline," but not the firing ordered by Buildings Commis- sioner Richard Monocchio, said Buildings Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey.
"We felt justified in terminating him. This was a betrayal of the public trust. He's a plumbing inspector in the Troubled Buildings Bureau. He . . . knows that, in order to work, you need a permit," McCaffrey said.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported last summer that Kendrick was installing a flood-control system for a homeowner in the 3500 block of North Octavia when he inadvertently broke the water pipe leading to the home.
When Water Management investigators arrived, they found that the homeowner who hired Kendrick had not obtained a permit and that Kendrick did not have city licenses to perform the work.
The violations were particularly egregious because Kendrick was assigned to a task force that busts people for working without permits. He was further accused of asking investigators for city-owned parts — lead packs and copper — to repair the broken pipe.
Pat McDonough, one of the responding investigators, was "disgusted" by the board's reversal.
"They have people engaging in criminal activity who come back to work, then they go after and fire people who don't have political clout," McDonough said, describing himself.
"They destroy their lives, take away their pensions and force them to spend their pensions fighting to get their jobs back," he said. "It sends the wrong message to guys like us who put our lives on the line squealing on these guys. Why bother blowing the whistle or showing up in court?"
McDonough helped blow the whistle on the Hired Truck scandal, got fired in 2005 for allegedly violating the city's residency requirement and was hired back after a city hearing officer reversed his firing.
In between, there was explosive testimony at McDonough's hearing from a co-worker who claimed overtime was for sale at Water Management and that gambling was rampant on city time at city work sites.
In the final ruling, hearing officer Carl McCormick described a work site "akin to a hellish nightmare" where bribery and bullying reigned supreme. He said it was "difficult to envision a worksite more indecent."
The reversal of Kendrick's firing comes one week after an Office of Compliance survey showed Chicago employees report only half the incidents of misconduct they witness — compared to two-thirds in other cities –because they don't think anything will change or because they fear retaliation.
"It sends a horrible message to all city workers," McDonough said.
Mayor Daley needs to figure out people are broke and tired of corruption in Chicago. Thank you again to Fran Spieman, she has a bright light and uses it!!!
The Chicago Park District has a wonderful musical program at Green Briar Park and Warren Park. December 11, 2009 was the first performance for my son Patrick, a gifted young guitar player. I am happy Patrick will join the musical program very soon. Cutbacks in the Chicago Park District are very short sighted. These music programs are great for unity and fellowship for people of every background. The Music Instructor was Emery Joe Yost and the Park Supervisor was Timothy Gibson for the evening program. When I was a young lad, I was part of the City Wide Youth Orchestra, as a bass player. Money spent on these programs is well invested, they teach kids to work together and understand teamwork. Green Briar Park is located at 2650 West Peterson. I look forward to covering more of these concerts. One of the best parts of the show was watching ll the proud parents. Photo by Patrick McDonough
Quid Pro Quo in the Cook County Court System. Many people are scratching their heads when they see an admitted crook like fast Eddie Vrdolyak, walk away from a fair sentence for his violation of truth, justice, and the American way. When anyone goes in front of a court room, they invest time, money, and effort to persuade a judge and jury to their side. Many people cannot afford justice, but they feel so strong about an issue they are willing to go into debt to clear their name. Understanding the basics of how the Cook County Judicial System works can help you into making a decision into having a lawsuit or not. You must remember, many of the Judges feel they are perfect, keep the blindfolds on, and dispense justice without err. Phooey.
The cold reality is the Quid Pro Quo, favors, backslapping, paybacks, or as we say on my website Clout, Chicago Clout. One of the ways to combat this is to become educated, informed, and diligent in your efforts to make sure you have an equal chance to have the law upheld. Many judges should remove themselves from cases, but they do not. Human nature is to side with those who helped us, and there lies the problem. I started thinking about this when I received a call from David Glowacz, a bright journalist whom accused me of being a journalist. My content might be accurate and interesting, but to become a real journalist is to learn the behind the scene rules that are the icing on the cake. Just like a court room, the real deals are made behind the judge’s chambers. I want you to know I do believe in our system of laws, but we need to find a way to remove politics and favors. A great example is Judge Clare Elizabeth McWilliam, a judge with a great Irish name; she is from the north side of Chicago. I politely called her clerk Virginia and talked to a Jim from her office. Well I just got a message from her clerk Virginia and found out the great indignation of not receiving a call from the judge to discuss matters that concern the public. The judge was too busy, and then through the grapevine I found out Clare did not want to be on my cable show. Remember when a friend coughed into their hand and said B.S.”? I was going through Clare’s Itemized Expenditures for her campaign to become judge. I want to “Clarify” why certain political operatives show up time after time. I wanted to know what the going rate to become a judge was and what is expected from Chicago unions and local politicians to finance their campaigns. I wanted to know what the going rate is to get signatures on a cook county ballot, is the old rate of a dollar per signature fair, or is the current rate of two or three dollars inline. Many real Chicago Journalists might not want to tackle this issue, but now is the time and place. Look at all the players and political operatives that had something to do with Judge Clare Elizabeth McWilliams’s campaign, what do they expect, justice? Patrick McDonough.
The City of Chicago needs the convention business to not only promote our city, but to provide much needed income to support Mayor Daley and some of the leeches he employs. For over a decade money was flowing into Chicago and no one seemed to care about the waste. I complained about the top-heavy management and the lack of proper certifications to oversee Chicago’s departments. Mayor Daley loaded departments up with political hacks, clowns, and incompetent freaks. To get a promotion, you just needed to understand the political games, understand common sense was secondary, and work extra around the political season. Many of Daley hires are still milking the workman’s compensation claims despite the many inroads we have made for worker safety. The situation at the McCormick Place is paving the way to how Chicago is seen to the rest of the United States and the World, especially China. You cannot keep milking the convention business in Chicago anymore. Let’s review the factors that are sending convention business to other states and cities. The major players in the convention business are high rollers, wealthy, smart, and are business savvy. When they roll into Chicago, they wanted Meigs Field to handle their private planes. These are high class people that are not going to put up with the herds at O’Hare Field. They need to get in and out. Why waste your time on the Kennedy Expressway? The Chicago convention business is run by political hacks that think they are special and above the law. It is run by amateurs and immature morons, period. When businesses go to other cities, they are treated with kid gloves, entertained, wined and dined. When convention executives are in Chicago, they notice the citizens are ticketed and circled like vultures. The red light cameras, the array of high taxes and fees other cities do not experience are a detriment. Taxes for rental cars, taxies, hotels, dining, parking and travel never seem to end in Chicago. Companies attending conventions see no reason to relocate to Chicago. Businesses are like herds, they will continue move in packs away from Chicago. We need to offer some strong incentives to keep conventions in Chicago, hiring Mayor Daley’s friends and family is not the answer. Daley’s has family employed at McCormick Place. Unions such as Journeyman’s Plumbers Local 130 decide which workers work at the convention center instead of a proper application process which could provide better employees. Safeguard the conventioneers by giving management more power to enforce work rules. I think major conventions like the boat show and the car show will stay, but Daley needs to give them incentives like United Airlines tax breaks. I suggest all conventioneers threaten to boycott now for better contacts, Daley will cave in. As I said before and I will say again, keep your eyes open and expose corruption now, before it is too late. Switching subjects, I also hope the incident involving a laborer assaulted by a plumber yesterday at the Department of Water Management is not going to be covered up. I also hope the rise to power by Lemuel Austin from a Department of Water Management laborer to a superintendent’s position at Transportation is just a rumor. I know Daley is an idiot, but does he need another black eye to learn his lesson? Keep in touch; I have another gem on Daley’s son Patrick! Patrick McDonough.
A complete and total nightmare in Chicago is the ongoing construction on Milwaukee Avenue from the six corners to Jefferson Park. I just noticed a new sign with Mayor Daley’s name. On the bottom right hand corner in hard to read print is “Federally Funded”. I thought we had it with Rod Blagojevich’s name on the toll way signs. If it is Federally Funded, why is Daley’s name on the sign? Is he trying to take credit for this hobo run project? Photo by Patrick McDonough
Many people in Chicago spent a decade or more watching Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson on channel 2 News. A while ago, I mentioned on Chicago Clout the plans at the news station to bring back the viewers. One of the bright spots at the news station is Dave Savini and Michelle Youngerman. Please watch Dave’s latest story, click here; http://cbs2chicago.com/video/[email protected] I was a little surprised to see Ms. Youngerman come forward on her personal health situation, that was very brave. I hope this channel continues to put the beat down on Mayor Daley and question his motives. Walter Jacobson was in spectacular fashion with his perspective. ABC 7 is still the king of news in Chicago and they have a great staff, but CBS is aggressive and motivated. I think one of these stations should hire a Chicago City Employee to give a fresh perspective once a week, do you? You know a look from the inside; I think I better start on the treadmill for my new post!
Fran Spielman was back on top of her game today tying in Mayor Daley’s friend and family program, Mike Tadin’s goon enterprises, and the Building Department special inspectors for the 11TH Ward. What do I mean? Tadin an 11TH Ward Goon, is entering into the house building business. If you have money to launder, this is the business the IRS is too uninformed to watchdog. Fran Spielman also put together theft of water from the Chicago Fire Hydrants. Amazing. It seems to me the pieces are almost all together in the Tadin, Daley, Water Department pimps and players. The script; if Tadin is going to build home, all the city building inspectors on the project know to find nothing wrong. This project needs to be watched by the Office of the Inspector General with a close eye. Tadin made millions with his scab trucking company; expect unions to shy away from enforcing a 100% union worksite. The part of the story Fran nailed was related to ABC 7 News special with Plumbing Inspector/ Whistleblower John Swietczak exposing the stealing of water from Fire Hydrants. Chicago Clout also demands an investigation into the way the fines were imposed by the Department of Water Management against contractors caught pilfering water from Chicago taxpayers. Michael Tucker, son of retired Plumbers’ local 130 enforcer Paul “RC” Tucker, had his plate full yesterday with an all day Building Department meeting at Chicago City hall. Michael Tucker got a nice ride up the promotion ladder, and needs his workload increased. Chicago Clout also demands a review of the websites he has visited the last few years. Chicago Department of Water Management brass has failed again enforcing rules and regulations. I say fire all the goons Daley sent from the Police Department to hush to dissention at the Water Department. Feel free to ask Michael Tucker how he got his job and promotion and make sure you call 1-312-744-3764 if you plan on taking water from a Chicago Fire Hydrant. See attached story below. Photo by Patrick McDonough.]]> Continue reading “Did the Tadin Goons bite off more than they can chew? Hired Truck Boss back to feast!”
The City of Chicago had salespeople from a TexasLife Insurance Company, based in Waco, Texas on City property yesterday and also today. MetLife has a sales center, based in Downers Grove, provide representatives to Water department locations “part of Homeland Security”. I was really surprised Investigators we not dispatched from the Office of the Inspector General to investigate. I do not think any company should have an exclusive access to any locations Chicago city workers are located. I also think sales should not be handled on city time. I was led to understand this company has had a very cozy arrangement for a long time with the Daley Administration. If I owned an insurance company, I would like to get my hands on Chicago City workers money. I would also like the fancy arrangement with this private company to have automatic payroll deductions. If you know who is getting a piece of this deal, give Chicago Clout a call. I hope the taxpayers do not mind Chicago City workers getting paid upwards of 50 dollars an hour to pick an insurance plan instead of fixing leaks and broken water mains. I also hope the payroll department stops scamming my payroll in direct retaliation. I have more on this soon. We support all Chicago Veterans and thank you for your service. Photo by Patrick McDonough