Chicago Department of Water Management Meeting with Commissioner Conners

Today, at the City of Chicago Department of Water Management’s Jardine Plant over 300 City of Chicago employees from the Jardine Plant, The Chicago pumping stations, and the DePaul Center employees waited for Commissioner Conners to get his ass to the meeting on time. Conners was at least 20 minutes late and cost the Chicago taxpayers thousands in wasted time. Conners arrived with his posse and launched again into a speech that made no sense at all. According to Conners, Rahm Emanuel is very happy with his subpar performance. Conners made the employees stand the entire time. Some of the ladies complained because he did not provide seating. Conners only had a few well connected private employees attend because the private owners are aware of the new policy to donate greatly to Alderman Burke and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Coo Coo Conners again wanted everyone to know he is large and in charge. He first said he opened his office to anyone and then stated all employees must follow the chain of command. Coo Coo.

Conners again said the North District General Superintendent Michael Dwyer was not fired, another bold face lie. Conners acted like a Chicago street thug and a man possessed with a need to prove he is in control of a job he can not handle. Look, folks, Conners knows nothing about the importance of a proper drinking water supply. He is getting paid to keep all the current lawsuits and future lawsuits from getting to Rahm Emanuel. Conners wanted everyone to know he is going to promote everyone he wants and do whatever he wants. Rahm Emanuel needs to terminate this goof that just does not have the class to do things the right way. The same crap that got the Department of Water Management into the mess it is in now will continue by the leadership of foolish nonsense. I hope when all the City of Chicago taxpayers sees the new water bills in the mail, they remember this warning, fire Rahm Emanuel.

Look if you need to tell everyone you are the boss, you are not. Time for Rahm to find a replacement, another poor choice, and decision.

Chicago Alderman wants hearings to address racism at the Chicago Water Department

Alderman demands hearings on racist culture at city water department

Fran Spielman

A South Side alderman on Wednesday demanded City Council hearings into the racist culture that, he claims, continues to permeate Chicago’s Department of Water Management — even under an African-American commissioner.

To underscore the point, Ald. David Moore (17th) displayed a photo taken in April of a Water Management truck with a noose hanging above the steering wheel.

According to Moore, the unidentified perpetrator of the offense apologized to co-workers who might have been offended by it and got off with a reprimand.

“It sends a racist message of hanging people,” Moore said, adding that “a firing should have taken place.”

Water Management Commissioner Randy Conner is the African-American charged with cleaning house in the department at the center of the Hired Truck and city hiring scandals.

Conner said the noose photo was taken two months before he took over and the incident was “dealt with the same day.”

“They approached the gentleman where the string was hanging in the truck…. He was very remorseful. He apologized for the insensitivity of it. And he removed it. That was it,” Conner said Wednesday.

“It was a slip-knot that he used for his own personal writing instrument. That’s how it was explained to senior management.”
Conner was asked whether he “buys” that explanation.

“It’s not about what I buy. It’s about what the senior managers felt was appropriate,” the commissioner said.

“It wasn’t about me trying to undo or go back in time. When I got there, I hit the re-set button on everything that was going on in the Department of Water Management. And since then, there hasn’t been another incident.”

Given the progress made and the sensitivity training held, Conner said he sees no need for City Council hearings.

“It didn’t happen overnight and it’s not going to be fixed overnight. But, we’ve made significant strides,” Conner said.

“I reject the fact that this is the same place that it always was. In the four months that I’ve been there, we’ve let people know there is a zero-tolerance for these types of things.”

Moore strongly disagreed. He argued that City Council hearings will encourage the testimony of Water Management employees and shield them from future retaliation.

Michael Outley, a retired assistant chief operating engineer in the Department of Water Management, attended a City Hall news conference Wednesday.

Moore was joined at the City Hall news conference by a handful of retired Water Management employees who confirmed the alderman’s claims about the racist culture.

Former assistant chief operating engineer Michael Outley said he retired in July after being the victim of what he called “stalking, intimidation and violence in the workplace” that made his job untenable.

“It’s like this thing with [Harvey Weinstein] in Hollywood. They can’t go to anybody because of political retaliation and fear,” Outley said.

In June, a housecleaning triggered by racist, sexist and homophobic emails swept out Water Management Commissioner Barrett Murphy, managing deputy William Bresnahan and district superintendent Paul Hansen.

Four current and two former Water Management employees — all African-Americans — have filed a federal lawsuit accusing the department of “a hostile and abusive work environment” based on race that includes violence, intimidation and retaliation.

That includes less-desirable shifts and work assignments and being denied promotions, transfers, overtime and training opportunities. Black women were routinely referred to as “bitches and whores,” the suit contends.

Inspector General Joe Ferguson subsequently issued a quarterly report that included explosive new details about the emails scandal.

The report included allegations that the son of a former Chicago alderman used his city email account to buy or sell firearms and cars and send hate-filled emails describing African-Americans as “wild animals.”

Ferguson uncovered the racist, sexist and homophobic emails circulating in the Department of Water Management while investigating allegations that now former District Superintendent Paul Hansen had used his city email account to sell guns, as the Chicago Sun-Times was first to report.

Hansen is the son of former longtime Ald. Bernard Hansen (44th). The son’s checkered past with the water department includes allegations that political clout helped him get his job back after a DUI conviction.

Hansen was 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 concludes: “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.”

Hansen was further accused of using his city email account to negotiate personal purchases or sales of at least four firearms and five cars and used 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. Paul Hansen’s DUI Video is also on Youtube.

Rahm Emanuel needs to take responsibility for Frozen Fire Hydrants

Chicago Frozen hydrant jan 22, 2012 final on Chicago Clout Today, again, the Chicago Tribune reported in depth, the problems the Chicago Firefighters are having with frozen hydrants. Thank you to the Chicago Tribune for joining in the chorus, and bringing much needed attention to the impending doom. The Daley goons again left this major issue for Rahm Emanuel to deal with. Laying new water main and installing new fire hydrants is a start. Chicago Clout has championed this issue for many, many years. The Emanuel Administration and the Office of the Inspector General must work together to solve this major problem. Chicago Clout and several Chicago Plumbing Inspectors are willing to come forward to jump start a program that will save many lives. Several Chicago Inspectors and some State of Illinois inspectors are willing to move forward on this issue and give free inspections. On weekends, the City of Chicago only has one emergency hydrant truck up and running. It is located in the Central District. Several Caulkers and Plumbers are getting shortchanged on the overtime. The truck is citywide, but the overtime is not. Where is Local 130 Plumbers on this issue? Please save firefighters lives now. Give us a call Rahm, we have the solutions. Photo by Patrick McDonough

Chicago Fire Hydrants operations flawed, situation critical

Chicago Fire Hydrant Not Working 2.jpg I do not remember how many times I have urged the Chicago Media, the Chicago Department of Water Management, and The Chicago Fire Department, to step up the urgent and critical need to make Chicago Fire Hydrants ready and working. Winter is fast approaching and every second counts when a family is in a burning house. I spoke with a high ranking Fire Department official that asked me to again put the torch on the department’s ass to make the fire hydrants in full operational condition. This fire hydrant is one of many in an industrial section with an entire block of missing working hydrants. I think the Office of the Inspector General should find out why thousands of fire hydrants are out of service, hard to operate, or not draining. Chicago Clout wishes to again thank CBS2 Chicago Michele Youngerman and David Savini for making the public aware. There are solutions and one was solved years ago in the Central District by me; simply lead the mechanical nozzles into the hydrant. The Chicago Water Department does not listen to the folks with the answers. The big push in the department seems to be promoting friends and family. The big push is the bogus sewer lining contract and reinstall the rainblockers. Stupid is as stupid does. Also, we need to look into the “insider” copper theft this weekend in the Water Department. Another Plumber was also caught stealing copper not long ago and fired. I have asked for surveillance cameras in every Water Department location. I also want cameras at every swipe location. I will keep you informed as things go along. The Department of Water Management refuses to protect the safety of the drinking Water in Chicago. Time to fire more people now. Photo by Patrick McDonough.

Chicago Firefighters dig out Fire Hydrants during Blizzard 2011

Chicago Firefighters dig out Hydrants 1 During the Chicago Blizzard of 2011, Chicago Firefighters were looking for Fire Hydrants in case of a fire. They were also digging them out of the snow drifts. Many of Chicago’s Fire Hydrants are frozen solid and do not work. I guess more people need to die before the problem is fixed. I am glad Daley is leaving, the next mayor of chicago has a mess. Photo by Patrick McDonough