Crisis looms in Illinois workers’ compensation system thanks to Emanuel and Alderman Burke

Rahm Emanuel Picture.jpg The News-Gazette

By DR. DAVID FLETCHER

There’s a crisis looming in our state’s workers’ compensation system. If allowed to fester, it will keep workers from receiving timely medical treatment for workplace injuries. It will delay workers’ recoveries and their return to their jobs. And it will end up costing more for the very businesses and insurers seeking efficiencies in the system.

This crisis is not one you’ve heard about from the business and insurance communities. It’s a crisis created by their failure to implement laws that have been on the books in Illinois for more than a decade.

As doctors who care for workers compensation patients, here are our concerns: Illinois law spells out the right for medical professionals to receive prompt payment for the care we give to patients with workplace injuries.

Just like any other business or profession, we need to be paid for that care we give, so that we can compensate our employees and keep open the doors of our medical practices.

Yet, many Illinois workers’ compensation insurers completely ignore the prompt payment law. To date, there has been no remedy for doctors and other caregivers who remain unpaid for months and months at a time.

Furthermore, state law mandates that insurers accept electronic billing and documentation for workers’ compensation claims. This expedites the process.

Yet, many insist on an obsolete paper-based medical billing system, which delays medical care to injured workers and wastes resources.

Add to this bleak reality a recent, alarming increase in delayed payments for already-approved workers’ compensation medical care claims. The result is more and more physicians unable or unwilling to treat injured workers.

Since 2005, the Workers’ Compensation Act has allowed medical professionals a late interest penalty for approved workers’ compensation medical care.

Yet there is no way for doctors and others to enforce or collect this interest.

Even if the workers’ compensation insurer approves care for an injured worker, it can and often delays payment for the medical treatment rendered. These delays can last for years.

A recent court ruling found that medical professionals can’t even go to court to collect this interest.

Since the court decision, these payment delays have worsened to the point of doctors dropping out of the system.

What’s lost in the current debate on workers’ compensation policy is that medical professionals — the physicians, surgeons, hospitals and specialists — actually provide the care that supports our entire system.

Medical professionals are the ones who get injured employees back to work, reduce employer costs for time off and long-term injuries and work with employers to prevent work-related accidents from even happening in the first place.

We are often blamed for the system’s ills, even though we are in a unique position to make that system function.

When workers are hurt on the job, they need timely access to dedicated physicians, surgeons and specialists to treat their injuries. We in the medical community stand ready with solutions to the problems that are threatening the health of our workers’ compensation system.

It’s time to pass legislation that forces workers’ compensation insurers to start following the law. The alternative is having doctors and care centers rush to the exits.

John Maszinski, who works for the Illinois State Medical Society, submitted this piece by Dr. David Fletcher of Champaign.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel demands Chicago EEO Dept of Human Rights Investigation

Rahm Emanuel Alderman Burke.jpg

The City of Chicago Department of Water Management sent more employees down to an interview by the Department of Human Resources special EEO Investigator Unit. The City of Chicago Human Resources EEO unit is really used to receive information in case of a pending lawsuit against the city. Chicago is in the middle of several major lawsuits due to the mistreatment of blacks and other minorities.

Much of the testimony given to the EEO unit is given to the Office of the Inspector General. The Chicago Law Department is than given the information to defend itself in court. Rahm Emanuel is furious because he listens to Alderman Tunney and promoted Paul Hansen to Superintendent of the North District Water Department. Paul Hansen sent hundreds of emails to coworkers depicting blacks as fools and idiots. Paul Hansen would also discipline blacks prior to promotions and chances of advancement.

Paul Hansen also sat in interviews with William “Meathead” Bresnahan and determined the promotions.
Some of the folks interviewed today conspired to testify that they “saw nothing” and to let an employee subject to racial discrimination and retaliation look like a liar. This is part of the North District “no snitch policy” that is still in place. One witness was told, “If he fucking says anything, the ditch will fall in on him”. MANO ALIVE.

Well I do not know of a single accomplishment the EEO has made since this unit was started. We will soon let you know more. Most City of Chicago employees that end up in front of these goons get no protection at all. Or as one Union Representative said, “Just shut the fuck up”. “say you didn’t hear nuttin”.

More Chicago Department of Water Management email and criminal investigations

Greg Ortiz City of Chicago Department of Water Management

Saturday September 30, 2017

The City of Chicago Department of Water Management is still under attack for the backlash of the email scandal. City of Chicago workers participated in the sending of emails that were extremely ignorant and racist. For many decades, the North District was a hotbed of rude treatment, lack of promotions, and lack of overtime to blacks. The North District was a hotbed of shakedown artists and lousy Inspector Generals looked the other way. It was not until David Hoffman, the Chicago Inspector General had any integrity. Lately the Chicago Sun-Times went along with anything the current Inspector General said and told the Chicago newspapers to print. Joe Ferguson really sucks and is the worst Inspector General in Chicago history.

False inspections, steering investigations is par for the course. Are you surprised that Mayor Rahm Emanuel reappointed him? There is a reason, he is a puppet. A fool.

Last week and the week before, September 11, 2017 and the week of September 18, 2017, consisted of several interviews of North District foreman. Everyone knows except Joe Ferguson, the clown prince Inspector General, the promotion interviews, job interviews, discipline, job assignments, promotional tests were completely rigged under the past Department of Water Management leadership. If you remember, I spoke to the Federal Judge that released the Department of Water Management from Shakman oversight, and warned them about the very DOWM that were just front-page news.
Now a day late and a dollar short, Joe Ferguson, is considering the way the truck driver foreman was handing out overtime, the way the vehicles were used for personal use, used for lunch breaks, and other more sinister use.

Some water department employees sat around the yard all day, except for lunch and personal business. one of the most famous was North District Driver and Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. Luis was very quiet and never said a word, but he was a full-blown loafer at the North District yard. Joe Ferguson covered for him like a diaper.

Many of the emails Paul Hansen sent were not reported by many North District Employees. Joe Ferguson is allowing many North District employees to dilly dally until retirement and allow Plumbers’ Local 130 to drag this mess on as long as possible. According to a source, MT of Plumbers Local 130 told workers they will be fired and there is nothing he can do to save their jobs. MT was no racist, all he wanted was bribes, and he loved eating peaches in the morning.

Anyone that received nasty emails from Paul Hansen should be fired on the spot. No exceptions. Rahm Emanuel’s staff Sargent reported to me he is in full money raising mode, so he better clean this mess up quick. Elections are around the corner. More information on the way.

Laborers’ Local 1092 warns members about Retaliation at Chicago Department of Water Management

Local 1092 Warning.

Today I called The Chicago Department of Water Management offices to find out about the memo that many City of Chicago Department of Water Management Laborers are upset about. My call was forwarded to Gary Litherland, the DOWM spokesman. Gary knew nothing about this and did not get back to Chicago Clout for a comment. Many City employees are getting time off for not wearing proper gear. Many city workers get hurt thanks to a foolish lack of common sense safety rules. Chicago is broke and Alderman Burke has stopped paying injured City Workers because he is an idiot. Rahm left him to shake down venders for political contributions.

Many City DOWM employees feel D.C. Hightower is acting mighty uppity since Paul Hansen got removed for racist emails. One employee said, “Give a [email protected]$$#$” some power and they act the fool”. I want all DOWM Management employees to know, wear your safety gear, and if they order you to work in a ditch with no shoring, call 911. You need shoring and all safety gear to live a decent life when you get old. Work safe, no exceptions. Chicago Clout is still waiting for the Konrad Tucharski Safety records. Do not allow Konrad to die in vain. Work safe. Work smart.

If you are verbally assaulted by any City of Chicago employee, call 911. Make a record of the actions. Do not tolerate any negative behavior against you. Take pictures. I never had a bad experience from Dwyane Hightower, he always acted in a professional manner toward me. I though he was very tolerant under the circumstances of blatant racism and outrageous behavior by Barrett Murphy and William “putz” Bresnahan. Most laborers are lucky to have a Union that cares about the working man, just imagine if you had a windbag like Mike Tierney from Plumbers Local 130 moping around. Count your blessings Local 1092, wear your gear and work as if your life depends on it, it might.

Even England wants to talk about Rahm Emanuel and his racist emails, Paul Hansen DOWM

Chicago official wrote trove of racist, homophobic emails including one ‘joking’ about ‘safari’ tour to see violence in black neighborhoods
Commissioner Barrett Murphy, Managing Deputy William Bresnahan and District Superintendent Paul Hansen all lost their jobs as a result of an investigation
Hansen – son of former Chicago alderman Bernie Hansen – sent racist emails to Murphy, including one with an image of a KKK member in a ‘watermelon field’
He also referred to workers as ‘negro midgets’ in another email sent to Murphy
There were also emails for a ‘Chicago Safari’ – a tour of areas in the city that are struggling the most with gun violence – to show ‘lots of animals in their habitat’
The emails were found while Hansen’s communications were being investigated due to reports he had used his work account to arrange the sale of four firearms
The Water Department has a troubled history with racial issues and corruption
By Dailymail.com Reporter
PUBLISHED: 11:07 EDT, 18 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:34 EDT, 18 July 2017

One of the three senior officials forced to resign from Chicago’s notorious Water Department amid an email scandal sent colleagues racist, homophobic, and otherwise offensive comments and images to his colleagues.

Commissioner Barrett Murphy, Managing Deputy William Bresnahan and District Superintendent Paul Hansen all lost their jobs prior to the unsavory emails being published after an investigation by City Inspector General Joe Ferguson.

Ferguson’s investigation began more than eight months ago. Murphy, Bresnahan and Hansen resigned in May.

The Chicago Tribune reports high-ranking officials in the department were sent emails advertising ‘Chicago Safari’ tours in areas of the city struggling with gun violence.

The emails, according to the Tribune: ‘cited the number of shootings during a July Fourth weekend and guaranteed tourists would observe “at least one kill and five crime scenes” and also see “lots of animals in their natural habitat”.’

Also including in the emails were many startlingly offensive images, including ‘a scarecrow dressed in a KKK robe in a watermelon field and a picture of a nude woman used to celebrate “heterosexual male pride day”,’ ABC7 reports.

The network reports Hansen – the son of former Chicago alderman Bernie Hansen – forwarded the KKK email to Murphy in July 2014 under the subject line, ‘Watermelon Protection’.

Racist, homophobic and otherwise offensive emails have emerged in the wake of three senior officials with Chicago’s notorious Water Department being forced to resign. Commissioner Barrett Murphy (left) and Managing Deputy William Bresnahan (right) quit prior to the emails getting out

Text in the email, which Hansen received from someone else, read: ‘God is great, beer is good … and people are crazy. I’m guessing this would be considered politically incorrect.’

Hansen, according to ABC7, added his own note to Murphy: ‘I don’t understand.’

The members of the department (pictured) in question were found to have shared or been sent racist, sexist, and other offensive emails
The members of the department (pictured) in question were found to have shared or been sent racist, sexist, and other offensive emails

The superintendent, who was earning $122,280 in his role, shared another racist email with Commissioner Murphy after a power company asked city employees to stop works near a power line.

‘I think the only thing that the line does not feed is the center for the severely challenged negro midgets, you know the place, its where we hired all those laborers from 7 years ago,’ Hansen wrote to Murphy, according to ABC7.

The ex-alderman’s son shared another racist email in April 2014, this time with Managing Deputy Bresnahan, in response to a 16-year-old boy receiving an award for an essay about physical disability, racism, royalty, sexuality, and religion.

Hansen allegedly wrote to Bresnahan the boy won because his essay contained the line: ‘”My God”, cried the Queen. “That one-legged n****r is a queer”.’

The Water Department is known for alleging having issues based on race, including a cuurent suit in which right employees claim they have been denied promotions and treated poorly at work as a result of their race. Pictured is the department’s Eugene Sawyer facility
The Water Department is known for alleging having issues based on race, including a cuurent suit in which right employees claim they have been denied promotions and treated poorly at work as a result of their race. Pictured is the department’s Eugene Sawyer facility

Ex-Commissioner Murphy’s firing was surprising to some due to the ex-Commissioner’s close ties to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel is pictured speaking in January this year +2
Ex-Commissioner Murphy’s firing was surprising to some due to the ex-Commissioner’s close ties to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel is pictured speaking in January this year

The investigation found Hansen also received an email just week before losing his job on April 19 that showed a woman exposing her breasts, beer taps, and steak and other meats cooking on a barbecue.

The text of the email read: ‘To all my friends who are tired of taking a BACK SEAT to gays, lesbians, homosexuals, trans genders, women soldiers, bra burners, female boy scouts, women libbers, tree huggers and eco-commie-environ-freaks, the looney left, Greens, social justice warriors and worse of all – those fucking democrats!’

Other emails contained offensive references to President Barack Obama, women, and pictures of a ‘an African-American deputy commissioner… that depicted him with a gorilla face’, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Ferguson also found in his investigation Hansen used his official email to negotiate the sale of at least four firearms, according to the Tribune.

The gun emails resulted in the investigation being launched, which led to the discovery of the racist and otherwise offensive materials.

The Sun-Times added the department has long been known for and had a history of: ‘corruption and an ugly, hate-filled culture’.

Eight employees with the department have filed a suit against it claiming they have been denied promotions and treated poorly at work as a result of their race.

Murphy’s firing was surprising to some due to the ex-Commissioner’s close ties to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He was calling them, Niggers. Niggers.

Hansen was promoted to superintendent just six months after he received a DUI. A police report from the 2010 incident, according to the Sun-Times, stated the alderman’s son ‘increased his speed to more than 75 mph in a 55 mph zone’ when an officer tried to pull him over, while also ‘repeatedly crossing the center line’. This was reported on Chicago Clout and youtube video.

ABC 7 News Chicago Sources: Racist emails in department lead to firing of Chicago water commissioner

William Bresnahan Final Chicago Water Dept.jpg
CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago Water Management Commissioner Barrett Murphy was fired Friday, due to a series of racist emails sent within his department according to sources.

First Deputy Transportation Commissioner Randy Conner will replaced Murphy in the role.

Sources close to the situation in the Water Department told ABC7 Eyewitness News that as head of the department, Murphy was held responsible for a series of racist emails sent within the department. Murphy was fired because he failed to discipline those involved.

“We were made aware of an IG investigation into the culture at the water department. The mayor acted quickly and decisively, asking for the commissioner’s resignation and appointing a new commissioner to lead the department forward and change the department’s culture,” mayoral spokesman Adam Collins.

Two high-level employees within the Water Department officially resigned Friday.

Gun deal emails spurred city probe into racist, sexist Water Department messages

Emails about gun deals played a key role in a city inspector general’s investigation that led to last week’s shake-up at the Water Department, sources familiar with the probe said Monday.

One source with knowledge of the investigation said the City Hall watchdog initially began looking into emails regarding the gun deals and uncovered several that were sexist and racist, including messages about former President Barack Obama that dated back a year or two.

The disclosure that racist emails were sent about the nation’s first African-American president added another layer to the scandal, given that Obama called Chicago home and his first White House chief of staff was Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, who last week was appointed to a third term by Emanuel, is continuing his investigation of the Department of Water Management, City Hall sources said. One source said more agency employees were summoned for interviews and that workers were “lawyering up.”

The gun deal emails were found on the computer of Paul Hansen, a City Hall source said. Another source said the inspector general seized Hansen’s computer as part of the investigation, which began about eight months ago. Hansen, the son of former 44th Ward Ald. Bernard Hansen, resigned Thursday as a district superintendent of water distribution, officials said.

Barrett Murphy, who was water commissioner since April 2016, resigned Friday amid the probe at the agency he led. He’s a city government veteran married to Lynn Lockwood, who is the former chairman and treasurer of one of Emanuel’s political funds, as well as a friend of Chicago first lady Amy Rule.

In addition, officials confirmed Friday that a top deputy, William Bresnahan, also resigned.

The Water Department is an agency long rattled by negative headlines under Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, which was rocked by the Hired Truck scandal and an illegal jobs scam operated under former top water official Donald Tomczak, who served time in prison.

Under Tomczak, jobs and promotions were handed out in exchange for political work that created an army of ground troops for multiple politicians, including Emanuel in his successful 2002 bid for Congress.

Now Emanuel faces his own crisis. On Monday, the City Council Black Caucus called for an audit of the department “to get to the root of the culture of racism” and requested “additional diversity in promotion.”

“While we are deeply disturbed by reports of blatant racist language and behavior by these high-level city employees, we only wish we could say we are surprised,” said 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer, the caucus chairman. “The pervasive culture of racism at the Water Department has been an open secret for years. We hope that this moment can serve as a wake-up call for all those in the department and in other departments where this behavior is still tolerated or even encouraged.”

At an unrelated event Monday, Emanuel said he was made aware by Ferguson’s office of a problem with “one particular employee” and “in that process, it exposed a culture in the Water Department workplace” that doesn’t represent city values.

Emanuel said Murphy, the water commissioner, agreed there should be a reset in the culture at the agency, which is now headed by Randy Conner, who moved over from the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Hansen could not be reached for comment Monday. In April 2010 he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in northwest Illinois, according to public records from Jo Daviess County. He later pleaded guilty to reckless driving. City payroll records show that he was promoted to his most recent position in December 2010, which is after the court case was resolved.