Chicago Department of Water Managment Sean Walsh last day

Sean Walsh final city of chicago.jpg
Today was sad for the City of Chicago as Sean Walsh walked away from the Department of Water Management. The second highest educated collage Plumber at the City packed his bags and is on to better opportunities. Sean Walsh served his country during the recent war in Iraq. The Chicago Plumbers Union has a picture of that in their bookcases. Sean Walsh was a hard worker and brought a work ethic needed at the Department of Water Management.

I enjoyed working for Sean and found him to know what needed to be done. Sean acted with confidence and made good decisions. Sean will be a major loss to the City of Chicago. I contacted the Mayor’s office and Rahm said he will investigate it. Just about one year ago, several Department of Water Management employees working at the Jardine Plant told me Sean was the most qualified person for the Superintendent position and the Commissioner refused to interview Sean. Rahm Emanuel promised at the Shakman release hearings to have honest promotions. Chicago will never learn to do thing the right way and continue to promote friends the Mayor wants to reward for politics. Keep paying those sky-high water bills Chicago, it will be worse soon.

Special thanks again to Sean Walsh for his hard work and dedication to the Department of Water Management. You will be missed. Best of luck in your new career. Remove Rahm Emanuel from office and we will keep good employees.

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.”

Criminal Activity continues at City of Chicago Department of Water Management, Workers want new Watchdog

Chicago DOWM Watchdog 1.jpg A major copper theft was reported out of the City of Chicago Department of Water Management facilities located at 4900 West Sunnyside. Chicago Clout first reported this theft a couple of weeks ago. A pin point theft located $5000.00 dollars in copper used for water services for Chicago’s over taxed residents. For over a decade, I have reported rolls of copper walking out the door and into District Foreman’s side job trucks. Many City Workers were installing water services on the side stealing this valuable metal. In fact, the Office of the Inspector General looked the other way despite police knocking at the front door of crooks. One brash side job included a retire sewer foreman’s personal residence. Witnesses that were on the side job come forward and nothing was done. Pictures taken and sent to the Inspector General were round files. (For the record, The Vroustouris Days) The same Employees are still in the news and regulars for Workman’s Compensation Benefits. The fact the crooks knew exactly which trucks to break into is very telling. The fact that no pumps, tools, or other valuable items went missing is troubling. Not long ago, I was on the phone with Tom LaPorte, the spokesman for the DOWM, he knew nothing about these thefts. I also asked if it was true that Dwayne Hightower busted two high power political laborers staying at home during the workday. Tom Laporte again knew nothing. He said he will look into these allegations. Many City of Chicago Laborers want to know why some 1092 laborers get to take pickup trucks despite the fact they lack the seniority. Some laborers complained laborer sub Forman are paid to run crews but drive the pick-up trucks instead. None of these laborers are subject to random drug testing despite a liability issue, the city waits until they run over someone. Our greatest concern right now is the lack of competent Management at the North District, the lack of non-union management is causing many problems. There is no General Superintendent to oversee Union Employees with political ties. The Inspector General needs to do something now. It is time to fire the folks running the circus. Rahm Emanuel, do the job you were hired to do. Photo by Patrick McDonough