Doctor Willie Wilson answers Chicago Tribune editorial on Stone McDonough Federal Lawsuit

Willie Wilson Final Mayor of Chicago.jpg
August 18, 2018

City of Chicago Mayoral Candidate and frontrunner for the 2019 Chicago Election came out strong for a Federal Lawsuit filed against Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Edward Burke. The Chicago Tribune completed an editorial exposing Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Burke for mismanaging 100s of millions of taxpayer dollars by Chicago Workers Compensation dictator Alderman Burke. The tribune called out mayoral candidates to address this issue.

Willie Wilson is the first Mayoral Candidate to address the Federal Lawsuit filed by political activist Jay Stone and City of Chicago employee Patrick McDonough. Doctor Willie Wilson is no stranger to the attacks of Chicago Government insiders attempting to discourage his exposing the corruption that has almost brought Chicago to its knees. Doctor Wilson, a famous and long-time humanitarian, gained notoriety recently helping disadvantaged folks pay their outrageous tax bills and speeding tickets that feeds the elite insiders’ wallets in Chicago. Doctor Wilson was accused of attempting to influence Chicago Voters, an outrageously false charge. Insiders make these charges to take away the good intentions of a man blessed with financial success and business accouterment.
If anything, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Burke should be brought to the table for refusing to give generously to the needy. Rahm and Ed squirrel away every penny they can and will not change. What a difference. The taxpayers will see through this.

Doctor Willie Wilson feels this lawsuit filed by Jay Stone and Patrick McDonough appears well justified and Emanuel and Burke should be investigated to the full extent of the law. Wilson further believes that the attorney general should join the lawsuit and be part of the investigation.

Dr. Wilson believes there is a great deal of mismanagement in the City of Chicago under the current administration totaling in the billions of dollars. This 100-million-dollar (workers comp) fund is just the tip of the iceberg.

Dr. Wilson also applauds the Inspector General of the City of Chicago for his new transparency initiative involving a searchable database on the internet. It’s more than past time for the public to be able to see where their tax dollars are ending up. Dr. Wilson believes the Inspector General is an important part of the management of the city going forward and intends to support his efforts into the future.

Special thanks to Doctor Wilson, Ms. Foxx, Scott Winslow, Frank Coconate, Mr. Avila, and Mr. Wilson’s expert support staff for their profound leadership in real issues affecting Chicago.
Chicago City workers are impressed by Mr. Wilson’s stance.

Chicago Tribune Editorial: Chicago workers' comp: $100 million a year, but no oversight

Alderman Edward Burke Chicago 14 Th Ward.jpg

Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.
It might be tempting to brush off a lawsuit filed recently against Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, as politically motivated.

Two longtime critics of City Hall accuse Emanuel and Burke of violating Illinois law and the state and U.S. constitutions. The alleged infraction? Allowing Burke, through the City Council Finance Committee he chairs, to administer the city’s workers’ compensation program. The suit argues that the program, which costs taxpayers at least $100 million per year, according to a 2016 inspector general report, should be run by a City Hall agency, human resources professionals or the Law Department.

The suit says the current arrangement — which is spelled out in the Chicago Municipal Code — is unconstitutional because it assigns executive functions to the legislative branch. We’ll leave that question to the courts. There’s zero doubt, however, that vesting complete control of the workers’ comp fund in a single committee chair, shielded from oversight, is a terrible idea.

Burke’s role as the gatekeeper of workers’ comp benefits for the entire city of Chicago invites cynicism, and rightfully so. The lawsuit alleges that Burke, who has chaired the finance committee for 33 of the last 35 years, leverages his position to load up his staff with patronage workers. The role also allows him to dole out favors as he determines the outcomes of hundreds of cases of city workers who claim they were injured on the job.

The lawsuit says jobs and disability benefits are awarded to precinct captains and others who help secure votes for Burke and candidates he supports. It says Emanuel has relinquished control of the workers’ comp fund to Burke because Burke helps round up City Council votes for measures pushed by the mayor. We’d like to see data to back up those claims, but that’s the point. Everything ends at Burke.

We have long argued, along with a few members of the City Council, that city Inspector General Joe Ferguson should have the authority to audit the program. Someone other than Burke and his staff should be reviewing cases and claims that involve public workers and taxpayer money.

But Burke, assisted by weak-kneed aldermen, has managed to wall off his committee from the purview of Ferguson’s office. The City Council in 2016 helped him by gutting an ordinance that would have given Ferguson the authority to examine Burke’s books. This was after many aldermen claimed to be in favor of it a year earlier, during election season. Then they flipped.

It was outrageous then and it’s outrageous now.

By comparison, Cook County’s workers’ comp committee, chaired by County Board member Tim Schneider, R-Bartlett, reviews and signs off on decisions that are made by experts in the county’s risk management department and the state’s attorney’s office. Schneider doesn’t have a staff. He isn’t negotiating compensation decisions. And the committee and its cases are open to the scrutiny of the county inspector general and the public. Cases that require a settlement eventually come to the full County Board for approval.

At the state level, it’s similar. Lawmakers who head up House and Senate committees on public health or transportation or education don’t actually administer programs in those subject areas. The agency heads and staff who work for the state of Illinois do.

The federal lawsuit filed by Jay Stone and Patrick McDonough — two activists with a long history of fighting City Hall — asks a judge to order the city to assign the workers’ comp program to the executive branch and to grant the inspector general permission to conduct an audit and claims review and to release the results to the public. For now, City Hall isn’t commenting.

We’re happy the plaintiffs are calling attention to an issue Chicago’s elected officials have worked very hard to duck.

Emanuel and every candidate on the ballot in 2019 should be on the hot seat regarding this question: Why should an elected alderman continue to act as a program administrator, in the dark, on an issue as expensive and important as workers’ comp? And why should he (or anyone) operate outside the watchful eye of an inspector general?

It’s a blot on Chicago government that is long overdue for a fix. Who will have the guts to do it?

Ms. Leven of Better Government Association weighs in on Illinois Workers Compensation

Leven: Put Responsibility for Compensating Injured City workers in the City’s Hands
Chicago is the only major city to pay injured workers out of its legislative body. Changing that could be something for some enterprising aldermanic candidates to champion.
By Rachel L. Leven August 3, 2018

Pop Quiz: Who manages the annual expenditure of more than $100 million to approve and compensate city workers for on-the-job injuries? Is it the head of human resources? Nope. Maybe the city’s top lawyer? Try again. Then it must go straight to the mayor? Wrong. It’s the finance committee of the city council. And virtually everyone knows, it shouldn’t be.

Chicago is the only major city to pay injured workers out of its legislative body. For example, in New York City, the function is located within the legal department. In San Francisco, Houston, and Los Angeles, the function is in the human resources and personnel departments. The way Chicago manages its program enables a lack of transparency, poor oversight, and a shirking of responsibilities to both workers and taxpayers.

Let’s start with transparency. The Corporation of the City of Chicago and its employees are subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The extent to which aldermen are subject to FOIA is a much more complicated question, according to Better Government Association counsel Matt Topic. A benevolent committee chair could decide to make sunshine the default, freely providing appropriate records when they are requested. But, as long as claims are paid by the city council, the chair – whomever is sitting in the position now or in the future – gets to make that decision.

The shadow extends to oversight. According to its jurisdiction, the city’s Office of Inspector General should be able to investigate misconduct within the city council. However, audits of the city council were specifically carved out from the inspector general’s powers. That means the $100 million plus spent on injured workers annually is not something the office can proactively monitor or audit.

And, it’s not just the inspector general, the workers’ compensation program historically has been a black box for the city’s administration too. Even though the city provides funds for workers’ claims from its own coffers, according to a 2016 inspector general report, the city’s law and finance departments did not have direct access to the workers compensation claims data kept by the city’s finance committee. So who ultimately is responsible for managing taxpayer risk and improving workers’ health? Not the city council. They only process the claims. They don’t run the city’s services, training, or human resource operations. It’s the city administration that is responsible, which is exactly why it’s city managers who should run the program, not lawmakers.

A lawsuit recently was filed by Jay Stone and Patrick McDonough arguing that the placement of the workers’ compensation claims program within the city council violates the separation of powers outlined in the U.S. Constitution. Jay Stone is the son of former Alderman Bernie Stone and was awarded $75,000 after an independent monitor found city workers helped defeat him in his own race for city council. Patrick McDonough is also a former political candidate and an injured worker who believes the committee mishandled his claim. This is not the first time the pair has made a run at the finance committee’s powers. It remains unclear if this attempt will be any more successful than previous ones.

However, Stone and McDonough aren’t the only ones concerned about the placement of workers’ comp, just the most dogged. A 2016 city council resolution called for hearings on the subject. It had two sponsors and went nowhere. Changing who oversees workers’ comp claims is not an easy sell politically and would take the support of some powerful people in the city council and the administration or a demand from residents. But an election is on the horizon, so maybe it’s time for another attempt at taking workers’ comp away from the finance committee. This could be a good government change for some enterprising aldermanic candidates to champion.


Rachel L. Leven
Rachel Leven is the BGA’s policy manager focusing on Chicago and Cook County. Before joining the BGA, Leven ran communications for the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG), a nationally renowned municipal oversight agency.

Burke’s 40 Off Book Employees Cost Taxpayer’s an Extra $1.4 Million a Year

When Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 47 alderman approved the 2018 budget for the Committee on Finance (COF), Ald. Edward Burke had misinformed them about the number of employees working for his committee and the amount of money that the city was paying for their salaries. Burke’s budget list 25 COF employees for the 2018 fiscal year.1 The COF said in Feb., 2018 that 65 employees were working in the COF.2 Currently Burke’s COF staff of 65 has 40 more employees than the 25 COF employees listed in his 2018 budget.

In Oct. 2017 the COF said it had 62 employees working in the COF.3 Since the COF admitted Burke’s committee had 62 COF employees in Oct., 2017, it means Burke lied about the size of his staff when he and his colleagues passed his 2018 COF budget for 25 employees in Nov., 2017.

Off book means, “not properly declared for accounting purposes.” Today Burke’s committee has 40 off book COF employees because Burke failed to properly declare 40 of his COF employees in the 2018 budget. Simple subtraction was all that was needed to determine Burke’s 40 off book COF employees (see below).

65 COF employees listed in Feb., 2018 FOIA
(25) COF employees listed in Chicago’s 2018 budget
40 Off Book COF Employees

The COF has 40 employees whose salaries were also unaccounted for in the 2018 budget. The city is currently spending additional money to pay the salaries of Burke’s 40 off book COF employees. In February, 2018, the COF admitted that the current cost of COF employees’ salaries is $3.2 million a year.2 Again, simple subtraction was all that was needed to determine that the city is paying out an additional $1.4 million a year for Burke’s off book COF salaries (see below).

$3.2 Million listed for COF employees’s salaries in the Feb., 2018 FOIA
($1.8) Million listed for COF employees’s salaries in 2018 Budget
$1.4 Million for the Off Book Salaries of Burke’s COF Employees

Burke Stopped the Inspector General Ordinance to Hide His Off Book Employees
In 2016 Burke put together a coalition of 25 aldermen to block the inspector general (IG) from auditing and investigating his COF. There have been countless accusations of Burke’s misconduct during his 39 year reign as an alderman. Stopping the IG from investigating his committee is by far the worse allegation against Burke because Burke had a city ordinance passed to protect his wrongdoing. Burke was improperly hiring and employing his off book staff at the same time he blocked the IG from investigating him. Thanks to the City Council passing the ordinance Burke proposed, no one at the IG’s office can investigate Burke’s committee. Sadly, the IG conducting a simple audit would have exposed Burke’s 40 off book COF employees and the additional $1.4 million yearly cost to taxpayers.

Besides the $1.4 million a year in COF off book salaries, the taxpayers must pay for Burke’s off book employees’ health insurance and pensions. The city is paying for part of every COF off book employee’s health insurance. In addition, taxpayers are also contributing to Burke’s off book COF employees’ pensions.

Burke has 20 COF employees who earn between $23,108 and $29,208 a year.2 Burke pays 20 COF employees in the $20,000 to $30,000 a year range so he can hire more people for his COF staff. Burke uses his COF employees for patronage, so the more COF employees he hires, the more people Burke has to campaign for him and his favored candidates. Unfortunately taxpayers must continue to foot the bill for health insurance, pensions, and salaries for all of Burke’s off book patronage hiring.

Call to Action
Exposing Ald. Burke’s political corruption is one thing, but stopping the corruption and preventing it from happening again is the ultimate goal. Below are four actions that will stop and prevent COF corruption practices that come at a hefty cost to taxpayers.

Pass a Chicago Inspector General Ordinance that allows the IG to investigate aldermanic programs and committees beginning with the COF.
The second Mayor Emanuel signs the IG ordinance, the IG should start an audit of Ald. Burke’s Committee on Finance for the last seven years.
Remove Ald. Burke as City Council Committee on Finance Chairman. During Council Wars in the 1980s, a judge ruled that the City Council is a separate branch of government and has a right to organize itself. Aldermen don’t have to wait until after the 2019 elections to end Burke’s 30 year reign as COF chairman. How ironic that thanks to Burke and the rest of the Vrdolyak 29’s actions in the 1980s, a majority of aldermen may vote in 2018 to remove Burke as COF Chairmen.
Transfer the management of the Workers’ Compensation program from the COF to the executive branch of government. Except for Chicago no city or state in the country has a legislative committee managing it workers’ comp program. Professionals should run Chicago workers’ comp instead of a bunch of political hacks that work for Ald. Burke.

Rahm’s Meaningless Promises By Jay Stone Chicago Mayoral Update

Mayor Rahm Emanuel told U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier that Chicagoans should demand an honest government. This is very ironic since Emanuel’s own dishonesty was one of the reasons that made this federal court hearing necessary. Emanuel’s election victory to congress was the result of political corruption that led to a federal judge appointing a monitor to oversee City of Chicago personnel from 2004 to 2014. Before the FBI halted Chicago’s political and criminal scams that went undetected for decades, trucking company owners paid bribes to city employees and donated campaign contributions to politicians like Emanuel in return for the city paying the trucking companies $60 million a year to have their trucks sit idle in city parking lots. After pleading guilty, disgraced Deputy Water Department Commissioner Donald Tomczak testified at Robert Sorich’s federal court trial that up to 225 of his unlawful political soldiers campaigned for Emanuel when Emanuel ran for congress. In another federal court trial a second witness corroborated Tomzcak’s testimony about Emanuel’s ill-gotten congressional victory. He said that Emanuel joined his illicit congressional campaign workers for beers after they campaigned door to door on Emanuel’s behalf.

If reporters inquired about Emanuel’s tainted congressional victory, Emanuel responded with, I’m not wallowing in the past, I’m looking forward to the future. Emanuel doesn’t even bother to deny his involvement in this massive scandal because he knows the evidence against him is irrefutable federal court testimony. The testimony implicating Emanuel is irrefutable because the federal court witnesses would have had their prison time extended for lying. How can voters trust Emanuel to provide honest Chicago government when he hasn’t been honest about his involvement in a scandal that included 60 convictions and the federal court monitoring city politicians and personnel for 10 years?

Emanuel previously lied about remaining vigilante against corruption and cooperating with Chicago’s inspector general. More recently Emanuel has failed again to combat corruption as he promised in federal court. Emanuel continued to support Chicago Public School’s CEO Forrest Claypool after the Chicago Public School’s inspector general recommended firing Claypool for ethics violations and Claypool’s attempt to cover-up his misdeeds. Below is Emanuel’s federal court statement that contains his lie of leading a city government that keeps the people’s interest first.

“Today is your day. After living under a cloud of mistrust for decades, you can be confident that your city government operates in a way that keeps your interests, and only your interests, first. But you too have a role to play going forward. Always demand professionalism. Always demand transparency. Always demand a government that is honest – because you deserve nothing less. “

Emanuel’s support of CEO Claypool came after 99 percent of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members approved a no-confidence vote in Claypool. Emanuel won’t dare claim his support of Claypool was in the best interest of CPS students, teachers, and parents when nearly every CTU member expressed no confidence in Claypool. After Claypool did not live up to Emanuel’s standards of honesty, professionalism, and transparency (see Emanuel’s quote above), 99% of the CTU members demanded Emanuel’s handpicked school board fire CEO Claypool. Instead of Emanuel following through on the words and values that he espoused in federal court, Emanuel stood up for his corrupt and disgraced CEO whom he had previously appointed.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Put His and His Cronies’ Interest First

Since 1972 thirty-three Chicago aldermen have plead guilty, or either a judge or jury found them guilty. Thirty-three convicted aldermen is seven more aldermen necessary for a quorum to hold a City Council meeting. The staggering Chicago alderman conviction rate is one alderman is convicted every 16 months. In other words, 33 of the last 100 alderman have had a criminal conviction. Each guilty aldermen was trying to line his or her pocket with money they had no business taking. Soon the number of convicted aldermen will most likely rise to thirty-four. In Dec. 2016 Ald. Willie Cochran was charged with 11 counts of wire fraud, two counts of extortion and two counts of bribery. Allegedly Cochran stole charitable contributions intended for poor children and seniors and used most of his ill-gotten money to gamble.

Cochran was charged with stealing charitable funds two years after Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in federal court, “… you can be confident that your city government operates in a way that keeps your interests, and only your interests, first.” Is Rahm Emanuel’s silence his way of maintaining Ald. Cochran was acting in the interest of the people of Chicago when he stole money from a charity to pay for his gambling? Why hasn’t Mayor Moral High Ground called for Cochran’s resignation since a grand jury indicted Cochran more than one year ago?

There were two inspector general ordinances proposed the day Mayor Emanuel was complicit with the 25 aldermen who voted to restrict the Chicago inspector general’s authority. After the City Council vote IG Joe Ferguson said, “Today’s oversight transfer legislation nudges the ball forward, but leaves Chicago with a form of Council oversight that is still separate (procedurally) and unequal (substantively), from the rest of City government.”

Chicago has no frontline defense to stop corrupt aldermen. The FBI and Justice Department were responsible for the investigations and successful prosecutions of all 33 convicted aldermen. Four of the 33 aldermen were convicted of having ghost employees on their city council committees. Most likely former Alderman Tony Laurino would have been the fifth alderman convicted for having ghost employees on his City Council committee. Laurino did not officially make the aldermen hall of shame for providing 35 no-show jobs because he died before his trial. In spite of Mayor Emanuel’s federal court pledge to have a Chicago government that keeps residents’ interest first, the ordinance that handcuffed the inspector general’s office only protects the interest of Emanuel and his crony aldermen.

Given Mayor Emanuel’s federal court promises to remain vigilante against corruption and lead a Chicago government that works only for the people’s interest, you would have expected Emanuel to move heaven and earth to pass an inspector general ordinance that could actually fight City Council corruption. Furthermore, the staggering conviction rate of one aldermen every 16 months and four aldermen previously convicted of ghost pay-rolling are other compelling reasons that should have persuaded Emanuel to put the full force of the mayor’s office behind an ordinance that gives the IG oversight of aldermanic committees and programs.

By allowing aldermen to block the IG from investigating their committees and programs, Mayor Emanuel forsook his core values for a political purpose; he wants aldermen to vote his way on other matters. Emanuel garnering citizens’ votes on election day is easy compared to securing an alderman’s vote. To win the next election, Emanuel will tell voters what they want to hear–like the hollow promises Emanuel made in federal court. But aldermen desire something more than Emanuel’s meaningless rhetoric for their vote. They want something concrete and tangible in return for their support of Emanuel’s legislation.

Aldermen are indebted to Emanuel because Emanuel protected the aldermen from the IG investigating their committees and programs. Lousy legislation is virtually guaranteed because Emanuel’s lackey aldermen will provide Emanuel with the votes he wants regardless of how bad Emanuel’s legislation is for taxpayers. You’ll see more aldermen going to jail and City Council waste because Emanuel agreed to block the IG from fully investigating aldermanic committees and programs.

This is a typical Chicago politics win-win–a win for the Mayor Emanuel and a win for the aldermen who are in cahoots with the mayor. But it is not a win for the people’s interests that Emanuel pledged to protect in federal court. Rahm, shame on you for not honoring your promise to always put the citizen’s interest first.

Alderman Burke and Rahm Emanuel in the Crosshairs. Feds Investigate Corruption

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Lied in Federal Court
Emanuel Restarts Corrupt Political Practices that Previously Led to 60 Convictions

Mayor Rahm Emanuel told a whopper of a lie on June 16, 2014 in U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier’s standing room only courtroom. Dozens of Chicago style political discrimination victims, journalists, and other interested parties all came together for the historic removal of the federal court monitor. Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration rigged interviews for job applicants who secretly campaigned for Daley backed candidates for 16 years. Consequently, in 2004 Judge Wayne Andersen appointed Noelle Brennan as a federal court monitor to oversee the City of Chicago’s personnel decisions. About 60 city employees either plead guilty or were convicted for their role in Chicago’s job and election rigging scheme. It took 10 years, a new mayor, the retirement of Judge Andersen, and the City of Chicago spending over $200 million in civil rights settlements, legal fees and human resource changes before Judge Schenkier agreed to end the federal court’s oversight.
Mayor Emanuel and the city agreed to follow a Hiring Plan in return for the removal of the federal court monitor. Some of the Hiring Plan’s anti-corruption rules and procedures were making the Human Resource Department the “gatekeeper” of all city jobs instead of the mayor’s office, giving the Inspector General Office (IGO) hiring oversight and investigative authority. The IGO’s webpage states that it took over the federal court monitor’s duties on the day Emanuel testified in federal court.
Judge Schenkier said, the city has “… a set of rules, procedures and internal policing requirements to keep politics out of hiring.” The IGO’s investigative authority is the “internal policing” that Judge Schenkier referenced. Mayor Emanuel also acknowledged that the IGO must continue its work in order to keep politics out of city hiring. Emanuel testified, “We must remain vigilant, working cooperatively with Inspector General Ferguson and his hiring oversight team to help keep us on this path from which we must never stray again.”
On Feb. 10, 2016 the City Council voted to restrict the IGO’s investigative authority. Thus, 18 months after Mayor Emanuel pledged to work cooperatively with the IGO, Emanuel was complicit in taking away the IGO’s investigation powers that he agreed to follow in federal court. Mayor Emanuel published nine press releases for ordinances that were approved on the day the City Council voted to reduce the IGO’s authority, but none of Emanuel’s nine press releases addresses the hot-button issue of the IGO’s reduced authority that the mayor said was essential to stopping corruption when he spoke in federal court.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel lied in federal court when he promised to stay “vigilant” and “cooperate” with the IGO to keep Chicago moving forward. Emanuel sticking his head in the sand while his political allies passed the water-downed IGO ordinance is obstructionism, not the cooperation that Emanuel publicly pledged. The IGO has the expertise, experience, and resources to root out corruption. When Mayor Emanuel gave his blessings to handcuff the IGO, he was anything but vigilant as he had promised to maintain. If Mayor Emanuel truly meant what he said in federal court, he would have vetoed the IGO ordinance without a moment’s hesitation. Instead of Emanuel being true to his words in federal court, Emanuel acted like a coward by saying he merely went along with the aldermen.
The next section discusses how corruption and another potential civil rights lawsuit have resulted from Emanuel’s failure to veto the ordinance that restricts the IGO’s investigative authority.
Mayor Emanuel’s Lies are Preventing IGO Investigation
On February 23, 2016 I filed a complaint with the IGO because Alderman Burke is managing the Chicago’s Workers Compensation Division through his aldermanic Committee on Finance (COF). The workers’ compensation program belongs in the executive branch of government as it is everywhere else in this country, not in Burke’s legislative committee. The next day Chicago Sun Times reporter Fran Spielman published a story in which attorney Michael Shakman said he agreed with me. Mr. Shakman said he made a mistake by allowing patronage employees to run Chicago’s Worker’s Compensation Division. Four days after my IGO complaint, the Sun Times published an editorial that called for moving Chicago’s workers comp program from Ald. Burke’s committee to a city department.
The Richard M. Daley administration committed political discrimination because it awarded government jobs and promotions in a quid pro quo exchange for campaign work. Candidates, such as Mayor Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel, did not pay for their campaign workers. The city compensated Daley and Emanuel’s congressional campaign workers in the form of new city employment and promotions that came from rigged job interviews. Instead of rewarding campaign workers with jobs and promotions, Alderman Burke is rewarding disability pay and benefits to injured city workers who are affiliated with his and the mayor’s political machine. Mayor Emanuel’s failure to veto the restrictive IG ordinance is creating a liability that could cost millions of dollars in another civil rights class action lawsuit.
The Hiring Plan listed the job titles and job classifications for employees who work in Ald. Burke’s COF. Furthermore, Burke failed to seek the Department of Human Resources (DHR) commissioner’s permission to change 22 COF employees’ job titles as the Hiring Plan required. Ald. Burke also failed to notify the IGO of changes to his employees’ job titles as he was required. When I became aware that 22 of Alderman Burke’s COF employees had one job title for the COF and one job title for the DHR , I filed a second IGO complaint (See table Below).
Committee on Finance Employees who have a Human Resources Job Title Different from their COF Job Titles

NAME DHR Job Title COF JobTitle
Maria Estrada — Legislative Aide — Adjuster
Janet Galvin Legislative Aide Director of Workers Comp
Mao Hong Legislative Aide Systems Administrator
Linda Jagminas Legislative Aide Director of Claims and Rebates
Mary Kate Manion Legislative Aide Secretary of Committee on Finance
Alicia Martinez Clerk of the City Council Adjuster
William Marutzky Legislative Aide Adjuster
Kathleen McNamara Legislative Aide SC Adjuster
Arturo Medina Legislative Aide Adjuster
Andrea Miceli Legislative Aide Secretary of Committee on Finance
Laura Montoya Manager of Information Systems Director of Policy
Michelle Murphy Director of Workers Compensation Assistant Chief Administration Officer
Stephen Niketopoulos Legislative Aide SC Adjuster
Ellen O’Gara Legislative Aide Adjuster
Megan Panik Legislative Aide Adjuster
Kyra Robinson Legislative Aide Adjuster
Moni Rohde Legislative Aide Systems Administrator
Monica Somerville Legislative Research Analyst Executive Director of Claims
Lisa Soto Legislative Aide Adjuster
Marita Thomas Legislative Aide Adjuster
Sherry Williams Legislative Aide SC Adjuster
Ethel Nancy Legislative Aide Adjuster

Ald. Ed Burke also created eight (8) new job classifications for his COF employees (See table below). The job classifications Burke created were not in the budget, nor were these jobs listed in the Hiring Plan. Burke creating job classifications on his own accord violates the Hiring Plan that Mayor Emanuel and the city agreed to follow in federal court. Unfortunately, Mayor Emanuel’s failure to veto the IGO ordinance prevents the IGO from investigating 22 of Burke’s employees using of two job titles and Burke’s creation of eight new job classifications in violation of the Hiring Plan.

Committee on Finance Job Classifications Created by Chairman Alderman Edward Burke

Ald. Burke ordering his employees to use two separate job titles is prima facia evidence of wrongdoing. Burke is purposely being deceitful and duplicitous because he wants to retain as many of his COF jobs for his own personal and political gain. On the one hand, the COF’s proper use of his employees job titles with the DHR keeps Ald. Burke and the COF in good stead with the DHR. On the other hand, COF employee’s use of unofficial job titles in the performance of their work make it appear that members of the Ald Burke’s staff are something other than the patronage employees that they really are. The COF’s abuse of job titles makes it seem COF employees are making independent and fair decisions based on fact, but the sad truth is the COF often decides Workers Comp cases based on political affiliation to Ald. Burke. We will never know the extent of Burke and the COF’s wrongdoing until Mayor Emanuel and the aldermen reinstate the IGO’s investigative power or the Justice Department investigates Burke’s committee for a third time.
Please note that I only said Mayor Rahm Emanuel lied in federal court. Judge Schenkier did not have any of the witnesses who testified on June 16, 2014 swear to tell the truth, including Emanuel, myself, and everybody else who spoke at the hearing. Because he did not swear to tell the truth before he addressed the court, I deem Mayor Emanuel a liar, but not a perjurer.

Some time Alderman Burke and the Chicago Workers’ Compensation System needs a second look

Steve Collier Final City of Chicago Hoisting Engineer Former Green Bay Packer Football player and City of Chicago Hoisting Engineer wants a look at his records keep by Alderman Burke and Monica Somerville at the Chicago Committee on Finance. Mr. Steve Collier went to the Mayor of the City of Chicago’s administrative officer to make sure his FOIA does not get lost. I suggest if you work for the City of Chicago, past and present, to review all document the City keeps on you. Jay Stone wrote many articles on Alderman Burke and Monica Somerville, I suggest to enlighten yourself. “You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them”
― Iyanla Vanzant, Yesterday, I Cried Photo by Chicago Clout Steve Collier FOIA REQUEST.pdf
Former Green Bay Packer Football player and City of Chicago Hoisting Engineer wants a llok at his records keep by Alderman Burke and Monica Somerville at the Chicago Committee on Finance. Mr. Steve Collier went to the Mayor of the City of Chicago’s administrative officer to make sure his FOIA does not get lost. I suggest if you work for the City of Chicago, past and present, to review all document the City keeps on you. Jay Stone wrote many articles on Alderman Burke and Monica Somerville, I suggest to enlighten yourself. “You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them”
― Iyanla Vanzant, Yesterday, I Cried Photo by Chicago Clout

Alderman Ed Burke’s Workers’ Comp Aide is Committing Fraud

Burke’s Legislative Aide Falsely Claims She is the Workers’ Comp Director

Monica Somerville is a legislative aide who is fraudulently claiming she is the Director of the Workers Compensation Division. I discovered Somerville’s fraud when a friend showed me a letter that Somerville sent him (See note 1 to view two Somerville letters). At the top of the letter was “City of Chicago,” “Committee on Finance,” and “Alderman Ed Burke, Chairman.” In the body of the letter, Somerville gave a one-word explanation of “Non-Compliant” as the reason why the city was terminating my friend’s duty disability and medical payments. My friend was on duty when his ankle was hit with a fork lift truck. The driver of the fork lift tested positive for cocaine and was fired.

Two months after Somerville’s letter, my friend is still trying to find out what he did that was non-compliant. For Somerville to give a one word explanation for the termination of duty disability pay and medical expenses is incompetence, not fraud. My friend has a wife and five children that rely on his duty disability pay check. The workers’ comp division owes my friend due process and an explanation of more than one word for the stoppage of his income and medical payments related to his on duty injury.

Somerville’s fraud occurred after she signed her letter. Underneath her signature, she typed, Monica Somerville, Director. In the next line Somerville typed, “Workers’ Compensation Division.” Somerville is not the director of the workers compensation division. The real director of workers’ comp is Robert Serafin. Somerville has no legal right or authority to call herself the director of workers’ comp when she is not. The city pays $119,556 to Robert Serafin to serve as the director of workers’ compensation. The city pays Monica Somerville $75,408 for her work as Alderman Burke’s legislative aide. Because of the seriousness of accusing Somerville of fraud, my friend submitted a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) to verify Somerville’s legislative aide job title with the city’s human resources department. Indeed, the human resources’ FOIA response confirmed Monica Somerville’s job title is a “legislative aide,” not the director as she types on her letters.

I know of at least one other Somerville letter in which she fraudulently claimed she is the director of workers’ comp. I’m confident that Somerville sent many more letters with her fake job title to injured city employees. The Chicago Defender wrote an article about how Reginald Williams Sr. was injured when he was a passenger in a city truck that was involved in a major accident. Williams Sr. and his doctor want surgery to repair the injuries he sustained on duty; Somerville’s letter ordered Williams Sr. to return to work. This is exactly what Chicago Defender reporter KaiElz wrote, “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.'” To read KaiElz’s complete Chicago Defender article, click here.

Monica Somerville also listed herself on the Linkedin professional networking site as the “Director of Workers’ Compensation, and Police and Fire Claims” (see note 2 for a screen shot of Somerville’s false claims). Here are five of the 11 duties that Somerville claims she does for her legislative aide job.
*Manage the Committee on Finance workers’ compensation program
*Recruit, train, manage 17+ claims examiners for timely investigations and bill payments
*Analyze and review complaints and assist in resolving all complaints
*Advise counsels on parameters of settlement negotiating and grant authority
*Provide assistance to the executive director and prepare and present staff reports and other correspondence as appropriate

Somerville can’t arbitrarily assign job titles to herself and others because the Shakman settlement specified the job titles for all city council employees, including those in Burke’s finance committee. The exempt job list has only one Director of Workers’ Comp. Somerville can’t claim she is the director because Robert Serafin is the one and only director. Somerville can’t claim she assists the executive director because no such executive director job title or person exists. Somerville falsely boasts she recruits, trains, and manages 17+ claims examiners though no such job title for claims examiner exists in the Chicago budget or Shakman exempt list. It seems that the duties and responsibilities that Somerville posted to the Linkedin website are as fraudulent as sending letters with her job title as the director of workers’ compensation.

Somerville should have known better to falsely claim that she is the director of workers’ compensation. Not only is Somerville a lawyer, but she also served more than five years on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Character and Fitness. Alderman Ed Burke’s wife Anne was one of the Illinois Supreme Court justices who appointed Somerville to the Committee on Character and Fitness in 2011 and then reappointed her for a second term in 2014. Illinois Supreme Court justices bestowed Somerville with the duty to “evaluate the moral character and general fitness of applicants to practice law.” Since Somerville evaluated future lawyers’ moral character for over five years, one would think that Somerville would have known it was immoral to falsify her job title and responsibilities.

The question is did Monica Somerville take it upon herself to fraudulently claim she is the director of workers’ compensation or was Somerville following orders from Alderman Ed Burke or the real workers’ comp director Robert Serafin? If someone in a position above Somerville ordered Somerville to sign her letters with the workers’ comp director’s job title, then that person should be held equally accountable as Somerville.

1.Click the following document to see the letter in which Monica Somerville fraudulently claimed that she is the workers’ comp director. Patrick McDonough Committee on Finance Stop Payment letters
2.For a screen Shot of Somerville’s false Linkedin job title and duties claims, see following document. Monica Somerville’s False Linkedin Claims

Monica Somerville Workers’ Compensation Director Unsuccessfully Sued the City After She was Fired for Poor Job Performance

Worker’s Comp is another Hired Truck and Clout List Scandal Waiting to Happen

I predict current workers’ comp Director Monica Somerville will join the ranks of city managers Angelo Torres and Robert Sorich. Torres managed the infamous Hired Truck program. The city paid $60 million a year to contractors for trucks that mainly sat idle on side streets and parking lots. To secure their lucrative trucking contracts, city contractors used bribes, kickbacks, and political donations, including contributions to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s political committee that Emanuel set up when he ran for congress. Sorich maintained the “clout list” that FBI agents found on his computer when they raided his city hall office. Scorch kept the names of people that the city promoted or hired in exchange for their political work, a practice that the Shakman Decrees expressly prohibited. Not surprisingly, the names of workers comp Director Monica Somerville and three of her relatives appear on Sorich’s clout list (see Note 1).

As with Torres and Sorich, Monica Somerville’s political organization and political sponsors secured her workers’ comp job. As with Torres and Sorich, workers’ comp Director Somerville must obey orders from her political clout bosses regardless of whether her orders are moral or immoral or legal or illegal; otherwise, she will be out of her seventh public sector job.

Somerville’s job as workers’ comp director is her fourth city job. Somerville worked in the law department as an attorney and assistant corporation council from January 1991 until she resigned in September 1997. Somerville returned to the law department as a chief assistant corporation council in June 2000. Somerville’s return to city employment at double the salary is significant because it occurred after Sorich put her name on his clout list. Seventeen months later, the city fired Somerville for disciplinary reasons in November 2001. Somerville did not leave her city job quietly. She filed a sexual harassment and racial discrimination suit against her boss Melvin Brooks and the City of Chicago. The judge ruled the city fired Somerville for “poor performance.” The judge specifically noted Somerville made mistakes that led to a $50 million and $3 million verdict against the city. The judge said Somerville provided no evidence that she was sexually harassed or racially discriminated against.

Somerville Should Have Been on the City’s Do Not Hire List

The assistant commissioner for the human resources department maintains a “do not hire list” of employees whom the city will not rehire because of the actions that led to their termination. The do not hire list is divided into finite and infinite classifications. The city may rehire former employees after one year if city workers’ terminations are listed as “finite.” The city will never rehire former city employees whose terminations are classified as “infinite.”

At the very least Monica Somerville’s disciplinary termination would have put her on the do not hire finite list had there been one in 2001. Somerville falsely accusing her supervisor and city of sexual harassment and racial discrimination after she was fired probably would have earned her a do not hire infinite termination. It’s one thing to get fired for poor performance and disciplinary reasons, but making false accusations after termination against a supervisor and the city is far more serious. I pity Somerville’s boss who had to defend himself against her awful allegations.

Alderman Burke hired Somerville for political reasons, and he continues to employ her for political reasons. As with Somerville’s current workers’ comp position, her previous employment was also a Shakman exempt job. Prior to joining Alderman Ed Burke’s finance committee, Somerville worked nine years at the Illinois Department of Employment Services (IDES). She went from a $28.36 hourly hearing referee in 2003 to earning $7,917 a month for working as a public service administrator starting in 2009. Somerville has an eight month employment history gap from when she left IDES on Sept. 1, 2012 until she started working for Burke’s finance committee on May 16, 2013. Somerville’s pay dropped from $95,000 a year at IDES to the $75,000 a year that she is currently earning as a finance committee employee.

Alderman Ed Burke is solely responsible for hiring Monica Somerville. For the 31 years that Burke has served as finance committee chairman, he has handpicked all of his workers’ comp employees. Somerville did not make the city’s do not hire list because there was no such list when she was fired, but wouldn’t her termination for poor job performance, false allegations against her supervisor, and unsuccessful lawsuit against the city give Burke pause to hire her? Has Somerville accomplished anything remarkable that shows she is a far better employee today then the day the city fired her?

Burke has some explaining to do. Why did Burke hire Somerville after she was fired from the law department for poor performance? Why did Burke hire Somerville after she made false sexual harassment and racial discrimination claims in a lawsuit that she lost? Why did Burke hire Somerville who has an extensive political pedigree for a job that requires independence and impartiality?

Burke’s hiring of Somerville is a symptom of a much bigger problem, namely workers’ comp is under Burke’s finance committee’s control when it should be part of the executive branch. During Burke’s 31 year reign as finance chairman, I estimate that he has submitted $2 billion to $3 billion in workers’ compensation vouchers without a financial audit or oversight of his expenditures. Indeed aldermen have passed Burke’s workers’ comp budget for 31 years, but once the city council appropriated money to fund Burke’s committee, there has been no review to make sure Burke has properly spent the $2 to $3 billion of workers’ comp money.

Three 1913 municipal code ordinances give Burke the unchecked power to hire workers’ comp employees, sign vouchers for both duty disability pay and medical expenses without proper financial controls over his spending or oversight of his employees. Workers’ compensation employees like Somerville maintain power and control over city employees’ livelihood and their health since they must give their prior approval for medical procedures such as surgery. If you are a city employee or someone you care about is a city employee, you’ll want to know the answer to this question: How many other Monica Somervilles did Alderman Ed Burke hire to administer Chicago’s workers’ comp program?

1.To view Monica Somerville and her relatives names on the clout list, click the following document. cloutlist2006(2)