On Thursday, April 12, 2018, Commissioner Randy Conner, led a posse of underlings that currently lead the Chicago Department of Water Management. The Chicago Water Department has decades of second-rate losers that have been promoted by second-rate racists. You can not change the culture of the water department because cancer runs too deep.
At the 7:00 a.m. meeting Conner declared with a bullhorn to his lips, Get on the train or the train will run you over. Conner tried to make himself a tough-talking wise guy and made it clear he was running the show. If he had any brains, he would have kept his low-profile job, but dangle a few pennies, and these people jump. Conner must not have paid attention to all the Commissioners terminated since I started at the department.
Conner is not ready to control the click that makes all the decisions at the water department. Conner does not know he is a puppet. Conner does not have what it takes to lead this ragtag circus.
At the meeting, Conner went on to do damage control and say Michael Dwyer was not fired because of what was printed by Fran Spielman. Fran Spielman hit the nail on the head. A full-blown cover-up continues at the FOIA Department and Commissioner Conner is still trying to stop FOIA requests from being fulfilled.
The North District has some great workers, but the management has stunk for twenty years. Conner told the workers the North District is the worst district. It is also the whitest. Conner seems to be a racist and ignorant to the culture that has rotted the Department of Water Management. Conner thinks Facebook pages of blacks working happily at the Department of Water Management is going to fix things. Conner has no power to remove the private contractors that control the Water Department. The 11th Ward, M…. Management, and private contractors control the Department. If you think the companies that contribute to Alderman Burke and Rahm Emanuel are going to get forced out, you are sadly mistaken.
Conner, please stop all those private meetings with employees promising them the moon. Please also tell Wallace Davis to stop making promotional promises. While you are at it, make sure you stop the mistreatment of black women that get hurt on the job. Forcing out black single mothers is crude and low class. Also, keep your bullhorn close to your other bighorn.
Investigators demanded files again from the North District City of Chicago Department of Water Management this morning. Paperwork for the continuing investigations into overtime, bribes, emails, expense sheets, racism and corruption will not go away. You might be thinking why does Paul Hansen look so worn out early in the morning? Was it a rough night? Stress, Zackery? Many people complained Paul Hansen would come into work very exhausted from a night of confusion. Not long after, the screaming would start up and the entire North District was up for grabs. On this morning, an appeal was denied to a worker and handed back. William “Oink Oink” Bresnahan denied an appeal from an employee that was falsely accused of wrongdoing. Back than Bresnahan would listen to everything Paul Hansen would tell him, and now they are both gone. Resigned. Finished. Terminated. But that is what happens when you get an egotistical crazy person like Bresnahan running a department he knows nothing about. You might notice Paul Hansen’s eye looks crossed. Many Chicago Water Department guys miss the crazy emails and are still at work. I suggest Henderson-Parks will finish off that problem soon. Note to all investigators, if you are missing some information, I bet I got back-up. Notice the picture of Barack Obama? Ha.
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.
The City of Chicago is under full attack after finding out just a few of the violent racist emails that are circulating at the Chicago Department of Water Management. The City of Chicago is subject to more lawsuits in the future thanks to the great reporting of Chicago Clout. Chicago Clout is going to help every lawyer in Chicago that is going to give honest government back.
The City of Chicago under Rahm Emanuel has the Mosquito program.
“Crews led by the Chicago Department of Water Management and others are dropping larvicide briquettes down all 210,000 catch basins on the public way. The slow-dissolving briquettes will, for the next five months, prevent large amounts of mosquito larvae from developing into biting adults. Additionally, the Department of General Services is ensuring treatment of over 3,000 catch basins not on the public way.”
The real program is a political program to Southside reverends to supply blacks in need of a temporary job. Rahm Emanuel supplies money and taxpayer funded goodwill to his benefit. One Chicago employee with clout will take the minivan (leased) with a van load of blacks and make sure the work is completed. The program helps high ranking black commissioners keep the political clout train rolling. The Jackson Family got a taste of this loot.
Many of the black kids were treated like crap and told not to use the bathrooms and stay away from the regular white and Hispanic crews. They were treated very poorly. One supervisor would always call them niggers. The fuckin niggers are here again. The high ranking North District boss said, “I’ll get rid of those niggers”. Many of the workers would laugh. One black kid had an accident after he was told, “take a shit somewhere else”. The way these black kids were treated was something out of a horror movie. I reported this behavior but nothing was done.
The Inspector General has known about Paul Hansen for years and nothing was done. The Chicago law department has had complaints about the rigged promotion of Paul Hansen, and nothing was done. Maybe Alderman Tunney will return my calls and he can explain why he put told Rahm Emanuel to put Paul in as District Superintendent. Maybe Plumbers Local 130 can explain their part in this mess.
I will have some more items for your interest. I hope the lawyers contact all those black kids and get them some relief. I’ve got some video for the upcoming election. Change. Frank Coconate is going to have some more action soon. “revenge is a dish best served cold”
Barrett Murphy gave Paul Hansen the North District Superintendent promotion over much more qualified licensed employees. Paul Hansen had a rigged promotion if there ever was one. The City of Chicago Law Department covered up for this this when complaints were made. Ole Barrett is kicking himself in the ass now!! Gee, Paul Hansen was a great pick, eh you unemployed ass wipe. Alderman Tunney also used his muscle to put Paul Hansen in as the top dog at the Department of Water Management. Luci Pope Cozzi Anderson went to visit Paul Hansen at his office and the curtains were closed. Luci was accused of deleting Paul emails and covering up for this clown for years. Now that bribes from contractors is in the FBI laps, more fun and game are in order. Barrett told the entire North District how Paul Hansen would be great for the Department on June 8, 2011. Every promotion since the Shakman release from Federal Oversight resulted in Blacks, whistleblowers, and those with no clout, has been a joke. Maybe Luci Pope and Jennifer Isban can get fired soon. All of Paul Hansen discipline writeup are now going to be reopened, and in Federal court the way things are going. Please see an excellent article in the Chicago Tribune. Remember, if you are black or a whistleblower, please call Patrick McDonough or email [email protected] If you got a bad injury settlement, please email [email protected] Attorneys are on standby. I also want to know why did the FOIA officer at the Department of Water Management hide email demands of Paul Hansen years ago? Fire all of them.
Hal Dardick, Ray Long and Todd LightyContact Reporters
Chicago Tribune Luci Pope Cozzi Anderson
City emails newly obtained by the Tribune cast light on the scope and offensiveness of racist, sexist and anti-gay slurs by politically connected supervisors at the top levels of the Chicago water department.
An image of a Ku Klux Klan “scarecrow” amid a watermelon field, a picture of a naked woman on a beach and off-color comments about gay people found their way into inboxes between early 2013 and April — a month before an investigation of the emails led to high-ranking officials losing their jobs at the Department of Water Management.
The emails, among nearly 1,300 provided by the city in response to a request under the Illinois open records law, include more overtly sexist and anti-black messages than those in an earlier, more limited batch obtained by the Tribune that also contained anti-Islamic insults. And the new emails for the first time reveal homophobic statements.
They also show that they were sent and received during a years-long period without any sign that supervisors, including recently ousted department Commissioner Barrett Murphy, did anything to quash the troubling chatter. And in at least one case, Murphy forwarded an offensive email to another department employee.
Many of the emails obtained by the Tribune go to the heart of an ongoing investigation by the city’s inspector general. The original sender of many of them is former district superintendent Paul Hansen, the son of a onetime alderman whose political connections go back to the administration of former Mayor Richard M. Daley. In one 2015 email not long after the elections for City Council and mayor, Hansen boasts of his ability to “swing elections.”
Lawsuit alleges racism at roiled Chicago water department
That was sent to Murphy, whose City Hall connections also date back to the Daley years but grew under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The mayor and Chicago first lady Amy Rule are friends with Murphy and his wife, Lynn Lockwood, the onetime chairman and treasurer of one of Emanuel’s political funds. Murphy also received many of the racist, sexist and homophobic emails.
For Emanuel, the scandal raises issues he’d rather put behind him as he starts to gear up to make a bid for a third term in office in the 2019 elections. And it comes with risks of political peril among key groups of voters that he has worked hard to cultivate: women, gays and African-Americans.
Emanuel has tried to restore his reputation in the city’s historically vote-rich African-American community, after the 2015 release of a police dash-cam video of a white police officer shooting black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times.
2 more Water Department supervisors put on leave in email investigation
The mayor also has toiled to put an end to clout at City Hall. But the political connections of the supervisors involved in the email controversy harken back to the era when Donald Tomczak controlled the water department that became a focus of a 2006 federal corruption trial. Emanuel first ran for Congress during the Tomczak era, and political troops loyal to Tomczak helped the mayor win his first elected office. And Murphy, Hansen and other members of the group show up on a clout list presented at the federal corruption trial held 11 years ago.
Emanuel has taken steps to address the email controversy, starting in May when he appointed Randy Conner, an African American, to lead the department after the resignations of Murphy, Hansen and deputy commissioner William Bresnahan. Attempts to reach all three for comment were unsuccessful.
At the time of their resignations, mayoral spokesman Adam Collins said the mayor acted “quickly and decisively” by asking for Murphy’s resignation after learning of what was then an 8-month-old probe into the emails by city Inspector General Joseph Ferguson. That investigation started as a review of emails about gun deals tied to Hansen that ultimately led to the discovery of the offensive emails.
In early June, after those initial resignations, the Tribune obtained emails sent by Hansen that included racially insensitive, anti-Islamic and sexist messages, and the department’s newest commissioner announced that all managers and supervisors in his department would be provided with additional training on federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations designed to prevent discrimination in the workplace
In late June, Thomas J. Durkin, the general foreman of plumbers, and John “Jack” Lee Jr., a district superintendent, were placed on administrative leave pending disciplinary decisions. They have since resigned, according to a department spokesman. Attempts to reach Durkin and Lee for comment were unsuccessful.
A week after they were placed on leave, a federal lawsuit was filed alleging that African-American employees of the Chicago water department routinely were denied promotions, subjected to racial slurs and sexually harassed because of their race.
In response to questions about the latest emails obtained by the Tribune, Emanuel spokeswoman Shannon Breymaier said the mayor “acted swiftly” to show his intolerance for the behavior and that “the folks implicated have been removed.” She said he backs efforts by the new commissioner to step up equal employment training for department managers and supervisors. “Finally, the move to take immediate action is completely consistent with the mayor’s efforts to eliminate clout at City Hall so that city employees are hired based on what they know, not who they know,” Breymaier added.
One jarring example of a racist email was forwarded from Hansen to Murphy in July 2014. It was titled “Watermelon Protection” and included an image that depicted a scarecrow, dressed in a white KKK robe and pointed hood, amid a field of watermelons. “I don’t understand,” Hansen stated in his message to Murphy.
Another racially insensitive email dates back to February 2013, when Hansen was replying to an email that Murphy first forwarded to him. The original message concerned an “urgent request” from ComEd to stop work near an alternate power line serving schools, a fire station and senior citizen homes until the main line was fixed so those facilities wouldn’t lose their electricity feed if it were accidentally damaged.
In response, Hansen wrote: “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.” Murphy then forwarded that message to another department employee.
Even an August 2015 note from Murphy describing an equation for calculating the circumference of a circle drew a convoluted, racially charged attempt at humor from Hansen.
Hansen’s message referred to the sex organs of white and black men, Caitlyn Jenner, Bill Cosby, a Confederate flag, and Dorothy and the Tin Man. Within minutes, Hansen then forwarded the same distasteful message to Durkin, whose response included: “I’ll have to get back to you with my answer after I discuss this with the All Powerful OZ.”
Hansen also distributed emails with an anti-gay tenor, including a February 2013 reply to Murphy, who in oversized letters noted that the Gay Pride festival and parade would be split over two weekends. It also was sent to Bresnahan.
One minute later, Hansen replied it meant someone might be absent from work and would need an “inflatable doughnut on the chair” when he returned.
Hansen in October 2015 sent Murphy a link to a YouTube video titled “Redneck Homemade Bikini Contest.” The video depicts several scantily clad women on a wooden stage with a male emcee kicking of the contest by saying, “Here she is guys … let’s hear it.”
Hansen in March 2014 forwarded to Durkin, Lee and Bresnahan a joke that spares few in its offensiveness. It refers to a “world’s shortest essay contest” held for Texas teens that had to include elements of religion, royalty, racism, disability and homosexuality. The “winning” essay read: “My God,” cried the Queen, “That one-legged nigger is a queer.” Lee later responded, “I’m crying.”
The emails obtained by the Tribune show that as recently as April, Hansen was receiving offensive emails. An April message sent to Hansen referred to “HETEROSEXUAL MALE PRIDE DAY!”
It makes that declaration after showing photographs of steaks grilling, beer taps and a naked woman, and is preceded by this introduction: “To all of 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 f——- Democrats!”
One email was sent by a deputy human resources commissioner in October 2014 to several water department supervisors, including Murphy, who was first deputy commissioner at the time. It suggested they should take part in “respectful workplace” training on the issues of harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
“Although (the Department of Human Resources) has not made this training mandatory,” it states, “there are several reasons that each supervisory employee should receive this training.”
The emails also show that Murphy often forwarded to his wife various news summaries, including one in August 2015 where Emanuel announced city worker health care benefits will cover gender reassignment services. “What the……,” Murphy commented.
Murphy’s connections to City Hall predate the current mayor. He worked for Daley in multiple capacities, including in the mayor’s office, and first started at the water department in 2004, when Tomczak reigned.
During the 2006 trial of Robert Sorich, Daley’s patronage chief, a once-secret clout list with names of politically connected people seeking jobs and their sponsors was entered into evidence. Murphy’s name appears on the list as the sponsor for one person seeking a job.
Murphy gained influence under Emanuel, who promoted him to first deputy commissioner in 2011 during the early months of his administration. In April 2016, Emanuel appointed him commissioner of the department — a position that proved relatively short lived because of the email scandal that surfaced in May.
Hansen, son of former longtime Ald. Bernie Hansen, 44th, also appears on the clout list as someone who sought a promotion.
During the trial of Sorich, prosecutors charged that Daley administration officials handed out jobs, promotions and overtime work to those who campaigned for Daley and his allies. Sorich was convicted for his role in a hiring fraud scheme to rig interviews and falsify documents.
Hansen, in one water department email sent to Murphy in March 2015, boasted of his political prowess in the context of a recently concluded City Council race on the Northwest Side. “I told you I could swing elections,” Hansen wrote.
Other water department email senders and recipients who showed up on the clout list include Durkin. The sponsor listed for Durkin was Tomczak, who was sent to prison after pleading guilty in 2005 to commanding a political army of patronage workers and taking almost $400,000 in payoffs from companies that wanted business from the city’s corrupt Hired Truck Program.
A former city Water Department superintendent used his work email to distribute anti-Obama polemics, with some of his messages veering off into racially insensitive, anti-Islamic and sexist territory, documents obtained by the Tribune show.
Hal Dardick Contact Reporter
A former city Water Department superintendent used his work email to distribute anti-Obama polemics, with some of his messages veering off into racially insensitive, anti-Islamic and sexist territory, documents obtained by the Tribune show.
Some of the emails were sent to former water Commissioner Barrett Murphy and former Managing Deputy Commissioner William Bresnahan, according to the documents.
Both resigned last month amid a Department of Water Management shakeup that sources said was triggered by an inspector general’s investigation into racist and sexist email messages distributed within the long-troubled agency. District Superintendent Paul Hansen, of 7208 West Olive Avenue, who sent the messages, also resigned.
A man who identified himself over the phone as Hansen hung up Friday on a Tribune reporter trying to ask questions about the emails. Attempts to reach Murphy and Bresnahan were not successful.
The emails reviewed by the Tribune were provided by the city in response to an open records request. They are just some of the allegedly racist and sexist messages that are part of the investigation, a source familiar with the matter said.
A message sent by Hansen to Murphy and Bresnahan in March 2014 includes a missive penned by “an American citizen” in response to an imprecisely quoted statement by then-President Barack Obama that “Islam has always been a part of America’s history.”
It goes on to falsely contend that Muslims played no role in several significant historical events, including the Civil War and the civil rights era, and conclude: “Muslim Heritage, my ass.”
Gun deal emails spurred city probe into racist, sexist Water Department messages
In January 2014, Hansen sent a message first to Murphy and minutes later to Bresnahan about checking a water fountain on the 2700 block of Irving Park Road, the site of Horner Park.
“Got a call from an asian carp calling from his obama issued aquaphone tellin me it taste funny!” Hansen wrote.
Hansen that same month also forwarded to Murphy a series of images of anti-Obama signs the email says were posted along a highway in Seattle. In November 2015, Hansen and other supervisors circulated a lengthy, profanity-laced anti-Obama joke among one another.
In a February 2014 email, Hansen uses sexist language as he makes fun of a colleague in response to a lengthy message he sent to Hansen about a frozen water main. “After all that long winded jib jab that i could get plenty of at home with the kotex mafia, you going back!” Hansen wrote.
Hansen also was the recipient of a March 2014 email that linked to an online video showing several Kenyans unsuccessfully trying to fly an aircraft they had built. “They are human beings. Just like us! Only 100 years later,” reads a message in bold above the link. That message also was received by a department foreman.
Hours after the city released the emails to the Tribune, new water Commissioner Randy Conner announced that all managers and supervisors in his department would be provided with additional training on federal Equal Employment Opportunity regulations designed to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
City officials also said that additional training for other city departments would follow and that the city was hiring the Foley & Lardner law firm “to conduct an independent, third-party review of the city’s diversity and equal employment opportunity policy and make recommendations to prevent and address discrimination in the workplace.”
The probe that led to the resignations of Murphy, Bresnahan and Hansen began more than eight months ago.
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s office was looking into water department emails about gun deals when it discovered sexist and racist emails, sources have told the Tribune. Hansen’s computer was seized as part of the investigation, the sources said.
Murphy, the former commissioner, is married to Lynn Lockwood, who at one time was chairman and treasurer of one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s political funds and is a friend of Chicago first lady Amy Rule.
Emanuel last month 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.
He also said that Murphy agreed after the emails surfaced that there should be a reset in the culture of the agency, now headed by Conner, who moved over from the city Department of Transportation.
Hansen has his own political connections. He’s the son of former 44th Ward Ald. Bernard Hansen.
The Water Department was long rattled by negative headlines under former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, which was rocked by the Hired Truck scandal and an illegal jobs scam run 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, creating an army of ground troops for multiple political campaigns, including Emanuel’s successful 2002 bid for Congress.