On September 27, 2017, Reginald williams, a City of Chicago injured worker, exposes Alderman Burke, Anne M. Burke, Monica Sommerville, fraud, bogus lawyers, doctors, delays, scams. Please file complaints on all these bums to the ARDC. Workers need their workers compensation benefits when they get hurt. George Tamvakis, Neal Strom, bad lawyers.
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.
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.
Chicago’s water commissioner has resigned amid what City Hall sources say is an inspector general investigation into racist and sexist email messages sent at the agency.
Out is Barrett Murphy, who made $170,000 a year leading the Department of Water Management after taking the job in April 2016. He’s a city government veteran who is married to Lynn Lockwood. She’s the former chairman and treasurer of one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s political funds, as well as a friend of Chicago first lady Amy Rule.
The Emanuel administration on Friday afternoon cited the watchdog probe in explaining Murphy’s abrupt departure.
“We were made aware of an IG investigation into the culture at the water department,” Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins said. “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.”
One of the City Hall sources said the investigation has been going on for eight months. Collins said the mayor recently was made aware of the probe. A spokeswoman for Inspector General Joseph Ferguson declined to comment.
Two other Water Department managers resigned this week. William Bresnahan, the agency’s managing deputy commissioner, resigned, Collins said. And Paul Hansen, a district superintendent of water distribution and the son of former 44th Ward Ald. Bernie Hansen, resigned Thursday, said water spokesman Gary Litherland.
Attempts to reach Murphy, Bresnahan and Hansen were unsuccessful Friday.
One veteran Water Department employee, Patrick McDonough, said Friday that he repeatedly has complained to the inspector general’s office about the department’s workplace culture and about top bosses covering up for politically connected workers, including Hansen.
In April 2010, Hansen 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 current position in December 2010, which is after the case was resolved.
Murphy succeeded longtime Water Commissioner Tom Powers last year. Before that, Murphy was a deputy in the Department of Water Management. He had worked for Mayor Richard M. Daley in the Aviation Department and as the city’s project manager to prepare for possible Y2K computer problems, a predicted calamity that never came to pass.
Replacing Murphy at the water agency is Randy Connor, who had been at the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The Emanuel administration released the news of Murphy’s resignation mid-afternoon
Friday, a time politicians typically try to bury bad news as the public’s attention turns toward the weekend. It also came a couple hours after they announced other, less troublesome personnel moves at City Hall.
The mayor reappointed Ferguson to a third term as inspector general, and announced that Budget Director Alexandra Holt was planning to leave to pursue other endeavors after six years on the job.
Four years ago, when Ferguson was closing out his first term, it wasn’t clear that he would be reappointed. Ferguson had been critical of many mayoral initiatives. After Emanuel did reappoint him, Ferguson eventually decided to stay longer, and the relationship between mayor and watchdog became less frosty.
On Friday, Emanuel suggested they have come to something of an understanding.
“He plays an important role for the city in constantly making changes and asking some core questions, and Joe knows there are places where we strongly agree, and there will be places where I have a different perspective,” Emanuel told the Tribune after an event to honor 25 City Colleges graduates from the Chicago Star Scholar program who received $5,000 scholarships from CME Group to continue their education at four-year institutions.
“(Ferguson) has to have his perspective, and I have to have a slightly wider lens to look at,” Emanuel added.
The mayor said he would “beyond miss” Holt, who has been his only budget director. Holt helped the mayor push a series of tax, fee and fine increases that helped narrow the city’s annual budget gaps while providing a way to pay for revamping the city’s aging water system and significantly increase contributions to the city’s financially ailing employee pension funds.
Emanuel said Holt served a “very long time” in a tough job and “can leave with her head high that the city is healthier and stronger financially, and she brought a sense of professionalism that I will miss.”
Holt, who said she planned to take some time off after 20 years of working at City Hall, had a slightly different take.
“It’s time for somebody who can come in with some fresh ideas and take the next step,” Holt said. “I just wanted to give someone else the joy of doing the job.”
Holt will be succeed by Samantha Fields, the current commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
This is a new friend of mine in the 44Th Ward. The former alderman was Bernie Hansen. Bernie would count on Zodak Yonan to help with the ward’s needs. Today, Zodak told me he was frustrated with Reliable Contracting working on the new water mains on his street. Zodak was mad because two workers from that company did not live in Chicago. Zodak said, “Workers from outside the city do not care the same”. Zodak approached me because a private contractor allegedly left many people over the Memorial Day weekend without water. Mr. Yonan lived in this community over 58 years and helped keep Agassiz school open when it was doomed to close due to needed construction upgrades. Mr. Yonan had the street named after him for all the hard work he did to improve his neighborhood. One of his accomplishments was small iron fences to keep the grass in nice condition up and down the block. I will not go into detail but he is most assuredly a greater fan of the first Mayor Richard Daley. You can change Chicago for the better when you try, but the current Mayor of Chicago is not making it any easier. It is amazing what people tell you during lunch break. Photo by Patrick McDonough, Chicago Clout.