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

Local 1092 Warning.

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

Many City DOWM employees feel D.C. Hightower is acting mighty uppity since Paul Hansen got removed for racist emails. One employee said, “Give a N@$$#$” 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.

Two more Water Department supervisors put on leave in email investigation Chicago Water Department

Two Chicago water department officials have been suspended pending the outcome of a probe into racist and sexist emails.
Two Chicago Department of Water Management employees final.jpg

In a continuing shake-up at the Chicago Water Department triggered by the discovery of racially insensitive and sexist emails, two more supervisors now face the potential loss of their jobs, City Hall officials said Tuesday.

Placed on paid administrative leave pending disciplinary decisions were Thomas J. Durkin, the general foreman of plumbers, and John “Jack” Lee Jr., a district superintendent, said Gary Litherland, spokesman for the Department of Water Management.

Their status is the result of an ongoing investigation by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, Litherland said. A City Hall source confirmed that it was the same investigation into emails that led to a shake-up that began in May.

That’s when Barrett Murphy, the former department commissioner; William Bresnahan, who was managing deputy commissioner; and Paul Hansen, who like Lee was a district superintendent, all resigned.

The Tribune earlier this month first reported that Hansen sent to Murphy and Bresnahan emails in early 2014 that included anti-Islamic and racially insensitive language.

Hansen also sent an email that included sexist language as he made fun of a colleague in response to a lengthy message that colleague 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.

Durkin was the recipient of that email, which the Tribune did not report at the time because it wasn’t yet known that Durkin was under investigation. When Durkin replied, using profanity, Hansen sent him another reply that included further sexist language and copied Lee. “Love it,” Lee responded.

Attempts to contact Durkin and Lee were unsuccessful late Tuesday.

The emails were provided to the Tribune in response to an open records request. They include just some of the messages that are part of the investigation, a source familiar with the matter said.

The probe that led to the shake-up began about nine months ago. 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 that 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 Commissioner Randy Conner, who moved over from the city Department of Transportation.

Hansen also has political connections. He’s the son of former 44th Ward Ald. Bernard Hansen.

Twitter @ReporterHal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago Journeyman's Local 130 rocked by a new slate tonight

plumbers local 130 pic chicago.jpg Much of the union political passage of power has been done behind closed doors for decades. Plumber’s Local 130 had a tradition of fine leadership; the members were last well served by Gerald M. Sullivan, a true powerhouse and man of distinction. Gerald was seceded by James Sullivan, a sneaky weasel if ever there was one. Many of the membership challenged Jim’s leadership, and then just walked away. I have never seen a greater amount of union trained member’s working for non-union companies until now. To stop this destruction of the union, age barred James Sullivan from further damage. Many union members were expecting business as usual with the anointing of Jim Coyne as Business Manager. If Jim was not challenged, the same ways of doing business at 1400 West Washington might continue. I met with the Integrity Team that is issuing an election against Tim Coyne. I really think this is more of a kick in the ass of the status quo, than an actual anti-Coyne sediment. Plumbers are very pissed off in Chicago. James allowed many unqualified folks to join the union, his school prepped unqualified candidates for the Plumber’s Exam. This lead to the termination of Dean Slawek, a former Chicago Water Department ditch digger. I also contacted Rahm Emanuel’s camp at City Hall, they assured me they are willing to work with the new management team assembled by Chicago Inspector John Swietczak. This is a great opportunity for Plumber’s Local 130 to change direction and get thing right for the membership. I confess I have never seen the members of Local 130 so agitated in front of the union hall tonight. The insider’s click better open their eyes and listen to the issues or they will be left with nothing. I also met some old friends I knew when I was a member, they are voicing the same issues I have but refuse to stop the insanity.
The two leaders and officers of both parties are going to face off May 24, 2012 at Can-Tv in Chicago live. I have invited members of the press and two Aldermen to attend and ask questions. Remember, if you do not show up, I will have a replacement for you. Photo by Patrick McDonough

John C. D'Amico smells another pension, James Sullivan's posterboy?

John D'Amico Nose Pic Final Chicago Clout.jpg Chicago Plumber’s Local 130 needs a new Business Manager and they also need new business agents. The seniors are going to get a large reduction to the pension and everyone is keeping it mum until after the election. Retirees are asked to make sure they elect the same guys without realizing they are possibly in store for a major reduction in monthly payments. The progressive party is jokingly referred to the “unemployment party”. The existing management at the Chicago Plumber’s union needs a shakeup. There was no money for hats at the last St. Pat’s Day parade. Times are really bad. The only thing they got right was a St. Pat’s Queen that was Irish for a change. I think John D’Amico should be fired from the City of Chicago due to the fraud in obtaining a Plumber’s License, than James Sullivan should be thrown in jail. The Chicago’s Local 130 union made a major mistake in taking over other locals. Times were good and folks got greedy. The Chicago Unions need to get their act together before it is too late. John D’Amico needs to explain why he does not show up to work at the Jardine Plant. He has a nose for politics and pensions

Ex-Chicago Alderman Patrick "Phat" Levar uses non-union company for home repairs

Levar Roof Repair Scabs.jpg The Chicago Plumber’s Union has enjoyed many events with former Alderman Levar in attendance. In fact, Chicago Clout has pictures of Patrick Levar with his green Plumbers Local 130 hat on his head. I never did like Pat Levar because I though he was a piece of shit. I had pictures of Pat Levar with the old North District Superintendent and City Sewer Vactor on political flyers. Pat Levar would visit the North District Yard around the “Hired Truck” days. Around April 17, 2012, a non-union roofing contractor was working on Levar’s house. I asked the contractor what union affiliation they belonged to. The roofing company management confirmed they are in fact non-union. Lately, the Chicago roofers union ran a series of ads making the public aware of their existence. Pat Levar shit in their face by accepting union money for politics, and then hiring scabs at his house. I hate to swear, and I do not very often on this website, but Levar is a big fat piece of shit. There is no lost love between Levar and me, but I called this scumbag out years ago. I think Jim Sullivan should ask for all the donations back from this goon. Photo by Patrick McDonough

Enjoy a picture of Occupy Chicago poster Children, John D'Amico, John Madigoon, and Local 130 Goon

John D'Amico Mike Madigan Final.jpg The Chicago Occupy movement is moving forward with a lighting pace. The City of Chicago has many residents with no future and a dismal job outlook. The tax base in Chicago is maxed out, and the Rahm Emanuel gang is ready to sell assets to Rahm’s cronies. I thought Rahm would be different than Daley and his goons, but he got a taste for the high life. This is a picture of Johnny ‘Da Nose” D’Amico. Johnny is a State Representative and a full time Chicago Department of Water Management employee. While people starve, John D’Amico drives a blue Water Department truck around and has been seen outside his district. That is OK because he is a made man with Rahm Emanuel. John was sent out to scout for Rahm long before the public was aware of the fixed mayoral election. Johnny is with Michael “pasty face” Madigan. Lil Mike knows the ole double dipping routine as well as Johnny D’Amico. These two goons are with a Local 130 dude with a horrible hair die job if ever I have seen one. This goon testified to the FEDS about fixed Plumbing Licenses in Chicago. This little fraud by the James Sullivan goons and the Plumber’s Union is unraveling at a Hearing for Dean “Mia Tai” Slawek. I am also happy to report a major victory by Tim Novak and the Chicago Sun-Times for their coverage of David Koschman. Everyone should have their fair day in court. Thanks to that brave judge for helping a mother’s worst nightmare. Photo improved by Patrick McDonough.

Chicago Clout Awards Mark Holder Employee of the Year

One of the most important long term accomplishments at the City of Chicago Department of Water Management is the safety of the workers. When I first started blowing the whistle on the lack of jobsite safety, the department refused to make the legally required shoring requirements. Chicago Clout made an entry on shoring October 30, 2007. At that time I was happy some progress was made. I was also very upset because the Office of the Inspector General refused to get involved. What greater savings than reducing workman's compensation claims by using common sense? If the Office of the Inspector General sends out their Investigators and make sure there is compliance, the scofflaws will fall into line. The old mentality of, "We will get more work done, and shoring slows down the job" is a myth. I was very happy to know the December 13, 2011 Jardine Safety Plant Shoring meeting was also attended by Irene Caminer, the Director of Legal Services with the Department of Water Management. Many at the meeting talked up about their concerns and also want a safer work environment. It is good to have senior management take safety serious. I again want to congratulate Mark Holder as Chicago Clout's City of Chicago Employee of the Year (2011) for taking a rag tag political safety department and making it a department taxpayers can be proud of. An honorable mention goes to Alice Carter in the same Department that said, "We can't take chances anymore". Put this on the record, Chicago Water Department Employees were given a phone number that records the call, use it. If you are working with a boss that refuses to use shoring, that boss will get ten days off, The Superintendent will get ten days off, (except those politically connected), and the person caught in the unprotected ditch. Fran Spielman of the Chicago Sun-Times and I should also get an award for pushing worker safety, but that will not happen. Again, job well done Mark Holder, you have greatly improved the taxpayer's interest. It is no surprise Local 130 never did a single thing to help it's members get safety improvements. Illinois Department of Labor. Story by Patrick McDonough.