Wednesday, May 31, 2006

For Whom The Daley Tolls

An update on the Chicago city hall corruption trial. Apparently, Daley's supporters worked very hard to ensure that Chicago Skyway tollbooths were fully staffed so that the Mayor would not suffer delays when travelling to his summer home in Michigan.

That anecdote came as defense attorneys for four former Daley administration officials charged with rigging the city's hiring and promotions process tried to attack [Streets and Sanitation director of personnel Jack] Drumgould's credibility.


In testimony last week, Drumgould said he hired a tollbooth collector at the recommendation of state Rep. Kevin Joyce (D-Chicago), son of longtime Daley political strategist Jeremiah Joyce. The employee later had to be disciplined for banging his head against the tollbooth wall, Drumgould said.

He really expects us to believe that an unionized, goverment job was hard to fill? Now I want to bang my against a wall.
Drumgould said Harry Osterman, who preceded him as personnel director, advised him to keep the tollbooths fully staffed to avoid angering the mayor. Daley and his wife, Maggie, live in the South Loop but own a vacation home in Grand Beach, Mich.

Osterman, now a Democratic state representative, did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

What a reassuring career path Mr. Osterman has had. No doubt men like him are the reason government works so well.
Also Tuesday, an official in the Streets and Sanitation Department's Bureau of Electricity testified that he fixed the hiring process for jobs to make sure that openings went to people on lists he received from Drumgould.

The official, Hugh Donlan, testified that the names passed on by Drumgould came from the mayor's office originally.

Job interviews and qualifications did not factor into who got the jobs, Donlan said.

"There were other people who were more qualified for these positions," he said.

Donlan testified that he gave the highest ratings for general foreman openings in 2004 to six people whose names came from the mayor's office even though he said he believes that three were not qualified.

Donlan said one man became a general foreman of linemen despite having two one-month suspensions for disciplinary problems. The man now earns more than $90,000 a year.

I was amused by the tollbooth story, and for that reason I read this article first this morning, but seriously, they saved this for last? A person who has been suspended for two months out of at most the last two years (he was hired in 2004) both still has his job and makes over $90,000 a year plus government benefits? I want my taxes back.

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