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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chicago City Hal Hiring Abuses

A new report tells Chicagoans what they should already know.

A new report from a court-appointed monitor accuses Mayor Richard Daley's administration of violating hiring regulations and misleading her about efforts to deal with abuses at City Hall.

The report filed in federal court Friday by Noelle Brennan contends Daley's Office of Compliance failed to fully comply with court orders relating to reporting potential hiring violations. Brennan's report comes just weeks after Daley and his top lawyer said the city is ready to end court monitoring of its hiring system and give Brennan's oversight duties to the compliance office.

Brennan singled out Anthony Boswell, the compliance office's executive director, and Victoria Daniels, the city's hiring compliance officer.

The only thing surprising about this report is that it occurred at all. The way things work in City Hall is this. Friends and cronies always get the good jobs. In fact, the way you move up within city hall is to become a political asset. A great example is Michael Tierney. Tierney became foreman of an entire fleet of plumbers within five years. Without getting into too many details, that's a very rapid rise. His skills in plumbing are unclear. What Tierney was able to do was become an individual that could get judges elected, and thus, he was the beneficiary of all sorts of promotions.

Beyond this, within City Hall, the so called watchdogs: Inspector Generals, Compliance officers, etc. are themselves cronies always appointed by Daley himself. So, the watchdogs are almost always a part of the machine. So, the sort of hiring that is analyzed in this report never gets discovered since those in charge of discovering it are part of the machine themselves.

That's exactly what this report found. Noelle Brennan, the court appointed monitor, found weaknesses in the city's Office of Compliance. That's all part of the problem. If the fox is guarding the henhouse, then we have the sort of corruption we have in Chicago. This report says nothing new and yet, it's remarkable and refreshing to see a report on Chicago's hiring corruption that tells the truth.

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