.Acting Up Procedure. .
Scroll down for past articles. They are arranged chronologically.
"Chicago hiring monitor notes progress, setbacks"
Mayor Richard Daley's administration has made progress in cleaning up its scandal-plagued hiring system, but obstacles remain and significant hiring abuses still occur, a court-appointed monitor said Thursday.
The report by Noelle Brennan, who has monitored city hiring since August 2005, cited several areas of particular concern that need to be immediately investigated and fixed.
"City says hiring monitor not 'deliberately misled"
"Monitor rips city hiring"
Chicago Tribune , December 19, 2007
A court-appointed monitor charged Tuesday that Mayor Richard Daley's administration has slipped backward in its efforts to clean up patronage even as City Hall seeks to convince a federal judge that it has eliminated politics from hiring.
The report by Noelle Brennan, who has monitored city hiring since August 2005, alleged that several high-ranking aides to Daley skirted hiring rules to give jobs to favored candidates.
"Hiring monitor still sees patronage at City Hall"
Chicago Sun Times , December 19, 2007
Two and a half years after the appointment of a federal monitor — and more than 17 months after the conviction of Mayor Daley’s former patronage chief — City Hall is still struggling to implement a hiring system free of politics, the monitor said Tuesday.
“Whereas the city’s compliance had substantially increased during 2006, the same cannot be said for the city’s compliance in 2007,” monitor Noelle Brennan wrote in her annual report.
"City hiring cases flood court"
Chicago Tribune , October 2, 2007
After being swamped with last-minute claims from people who say they lacked the political clout to get jobs in Mayor Richard Daley's administration, a court-appointed official said Monday that she probably will need more time to determine how much -- if anything -- each is owed.
Friday was the deadline for filing claims under an agreement between the city and lawyer Michael Shakman to end Shakman's long-running court battle against political hiring at City Hall.
"1400 lay claim on $12M City Hall fund"
Chicago Tribune , October 1, 2007
More than 1,400 people have staked claim to the $12 million fund created to compensate victims of City Hall’s rigged hiring system, a federal monitor said today.
“It tells me what everyone has known all along: Political patronage continued to run rampant” in spite of the Shakman decree, said Ald. Joe Moore (49th).
"Court told city official should monitor hiring"
Chicago Tribune , September 30, 2007
Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman and lawyer Michael Shakman told a federal court that Hoffman's office should be in charge of keeping city hiring free of politics.
In separate court filings, Hoffman and Shakman objected to a plan by Mayor Richard Daley's administration to create a new City Hall department to oversee how jobs are filled.
"Shakman monitor objects to Daley-run hiring office"
Chicago Sun Times , September 28, 2007
A federal hiring monitor Thursday filed strenuous objections to Mayor Daley's plan to create a new Office of Compliance to police city hiring and pick up where the monitor leaves off.
Noelle Brennan cited the city's "history of noncompliance,'' a series of violations and fears that only Inspector General David Hoffman is independent enough to guarantee compliance.
Brennan cited examples, including the case of a high-ranking employee who dared to report a violation to the monitor and was punished.
"Oversight is urged on city hiring"
Chicago Tribune , September 28, 2007
Nobody in Mayor Richard Daley's administration can be trusted to keep city hiring free from politics except the inspector general, a court-appointed official has concluded.
Noelle Brennan, who has monitored city hiring for more than two years, on Thursday rejected Daley's plan to create a new department that would oversee how jobs are filled.
" Settlement OKd in Shakman suit"
Chicago Tribune , June 1, 2007
A federal judge gave his final approval Thursday to a $12 million settlement in a lawsuit aimed at ending most political hiring at City Hall, even as he acknowledged skeptics who say the city can't be trusted.
Lawyers for Mayor Richard Daley's administration hailed the agreement in the long-running Shakman case, which sets up a fund to compensate job seekers who lost out in a corrupt hiring system that favored the politically connected.
" Judge OKs $12 million Shakman settlement"
Chicago Sun Times , June 1, 2007
The Daley administration will create a $12 million fund to compensate victims of Chicago's rigged hiring system -- and get out from under court supervision, if it behaves -- under a settlement approved by a federal judge Thursday.
U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Andersen signed off on a settlement in the decades-old Shakman case, which stems from a federal decree that was supposed to ban political hiring and firing in city government -- but didn't.
"Federal judge OKs plan to end city patronage hiring"
Daily Southtown , May 31, 2007
A federal judge today approved a sweeping blueprint for ending the century-old practice of hiring Chicago city employees based on political clout, admitting it might not work but expressing hope.
"I actually have hope, rooted in a lot of efforts over the last several years, that things will actually change," Judge Wayne R. Andersen told attorneys, some of whom have been bickering for three decades over Chicago's time-honored but illegal system of filling city payroll jobs.
"City agrees to ban patronage "
Chicago Tribune, March 22, 2007
Mayor Richard Daley's administration agreed Wednesday to a settlement that would end court oversight of City Hall hiring and pay millions of dollars to people who lost out because they didn't have the right political connections.
Daley had long sought to end the decades-old federal consent decrees that ban politics from most city personnel decisions, even after aides in his office were convicted last year of rigging hiring to favor pro-Daley political workers.
"City will pay for clout hiring"
Chicago Sun-Times, March 22, 2007
Mayor Daley agreed Wednesday to establish a $12 million fund to compensate victims of City Hall's rigged hiring system and abandon his five-year-old effort to vacate the federal Shakman decree banning political hiring.
The agreement also envisions a key role for Inspector General David Hoffman. After May 31, Hoffman will become the primary investigator for hiring abuses with the power to recommend disciplinary action and even prosecution. The inspector general's investigations could ultimately lead to monetary damages after a new city arbitration process. A new executive order will require city employees to report complaints of political discrimination to the inspector general.
"City Council tolerates corruption"
Chicago Sun-Times, May 10, 2006
Over the past two years, the curtain that hides the City of Chicago's government has been lifted by the U.S. attorney's office. What it has revealed is a municipality where corruption continues to spread like cancer throughout the system.
Phony contracts, fraudulent hiring on the basis of politics, a city clerk resigning in disgrace, 35 public corruption convictions and scores of current and former city officials cooperating with federal law enforcement officials are just some of the results of the federal investigations.
"Watchdog trying to give city a break..."
Chicago Sun-Times, May 5, 2006Under fire for slowing city hiring to the point where services are suffering, a federal monitor offered Thursday to pave the way for the immediate hiring of 60 "hand laborers" in Streets and Sanitation.In a motion for an expedited hearing filed with the federal judge overseeing the Shakman case, Noelle Brennan said she's willing to bend her strict new hiring rules, even though the monitor's office has received "numerous complaints of past improprieties by the city in filling laborer positions" in Streets and San.
"Aldermen blame city monitor for hiring delay: They claim shortage..."
Chicago Sun-Times, May 4, 2006
Hiring has been so hamstrung by the appointment of a federal monitor, City Hall can't even get $13-an-hour sign hangers on the payroll for street sweeping, aldermen complained Wednesday.
Transportation Committee Chairman Tom Allen (38th) said street sweeping has been slowed to a crawl by the absence of sign hangers who were supposed to be on the payroll April 1.
Without a sign hanger for each ward, productivity is cut in half, Allen said. Laborers have to be pulled off garbage trucks to hang the temporary "No Parking" signs that clear a path for street sweepers. Refuse collection coordinators or ward superintendents whose job it is to supervise have to be reassigned.
" Foie gras ban shows Daley's losing his grip..."
Chicago Sun-Times, April 30, 2006
The City Council opened itself up to ridicule last week when it banned foie gras, a liver delicacy most Chicagoans have never tasted and cannot afford.
But the vote that made Chicago the nation's first major city to ban rich man's chopped liver was about more than misplaced priorities. It was about Mayor Daley's diminishing clout over a legislative body once viewed as his rubber stamp.
The Hired Truck, city hiring and minority contracting scandals have so weakened Daley -- and neutered the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs that's supposed to lobby aldermen -- that the mayor can no longer afford to waste his diminishing political capital on the frivolous.
"Does word cast cloud over Sunshine Boys?"
Chicago Sun-Times, April 30, 2006
Leave it to Chicago aldermen to make us laugh in these times of terror.
I'm speaking, of course, of the Sunshine Boys of the City Council, 50th Ward Ald. Bernard Stone, the 78-year-old dean of that august body, and his 72-year-old colleague, Ald. Burt Natarus of the 42nd Ward.
Never ones to hold back, they did not disappoint this week.
" Your bill for Shakman monitor: $732,193"
Chicago Sun-Times, April 29, 2006
A federal hiring monitor and her associates have billed Chicago taxpayers for $732,193 in legal fees over the last nine months -- with no end in sight -- further infuriating aldermen who have accused the monitor of invading their turf.
"I'm only highly critical when I see waste. And I see waste when they're talking about checking things that are asinine," said Ald. Bernard Stone (50th).
"It's not unusual to go see your aldermen when you're desperately looking for work. To say I have to report the names of everybody who comes to me looking for work -- this whole business has gone too far."
"Aldermen to stand up to feds' Shakman enforcer"
Chicago Sun-Times, April 27, 2006
The City Council agreed Wednesday to intervene in the Shakman case and take a stand against a federal hiring monitor who they claim is overstepping her bounds.
"We have got to be a bunch of [wimps] to let [this] go unchallenged," said 78-year-old Ald. Bernard Stone (50th), the City Council's elder statesman.
"If we're gonna operate out of fear, we might as well close up shop. I am not afraid, and I will never operate out of fear."
"Black Caucus hires lawyers to intervene in Shakman case"
Chicago Sun-Times, April 20, 2006
The City Council's Black Caucus voted Wednesday to intervene in the Shakman case to make certain African Americans don't get the shaft in the drive to clean up the mess uncovered by the city hiring scandal.
In a private meeting held in the aldermanic office of South Side Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), caucus members voted to hire private attorneys who advised black aldermen on the marathon case stemming from the 1990 ward remap.
"Ex-patronage chief denied monitor's files"
Chicago Sun-Times, April 14, 2006
A federal judge Thursday denied a request by Mayor Daley's former patronage chief Robert Sorich for access to all of the documents held by a monitor another federal judge appointed to clean up city hiring.
"This is a classic fishing expedition, and the subpoena will be denied on those grounds," U.S. District Judge David Coar said.
But Coar left the door open, saying if Sorich's attorney Tom Durkin narrowed the focus of his subpoena to ask for specific documents related to specific people the monitor has interviewed, he would consider access.
"Lawyers seek hiring monitor's interview notes"
Chicago Sun-Times, April 07, 2006
A federal judge on Thursday was reluctant to force a court- appointed City Hall hiring monitor to turn over documents of her interviews of city workers to a top Daley administration official who is awaiting trial.
U.S. District Judge David Coar said he needed more proof before he would force the monitor, Noelle Brennan, to turn over documents. The request came from Mayor Daley's former patronage chief, Robert Sorich, who is scheduled to go to trial next month.
"3,000 apply to clean up City Hall"
Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 17, 2006
Chicagoans may not buy it when Mayor Daley claims he was unaware of hiring and contract shenanigans at City Hall. But they're certainly eager to help him clean up the mess.
The former federal prosecutor hired to root out City Hall corruption said Thursday he's received 3,000 applications for 17 vacant investigative jobs in the inspector general's office.
"City watchdog to get OK for hiring"
Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 26, 2006
The former federal prosecutor hired to root out City Hall corruption would be free to fill the 18 vacancies in his office independently -- without running candidates through the Department of Human Resources or a hiring monitor -- under a plan expected to be approved today by a federal judge.
The decision to free Inspector General David Hoffman was made with the blessing of hiring monitor Noelle Brennan and attorneys for Michael Shakman, whose pioneering lawsuit was supposed to end political hiring in Chicago but never did.
"Federal monitors report progress in Shakman case"
Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 20, 2006
Hundreds of job interviews at City Hall have been watched by federal monitors and more than 200 employees have been trained in how to hire people without political influence.
That update on hiring at City Hall was filed in federal court Thursday as part of the ongoing federal Shakman case that challenged political hiring at City Hall. The case, stemming from a lawsuit filed in 1969, resulted in the Shakman Decree, which bans political hiring but allows for a fixed number of exempt positions in city departments.
"City Workers Need Protection"
CBS2, Sept. 24, 2005
A federal monitor reviewing hiring practices at City Hall wants an executive order from Mayor Richard Daley that protects city employees who cooperate with her investigation from reprisals.
The executive order is necessary because it sends a message "that people who have provided information or may want to do that in the future aren't going to be retaliated against," said Noelle Brennan, the court-appointed attorney.
"Monitor lays down law on hiring"
Chicago Tribune, Sept. 07, 2005
A court-appointed monitor ordered to review City Hall personnel practices moved Tuesday to take control of the city's hiring and promotions, at least for the near future.
The monitor, attorney Noelle Brennan, said each city department's commissioner and hiring manager and an official from Mayor Richard Daley's office should swear during the next two months--under penalty of perjury--that clout does not affect hires and promotions.
"Chicago officials defying court ban..."
Chicago Defender, Sept. 07, 2005
Chicago officials have been basing hiring decisions on political clout and not merits, defying a court-ordered ban on patronage employment, a federal monitor said Tuesday.
Court-appointed monitor Noelle Brennan urged sweeping changes at City Hall, including requiring top officials to swear under penalty of perjury that hirings aren't based on politics.
Brennan made the recommendations in an 11-page report to U.S. District Judge Wayne R. Andersen on how to enforce the decades-old Shakman Decree that bans the use of patronage.
"City gets a Hall monitor"
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 03, 2005
Suggesting that he felt duped by City Hall's past claims to have reined in patronage hiring, a federal judge Tuesday appointed a monitor with broad powers to oversee the city's personnel decisions.
U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen gave the monitor, Chicago lawyer Noelle Brennan, until Sept. 6 to develop her plan to watch over how the city doles out jobs. But the judge left open the possibility that she could essentially take over hiring at City Hall.
"Profile : Noelle Brennan (monitor)"
Chicago Tribune, Aug. 03, 2005
The newly appointed watchdog over city hiring is a former attorney with the federal EEOC who has built a reputation as a tough lawyer who is able to separate fact from fiction.
Noelle Brennan is no stranger to cabinets full of documents and long witness lists.
The newly appointed monitor who will be a watchdog over city hiring has investigated giant organizations before. And in one case, her work led to the largest sexual harassment settlement ever reached by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"Federal judge names court monitor..."
Chicago Defender, Aug. 03, 2005
Responding to claims that Chicago officials violated a court-ordered ban on political patronage hiring, a federal judge on Tuesday named an attorney to monitor city employment practices and make certain that officials don't fill jobs on the basis of clout.
"The sense of violation for anyone who loves the city is almost overwhelming," said U.S. District Judge Wayne R. Andersen acting in a civil suit filed against the city.
Andersen assigned attorney Noelle C. Brennan to report back to him by Sept. 6 with a recommendation on what powers she should have as the court-appointed monitor to ensure that the ban on patronage hiring is enforced.
"Mayor promises to clean up City Hall"
ABC7, July 09, 2005
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he is not responsible for alleged corruption at City Hall. He talked publicly Tuesday for the first time since two top city officials were charged Monday with handing out jobs in exchange for political favors.
There was new fallout from the scandal late Tuesday afternoon. Two more City Hall employees are out. One was suspended and the other resigned. This is just the latest in a string of scandals that may be putting cracks in the mayor's credibility with voters.
© 2005 shakmanmonitor.com