Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hiring monitor still sees patronage at City Hall

I wonder if this is a big surprise to anyone because it shouldn't be. From the Sun-Times...
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.

The monitor acknowledged that she has not uncovered the kind of “wholesale overt manipulation of interviews” on display during the federal corruption trial that culminated last year in the conviction of former patronage chief Robert Sorich. But, she said, “Other, more subtle types of manipulation of the hiring process have surfaced.”

Brennan said the alleged violations she has uncovered in response to 685 complaints run the gamut — from “hundreds” of city employees illegally “acting up” in higher-paid, temporary positions to the city’s failure to “meaningfully enforce consequences for noncompliance.”

“Acting up’’ means an employee is put in a higher-paid job without a formal promotion or process.

Fire Department brass even went so far as to order one “acting up” employee to “work from home for several months to avoid detection,” Brennan wrote. The inspector general’s office is investigating.

The monitor branded as “an area of significant concern” Daley’s failure to discipline current city employees “directly implicated in Shakman violations” during testimony at the Sorich trial.

“The city’s ongoing failure to effectively monitor compliance with the reformed policy, coupled with the failure to take any disciplinary action when violations occur is certain to result in ongoing violations,” she wrote.
The only way this should change is if there's a change in regime at city hall. I generally like Daley as a mayor, but if this is a problem he's not doing enough to curb it. He may claim he knows nothing, he's still the head man in charge and can make the necessary changes if he wants to. Doesn't seem like he wants to.

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