Monitor: City Hall Hiring Still Needs Oversight

Daley sees no evil

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    A new report by the federal monitor overseeing city hiring has taken another direct shot at Mayor Daley.

    The monitor, Noelle Brennan, filed her report in federal court on Friday, alleging that Daley's Office of Compliance has failed to comply with court orders related to hiring violations.

    "In isolation, this failure would not likely have been of major significance," Brennan wrote, according to the Chicago Tribune. But Brennan said that the compliance office "not only failed to remedy the violations, it also repeatedly made misleading statements to this office in response to questions . . . "

    The report comes less than a month after Daley said the city had done enough to fix its hiring problem and that it was time to end federal oversight.

    The mayor made the same claim in 2002, when he declared that there was no patronage in the city. Four years later his patronage chief was convicted of perpetrating a wide-ranging hiring scheme for the benefit of the mayor that included fixing jobs for a man who died before he could be interviewed for his position, a man who was in Iraq when his interview supposedly took place, and a drunk.

    Daley later created the compliance office in what critics said was an attempt to disembowel the city inspector general's office by setting up a rival unit favorable to the mayor that could undercut investigations.

    The presence of both offices hasn't cured the city of its bad habits, though, according to Michael Shakman, the Chicago lawyer who famously brought the lawsuit that set down hiring rules for the city.

    "Nothing would make me happier than to say that the city has eliminated the culture of clout and put in place machinery to keep it honest," he wrote in a Tribune Op-Ed on Sunday. "But we are not there yet."

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.