Tuesday, April 29, 2008

County Employees Must Maintain Confidentiality

On April 24, 2008, the Steve Patterson at the Chicago Sun-Times wrote an article entitled, "Stroger Wants Employees to Sign Confidentiality Agreement:"

"Just 18 months ago, Todd Stroger was campaigning for office on a promise to make Cook County government more open and transparent. Now, though, the County Board President is forcing anyone who works under him to sign a confidentiality agreement — promising they won’t disclose anything he deems 'confidential' that they 'learned, disclosed or observed' while on the job. They must also promise never to disclose information after they leave their job."

Please check out the rest of the article and share your thoughts!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Better Government Association Director Speaks on Cook County Patronage

Executive Director of the Better Government Association wrote a letter to the Daily Herald addressing his concerns of patronage in Cook County:

"Recently, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and his loyal Democratic commissioners decided the best way to grapple with the county's budget deficit was not to cut wasteful spending and political patronage, but rather raise the county's share of the sales tax rate by well over 100 percent, from .75 percent to 1.75 percent."

Click here to read the rest of the letter:


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

7th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Sorich Case

The Chicago Tribune reports on the unanimous Seventh Circuit opinion delivered on April 16, 2008 in an article entitled, "Appeals Court Deals City Hall Patronage New Blow,"

"In a sharply worded ruling that struck a new blow at City Hall patronage, a federal appeals court Tuesday upheld the convictions of four men for scheming to rig hiring in Mayor Richard Daley’s administration—even though prosecutors never proved they personally benefited.
Former Daley patronage chief Robert Sorich and two co-defendants were found guilty in 2006 of ensuring that jobs and promotions were reserved for members of pro-Daley political armies that helped the mayor’s endorsed candidates. A fourth defendant was convicted of lying to investigators. A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals swatted away their key contention that they could not be convicted of criminal fraud because they took no bribes or kickbacks. 'It is hard to take too seriously the contention that the defendants did not know that by creating a false hiring scheme that provided thousands of lucrative city jobs to political cronies, falsifying documents and lying repeatedly about what they were doing, they were perpetrating a fraud,' Judge Ann Williams wrote for the unanimous panel."

Click here to read the article in its entirety:


Click here to read the Seventh Circuit opinion:



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Compliance Administrator Meets with Cook County Commissioners to Discuss Second Semi-Annual Report

On April 9, 2008 the Compliance Administrator appeared before the Cook County Board of Commissioners to discuss her Second Semi-Annual Report that was filed on February 29, 2008. Check out the Chicago Sun-Times' and Chicago Tribune's coverage of this meeting:



To check out the full Second Semi-Annual Report, click here:


What do you think?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Takes Issue with Patronage

On December 2, 2007, the Chicago Tribune ran a commentary by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. titled Legacy of Tax-fed Patronage Must End. Congressman Jackson touched on how a patronage driven government system can affect the quality of services provided to taxpayers. He states:

"That massive bureacracy was handed down by vested interest [to] Todd, whose sole focus is to protect a huge patronage army -- an army fed by increasingly overtaxed citizens, who, ironically, are rewarded with a steady erosion of health care and county services they deserve."

What are your thoughts?

Please click the link below to read the article in its entirety:


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

No Cronies Need Apply

On October 15, 2007, the Chicago Tribune ran an editorial titled No Cronies Need Apply. This article ran just before the resignation of Kim David Gilmore from his position as Human Resources Bureau Chief of Cook County Government. The author encourages cooperation from President Stroger with the Compliance Administrator, Julia Nowicki, as he undertakes a national search for a new Bureau Chief:

"Honest government aside, Stroger has an incentive to do the right thing. If he can prove to the satisfaction of a federal judge that the county no longer factors politics into most personnel decisions, Stroger can liberate the county from constraints that date to Shakman decrees aimed at clout hiring. Essentially, the county is in the same position as the City of Chicago: It must convince U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen that it's in compliance with the fair personnel practices Shakman has dictated.

On March 1, 2009, the county becomes eligible to seek Andersen's dissolution of the constraints. The judge will factor into his decision a subsequent recommendation from the person he has appointed as his eyes and ears to monitor county personnel practices. That's Compliance Administrator Julia Nowicki, a former Cook County judge.

One way for Stroger to show Nowicki he wants her support if and when he approaches Judge Andersen: Stroger can involve her in picking Gilmore's replacement. A Stroger spokeswoman says the county plans a nationwide search. We hope it turns up an apolitical outsider with stellar credentials -- perhaps a decade's experience running H.R. at employers with more than 10,000 workers. (The sorely featherbedded county has some 24,000.)"

Please click the link to read the article in its entirety.