Federal monitor: city won't punish misbehaving managers

Noelle Brennan, appointed in 2005 by a federal court to monitor the city's reform of its hiring practices, said in a recent report that the city still resists reform.

In a report filed June 27, 2012 with federal judge Sidney Schenkier, Brennan said the city "seems unwilling to acknowledge past hiring violations . . . and engage in an objective process to address those violations." Moreover, Brennan said, city negotiators have stonewalled her on this issue for six years.

Brennan cited ample evidence that high-level department managers flouted hiring practices and helped give jobs to clouted candidates. But, Brennan wrote, the city still refuses—first under Mayor Richard Daley, and now under Mayor Rahm Emanuel—to discipline the wrongdoers.

Brennan singled out managers in the Chicago Dept. of Transportation (CDOT). She said that, from 2000 to 2005, CDOT managers faked the rating forms for job candidates; "failed to hire qualified candidates in favor of preselected candidates"; and, when questioned about the hirings, lied under oath.

When repeatedly confronted by Brennan the city has, she wrote, responded with a series of reasons as to why they should not and could not accept Brennan's recommendations—saying that to do so would, among other things, "eliminate [Brennan's] judicial immunity" and "directly intrude into the internal functions of City government."

In her report's conclusion, Brennan wrote that she's "hopeful that the parties can in the future cooperate" about the evidence of abuse and the need to discipline the offenders.