Power bases | Bleader

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Power bases

Posted By on 04.15.08 at 08:32 PM

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Robert Sorich and three other former Daley administration workers were convicted of fraud or perjury charges in 2006 after a federal investigation into illegal patronage hiring at City Hall. Today their appeals were denied [PDF] by a federal appellate court that reiterated how for years they helped politics trump policy:

 

"Sorich was the mayor’s so-called 'patronage chief,' and held the title Assistant to the Director of IGA. Defendant Timothy McCarthy was Sorich’s deputy from 2001 to 2005 and often stepped into his shoes. Campaign coordinators would pass Sorich lists of campaign workers and volunteers, whose names he would then send to the heads of various city departments—Aviation, Streets and Sanitation, Sewers, Water, etc.—for jobs. Defendants Patrick Slattery and John Sullivan held high positions in the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

 

"During both individual and mass-hiring sequences, departmental managers like Slattery and Sullivan would hold sham interviews and then falsify interview forms in favor of the pre-selected 'winners.' The interview forms were often filled out weeks after the interviews, with one pile for blessed applicants (to be given high scores), and another for everybody else (to be given low scores). Some positions, such as tree trimmer, required merit tests but the results were frequently ignored. Evidence showed that Sorich even pressured departmental managers to hire applicants with drinking problems for positions that involved overseeing workplace safety."

The Trib reminds us that Sorich, Slattery, and McCarthy have connections to the 11th Ward; Sorich was once John Daley's driver.

It turns out, though, that within the current city workforce, Sullivan comes from the true power base: Beverly.

According to city records, two of the six zip code areas with the most city workers are located on the far south/southwest corner of the city that includes Beverly, Mount Greenwood, and Morgan Park. Together the 60655 and 60643 zips are home to more than 5,000 of the city's 38,542 employees.

The three zips that make up most of the 11th Ward are way down the list at Nos. 15, 16, and 30.

Some of this is due to the Copland effect; since the biggest city department by far is police, the neighborhoods favored by officers are going to have the most city workers. But Beverly and other southwest-side neighborhoods are still the leaders when you only count traditionally patronage-heavy departments like Streets and San, Transportation, Water, and Aviation.

Here's the list of employee numbers in the top 20 worker-populated zip codes:

 

ZIP

WORKERS

SIDE OF TOWN

60655

           3,422

south

60638

           2,873

southwest

60631

           2,140

northwest

60652

           1,853

southwest

60634

           1,742

northwest

60643

           1,660

south

60617

           1,503

southeast

60628

           1,289

south

60630

           1,282

northwest

60620

           1,248

south

60619

           1,210

south

60656

           1,199

northwest

60646

           1,183

northwest

60629

           1,050

southwest

60609

              786

south

60616

              786

south

60618

              722

north/northwest

60641

              691

northwest

60608

              616

south/southwest

60639

              586

west/northwest

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