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Special Master Reports To Rather Ordinary Judge

By Sam Bakken in News on Sep 7, 2005 3:52AM

Way back in August we mentioned that U.S. District Judge Wayne R. Andersen appointed a "special master", lawyer Noelle Brennan, to investigate hiring practices at City Hall. The Master's report was due today.

We wish we were there when Brennan handed the report over to Andersen. A person that bears the title "Special Master" must give quite the presentation. We imagine that as the judge sat down to his first cup of office coffee this morning, his chamber doors flew open as two parallel lines of katana-wielding ninja in black ninja suits (do ninja suits have a name?) shuffled through and split to encircle the office and surround the judge. 9_2005_ninja.jpgAs the judge recovered from the initial shock ("Pshew! It's just Special Master's assistants"), one ninja threw a three-ring binder into the middle of the room. Just as the binder reached the apex of its flight, the judge heard a whoosh and the binder vanished. Then he looked down and saw the binder pinned to the top of his desk by a shuriken's edge. He looked up to see Brennan in the doorway wearing a red ninja suit(again, there has got to be a name for those things). She placed her palms together and bowed at the waist as she said, "The report, as promised."

There weren't any big surprises in the report. Brennan said that in her investigation she found that city officials' were indeed violating the Shakman Decree, that bans patronage, when they hired some individuals. The judge said he expects that to change quickly and asked that Brennan report to him again next month to keep him in the loop. In the report Brennan recommended that the city hire more employees for the Department of Personnel to cut down on patronage. Brennan will be informed of all new hires and randomly investigate some hires to be sure political clout or favors were not involved. Brennan also called for an order forbidding retaliation against anyone assisting her in her work.