Daley Personnel Chief Resigns, Defends Himself
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 8, 2009 2:00PM
Still taken from ABC 7 video
“I’m resigning because I believe I’ve become a bit of a distraction. The inspector general’s report is grossly erroneous and questionable in its legality. My primary responsibility is to clear my name and reputation and defend the integrity of the Department of Human Resources under my leadership. I can’t do them both simultaneously.”
A specific incident that's led to Tristan's resignation began with a January 29 letter from Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd). The letter was on behalf of a city worker who was facing a transfer that would have played them farther from their home. Such an attempt of clout is not uncommon, as anyone who has lived here for any length of time knows, but it's also a big no-no. What's unclear is how much Tristan knew and why he didn't report the letter. Tristan reportedly told the federal hiring monitor he wasn't sure if he had to report it but IG Hoffman's investigators weren't informed by Tristan several weeks after the fact. This in spite of the fact that one subordinate told both the hiring monitor and the IG that Tristan was briefed on the letter the day after it was sent and another subordinate sent Tristan an email about the letter.
Of course, that's the just the most egregious example (so far) of shenanigans Tristan stands accused of. The Tribune reported:
Both the court hiring monitor and Daley's Office of Compliance have repeatedly criticized Tristan for his alleged failure to comply with the city's own hiring plan. In a report last month, the compliance office said the department's leadership often "lacks a basic understanding of the new hiring plan."
Tristan was brought on board in June 2008 and the hiring raised eyebrows because of his close affiliations with Daley ally Ald. Daniel Solis (25th). Mayor Daley has yet to comment on the resignation, but spokeswoman Jacquelyn Heard said, "The mayor understands that the commissioner doesn't want to be a distraction." [Trib, S-T]