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City To Try To Shake Off Shakman

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Nov 13, 2009 3:00PM

During yesterday's City Council budget hearing with the Law Department, department head Mara Georges said the City plans to ask for an end to the Shakman decree early next year. Georges claimed the city is in "substantial compliance" in regards to laws forbidding political hirings and firings and that the city is no longer involved in such corrupt practices. It would also mean the end of the road for the city's hiring monitor, Noelle Brennan, with whom the city has long feuded. As recently as this summer, Brennan suggested that there could still be as many as 50 city employees that need to be disciplined or counseled for political hiring abuses. According to the Trib:

To get free of Brennan, Daley's administration must show the court that it has acted to correct hiring violations.

Lawyer Michael Shakman, who has led a legal battle over political hiring, recently criticized the Daley administration's effort. In an October court filing, Shakman criticized Daley's Office of Compliance, which would take over for Brennan once court oversight ends.

"It's clear that there remains a culture of clout and noncompliance in the city," Shakman said Thursday.

City hiring practices were in the spotlight this past spring as Al Sanchez stood trial (and was convicted) for rigging city hiring practices to steer HDO workers into city jobs, effectively building a patronage army. Even if the City were to shake off the Shakman decree, they still have their hands full with things like the lawsuit recently filed by the Inspector General's office.