Daley Considers Suspensions for Sexual Harassment
By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 25, 2010 3:00PM
After a report by the city's inspector general, Mayor Daley is mulling suspensions of his top compliance officers. Inspector General Joseph Ferguson recommended to the mayor that he suspend Anthony Boswell and Mark Meaney, Daley's chief compliance officer and his first deputy, respectively. The case stems from a 2008 incident in which a student intern alleged that a high-ranking 911 center deputy made inappropriate comments about her appearance, repeatedly asked her out on dates and remarked that he'd like to have a cheerleader for an intern someday. The city's sexual harassment officer (who works for Boswell and Meaney) tried to investigate the claim, but ran into resistance, according to the IG's report. The two compliance chiefs supposedly tried to get the 911 official a new student intern, as well as trying to move him to a different city job, away from the 911 center. The Sun-Times is reporting that the official in question was stripped of his responsibilities in 2008 after he gave investigators information relating to an investigation into $2.25 million of contracting irregularities.
Ferguson, a former federal prosecutor, has recommended strong action on the mayor's part, including a 30 day suspension without pay. Mayor Daley, who's been in Washington, D.C. for a mayors conference, says he hasn't seen the report. “We're going to sit down. I haven't discussed it with him yet,” he told the Tribune. “But like anything else, I'll listen very closely to his recommendations and evaluate it. I have not seen him as yet.”
The Office of Compliance was established in 2007 to help police hiring in the city, which has been the subject of federal oversight for some 40 years now. Daley has said that he hopes to ask the court to end oversight this year, although sources tell the Tribune that he is considering taking away the monitoring functions of Boswell's office. Regardless, federal authorities are not happy with how the city has handled hiring irregularities. Sources told the Sun-Times that federal hiring monitor Noelle Brennan "doesn't trust [Bosworth]. She feels like she's been lied to. She's told the mayor's office, 'I'm done with this guy.' This guy is gonna be gone, and what's left of the office won't be much. This report is the final straw."