* No Sandi Jackson furniture for you!…
A onetime Illinois Department of Transportation employee has been chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to replace Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th).
Natashia Holmes was one of dozens of candidates who applied to fill the job vacated when Jackson resigned last month.
Holmes could not be reached for comment. An IDOT co-worker said she no longer works there. […]
The mayor’s search was hampered by his determination to steer clear of anyone with ties to the two powerhouse political dynasties that have controlled 7th Ward politics for decades.
Former Ald. William Beavers (7th) is now a county commissioner awaiting trial on federal corruption charges. Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Il.) signed a plea agreement last week on charges of misusing campaign funds.
* In case you don’t get that furniture reference, this is from a month ago…
Sandi Jackson assured her faithful supporters that she was still large and in charge as she signed off as the 7th Ward alderman Tuesday night. […]
“From an insider’s point of view, Mayor Rahm may say he wants to have interviews. The people he will interview will be the people I am suggesting,” Jackson told the gathering made up mostly of precinct workers. “They are interviewing people in the community, but they do that to calm people down. People want to have their input. But for the most part, they turn that matter over to the alderman.” […]
Jackson also noted that all of the furnishings for her ward office at 71st and Exchange were bought with campaign dollars.
“That means the city does not own any of the furniture that you are currently sitting on, any of the furniture that is in the campaign office, any of the furniture that is in the aldermanic office. I bought every item personally, and if the mayor upholds my wishes [to appoint her chief of staff Keiana Barrett], everything in that office will stay the same. Keiana will inherit everything,” Jackson said.
* On to more serious Chicago matters…
In 2010, aldermen grudgingly created the post of legislative inspector general — with little authority or resources — to escape the scrutiny of pests like Joe Ferguson, who has his hands full exposing breaches in the executive branch.
Now aldermen are upset that their watchdog, Faisal Khan, had the audacity to ask them to turn over two years worth of time sheets for full- and part-time workers. It sounds to us like he’s doing his job, or trying to. Aldermen have been known to pad their payrolls with friends and relatives, some of whom were paid to do nothing.
In the last 25 years, the city’s Board of Ethics has found zero cases of wrongdoing by aldermen. In that same period, 20 of them were convicted of felonies. [Emphasis added.]
Facing mounting criticism for paying insiders with state construction grant money, the leader of the United Neighborhood Organization said Sunday the charter school network would at least temporarily stop doing business with a brother of UNO’s No. 2 executive.
UNO CEO Juan Rangel said the group will not work with d’Escoto Inc. — owned by a brother of Miguel d’Escoto, UNO’s senior vice president of operations — until after completing an internal review of its contracting practices.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Feb. 4 that d’Escoto Inc. and other companies with close ties to UNO were paid millions of dollars to help build schools under a $98 million grant approved in 2009 by lawmakers in Springfield and Gov. Pat Quinn.
D’Escoto Inc., owned by Federico “Fred” d’Escoto, has been paid more than $1.5 million so far to serve as the “owner’s representative” for the construction of the UNO schools built with the state money, records show. Miguel d’Escoto’s son also works for d’Escoto Inc.
Public documents show Fred d’Escoto was UNO’s board secretary until stepping down at some point in 2010. The group’s first payment of state grant money to d’Escoto Inc. was made Aug. 31, 2010, according to UNO records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.