SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
The great pizza scandal of 2011

Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013

* Belleville News-Democrat

The former head of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s regional office in Collinsville violated ethics rules by soliciting pizzas for an office party from a contractor, according to a report by the state’s top investigator.

Inspector General Ricardo Meza’s investigation determined that Mary Lamie violated the gift ban in the state’s ethics rules and recommended that she be disciplined. Lamie now works in the private sector.

Lamie, who worked for IDOT until at least March 2011, declined comment Monday. While at IDOT, she served as the engineer for District 8, which covers Madison, St. Clair and nine other counties in the area, as well as District 9, which covers 16 counties in Southern Illinois.

According to the inspector general’s report, during an interview with investigators Lamie admitted that she instructed an underling to solicit pizzas from an IDOT consultant for an office party for District 9, based in Carbondale.

Obviously, she shouldn’t have been soliciting $50 in pizza from a contractor. No defense there. But this is what the IG is concentrating on?

* Actually, the IG also issued another report on former Congressman David Phelps

Phelps, hired [at IDOT] in 2003 after he lost re-election, was excoriated in the report, which included his inability to explain to Meza’s investigators what his work day entailed other than meeting with “lots of people.” Despite his title, the IDOT secretary at the time, Quinn appointee Gary Hannig, said Phelps was not part of the management team.

“It appears that Mr. Phelps does little work,” the report said. “This coupled with the … investigative findings, seemingly indicates that the primary actions which Mr. Phelps undertakes in an official capacity are those that constitute misconduct and abuse of his position.”

The report said Phelps, who made $128,000, acknowledged he met with job candidates, particularly for a 2009 summer hiring program, including those who had supported him in congressional campaigns. According to the report, he told employees doing the hiring whom he favored for jobs because he wanted to help “good people.”

Phelps countered that contrary to being unable to discuss his job in detail, he described how tried to bring accountability to the position, represented IDOT on the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, represented IDOT at events aimed at traffic safety, and submitted work schedules that IDOT secretaries approved. He disputed the report’s description of his intervention with job candidates and noted allegations that he improperly intervened came from witnesses whose names are redacted and whose testimony he had no chance to rebut.

“I talked to a lot of people about jobs,” Phelps said. “I helped direct them to the right information they could have so they’d have a better chance, but it’s not because of who they were. As soon as they went out the door, there might be somebody else talking about the same job.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


24 Comments
  1. - Biz Guy - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    Soliciting pizza means begging for free pizza?


  2. - anon - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    i believe that IDOT has many problems. Since SB51, there is no accountability for its quality based selection of consultants on transportation bulletins. Nobody can explain why firms are or are not selected, and fear of ethics violations prevents senior managers, or even the governor’s office from seeking an explanation. there is a facelss beuracracy at IDOT that is making these decisions, and their motives are questionable. could these unidentified decision makers be making decisions that benefit their future employers following their IDOT tenure? its a real problem.


  3. - Huh? - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    A few years ago, I attended a conference where David Phelps was a keynote speaker. It was a wasted 45 minutes with a lot of words and not much content.


  4. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    Well, I’m glad they got to the bottom of this. Did the IG detail what kind of pizza was solicited? Was it Little Caesars or Dominoes? Papa John’s (maybe from a Rezko franchise?) or was it high end, like Pizza Hut? Was it meat lovers or plain cheese? Veggie? Did they order salads and did they get free 2-liters of RC Cola with the order? These are the kind of details we need to know in order to determine the proper penalty for this crime.

    The Phelps stuff is the most interesting and least surprising part of the report.


  5. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    Phelps should have been asked to sing!

    The IG should be commended for sniffing out this pizza scandal and making it a thing of the past.

    Never mind it probably cost a $1 million in combined legal fees and makes the IG look a little ___________________________.

    Just think how many pizzas would have been gobbled if we would have had to wait for the BGA or the ReBooters or Watchdoggers to get this probe out of the oven.


  6. - Lil Squeezy - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 12:42 pm:

    Nobody in the GA ever solicits people to buy pizza.


  7. - Cassiopeia - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    Many Assistant Directors have no real function nor really do much. They are political give away positions.


  8. - Leave a Light on George - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    The IG’s office ” were originally conceived as a check against corruption.” It was also immediately corrupted by Blago.

    =Many Assistant Directors have no real function nor really do much. They are political give away positions.= That’s fine and dandy but when they think they have a real job with real duties and the backing of the Gov’s office this is often the result.


  9. - WizzardOfOzzie - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:11 pm:

    If you read the report the soliciting contractors to buy pizza was uncovered while investigating what David Phelps did. You can’t ask a contractor to buy you things. Period.

    The Phelps is fascinating. He literally had no answer to what he did for $128,000 a year.


  10. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:14 pm:

    Classic example of a small mind only being able to chase small problems. Fifty bucks for pizza? Who cares. Personally, if I’m out on the road working, I dislike eating alone. Fifty bucks for pizza to share is a deal. Just common courtesy, if you ask me.


  11. - JoeVerdeal - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    ILPundit is making a good point….and one worth more attention than the old report (that is so old and stale that it’s amazing that it doesn’t smell like mothballs).

    The “findings” of the IG were rendered at a glacial speed and are of VERY dubious merit. How revealing is it that a political figure would continue to function as a politician when appointed to such an office as Phelps was? Would anyone else in his position function differently?…..in Illinois….???

    As for the question of whether Mr. Phelps “does little work”, the dolt who did the IG’s work must have been blind….or just plain stupid….to have not noticed the increased construction activity in IDOT Districts 7, 8 & 9. Again….Mr. Phelps is and was a POLITICIAN and would be reasonably expected to allocate resources to his home jurisdiction. None of the saints in Central Illinois and Chicago would have done differently.


  12. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    “Despite his title, the IDOT secretary at the time, Quinn appointee Gary Hannig, said Phelps was not part of the management team”

    Wow, only in the Quinn administration is a $128k Assistant Director not considered part of the management team. Although in fairness, I’ve known some whose management input has been less valued than others.

    After Inspector General Ricardo Meza’s successful pizza investigation, he can now focus on the terrible office pools that have been depriving taxpayers of the full focus of these gambling bureaucrats.


  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    David Phelps and Office Space seem similar
    “Well, look, I already told you. I deal with the #$%&*! customers so the engineers don’t have to. I have people skills. I am good at dealing with people! Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?!”


  14. - HaroldVK - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:43 pm:

    That Phelps thing cannot possibly be true.

    Gov. Quinn has advised that if we cut the payroll by one more person, orphans will starve.

    As such, Phelps must have been absolutely necessary to the proper functioning of IDOT.

    These false reports must stop.


  15. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:48 pm:

    All I thought about when I read this thread was Homer Simpson saying, “mmm… pizza.”


  16. - Kathryn - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    IlPundit’s comments were right on the mark. The IGs office is a joke. Instead of focusing on real corruption, sometimes handed to them by an honest ethical employee,they take the easy ones like pizza. They take years to investigate and spend millions of taxpayer dollars with no results.


  17. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:00 pm:

    IGs: six figure salary, employee giving tip reported to management, employee never knows what action was taken, appointed by officeholder, no supervision, etc. = useless.

    IDOT would be the FIRST Department I’d send in a team to investigate contracts and the books, bar none…..


  18. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    Phelps is more the norm than the exception. He’s also indicative of the trend under Blago and Quinn to appoint hacks to meaningless jobs and to make it worse to allow them to set up shop in some obscure office away from agencies’ management. Phelps was referred to as IDOT’s Director for southern Illinois. But there was no such position for northern (or eastern, western or central) Illinois. My former agency had a similar hack for northern Illinois complete with a spatial, well furnished office. Adding to the insult was the wasted travel funds when these people travel to Springfield or Chicago on a regular basis.


  19. - Anon. - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==the primary actions which Mr. Phelps undertakes in an official capacity are those that constitute misconduct and abuse of his position.==

    Now THIS is Illinois!


  20. - SMOKE - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 4:37 pm:

    This article doesn’t do justice to the report released by the IG. Go read the actual IG report instead of this mockery before commenting nonsense. Just my two cents!


  21. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 6:58 pm:

    The OEIG is completely out of touch with reality on this and many other reports. They focus an absurd amount of attention on ridiculously tiny offenses and produce volumes. It’s positively Shakespearean in being ‘much ado about nothing.’ People’s reputations are harmed and for what?

    I STRONGLY support extensive external anti-corruption efforts. But this OEIG is positively clueless.


  22. - fake county chairman - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 9:25 pm:

    the feds could set up a bunch of fed grant money to a state agency and see where the money ends up the legislatures would line up like crack heads


  23. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, Apr 16, 13 @ 9:47 pm:

    There’s more to this story than pizza.


  24. - Patty T - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 7:12 am:

    IDOT has a huge number (billions) of taxpayer dollars in capital projects. As noted above, they are pretty much allowed to give professional contracts to whomever they choose by rule without a lot of accountability. Therein lies the problem where on appearance, buying pizzas or whatever other thing could allow one firm to get more contracts than another.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* The trend is not our friend
* Duckworth: "I screwed up"
* Rate IllinoisGO's new online ad
* Because... Madigan
* Today's number: 76 percent
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Google’s new features help developers manage search ads on Play Store
        * NVIDIA recalls Shield Tablet due to fire risk
        * PSA: NVIDIA announces worldwide recall for SHIELD Tablet, overheating battery poses fire risk
        * Stop hackers with Sticky Password Premium [DEALS]
        * DU Speed Booster review: A performance Swiss army knife
        * Invite requests for OnePlus 2 reaches 1 million within 72 hours
        * Microsoft wins case against Google in patent royalty battle

        * Key White Sox fueled key winning streak
        * White Sox winning streak stalls at seven
        * Short of perfect, White Sox happy with trip
        * Red Sox 8, White Sox 2: Wright guy beats right guy
        * Rodon gets first look at Yankees in series opener
        * White Sox winning streak stalls at seven
        * White Sox get Sellers from Bucs

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        July 2015
        June 2015
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Joliet's penny parking meters arrive in Sycamore
        * Cardiologist details troubles at Chicago-area VA hospital
        * SIU authorizes teachers to work despite state budget woes
        * Chicago announces plan to limit O'Hare airport noise
        * South Carolina senator backs Mark Kirk's re-election bid
        * Blagojevich attorney says he'll ask full court for rehearing
        * Jenner Olympic Torch fetches $24,000 at auction
        * After raising taxes, Cook County seeks raises for workers
        * Indiana convention's CEO calls for broader LGBT protections
        * Ex-US Rep. Reynolds scrambles to meet bond conditions

        * Illinois' health insurance co-op among those struggling
        * Court ruling helps some child care providers amid ongoing state budget impasse
        * Rauner, AFSCME reach another contract extension; governor vetoes bill to prohibit strike, lockout
        * Court ruling helps some child care providers
        * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans after Rauner signs law
        * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans
        * Illinois House votes to reject pay raise; Senate vote expected next week
        * Statewide tourism numbers up, although most Springfield historic sites see decline in visitors
        * Rauner signs bill broadening eligibility for food stamps
        * Statewide tourism numbers up, although most Springfield historic sites seeing decline in visitors

        * UPS to buy Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion
        * Presidential candidate backs Kirk for re-election
        * The secret to an energy-efficient home? No, it's not solar
        * What are Rush's plans for Malcolm X College site?
        * Here's the woman who will be running Chicago's biggest private company


          * State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower
          * Lollapalooza liquor gardening: fact or fiction?
          * Chicago plans to cut O'Hare noise by rotating runways at night
          * Woman killed, 5 injured when car flips over on Eisenhower
          * Bizarre scene unfolds at cop killing trial as defendant takes stand
          * Almost 6 acres of land added near Fullerton Avenue Beach
          * Man dead, at least 18 hurt in shootings
          * Blagojevich's lawyers to ask full court to rule on appeal
          * Police: Man given second chance was killed while trying to rob man
          * Police officer injured while running after shoplifting suspect


          * Blagojevich attorney says he'll ask full court for rehearing
          * E.J. Dionne: The price Boehner pays
          * Charles Steele, Jr.: EPA putting affordable energy in jeopardy
          * Illinois' health insurance co-op among those struggling
          * Catherine Rampell: One job government does better
          * Tom Kiernan: Wind could power Illinois' economic future
          * George Will: With Iran deal, Obama makes bad history
          * Court ruling helps some child care providers amid ongoing state budget impasse
          * Rauner, AFSCME reach another contract extension; governor vetoes bill to prohibit strike, lockout
          * Private employers now can give hiring preference to veterans after Rauner signs law


          * Favorable weather continues across the Corn Belt
          * South Carolina senator backs Mark Kirk's re-election bid
          * Rain doesn't yield big year for Illinois crop dusters
          * Blagojevich attorney says he'll ask full court for rehearing
          * Germany shelves Nazi crimes probe of U.S. man
          * Higher wages a surprising success for Seattle restaurant
          * Beijing selected to host 2022 Winter Olympics
          * Zimbabwe: American lion killer's extradition being sought
          * News-Gazette's Tom Kacich 7/31/2015
          * VG superintendent: 'It's time to move on'


          * Returning emigrants could overwhelm Portugal, analysts say
          * Exxon profit falls by half but production rises
          * UPS buying Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion
          * Marvel at madness: Things to know about Boston's Comic Con
          * Russia's Sochi mooted as host for 2024 Olympics

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * IL Senator urges EPA to protect towns alon......

          * Cardiologist details troubles at Chicago-a......
          * South Carolina senator backs Mark Kirk's r......
          * South Carolina senator backs Mark Kirk's r......
          * Cartoon: Mark Kirk's loose lips could sink......

          * Calling Out The Tollway Pastor
          * The [Friday] Papers
          * Ives' commentary stirs AFSCME activity
          * State forbids pastors calling homosexuality 'sinful'
          * Chicago’s Progressive Caucus offers revenue solutions, not pennies from heaven.
          * Union retirees do not scab, Bruce Rauner.
          * Kirk numbers falling, poll shows; Clinton, Walker lead among Illinois voters
          * Conservative Women in Popular Culture
          * Paid Influencer Opp: The Flaming Lips, Patti LaBelle, Kings of Leon + Josh Groban To Appear On New Ovation Show
          * A Good Old-Fashioned Tastee-Freez Commercial


          * Safety Belt Use in Illinois Reaches 95.2 Percent - Drivers and front seat passengers are buckling up more than ever before in Illinois
          * Governor Takes Bill Action
          * IDOT Seeks Ownership of Arsenal Road in Will County - Walter Strawn Hearing Request Withdrawn, Work on Long-Term Solutions Continues
          * Governor Rauner Signs Veteran Preference Bill
          * Governor's Office Statement on Passage of HB 576




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller