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Not ready for prime time

Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014

* Sun-Times

[Earceen Alexander] was a laborer on a city garbage truck nearly 10 years ago when she was pinned between a telephone pole and the truck. The vehicle’s driver, Denise Alcantar, was an inexperienced city employee who owed her job to the Hispanic Democratic Organization’s clout.

Alexander’s thigh was gashed, her pelvis broken and a lung damaged, forcing her to remain in a wheelchair, tethered to an oxygen tank, for much of the following five years until she died in 2008, at age 63.

Her daughter Angelique Boyd felt a measure of redemption for her mother’s death when Al Sanchez, once Mayor Richard M. Daley’s top Streets and San man, went to federal prison a few years ago for rigging the hiring process to favor HDO campaign foot soldiers.

Sanchez is now running for county board. His response to a Sun-Times inquiry

“It was an accident,” Sanchez said Tuesday of the 2003 incident that maimed Alexander. “It happens with Streets and San. Everybody wants to make a bigger deal out of it.”

OK, it was an accident. These things do happen. But a candidate who is this callous really ought to rethink his decision to run for public office.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Andyet - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    Sanchez will likely win.

  2. - A guy... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    Wow. If you can’t make a layup, you sure can’t hit a 3. This guy should have been dripping in sympathy. Too stupid.

  3. - OneMan - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Can’t say I am surprised at all by this…

  4. - Falstaff - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    If Berrios can win, of course Sanchez will win.

  5. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:42 am:


  6. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    ===“It was an accident,” Sanchez said Tuesday of the 2003 incident that maimed Alexander. “It happens with Streets and San. Everybody wants to make a bigger deal out of it.”

    Sanchez sounds a little bit like George Ryan, doesn’t he? You help put unqualified drivers behind the wheel of large trucks and yes, accidents will happen.

  7. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    here’s hoping he does not make it on the ballot, or he will win. Carrothers too.

  8. - Skirmisher - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Wish I had something more creative to say, but this is the Chicago way. Corruption is expected and richly rewarded.

  9. - Call me a jerk, but.... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Sanchez is complete goof who deserved what he got. And the thesis of Mihalopoulos’ column is on target: patronage can be particularly damaging when it puts unqualified people in jobs they have no business doing.

    But at the risk of sounding as callous as Sanchez, did Mihalopoulos determined how Earceen Alexander got her job with the city? Maybe she aced a civil service exam and was the best qualified candidate for the opening, but I suspect she got that gig the same way the HDO driver did, through patronage. No matter what, it’s a horrible tragedy that Ms. Alexander didn’t deserve. And if she was the benefactor of clout hiring, at least she wasn’t put in a job where she was operating heavy machinery. But still….

  10. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    Saint Patrick of Fitzgerald worked his way through all the Daley buffers then pulled up short. You have to wonder why.

    Maybe Blago was the bigger prize and he got some help looking in the right places. Just sayin.

  11. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Take a look at this article:

    I really love the part in the article where Sanchez is quoted as saying:

    “Sanchez says voters know he “did a good job and cared about people” during his time with the city.”

    How exactly does that square with:

    “It was an accident,” Sanchez said Tuesday of the 2003 incident that maimed Alexander. “It happens with Streets and San. Everybody wants to make a bigger deal out of it.”

    Toni Periwinkle must be so looking forward to have Al Sanchez on the County Board.

  12. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    He might as well have added, “Get over it”.


  13. - Chris - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    “Sanchez sounds a little bit like George Ryan, doesn’t he? You help put unqualified drivers behind the wheel of large trucks and yes, accidents will happen.”

    *Exactly* what I thought of. At least George had the decency to not (to my knowledge) ever say anything so egregiously offensive in public.

  14. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Agree with Chris and the others: Sanchez sounds exactly like George H. Ryan.

  15. - Independent - Wednesday, Jan 8, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    It’s no mystery why Fitzgerald “pulled up short”. Robert Sorich and Al Sanchez played the loyal machine buffers and refused to implicate any higher ups. Without their assistance what was Fitz supposed to do?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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