Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » IG’s office investigates one of it own, slaps wrist
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
IG’s office investigates one of it own, slaps wrist

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

* Bruce Rushton

An investigator with the inspector general’s office for the state Department of Human Services remains on the job despite findings that he has sexually harassed employees of agencies that hold DHS contracts.

According to a report released last month by the state Executive Ethics Commission, Manuel “Manny” Zepeda told three women employed by Marcfirst, a Normal nonprofit that helps the developmentally disabled, that he had an ex-girlfriend who once obtained Viagra for him. Then he told the women that his wife liked to have sex in hotels. All the time, according to the report prepared by the Office of the Executive Inspector General, Zepeda was staring at a whiteboard in the agency office, and when someone said, “That’s not on our board,” Zepeda said that he should probably leave before he got another sexual harassment complaint against him. The conduct occurred in July 2018.

Reactions from employees, according to the report, ranged from alarm to someone who said, “This is just typical Manny” and, “You have to play along.” One of the employees who witnessed Zepeda’s behavior had met him that day. Zepeda was in Marcfirst offices to conduct an investigation, the nature of which wasn’t disclosed in the report released by the ethics commission. As an investigator, Zepeda is charged with investigating allegations of abuse, financial exploitation and neglect involving people who receive services from agencies licensed, funded, operated or certified by DHS.

One Marcfirst employee told the inspector general that Zepeda was “always inappropriate and creepy,” but she had decided to “let it go.” While she said that she was offended and made uncomfortable by Zepeda’s comments, she said she didn’t feel that she could speak up because her agency might suffer negative consequences from his investigations.

Another employee had similar concerns.

“I’ve always been told by coworkers to go along with what Manny says because it could affect the outcome of the case he is inquiring about,” the employee wrote in a statement.

* Hannah Meisel

Zepeda was put on 30 days of unpaid leave earlier this fall, according to DHS spokesperson Meghan Powers, after having been moved off of investigations involving the disability service agencies whose employees made complaints. Additionally, a letter has been put in his personnel file.

“IDHS takes employee misconduct extremely seriously,” Powers said in a statement. “In 2018, IDHS strengthened its sexual harassment policy, which was relied upon for the OEIG report. We will continue to aggressively enforce anti-harassment policies and ensure a safe environment for those we represent and serve.”

Zepeda received a pay bump of $1,000 per pay period in 2019, from $6,800 last year to $7,800. Even with his 30-days of unpaid suspension time, Zepeda has made $75,800 so far in 2019, according to state records.

Zepeda’s union contact with AFSCME may have played a role in both the raise — as state workers finally received step increases earlier this year that had been denied to them by former Gov. Bruce Rauner — and Zepeda’s continued employment with DHS.

The full report is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments »
  1. - Huh? - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    Wonder if he thought the State of Illinois sexual harassment training was to teach him how to do it.


  2. - Stones - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    Creeps like Manny need to be exposed for what they are and weeded out.


  3. - Frankie - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    Why was Zepeda not fired like Tim Mapes and Kevin Quinn? It seems like a double standard. If Zepeda worked for Madigan he would have been fired!


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 12:53 pm:

    -Why was Zepeda not fired…?-

    -Zepeda’s union-

    -Additionally, a letter has been put in his personnel file.-

    Oh no, not that!


  5. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    He can go get a job with ComEd now. Just sayin.


  6. - Fired - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    He should be fired>. The ig. Should not be reappointed>. Neither should her husband at the tollway ig


  7. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 1:14 pm:

    ===Oh no, not that!===

    Don’t mock. It’s on official State letterhead!


  8. - Pelonski - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    Not every person who sexually harasses someone deserves to be fired. A 30 day suspension seems reasonable given the behavior described in the post.


  9. - R A T - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    The articles reflect on Manny but the honest truth …. the management of his is the issue.


  10. - Frankie - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    @ Pelonski

    So you would say that the state of Illinois has a double standard when it comes to punishment for sexual harassment?


  11. - Ed Equity - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    It’s like the movie “inception”….5 layers deep, investigators investigating investigators. Illinois is special for its layers of abuse.


  12. - Wonk - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 4:00 pm:

    @Fired, DHS has its own IG, separate from the Office of the Executive Inspector General. Zepeda is with DHS’s IG, not the OEIG.


  13. - Bobby McGee - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 6:44 pm:

    Who inspects the inspectors? As it turns out, another inspector who lets them off the hook.


  14. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 19, 19 @ 7:33 pm:

    Want to comment on 3 areas:

    The factor of union membership in the decision. Yes, sadly it is true from my experience. If you’re in the union then firing is not an option. 2nd, the IG at the Tollway, an IG that seems to be limited to small fish. 3rd, with the new CHA takeover will the 2nd point be able to police the changes that the former CHA team are trying to make.


  15. - Twirling Towards Freedom - Wednesday, Nov 20, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Just to clarify, this was an employee of the DHS internal IG. The investigation was conducted by the Executive IG, which is external to DHS. The Executive IG does not determine the level of discipline. That’s up to the agency (DHS in this case).


TrackBack URI

This is not Facebook, so uncivil comments, profanity of any kind, rumors and anonymous commenters will not be tolerated and will likely result in banishment.



* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Three prison guards indicted on charges related to inmate death
* Doherty out at City Club, may have been conduit for 100 ComEd jobs
* Roundup and open thread
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

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


Loading


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

Archives
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
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




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