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Today’s quotable

Friday, Sep 22, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Craig Wall at ABC 7

Chicago’s embattled city treasurer spoke publicly Thursday for the first time about allegations of possible illegal and unethical behavior leveled against her. […]

Among the allegations is that [Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin] used her assistant to run personal errands, including grocery shopping and planning her daughter’s birthday party.

“This allegation is absurd,” Conyears-Ervin said.

But Conyears-Ervin repeatedly evaded questions about whether she engaged in such activity.

“According to the allegations, employees were doing personal errands on city’s time. That did not occur,” Conyears-Ervin said.

[Craig Wall: “Did they do personal errands for you on their own time?”]

“Craig, I am going to speak to the allegations, and the allegation spoke to employees doing work for me on city’s time; that did not occur.”

Her response was troubling for the head of the Better Government Association.

“There ought to be a complete separation of one’s public life and private life, and there’s no such thing as asking a favor of somebody who works directly for you, whether it’s on their personal time or on company time,” said David Greising, president of the Better Government Association.

There’s more, so go read the whole thing.

* It would also be nice to know why the Inspector General didn’t do anything about this for years. I reached out to former IG Joe Ferguson several days ago, but have not yet heard back.

       

22 Comments
  1. - Nick - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:06 am:

    I suppose it’s a good thing Alexi won…


  2. - pragmatist - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:20 am:

    Conyears-Ervin advocates for all Chicagoans, as evidenced by her advocacy for her husband’s landlord.


  3. - Drury's Missing Clock - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:21 am:

    I suppose your first question for Joe Ferguson should be whether he was being willfully ignorant towards a political ally’s wrong-doing or if he’s just incompetent.


  4. - BigLou - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:23 am:

    Alexi Won? They weren’t in the same race, that was Anna Valencia he ran against. I do like how now she hired people to run the office right.


  5. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:23 am:

    “She was supposed to launch her Congressional bid on Sept. 10, but after the story first broke in the Chicago Tribune days earlier, that’s been put on hold”

    The field running against Danny Davis just got weaker.


  6. - Drury's Missing Clock - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:36 am:

    ==The field running against Danny Davis just got weaker.==

    If I was Danny I think I’d prefer two women on the ballot to split the anti vote up.


  7. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:36 am:

    Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?


  8. - Friendly Bob Adams - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 10:49 am:

    On the plus side, she hired Joe Ponsetto, who will remain a Chicago hero forever for launching a robot into space at Notre Dame.


  9. - SaulGoodman - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 11:05 am:

    **I suppose it’s a good thing Alexi won… **

    Ummm, what?


  10. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 11:23 am:

    What’s the point of hiring cronies if you can’t demand they run your personal errands for you?

    Bosses require minions. How can you pretend to be important if you don’t have minions? Next you’ll demand that The Honorable Melissa Conyers-Ervin do her own shopping and plan her own child’s birthday?

    Don’t you know she is the City Treasurer of Chicago? How is she supposed to move up the ladder to Congress if she has to spend her time choosing quality groceries and selecting fresh produce?

    Her critics are being completely unreasonable.


  11. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 11:32 am:

    The IG ignored the allegations because they did not think they were credible (even though they are). Then, the letter causes a media storm, so the IG has to seize some computers.


  12. - Rabid - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:09 pm:

    Guess her office should unionize


  13. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:09 pm:

    I think a pretty good argument could be made by the employees in question that these duties even if performed outside of the the regularly scheduled hours that they still constitute work. I don’t think when the errands were performed really removes any of the ethical concerns and it sounds like Conyears-Ervin has benefited personally by unpaid overtime worked by public employees.

    I would also imagine that Conyears-Ervin failed to include these additional services she was receiving from these public employees as part of her compensation when she filed her taxes. A similar mishap effectively ended Tom Daschle’s appointment to the Obama Admin — but a lot more information would be needed to make those determinations.

    I think her defense leaves her open to significant criticism and potential legal hurdles ahead.

    I think the people that brought this issue to light deserve the public’s praise and appreciation for their commitment to government integrity.


  14. - Jocko - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:18 pm:

    ==the allegation spoke to employees doing work for me on city’s time==

    Melissa and Tim Mapes must’ve skipped Civics class on the day they went over the fifth amendment.


  15. - pragmatic - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    Now the question is if the Inspector General refers an investigation to the Board of Ethics or a law enforcement agency in a timely manner.


  16. - Lurker - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:24 pm:

    I never understand how regular government employees have to take ethics training where it is clear you are fined and possibly terminated, whereas, the leadership do not go by the same standards as the employees.


  17. - Regular democrat - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 12:57 pm:

    The usually very available Joe Ferguson the guy who walks on water is not available for comment? How strange. The same guy who couldnt find any cheating on Lt exams in the C P D that guy? Another political phony . He must be penning his next op ed and is too busy


  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===The usually very available Joe Ferguson the guy who walks on water is not available for comment?===

    lol

    Reporters practically handed over entire stories to him after he was pushed out.


  19. - Big Dipper - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    And to think people were floating Ferguson’s name for higher office shudder.


  20. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    ===I never understand how regular government employees have to take ethics training where it is clear you are fined and possibly terminated, whereas, the leadership do not go by the same standards as the employees. ===

    It depends what you mean by leadership, but there are different rules for removing elected officials from office than there would be for terminating an employee for cause.

    Our ethics act doesn’t actually force anyone to be ethical and a lot of the effectiveness of the law depends on people actually following through with the complaint instead of covering it up or quietly dismissing it without a full or complete investigation.


  21. - Drury's Missing Clock - Friday, Sep 22, 23 @ 3:46 pm:

    ==And to think people were floating Ferguson’s name for higher office shudder.==

    There was a long list and she lost her election, but it’s ridiculous Lightfoot ever appointed a Bush admin official to such a prominent position. Plenty of Democrats with law degrees in Chicago.


  22. - JC - Monday, Sep 25, 23 @ 10:19 am:

    First time I’ve ever heard of Joe Ferguson NOT talking to a reporter.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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