Wildman Harold donates Sherrie Travis, an employment specialist lawyer (pro bona )to to help Judge Julia Nowicki, as Court appointed Compliance Administrator (CA) for Employment Matters in Cook County. Nowicki specifically is working on the Shakman decree.
Judge Nowicki’s appointment is part of a Supplemental Relief Order (SRO) entered by Judge Wayne Andersen in November of last year. The SRO resolves claims that the County continued to engage in illegal patronage hiring and promotions in violation of earlier orders, known as the Shakman decrees, entered in 1972 and 1994. Judge Nowicki was appointed to oversee and audit the County’s hiring practices and to take action to remedy any problems she finds. Travis will assist Judge Nowicki in these efforts.
The Cook County Board had the opportunity to get report from the CA and her group at the last CC Board meeting. Nowicki and Travis both pointed out the the Rules of 7 was the biggest problem. The rules of 7 is that the first 7 minimally qualified people for a position would go on to interview. The way the first 7 applicants is determined is by time and date stamping applications as they come in. This puts a great advantage to people with inside information as to when a job will be posted.
Travis also went on to say the the Human Resources (HR) has a lack of long term leadership which leads to lack of focus. She also pointed out that the HR department is short staffed and it should be one HR person per 100 employees as in the private sector. Travis also pointed out that because they are short staffed they can't administer simple tests such as typing for a word processor applicant. She also pointed out that they do not have enough staff to check credentials or references. Currently the HR department has 52 filled positions with 7 vacancies.
Jonathan Rothstein the interim Director or HR came up to speak, coughed a little and said I have a sore throat as well as other health issues. OK, so thanks for sharing? Commissioner Sims asked if they recommend that more HR be hired then were do they come from within the budget? It was pointed out that this is the recommendation. Moreno really attacked Nowicki when he questioned her as to how many complaints she received for violations. She said she could not answer, and that all the complaints need to be investigated by the Inspector General which she has not done. He kept attacking her for a number of complaints getting her wiggling in her seat, where she was actually moving around and changing her position. She kept saying that they were not investigated yet so she can't say how many are legitimate.
Nowicki insisted they get an outside politically independent person to be the monitor for HR.
Commissioner Silvestri defended the press when Nowicki attacked them about comments they had written on her report. Silvestri said the press is only doing their job. Silvestri also went on to ask if the new HR person would come from the Yukon.
Commissioner Beavers then attacked Nowicki saying she wanted to sit in Todd Stroger's seat and run everything, and that her job was only to worry about patronage in the County. Commissioner Collins said she did not want to also attack Nowicki but the court order was for her to work on illegal patronage in employment. Collins also wanted to know where she would find a politically independent monitor because no such person exists.
I need to point out how sharp as a tack Daley is. He asked Travis right after she was done talking about how word processors don't get a typing test..........If word processors got a typing test.
Also another observation was Toddler Chief of Staff Lance Tyson did not have his glasses on. But he was too busy text messaging while the meeting was going on>
The Toddler did say he took the whole day off to be at the meeting but, more than half way through the meeting Commissioner Moreno took over as pro tem President.