September 18, 2008
Ethics Charges In Political Hiring
The Illinois ARDC has filed a second complaint (we reported the charges against another lawyer last week) alleging that improper political considerations were used in hiring for public positions. The complaint alleges:
Starting in 1995, continuing through 2004, prior to hiring or promoting to fill positions in her department, Respondent met with representatives of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs ("IGA"), a division within the Office of the Mayor of the City of Chicago, in order to receive a list of names. Respondent knew that those named on the list were individuals who were expected to be interviewed and hired for certain positions within her department because of their political involvement, affiliation or work on certain political campaigns.
After receiving the list from IGA, Respondent granted interviews to the individuals on the list.
Prior to the interviews, Respondent notified the department hiring panels of the names on the IGA list, and she communicated to the hiring panels that those who were named on the IGA list were expected to get the job, so they should adjust their interview score sheets accordingly.
Following the hiring panel scoring process, Respondent reviewed the ratings of each candidate and sometimes changed a score, or generated a new ratings sheet and discarded the old one, in order to ensure that an individual on the IGA list would obtain the position over other applicants.
Do these charges provide a roadmap for possible disciplinary charges against Michael Elston and Monica Goodling? One element missing in the DOJ hirings that is present here is an injunction forbidding the use of political considerations. (Mike Frisch)
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