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Chicago's Daley pushes hiring reform plan

June 25, 2010 at 8:01 PM

CHICAGO, June 25 (UPI) -- Trying to escape years of patronage scandals, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he want to consider letting an outside firm do the hiring of city workers.

Daley singled out five major city departments for the proposal, at least three of which have often been accused of considering politics and patronage when hiring, promoting and firing, in violation of court rulings, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

"I am determined that we get our hiring procedures right," Daley said. "The people of Chicago need to have confidence in our procedures and know that they have the same fair chance at getting a city job as everyone else."

One city alderman says the plan simply shows Daley, Chicago's mayor since 1989, has been unsuccessful in ending the age-old practice of patronage hiring.

"What it represents is basically an admission on the part of the mayor that he has utterly failed to manage the hiring process," Alderman Joe Moore said. "How hard is it to tell people to not let politics enter the equation? It is not rocket science."

The success of Daley's plan, which must be approved by aldermen, could come down to the choice of the outside firm retained and whether it has political interests and connections, the Tribune reported.

"Maybe it's time to have a private company take it over, as long as they are not under the influence of the political atmosphere," Moore said.

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