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SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Aldermen want sex harassment rules to apply to pols

Ed Burke and other aldermen are trying to make elected officials accountable to sexual harassment policies. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Sneed has learned a powerful cadre of City Council aldermen plan to introduce an ordinance next week making elected city officials accountable in cases of sexual harassment.

“We are hearing from our constituents and there is a clamor of “no more,” said Ald. Edward Burke (14th), although he did not specify if the constituency the aldermen were hearing from were naming names.

“As revelations of sexual harassment reverberate through Hollywood, legislative chambers, and the media, we need to address this accountability gap,” added Burke.


In addition to Burke, those also sponsoring the ordinance are Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th), Ald. Gilbert Villegas  (36th) and Ald. Carrie Austin (34th).

“Frankly, it is long overdue and the city must follow suit to ensure that all of its officials and employees are held to the highest standards of ethical conduct,” Burke said.

The aldermen are citing statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which asserts one in four women and one in 10 men report being harassed in the workplace.

“Right now sexual harassment complaints can be filed against city employees, but not elected officials,” he added.

“This amendment would permit any person who feels an elected official has committed an offense of sexual harassment to file a complaint — which will be investigated by the city inspector general to then be adjudicated by the city’s Board of Ethics.

“Penalties could range from $1,000 to $5,000 — as well as participation in sexual harassment prevention training,” Burke said.

Currently, the city’s Human Rights Ordinance prohibits workplace sexual harassment in Chicago, and employees are subject to personnel rules and regulations under the Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity Policy — in addition to the protections offered by the EEOC.


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“The city of Chicago is committed to ensuring that no employee is required to endure sexual harassment by supervisors or co-workers or work in a hostile environment as a condition of employment,” Burke added.

“It is important to note that this proposal does not replace or diminish any other framework of city laws and regulations aimed at eradicating this conduct.”

Who ya gonna call?


Actor Joel Murray, brother of Bill you-know-who, was at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse on Friday for lunch — when he noticed a bit of his bro’s clothing.

• To wit: Joel spotted brother Bill’s Ghostbusters II jumpsuit on display in the bar.

• A history note: Sports impresario Grant DePorter, on behalf of Harry Caray’s eatery, recently acquired the jumpsuit at auction for $41,845.

So Joel did what you’d expect a member of his Murray clan to do: He took a picture of the jumpsuit and texted it to Bill, stating:

“You forgot your dry cleaning.”

Book ’em . . .

Dateline: Hillaryville.

Stat chat from Hillary Clinton’s book signing Monday afternoon at Winnetka’s legendary Book Stall.

• 1,000 copies of  Clinton’s “What Happened” memoir were sold.

• 200 copies of Clinton’s “It Takes A Village” were also sold.

• The last 25 to 30 people at the end of the autograph line at the 1,000-ticket event were Clinton’s old Park Ridge friends and classmates.

Rock ‘n’ Rahm

Glory Days!

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and wife, Amy, had a play day last week.

To wit: The couple hit the Big Apple Thursday to catch a Bruce Springsteen concert.

“Amy is a huge fan and I think she has seen Springsteen in concert at least 10 times,” Rahm told Sneed during an early-morning phone chat Saturday.

“So we wound up hanging out backstage with the singer and his wife, Patti (Scialfa); actor Bradley Cooper and Maria Shriver,” he added. “Great time. Then we ate at Babbo (a Joe “Eataly” Bastianich eatery).”

The Rahmsters were then planning to head to the Lookingglass Theatre Saturday night before another trip to Washington, D.C. Monday, where hizzoner speaks on domestic policy at a Georgetown University in conjunction with a symposium on the upcoming 25th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s election as president.

The guy’s on fire.

 Sneedlings . . . 

Huzzah! City Club of Chicago czar Jay Doherty and his wife, Colleen, were honored Friday night at Ocean Cut steakhouse by the Best Buddies organization, which provides mentors and friends for special-needs children and adults. . . . I spy: Cubbie legend Ryne Sandberg spotted lunching Thursday at Harry Caray’s on Kinzie. . . .  Saturday’s birthdays: Devin Hester, 35; Matthew McConaughey, 48; and Laura Bush, 71. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Odell Beckham Jr., 25; Kris Jenner, 62; and Kevin Jonas, 30.