EDITORIAL: This is no ‘witch-hunt,’ Ald. Carrie Austin
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The ball is in Ald. Carrie Austin’s court.
She owes Chicago taxpayers an explanation as to why she got her son Kenny a job as a Streets and Sanitation superintendent. He has a checkered history as a city worker and fails to meet a basic job requirement for ward superintendents — having a valid driver’s license.
His job is to drive around and look at stuff.
On Friday, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dan Mihalopoulos reported that Kenny got the $73,212-a-year gig in Austin’s 34th Ward, on the South Side, 14 months after he quit a slightly lower paying job with Streets and San. He quit that job before he could be fired. Had he been fired, his name would have been added to the city’s long-term “do not hire” list.
City Hall was going to sack him from that old job after Inspector General Joe Ferguson found that Kenny had crashed a city vehicle while driving on a suspended license. Kenny also falsely claimed a co-worker was driving, which got him out of taking a mandatory drug test.
Ald. Austin swore a blue streak over Ferguson’s report. She said the “f—— city” was on a witch-hunt against her family.
In light of his track record, we understand why Kenny, 51, might have trouble finding new work. We also understand that, like any parent, Austin loves her kid and wants to see him succeed. She came to his rescue. But she should rescue him on her own dime.
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