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Chicago Auditing Personnel Records

April 11, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) _ The city will audit the personnel records of more employees to ensure they were hired for their job qualifications instead of their political clout, a city official said Tuesday.

It is too early to say how many people will be audited, but some of them were named in court papers filed Monday by federal investigators looking into corruption at City Hall, said Ron Huberman, chief of staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Huberman also said that, effective immediately, the mayor’s office won’t permit any non-routine deletion of records from the city’s mainframe or any city database.

Investigators said in court papers that Daley’s former patronage chief, Robert Sorich, ordered files shredded and computer data deleted to keep the government from finding them.

Sorich, 43, and three others are charged in an eight-count indictment with rigging job interviews and faking scores to camouflage the use of political clout, rather than job qualifications, as the basis for city hiring.

Prosecutors say the alleged fraud was designed to get around a 30-year-old court order that bars using patronage as the basis for filling most city jobs.

The four men have pleaded not guilty. A fifth defendant, Daniel Katalinic, 54, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.

The audit will complement other personnel reviews, including one of the city’s buildings department that found four unqualified building inspectors, Huberman said.

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