Blue Island Firefighter Files Lawsuit Against City

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Mismanagement Continues

Blue Island, IL

#1 Dec 11, 2013
Blue Island firefighter files lawsuit against city

A part-time Blue Island firefighter is suing the city, contending that it withdrew an offer to him for a full-time job without justification.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleges that the city committed breach of contract in not hiring Harry O’Hagan as a full-time firefighter, and it seeks more than $100,000 in damages.

O’Hagan was hired as a part-time firefighter in September 2011 and was placed on Blue Island’s fire department hiring list, which expired Aug. 4, 2013.

In May, the city’s civil service commission instructed Fire Chief Terry Vrshek to proceed in testing O’Hagan, the next candidate on the list, for a full-time opening, according to the lawsuit. It says O’Hagan accepted an offer of employment from Blue Island on June 27, pending a psychological exam, which he passed.

A full-time firefighter job was created July 10, but O’Hagan was told on Aug. 7 that he would not be hired as a full-time firefighter because the hiring list had expired Aug. 4, according to the lawsuit. Furthermore, the city instructed the civil service commission to no longer hire from that list, the suit says.

The civil service commission posted a new fire department hiring list on Dec. 6, and the city plans to use it to hire two full-time firefighters “very soon,” the lawsuit states.

O’Hagan’s attorney, Patrick Walsh, said O’Hagan has a “really strong case.”

“They withdrew (the full-time job) without any reasoning,” Walsh said.

Messages left for Blue Island’s city attorney, ShawnTe Raines, were not returned Tuesday.
Bob

Alsip, IL

#2 Dec 11, 2013
Shawnte, are you there, girlfriend.
How Many More Lawsuits

Chicago, IL

#3 Dec 11, 2013
Mismanagement Continues wrote:
Blue Island firefighter files lawsuit against city
A part-time Blue Island firefighter is suing the city, contending that it withdrew an offer to him for a full-time job without justification.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleges that the city committed breach of contract in not hiring Harry O’Hagan as a full-time firefighter, and it seeks more than $100,000 in damages.
O’Hagan was hired as a part-time firefighter in September 2011 and was placed on Blue Island’s fire department hiring list, which expired Aug. 4, 2013.
In May, the city’s civil service commission instructed Fire Chief Terry Vrshek to proceed in testing O’Hagan, the next candidate on the list, for a full-time opening, according to the lawsuit. It says O’Hagan accepted an offer of employment from Blue Island on June 27, pending a psychological exam, which he passed.
A full-time firefighter job was created July 10, but O’Hagan was told on Aug. 7 that he would not be hired as a full-time firefighter because the hiring list had expired Aug. 4, according to the lawsuit. Furthermore, the city instructed the civil service commission to no longer hire from that list, the suit says.
The civil service commission posted a new fire department hiring list on Dec. 6, and the city plans to use it to hire two full-time firefighters “very soon,” the lawsuit states.
O’Hagan’s attorney, Patrick Walsh, said O’Hagan has a “really strong case.”
“They withdrew (the full-time job) without any reasoning,” Walsh said.
Messages left for Blue Island’s city attorney, ShawnTe Raines, were not returned Tuesday.
How many more lawsuits are out there?
City Council Meeting

Chicago, IL

#4 Dec 11, 2013
Did the city attorney or the mayor mention the lawsuit at last night's city council meeting?
the city has no money

Blue Island, IL

#5 Dec 11, 2013
City Council Meeting wrote:
Did the city attorney or the mayor mention the lawsuit at last night's city council meeting?
NO! They refuse to announce newly filed lawsuits against the city. The Attorney Mayor refuses to talk about the basis of lawsuits. So much for their political lies, where is the transparency. The mismanagement continues.
former employee

Orland Park, IL

#6 Dec 11, 2013
apparently the only way to get ANYTHING or any acknowledgement from the city is to sue them, even then, they will drag it through the courts for years to come.
Hmm

Orland Park, IL

#7 Dec 11, 2013
Who is Number one on the New hire list?
Marty Rita

Elmwood Park, IL

#8 Dec 11, 2013
Marty Rita
Appointed Positions

Chicago, IL

#9 Dec 12, 2013
As long as positions are appointed Blue Island can expect less. Fewer road repairs, fewer sidewalks fixed, the bridge to remain closed and city hall to cry broke. Blue Island has a "spending problem" that must be corrected to move forward.
Appointees promote failed policies because they owe their positions to the party boss.
CASA

Chicago, IL

#10 Dec 12, 2013
This lawsuit filed in federal court on 12/10 contains a monell claim which states that there is has been a consistent and pervasive pattern of civil rights violations on the part of the defendant. Civil rights attorneys file these claims in an effort to force a change of behavior in the defendant, in this case, the City of Blue Island.

This is a real black eye for Blue Island and a real sign that city hall and in particular, the police and fire departments are not being run properly.

Just remember win or lose; the taxpayers will pay for this lawsuit.
Stand up

Midlothian, IL

#11 Dec 12, 2013
CASA wrote:
This lawsuit filed in federal court on 12/10 contains a monell claim which states that there is has been a consistent and pervasive pattern of civil rights violations on the part of the defendant. Civil rights attorneys file these claims in an effort to force a change of behavior in the defendant, in this case, the City of Blue Island.
This is a real black eye for Blue Island and a real sign that city hall and in particular, the police and fire departments are not being run properly.
Just remember win or lose; the taxpayers will pay for this lawsuit.
The aldermen need to stand up to Vargas and company. Question all of the BIIP decisions and vote with their consciences. Nothing should be rushed. If Vargas does not give information on issues, appointees etc.. in a timely manner, then decisions and votes should be tabled until a later date. This guy is a condescending egotist. He is not a fair and impartial leader. He does not own the city. We must fight his agenda to control the city.
BILib

Hammond, IN

#12 Dec 12, 2013
Keep in mind that anyone can sue for anything. The existance of a lawsuit does not mean the claimant will prevail. Lets wait for the results.
Blue Island Will Pay

Chicago, IL

#13 Dec 12, 2013
BILib wrote:
Keep in mind that anyone can sue for anything. The existance of a lawsuit does not mean the claimant will prevail. Lets wait for the results.
Lawsuits of any kind "COST MONEY".
Failing to follow civil service guidelines IS NOT SMART OR COST EFFECTIVE.
ATTORNEY FEES AND COURT COST "=$$$$$$" MONEY!

Blue Island does not receive any "pro bono" attorney services.
Blue Island is the defendant. So it's More like Wait for the Bill.
if the taxpayer only new

Blue Island, IL

#14 Dec 13, 2013
Stand up wrote:
<quoted text>
The aldermen need to stand up to Vargas and company. Question all of the BIIP decisions and vote with their consciences. Nothing should be rushed. If Vargas does not give information on issues, appointees etc.. in a timely manner, then decisions and votes should be tabled until a later date. This guy is a condescending egotist. He is not a fair and impartial leader. He does not own the city. We must fight his agenda to control the city.
This is what Alderman should actually do! However, we do not have Alderman. The Alderman have secrets agenda, that prevent them from questioning any policy. This type of person, was hand picked by the Peloquin-Frasor gang, they continue to mismanage this city today. There is no true Blue Island independent party, nothing has changed. They refuse to be public servants.
O hagan has no CLOUT

Blue Island, IL

#15 Dec 13, 2013
The trouble with clout
EDITORIALS December 11, 2013

We have a problem with Xadrian R. McCraven, and you should too.

We don’t understand how McCraven has managed to stay on a State of Illinois payroll since 2000 despite a remarkably long record of trouble.

This is not to say we think McCraven should be fired now from his current position as an administrator with the Department of Corrections, where we have been told he’s doing a good job.

We just can’t help marvel that McCraven ever got the job in the first place, and our guess is that he’s been clouted along in state government the whole way.

This is an entirely reasonable suspicion. We — and you — are allowed to doubt whether a state employee really earned and deserves what he’s got when his name has popped up on a secret political patronage list.

That’s the insidious thing about patronage, where government workers get hired because of whom they know; only a complete chump can believe that the best people are being hired and the worst are being fired.

Consider McCraven’s checkered history. As reported by Frank Main and Chris Fusco in two stories in the Sun-Times this week, McCraven has a long criminal record that includes at least 24 arrests on charges including arson, illegal gun possession, attempted robbery, drug possession and aggravated assault.

Fresh out of college in 1992, McCraven applied to be a Chicago cop but was rejected because of his criminal history. He sued, claiming racial discrimination, but got nowhere with the judge, who pointed out that McCraven was known “to be a drug dealer, gang member and supplier of guns to other gang members.”

In 1998, McCraven was working as a Chicago Housing Authority police officer when he was charged with domestic battery, accused of assaulting his former fiance, and found guilty of reckless conduct. The CHA fired him for this. In a court filing later, McCraven claimed the CHA police had reversed the firing, but a judge observed there was no evidence this was true.

In 2000, McCraven landed a job with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as a child-protection worker.

How did he get that gig? Maybe he was the perfect candidate. But then again, when McCraven landed a bigger job just three years later as executive assistant to the director of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, his name showed up on a once-secret list of thousands of politically connected candidates for jobs, transfers and promotions. The list was kept by the administration of Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

McCraven’s political sponsor, according to the list, was the IDPR’s director, Fernando E. Grillo, who has told the Sun-Times he does not remember sponsoring McCraven.

McCraven returned to DCFS in 2007, after a short time off a public payroll, but was fired again last year for “misconduct.” DCFS accused him of using his state computer to send hundreds of “lewd and inappropriate” emails. He also, according to the DCFS inspector general, used DCFS letterhead “to issue a personal letter to the private employer of his daughter’s mother, which made it appear that the department was requesting the woman’s presence in Illinois.” And, the IG said, he “used DCFS resources to help a friend engaged in a custody battle.”

Not so good, agreed?

But in June, DCFS reversed the firing after McCraven agreed to accept a 10-day suspension. We are told by sources that DCFS concluded there were mitigating circumstances.

Mitigating circumstances? OK. Maybe. Who knows.

Must have been fantastic mitigating circumstances.

But we can’t stop thinking about that clout list.
retired fd

Phoenix, AZ

#16 Mar 24, 2014
It just seems Bi has not won any law suit when it came to former employees
By way of Harvey

Chicago, IL

#17 Mar 24, 2014
retired fd wrote:
It just seems Bi has not won any law suit when it came to former employees
Will Blue Island also eliminate their Fire Department?
wow

United States

#18 Mar 25, 2014
the city has no money wrote:
<quoted text>
NO! They refuse to announce newly filed lawsuits against the city. The Attorney Mayor refuses to talk about the basis of lawsuits. So much for their political lies, where is the transparency. The mismanagement continues.
You see defendants in lawsuits speeking publicly about the details of thier cases all the time. The lawyers advise them to do so as much as possible. You are a genius.
No Fireman Union Here

Blue Island, IL

#19 Mar 28, 2014
What is going on here? The Fireman Union have a Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Rita Family is showing their ugly side.
Outstanding

Chicago, IL

#20 Apr 13, 2014
Mismanagement Continues wrote:
Blue Island firefighter files lawsuit against city
A part-time Blue Island firefighter is suing the city, contending that it withdrew an offer to him for a full-time job without justification.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleges that the city committed breach of contract in not hiring Harry O’Hagan as a full-time firefighter, and it seeks more than $100,000 in damages.
O’Hagan was hired as a part-time firefighter in September 2011 and was placed on Blue Island’s fire department hiring list, which expired Aug. 4, 2013.
In May, the city’s civil service commission instructed Fire Chief Terry Vrshek to proceed in testing O’Hagan, the next candidate on the list, for a full-time opening, according to the lawsuit. It says O’Hagan accepted an offer of employment from Blue Island on June 27, pending a psychological exam, which he passed.
A full-time firefighter job was created July 10, but O’Hagan was told on Aug. 7 that he would not be hired as a full-time firefighter because the hiring list had expired Aug. 4, according to the lawsuit. Furthermore, the city instructed the civil service commission to no longer hire from that list, the suit says.
The civil service commission posted a new fire department hiring list on Dec. 6, and the city plans to use it to hire two full-time firefighters “very soon,” the lawsuit states.
O’Hagan’s attorney, Patrick Walsh, said O’Hagan has a “really strong case.”
“They withdrew (the full-time job) without any reasoning,” Walsh said.
Messages left for Blue Island’s city attorney, ShawnTe Raines, were not returned Tuesday.
Five City of Blue Island Firefighters were recognized by EMS Medical Director Bernard Heilieser, D.O. for their outstanding efforts when responding to a cardiac arrest call during a major snow storm in January 2014. The Firefighters were able to stabilize the patient while having to shovel show to get the patient to the hospital. Due to their efforts the patient survived. Special thanks to Lt. Zelinski, FF Wm Kirby, FF Wm Abbatacola, FF Harry O’Hagan, and FF Andrew Walsh

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