New policy allows ex-cons to get jobs with city of Chicago

| 1/27/2006

Up until recently, the only Chicago city employee who was an ex-felon was John “Quarters” Boyle, who got a job as a high-level engineer just a few years after embezzling $4 million from the Illinois Tollway.

But under a new policy directed by Mayor Richard M. Daley, ex-cons – once banned from city work, with the exception of Boyle, who had high-level connections in the Chicago city government – will be examined on a case-by-case basis when applying for a job with the city, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Daley said the decision to possibly employ former convicts is the result of a study into rehabilitated criminals, which was conducted by a city-funded study.

“The city will balance the nature and severity of the crime with other factors, such as the passage of time and evidence of rehab … it means that former prisoners will have a chance to make their case and, maybe, land a city job,” Daley said in a press conference.

The new policy certainly isn’t based on the track record of the Boyle, the lone ex-con in the city’s government. In August 2004, he was sentenced to serve more than seven years in prison for his involvement in the city’s scandal-ridden Hired Truck scandal, where he took more than $200,000 in bribes from trucking companies in exchange for lucrative city work.