Wednesday, March 14, 2007

State senator's brother back at city job

By Gary Washburn Tribune staff reporter

Published March 12, 2007, 7:37 PM
The brother of a state senator has returned to duty in the city's Water Management Department amid an investigation into an on-the-job fight that left a co-worker bloodied, officials said Monday.Martin Munoz and John Orlando, both hoisting engineers, allegedly got into an argument that led to violence on March 1 inside the department's yard at 3901 S. Ashland Ave.

The police were called, both men underwent drug and alcohol testing and both were put on paid administrative leave as the Personnel Department's Violence in the Workplace office began an investigation, officials said. Both Orlando and Munoz, the brother of state Sen. Tony Munoz (D-Chicago), were allowed to return to work while the investigation continues.Patrick McDonough, a Water Management Department employee and sometime critic of the department's practices, said he was at the yard on the day of the alleged fight when Orlando walked into the superintendent's office."He had a bloody rag on his face and had a cut between the temple and the left eye," McDonough said of Orlando. McDonough questioned why Munoz had returned to work while the investigation was pending.Thomas LaPorte, spokesman for the Department of Water Management, denied that any special treatment was given. Sen. Munoz is a co-founder of the controversial Hispanic Democratic Organization and an ally of Mayor Richard Daley."The determination of when to call somebody back is made on a case-by-case basis," LaPorte said. "In this case, we didn't know how long the investigation would take, and we didn't want them sitting at home getting paid. We also understand they are not going to file criminal complaints against each other."Though officers were called to the scene after the fight, "we have no paperwork on it," said Police Department spokeswoman Monique Bond. "Apparently the individuals involved in the dispute decided to resolve it on the scene."Kimberly McMorris, a Human Resources Department spokeswoman, confirmed that an investigation is under way. Her department "will make a recommendation as to whether claims are sustained and recommend corrective action if needed," she said. Attempts to reach Munoz and Orlando were unsuccessful.

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