BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD
OF THE
ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION
AND
DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

JOHN JERRY KOSIBA,

Attorney-Respondent,

No. 6199191.

 

Commission No.  08 CH 85

FILED -  August 27, 2008

COMPLAINT

Jerome Larkin, Administrator of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, by his attorney, Melissa A. Smart, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 753(b), complains of Respondent, John Jerry Kosiba, who was licensed to practice law in Illinois on November 10, 1988, and alleges that Respondent has engaged in the following conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or which brings the courts or the legal profession into disrepute:

Falsifying hiring documents and falsely certifying Shakman referral lists

1. At all times alleged in this complaint, pursuant to orders and decrees entered by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, and consented to by the City of Chicago, in the case of Shakman, et al. v. The Democratic Organization of Cook County, et al., 69 C 2145, all employees of the City of Chicago were permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly, in whole or in part:

A. conditioning, basing, or knowingly prejudicing or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employee, or affecting the hiring of any person as a governmental employee (other than for positions exempt from the Shakman decrees), upon or because of any political reason or factor including, without limitation, any prospective employee's political affiliation, political support or activity, political financial contributions, promises of such political support, activity or financial contributions, or such prospective employee's political sponsorship or recommendations; and

B. knowingly inducing, aiding, abetting, participating in, cooperating with or encouraging the commission of any act which is proscribed by the orders and decrees.

2. At all times alleged in this complaint, and pursuant to the orders and decrees (known as the "Shakman Decrees"), stated in Paragraph One, above, the City of Chicago required those officials responsible for hiring and promotions to certify and maintain as part of the hiring process, documents known as "Shakman referral lists." The Shakman referral list stated, "I understand that political considerations may in no manner enter into the decisions to hire employees for the city of Chicago. I understand that any person who willfully violates this may be subject to both administrative and legal action. I verify that to the best of my knowledge political considerations did not enter into the hiring decisions documented on this form."

3. From in or around 1979 through 2004, Respondent was employed at various positions for the City of Chicago. In or about 1992, Respondent was appointed Assistant Commissioner of the Water Department. In or about 1998, Respondent was appointed Commissioner of the Sewer Department.

4. Starting in 1992, while employed as Assistant Commissioner of the Water Department, continuing through 1999, when Respondent was Commissioner of the Sewer Department, Respondent conducted or participated in the hiring or promotion process for hundreds of positions within those departments. Most, if not all, of these positions were considered "Shakman covered" positions, meaning the hiring and promotion of potential job applicants for these positions had to comply with the 1983 "Shakman Decree," which made it unlawful to take any political factor into account in hiring public employees, as stated in Paragraph One, above.

5. At all times alleged in this complaint, Respondent was aware of the Shakman Decree and understood the responsibilities and restrictions inherent in the Shakman Decree, as stated in Paragraphs One and Two, above, as they related to City of Chicago hiring policies.

6. Starting in 1992, while employed as Assistant Commissioner of the Water Department, continuing through 1999, when Respondent was Commissioner of the Sewer Department, when conducting or participating in job interviews for Shakman-covered positions, Respondent received a list of names prepared by the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs ("IGA"), a division within the Office of the Mayor of the City of Chicago. Respondent knew that those named on the IGA list were individuals who were expected to be interviewed and hired for certain positions within his department because of their political involvement, affiliation or work on certain political campaigns. Respondent graded interview score sheets in a way to ensure that those named on the IGA list scored highest and were guaranteed to receive the job.

7. Respondent's conduct, as described in Paragraph Six, above, was improper and designed to circumvent the Shakman Decree.

8. Starting in 1999, when Respondent was Commissioner of the Sewer Department, following the hiring and promotion procedure described in Paragraph Six, above, Respondent certified and signed Shakman referral lists, as described in Paragraph Two, above.

9. The statements certified by Respondent in signing the Shakman referral lists were false and Respondent knew they were false at the time he made them, as the hiring and promotion of Shakman-covered positions was based on political considerations, and Respondent knew the hiring and promotion was based on political considerations.

10. By reason of the conduct described above, Respondent has engaged in the following misconduct:

  1. conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(4);

  2. conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice in violation of Rule 8.4(a)(5); and

  3. conduct which tends to defeat the administration of justice or to bring the courts or the legal profession into disrepute in violation of Supreme Court Rule 770.

WHEREFORE, the Administrator respectfully requests that this matter be assigned to a panel of the Hearing Board, that a hearing be held, and that the panel make findings of fact, conclusions of fact and law, and a recommendation for such discipline as is warranted.

  Respectfully submitted,

Jerome Larkin, Administrator
Attorney Registration and
Disciplinary Commission

By:   Melissa A. Smart