Daley Says He Should Have Exercised More Hiring Oversight

July 11, 2006

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley took his first questions about last week's guilty verdicts in the federal corruption trial of four former city officials. The defendants were convicted of manipulating city hiring and promotions to help politicians and their campaigns, Mayor Daley's campaign in particular.

In his back and forth with reporters, Daley stressed his innocence. But for the first time the mayor said that as someone who prides himself on knowing inner workings of city government he should have known about the scam and shut it down.

"I'm absolutely comfortable that every action I've taken in this office has been lawful and appropriate. But its fair criticism to say that I should have exercised greater oversight to ensure that every worker and city hire, regardless of who recommended them, was qualified and that proper procedures were always followed," he admitted.

When asked how he could not know about the hiring abuses, Daley said he was unwilling to comment on the details of the scheme. The mayor says the scandal won't affect his decision about running again next year.