Was Cawley Clouted In?

There's an IG report I haven't seen yet that calls into question the necessity and wisdom of exempting COO Tim Cawley from the residency requirement -- but the Board isn't backing down (yet).

CPS board chief defends residency waiver for No. 3 schools exec Tribune: The Chicago Public Schools board chairman this morning defended a residency waiver for the system's chief administrative officer in the face of criticism from CPS' own independent watchdog.

Doubts cast on CPS exec's residency waiver Tribune: The inspector general for Chicago Public Schools is calling on district officials to rescind the residency waiver granted to Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley, the third-highest-ranking schools executive under Mayor Rahm Emanuel.



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  • Yes Tim Cawley the Chief Administrative Officer was clouted in by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. By the way, Tim Cawley is really the first-highest-ranking CPS executive for those in the know! Tim is really the one who runs CPS.

  • Operations is a total mess in central office. A total mess! I don't think Tim Cawley is up to the job! Throw the bum out! I thought it could not get any worse than Huberman... really!

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    How do you know this? Do you work in that department? Or are you just repeating hearsay and innuendo?

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    I can also attest to the fact that Operations is a mess. I have close friends working there. Area Facilty Managers are the biggest waste of money. They approve work orders for the schools. A secretary can do that. We pay on average 68k a year to these well connect 18 individuals. Capital improvement is known to be in bed with the contractors they hire. Tishman, who is supposed to represent the Boards interests, manages the jobs and allows poor worksmanship to continue with no accountablility. Custodial staff have been cut without looking into how it may affect one school or another. Yet there are schools where custodians are still sitting on their hands all day long for 8 hours a day. The chief engineer of the system, forced the hands of contractors to buy tickets to a union function. He did this while working at O'hare. Again a political hack not doing his job yet has clout backing him up. Does the inspector general know about these things? Of course they do. Why aren't they doing anything is the real question.

  • In reply to rockschild:

    Several years ago we had new windows put in at my school. Well you would expect that those windows would still be functional. Half of them do not open fully.
    One of our principals for a day actually said to our staff that he was a friend of Mayor Daley and would be providing C.P.S. schools with playground equipment.
    The teachers are the bad guys, I don't think so!

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    Not hearsay--the AFMs and some supervisors have been taking CPS for a ride. Capital improvements get approval when the work is incomplete-shoddy or actually falling apart weeks later.
    I was forced to work with one CPS construction super who was drunk on the site, approved anything, and could not even read the blue prints. What excuse?--oh, he is retiring soon. Look at the condition of the schools-you will see the years of neglect due to waste and mismanagement or no management.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The folks who should be up for charges are the project managers who mandate the use of the cheapest materials on jobs. The plans may be built to spec but the use of inferior materials for specific jobs is intolerable. The inspector general should investigate the number of jobs REDONE because the substandard materials used.

  • In reply to Danaidh:

    My occupation crosses the paths of folks doing business with CPS be it commercial or non-profits. I have talked to vendor reps and social agency workers. They call central office numbers and there is no answer. Calls to departments are not being answered and no one knows who is responsible for that duty. Interesting that folks doing business with CPS see the head administration as being not so much as knowledgeable as being very ambitious and will move on soon. These bail jumpers start initiatives and will leave before a evaluation of their initiatives are brought to light.

  • The real question raised by the linked articles is whether Cawley is the only qualified person for the job. If there were posted qualifications, he met them, and there was a search and no one else responded, that would be one thing. However, the burden should be on the puppet school board to demonstrate that.

    On the other hand, Emanuel has no problem finding a resident who is patently unqualified to run the CTA, but that's a topic for the CTA Tattler. I just mention that to bring up the inconsistent standards applied by the Mayor.

  • Get rid of the residency requirement. Are we the only city with a residency requirement? If you wan the best and the brightest you need to widest eh pool not narrow it. Qualified suburban administrators may come to Chicago but not fro a four year contract and NOT if they aver to uproot their families. This is not someone's fiefdom. We need qualified administrators and we are sorely lacking in that field. Maybe if we didn't have a residency requirement we would not have coaches making terrible, almost inconceivable decisions that defy common sense/human decency.

  • Credit should be given to Mr. Sullivan for his office's stand on this issue. A valid problem arises as Mr. Cawley goes after CPS employees for various reasons; if they do not live in the city or do not pay their bills, etc., -yet, he does not live in the city when he is supposed to. He has a powerful job and if he wants it, he should make Chicago his primary residence. Just like all others would have to. If Mr. Cawley scoffs at that, he invites anyone to scoff at his role, and the rules and procedures when he himself gets special dispensation. It starts at the top. Mr. Cawley is a powerful man and he is running much at 125--This power is given by Rahm and the very top business purses per se. Rahm would be able to give this same power that Cawley has, to anyone who lives in the city. However, WITH Mr. Cawley’s special treatment, it can make one think of what special connection or hold Mr. Cawley has. There are a few like Cawley, living Chicago who could do this job. By his non-residency, he reduces his credibility and gives anyone an excuse. The man who is supposed to impose the moral compos gets special treatment. And, not knowing CPS, even a bit, he really will not see or know where the skeleton's are. Not all of them.
    When I read he is waiting for his child to get to high school, I could not help but wonder what pull he will have for a selective enrollment high school near his second condo home. Has he or will he contribute(d) to Rahm’s campaign? Who is his connection? See how the questions begin? The principal of Jones College prep is from out of state. Yet, he had to leave his home and family and get into a property in Chicago. If teachers played this double game-some are more equal, or I give this group more rights than another, their students would be all over them.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    If a teacher was violating CPS non-residency, Mr. Sullivan's office would be all over them.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The Jones principal finished a teaching career in Kansas. His children are grown. He and his wife can draw their pensions from Kansas. This is totally different than a 40 something administrator who lives in the burbs with a young family.Why would anyone uproot a family for a four year contract? How many CPS teachers with Type 75s and residency waivers would become administrators
    but cannot because by doing so would lose their waivers? I am not impressed with the quality of the recent administrators. I see arrogance, mediocre credentials and lack of experience.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    We are not city employees and receive none of the benefits that city workers receive. Nuff said!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    It is unbelievable that CPS hires principals
    who have three years of teaching experience. It took me at least five years to learn how to teach, work with colleagues and interact with parents. It is only sheer arrogance that anyone could think he/she will be an effective administrator with little or no teaching experience. Now we have these three year wonders evaluating veteran teachers...only in CPS.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    You know what galls the most about this special treatment of Crawley? It’s that his main publicized reason for needing the exemption to the personnel policy is that he has a fragile adopted daughter whom he does not want to take away from her neighborhood, friends and school.

    Oh, would CPS give similar serious consideration to students with special needs who desperately need to be well educated?

    Well, if you work in CPS or are a parent of a special needs student, you know the standard answer to that.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    CPS removed a principal from Little Village HS for not living in the city--he chose not to, because of his special need child.
    Some are more equal than others.

  • Mr. Sullivan's office would be all over any teacher for non-residency.
    Question--number three inpower? Rahm, Brizard, Cawley, right?
    If Donoso is in this count--so wrong!

  • Cawley has been in the job for months now. It is time to move on from the residency exemption discussion.

    Let's talk about his performance. He talks a good game and has certainly reduced waste in the area/network offices. The business service centers are being revamped. Let's see if there are changes in how calls are handled.

    I hope he follows the recommendations of the consulting companies investigating (for free) various CO departments. One department that really needs an overhaul is HR.

  • Care to share your insight of HR? What specifically needs to be overhauled?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Alicia Winckler is a disaster. She has destroyed HR. If Brizard and Cawley keep her on, they are making a mistake that will cost them their jobs. The CTU does not trust her and negotiations will be a mess. She is not up to the job and never has been. For $200,000+, we should expect a professional--instead we get a self-important bureaucrat who has brought in her cronies to say yes to all of her crazy ideas. Ask anyone in HR--they can't stand her!
    Maybe the IG should investigate why her hires (Friends) are making up to $165,000 without Board approval.

  • The problems with HR aren't just at the top. Ask anyone that works at CPS about their dealings with HR. Payroll is better, but hiring, firing, and benefits are a mess.

    How long does it take to hire someone? Sometimes it takes long enough that they give up and find a job elsewhere, though generally only a couple of months.

    How many times does a new hire need to go to Elizabeth before they start? If they wait all day each time they can probably get through in three.

    How long does it take to add someone to your health insurance? You need to take time out of your day to deliver the paperwork in person and wait until the next month when they submit them all in a batch and hope they don't forget yours and tell you to wait another month.

    How long does it take to get a minor problem resolved? After waiting in line while the people that are supposed to be helping you are gossiping it is actually reasonably quick when you finally get to the window.

  • Tim Cawley should be fired today!

  • The Inspector General (Sullivan, is it?) as much said that his office won't be able to pursue anyone else for violation of the residency policy so long as the Board has made this special exception. He said something about people seeking appeals based on the special treatment given to top officials.

    So in a way, giving Cawley a waiver has the same effect as giving everyone a waiver.


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