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Responding to claims that Chicago officials violated a court-ordered ban on political patronage hiring, a judge on Tuesday appointed an attorney to monitor city employment and ensure that clout isn’t the factor that decides who gets jobs. The order comes as the federal government is investigating allegations that city officials lied to steer payroll jobs to applicants with clout. Mayor Richard M. Daley’s former patronage chief, Robert Sorich, and another man have been charged with mail fraud in the investigation. U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen assigned lawyer Noelle C. Brennan to monitor city compliance with the 1972 Shakman Decree, a court order barring most patronage hiring. Andersen cited an admission by former chief deputy water commissioner Donald Tomczak: “I was involved with the illegal hiring process at City Hall.” Tomczak made the admission Friday in pleading guilty to charges that he took payoffs and failed to report them on his taxes. Andersen ordered the monitor in response to a request from lawyer Michael Shakman, who filed the original lawsuit that led to the Shakman Decree. Shakman wants Mayor Richard M. Daley held in contempt for violating the decree and fined. Shakman and city officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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