Excerpts from the ChicagoSunTimes.com:

When Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose A. Santiago retired in August, records show he was facing disciplinary action for failing to file a complaint against his driver. The city parted ways with him after the mayor’s office received an 11-page report from the Department of Human Resources, that recommended he be punished for violating the city’s equal employment opportunity policy.

According to city investigators, Santiago failed to file a complaint about a racial slur that his driver, Cmdr. Richard Rosado, uttered to the fire department’s news affairs director, Larry Langford, in the presence of the department’s chief administrative officer Annastasia Walker on Oct. 11, 2016. Rosado and Santiago are Hispanic. Langford and Walker are African-American.

Also, Santiago “knowingly provided false information” about the incident when he was questioned by Steven Malec, who is assistant fire commissioner and the fire department’s internal affairs director, according to the report.

Santiago retired Aug. 30 and now gets a pension of $152,046 a year.
He denies many of the allegations in the report. But in an interview he says he now sees that he should have stepped aside from the case and left it to one of his deputies to investigate.

“Say, are you the valet man?” Langford, in an interview with human resources, recalled joking to the commissioner’s driver. Langford told investigators Rosado responded jokingly, saying “N—–, pleeze.”

Rosado told investigators, “I intended the response in a joking manner,’’ adding that Langford “started laughing profusely.” Walker told human resources she immediately went to Santiago’s office and complained. She said Santiago told her: “I keep telling these guy to stop doing that. I keep telling them. I keep telling them.”

Santiago’s secretary backed up what Walker said, saying she was in the commissioner’s office at the time.

Santiago disputed that Walker came to his office. He says he went to talk with her after hearing something had happened. He also denies telling her that he previously had warned Rosado and Langford about their racial banter.

Even though Santiago denies that Walker wanted to file a complaint, the human resources report says Santiago was required to report the incident anyway.

Rosado, a 32-year veteran of the fire department, ended up getting a three-day suspension for using the racial slur. He served the suspension, then retired Oct. 9 with a pension of $74,469 a year.

Langford told human resources he wasn’t offended by Rosado’s racial slur, characterizing it as a jovial response typically used between people of color . . . From my perspective, this incident didn’t need to be reported.

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