Chicago Codes
DCAP's Hernandez is squeezed out amid City Hall clean up efforts

Turnover continues to plague the Daley administration as the Executive Director of the Department Construction and Permits - Rafael Hernandez - resigned Wednesday. Hernandez left after little over a year as he began in April 2004.

In describing his efforts to reduce the backlog of permits in the department, he told the Chicago Tribune "[t]hat's the best that it's been since the inception of the [department]." Hernandez said, "I'm very proud."

According to sources at City Hall and the Sun-Times, Hernandez resigned to avoid being fired for his failure to take action on an inappropriate condo permit granted in a manufactruing district. As most Index subscribers know, these districts are specifically zoned to protect manufacturing from residential encroachment. Residential permits are expressly forbidden.

Apparently, some city officials took a trip to Brazil with the condo developer, and while those officials did not work for DCAP, these inappropriate actions did involve the permit process - a process that Hernandez managed. The Sun-Times reports that Acting Inspector General William Marback recommended that Rafael Hernandez be fired.

Stay tuned for news on Hernandez's replacement.