A former high-ranking Chicago Police officer has been fired as $130,380-a-year security chief at O’Hare and Midway Airports amid his complaints about physical vulnerabilities and manpower shortages.
Tensions between Jim Maurer and aides to Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino have been building for nearly seven months. They came to a boil on Friday, the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, sources said.
- That’s when Maurer got into a heated argument with Eileen O’Connor, a top aide to Andolino. O’Connor accused the security chief of “physically attacking” her, sources said. Although Maurer categorically denied the charge, Andolino fired him on the spot.
Beneath the personality clash is a lingering dispute over O’Hare security.
Sources said Maurer has grown increasingly concerned about a shortage of police officers at O’Hare and about vulnerabilities in the airport’s physical plant.
Since late February, when Andolino was placed in charge of both the Department of Aviation and the O’Hare Modernization Program, the singular focus has been on construction, the sources said.
“Everything is depleted…Police levels are significantly lower than they used to be,” said a source familiar with Maurer’s version of the dispute.
Labels: city politics