Chicago Snow Command Boss Suspended, Not Fired, For Having Employees Run His Errands

05/11/2011 09:03 am ET | Updated Jul 10, 2011

On May 1, Inspector General Joe Ferguson released a report detailing a series of ethics violations at the Chicago Snow Command.

According to Ferguson, Managing Deputy Commissioner Bobby Richardson ordered his subordinates to fetch him cigars, wash his car and keep it topped off with gas. Those violations took place on a daily basis from late 2009 through early 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, and were documented by the IG's office.

Ferguson's recommendation was that Richardson be fired for his offenses -- a punishment he admitted was harsh, but was appropriate for such a lapse on the part of so high-ranking an official.

The commissioner of the Department of Streets and Sanitation, which oversees the Snow Command, disagreed.

Instead, Commissioner Tom Byrne announced Tuesday that Richardson would be suspended for 25 days, and two others would receive 10-day suspensions, WGN reports.

Immediate termination “should be reserved for criminal conduct, serious threats to operations and/or safety or egregious administrative or ethical failings,” Byrne wrote in a formal response to the report, according to the Sun-Times.

Richardson's name made the news earlier this year, as many criticized his department for its handling of the massive February blizzard. Drivers ended up trapped on Lake Shore Drive overnight as accidents caused the highway to be shut down with cars still on the roadways.

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