BY ROBERT HERGUTH Better Government Association August 26, 2011 7:16PM
A top administrator at the City Colleges of Chicago recently resigned under pressure, leaving a $120,000-a-year job but taking away a valuable life lesson: Don’t play games with the city’s residency requirement.
Ronny C. Anderson, who was hired last year to the new position of chief of staff to Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, quietly “retired” several weeks ago amid an investigation by the City Colleges inspector general’s office, which concluded that Anderson’s self-proclaimed “move” last spring from south suburban Glenwood to Chicago’s South Side was effectively a sham.
Anderson, who was with the system for 14 months at the time of his July 28 resignation, didn’t respond to several requests for an interview by the Better Government Association.
But in an e-mail, Hyman said she knew nothing about the situation until “late July as a result of the Inspector General’s independent investigation.”
“All rules and regulations apply equally to everyone who works for the City Colleges of Chicago,” Hyman said in the statement. “Last year, I ordered that our part-time inspector general be upgraded to a full-time position and that investigators be added to bolster compliance and efficiency.
“As part of his office’s annual audit of residency status, Inspector General John Gasiorowski discovered that my chief of staff, Ron Anderson, was in violation of the City of Chicago’s residency rule. As the Inspector General’s process followed its course — a course that always includes presenting the employee with allegations and any evidence to support them — Mr. Anderson chose to retire.”
Hyman and Anderson have known each other for years, since well before she took the helm of the system that includes seven campuses and more than 100,000 students.
Anderson, 61, was living in Glenwood when he started at City Colleges in May 2010.
Hyman granted waivers allowing him to keep living there for a year. By the time the waivers expired, he was supposed to have moved into the city if he wanted to keep his job as Hyman’s top aide.
Earlier this year, Anderson submitted a copy of a lease indicating that, as of May 1, he was paying $1,200 a month to rent a unit in Chicago, according to documents obtained by the BGA under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
Anderson also changed his driver’s license from Glenwood to the South Side on June 15, state records show.
The BGA visited the gated three-story building and a female answering the buzzer said Anderson was not there and asked a reporter to leave a business card.
The BGA also later called the woman listed on the lease as Anderson’s landlord. She said she was busy but promised to call back. She didn’t, and in a subsequent call, the woman answering the phone said it was the wrong number.
The BGA visited Anderson’s Glenwood home — which as of Aug. 10 is again the address listed on his driver’s license, state records show — but he did not answer the door.
Cook County property records indicate that Anderson has owned that home for years.