Forty-ninth Ward alderman Joe Moore called to set me straight on how he got his first job with the city.

Contrary to what I wrote last week about the history of Rogers Park politics, Moore says he didn’t get hired through his clout with former 49th Ward alderman David Orr. He says Orr had nothing to do with him getting on the public payroll.

Moore says he originally applied for a job as a city law clerk when he was finishing up law school at DePaul in 1983. “This was when Harold Washington was mayor,” he says. “I sent in a resume and some writing samples, but I never heard from them.”

But a few weeks before his law school graduation, Moore says, he got a call from a city attorney named Jayne Barnard who asked if he was interested in becoming an assistant corporation counsel. “As a private attorney, she had argued a case in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and she had lost,” says Moore. “But in a law school article I argued that the court’s judgment was wrong. She felt I did a good job of presenting the case.”

So she never asked if you had any political connections?


And David Orr never helped you get the job?

“He found out after I got it,” says Moore. “That was my whole point. There’s understandably a level of cynicism among the public and the press that all of us are alike. But at no point did anyone help me get that job. It didn’t even cross my mind to ask David for help. I was young idealist back then. Now I’m an old idealist.”