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‘It happens,’ convicted pol says of city worker’s death tied to clout: Dan Mihalopoulos

Al Sanchez

Al Sanchez

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Updated: January 7, 2014 11:35PM

There’s the intellectual argument against clout, that patronage hiring is unfair to the public job applicants who may be most qualified but lack the right friends in high places.

Then there are the people that clout victimizes most deeply and emotionally. Such as Earceen Alexander and her survivors.

Alexander was a laborer on a city garbage truck nearly 10 years ago when she was pinned between a telephone pole and the truck. The vehicle’s driver, Denise Alcantar, was an inexperienced city employee who owed her job to the Hispanic Democratic Organization’s clout.

Alexander’s thigh was gashed, her pelvis broken and a lung damaged, forcing her to remain in a wheelchair, tethered to an oxygen tank, for much of the following five years until she died in 2008, at age 63.

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