He's fired, but had cleared hiring checks
A supervising janitor at a Chicago police station on the city's Northwest Side has been fired after a chance parking violation revealed his name was on a federal terrorist watchlist.
The concern was great enough that bomb-sniffing dogs conducted a sweep of the building Monday but found nothing.
Authorities say he passed a local background check and began working last month supervising the cleaning work at the Chicago Police 25th District and adjoining Area 5 detective division, as well as the Cook County Circuit Court branches 23 and 50 at Grand and Central.
The janitorial firm and the police both conduct background checks. Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Illinois State Police handled the federal background check. The supervising janitor's federal check was still pending.
In February the supervising janitor, Arif Sulejmanovski, 47, of Carol Stream, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of bribing a public official to obtain a Social Security card for an illegal immigrant living here. The sentencing was under review.
\"There's always a concern when an employee has been arrested or there's been a known prior arrest history or criminal history,\" Bond said.
She said Sulejmanovski worked for Nationwide Janitorial Services Inc., which holds a city contract. No one at the company could be reached Monday night.
It was Friday when Sulejmanovski's 1999 Mercedes Benz coupe caught police attention. Parked illegally at an Area 5 police lot, officers ran his license plate through a multijurisdictional law enforcement database.
It showed Sulejmanovski's name was on a federal watchlist of international terrorism suspects, sources familiar with the case said. Police took his ID and instructed him not to return to work, Bond said.
But police have learned that Sulejmanovski landed on the list a few years ago, when authorities were trying to determine whether the Social Security case was a criminal or terrorism probe. That question has been answered, said Bond: Criminal. Still, his name remains on the watchlist.
(Article by Lisa Donovan and Frank Main)