I had always feared this (see the picture from LinkedIn User Profile below). A public and easy way of allowing people to recommend each other would sooner or later have led to misuse of an important tool in career building i.e. recommendations.
I would refrain from commenting more on this particular instance (as the individual comes from my network). However, I felt that pointing this thing out might help others in using caution in using the LinkedIn recommendation feature to their benefit. (My apologies for the grainy picture)
While we are on this topic, here are few other blogposts which you might want to check out for managing recommendations on LinkedIn.
Thoughts and comments are welcome.