CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council might be poised to grant the Chicago Inspector General’s office the authority investigate aldermen and their employees.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports some aldermen have said there are enough votes in the council to approve an ordinance expanding the powers of Inspector General Joseph Ferguson’s office to include oversight over the council itself for the first time ever. Ferguson’s office already investigates fraud and corruption allegations at every other level of city government but the council.
The City Council has its own legislative inspector general, who has limited power to launch investigations of aldermen and their staffs.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the latest development is a big change from the aldermen’s previous positions, when they resisted giving Ferguson’s office oversight of the council, for fear of politically-motivated investigations.
“For years, City Council’s debate was … not who was going to be the inspector general, or which office can be inspector general, but whether you would actually have an inspector general overseeing City Council to root out waste, fraud, and abuse,” he said. “They said, for years, ‘Not happening.’”
Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan has clashed with the aldermen and the mayor over his powers – or lack of them – and funding levels for his office.
“They’re not happy with him. He’s not happy with them. And they’re questioning now, should they go to the inspector general’s office that oversees the city of Chicago overall, and not just the one for the City Council,” Emanuel said.