CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s appointment former Deputy Mayor Andrea Zopp to the Chicago Police Board hit a slight speed bump on Friday.
The City Council Public Safety Committee was expected to approve the appointment on Friday, but not enough members showed up to constitute a quorum, and Zopp herself didn’t appear either.
Aneel Chablani, advocacy director for the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, testified anyway, saying Zopp, a former federal prosecutor, has qualifications to serve on the Police Board, but he’s concerned about her political connections.
“There are legitimate questions that can and should be asked regarding how the appointment of an individual who has just served as deputy mayor will further public confidence in the independence of the Chicago Police Board,” he said.
The board handles major disciplinary cases against police officers, including cases in which the superintendent seeks to fire officers. It is also the board’s duty to conduct a search for applicants for police superintendent and nominate candidates to the mayor when the post is vacant.
Zopp stepped down as deputy mayor last month, when the mayor named her to be the $375,000-a-year CEO of World Business Chicago, the public-private partnership that serves as the city’s economic development agency. Zopp had been deputy mayor for 17 months.
Public Safety Chair Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th) said he supports Zopp.
“I look at her qualifications. She’s also, as you probably know, she put a police officer in jail when she worked for the U.S. District,” he said.
The committee vote on Zopp’s appointment was pushed back to Monday. A vote by the full City Council could come the next day.