CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council is placing new limits on side jobs for some city employees, closing a loophole that allowed them to work for private contractors who have government deals they oversee.
The ordinance approved on Wednesday would prohibit any city official or employee with contract oversight from working for subcontractors or consultants on any contract they manage as part of their government job.
Chicago Board of Ethics executive director Steve Berlin said the city already bars employees who manage city contracts from having any ownership interest or employment with prime contractors they oversee.
The loophole allowing those employees responsible for managing city contracts from working for subcontractors or consultants under their purview was rarely exploited, but Berlin said it was necessary to draw the line.
If necessary, city employees would be given the opportunity to recuse themselves from management of a city contract if they have a side job with one of the contractors. Otherwise, they’d have to stop moonlighting for a firm involved in a city deal they oversee.
In other business on Wednesday, the City Council approved:
- $10.7 million in settlements from three police misconduct lawsuits, including a $10 million payout to Tarance Etheredge, who was left a paraplegic after he was shot during a police chase in 2012. The officer who shot Etheredge has claimed he was holding a gun, but Etheredge said the gun was in his pocket, and another officer said he didn’t see Etheredge holding a weapon.
- A $1.2 million settlement with the family of Heriberto Godinez, who died in police custody in 2015. Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) had delayed approval of the settlement in December, calling the proposed settlement “hush money” for a gang member who was resisting arrest during a drug binge.
- An ordinance allowing restaurants and taverns to start selling alcohol one hour earlier on Sundays, beginning at 9 a.m. instead of 10 a.m. The change was inspired partly due to the rising popularity of watching European soccer.
- A resolution declaring a climate emergency, vowing to take new steps to fight lakefront erosion, citywide flooding, and other problems.
- An ordinance to impose fines of $10,000 to $20,000 and up to six months in jail for anyone caught impersonating a rideshare driver. Sponsors said the city needs to crack down on cases of criminals posing as Uber or Lyft drivers to rob or rape drunken or otherwise unwitting victims.