Monday, January 7, 2019

EDITORIAL: Ed Burke scandal presents Chicago with a grand opportunity for reform

After the search warrants executed on Ald. Burke's ward & city hall offices last year, federal authorities have finally charged thenow former finance committee chairman with corruption. I would like to share some stories about this at a later time. Meanwhile, how about an editorial:
On Friday, after Ald. Edward Burke resigned his chairmanship of the Finance Committee, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Ald. Patrick J. O’Connor, as acting chairman of the committee, will lead an effort to reform how the city runs its secretive $100 million-a-year workers compensation program.

Most basically — and this is an excellent development — the mayor wants to strip the program from the Council’s Finance Committee, where Burke apparently ran it as a personal political favor bank, and move it to the city’s finance department, where it belongs.

We enthusiastically support this reform, for which we made a case just two weeks ago, with one big caveat: The city inspector general should be granted full oversight over the management of the program. For that matter, the inspector general should be granted true oversight over all agencies under the mayor’s control, along with the ability to defend its subpoenas in court.

As things work now, the IG must rely on the mayor and city law department to defend its subpoenas.

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