The OIG’s 3rd Quarter 2013 report provides a summary of OIG activity from July 1 through September 30, 2013.
This quarter brought the start of additional responsibilities and functions for the OIG. As of July 1, 2013 the OIG holds investigative authority for ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance violations concerning executive branch personnel and activities as well as the Legislative Inspector General for legislative branch personnel. These changes are the result of amendments made to the Ethics Ordinance and recommended by the Mayor’s Ethics Reform Task Force. We are excited to have a role in invigorating this important enforcement area in the coming months and in 2014.
Other highlights from this quarter include,
- The OIG released an Advisory finding that the City’s process for administering earned vacation payouts lacks ownership and accountability. Because of this the City is consistently late in issuing payouts, with employees of some departments waiting an average of three months for money owed. In response, the Mayor’s office stated that it will conduct a review of administrative practices for vacation payouts. It will also require that all departments file the appropriate paperwork for processing a vacation payout request within five business days of an employee’s last day.
- An OIG investigation found that a Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) supervisory employee issued sanitation citations using photographs taken on days other than the citation dates. The employee resigned in lieu of discharge and has been designated as ineligible for rehire. The Department of Law reported that it will not pursue fines for the false tickets. It will also seek to vacate any outstanding judgments entered on the tickets and, where applicable, mail respondents a refund application.
- A senior official in the Chicago Police Department became the subject of investigation by the Internal Affairs Division (IAD) after making intentionally false and deliberately incomplete material statements to the OIG while under oath. Prior to opening the investigation IAD received a sworn affidavit from an OIG investigator as well as the report and investigative file from the OIG showing that the official had violated the Chicago Municipal Code, CPD Rules and Regulations, and the City’s Personnel Rules. The official resigned under inquiry.
- An OIG investigation found that a not-for-profit organization contracted to administer the City’s Tax Increment Financing Neighborhood Improvement Program (TIF-NIP) erroneously awarded two home improvement grants to two city employees whose income exceeded the limits set by the City. Based on the OIG investigation, the City recovered $30,000 from the contractor for the improperly conferred program grants.
- The OIG released an Advisory documenting that several Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) personnel lacked a basic proficiency in at least one of DSS’s four dispatch systems. In response, Commissioner Charles L. Williams stated that all employees currently occupying the “equipment dispatcher” title would receive an in-depth training and review. In addition, Commissioner Williams stated that all new hires into the equipment dispatcher title would be required to demonstrate “complete system proficiency” prior to the expiration of the 60-day evaluative window allowed by the relevant CBA.