Highlights from OIG activity from July 1 through September 30, 2015 are summarized below. A link to the full report is provided here.
- An engineering company agreed to pay the City $50,000 as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU comes after OIG found that the vendor knowingly submitted false invoices to the City for over six years for work performed outside the scope of the vendor’s contracts. OIG also found that an executive for the vendor engaged in improper communication about the vendor’s contract with a supervisory employee at the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT). In September, the executive was banned from working on any current or future contracts with the City;
- A retired Deputy District Chief (DDC) for the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) returned $1,634.66 to the City after OIG found that the DDC worked on the TV show Chicago Fire while on duty for the City. CFD terminated another firefighter who worked on the show while on medical lay-up. Following its investigation, OIG sent a letter to CFD notifying the department that employees appear to regularly trade work shifts in order to pursue outside employment, such as appearing on Chicago Fire, in violation of their Collective Bargaining Agreement. In response, CFD stated that it will issue a training memo to remind members of the Department’s shift trade policies and procedures and noted that it is implementing full electronic scheduling later this year;
- After pleading guilty on April 14, 2015, to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the City’s coffers, a former CDOT employee was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution of over $741,000 to the City. The former employee worked for the City from 1990 until 2014. The joint OIG/FBI investigation established that between August 2008 and January 10, 2014, the former employee deposited approximately $741,299 in checks belonging to the City of Chicago into personal checking and business accounts that she controlled at Charter One Bank. On January 26, 2015, the City obtained an insurance payment of $715,874.09 for reimbursement of the embezzled funds;
- After pleading guilty in December 2014, an individual was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $115,809 in restitution to the City of Chicago by U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. A joint OIG/FBI investigation revealed that the individual assisted 80 people in the filing of false Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions to avoid paying City impound fees; and
- OIG conducted a review of the Chicago Department of Aviation’s (CDA) aircraft noise reporting. OIG suggested that CDA encourage the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) to grant established community groups full membership or advisory status on the Commission and that CDA or its consultant document each exclusion of a noise event in the calculation of a reported noise metric. CDA responded that the Department and the ONCC are taking steps to more fully engage community groups and that CDA has requested a monthly report from its consultant identifying “the data included and excluded in the final noise data set for the published [Airport Noise Management System] report, as well as the basis of the exclusion.”