Highlights of OIG activity from April 1 through June 30, 2017 are summarized below:
- An OIG investigation established that a supervisory Department of Water Management (DWM) employee used a City email account to repeatedly send and receive racist and offensive emails. OIG recommended that DWM discharge the employee and refer the employee for placement on the ineligible for rehire list maintained by the Department of Human Resources. The employee subsequently resigned after DWM initiated the discharge process. The employee was designated as having resigned in lieu of discharge and was placed on the ineligible for rehire list.
- An OIG investigation established that a supervisory Department of Water Management (DWM) employee repeatedly sent, received, and responded to racist and hateful emails using a City email account and computer. The employee also sent and received sexually explicit photos and videos using a City email account and computer. OIG recommended that DWM discharge the employee and refer the employee for placement on the ineligible for rehire list maintained by the Department of Human Resources. DWM agreed with OIG’s findings and recommendations, however, the employee resigned before a scheduled pre-disciplinary meeting. The employee was designated as having resigned in lieu of discharge.
- A continuing OIG investigation established that a Department of Water Management (DWM) chemist harassed a former DWM employee and a current DWM employee through the transmission of multiple text messages and phone calls that included derogatory and threatening messages and occurred after both employees had already filed multiple complaints—including with the Chicago Police Department, the Department of Human Resources, and OIG—against the chemist for aggressive and threatening behavior toward them. Accordingly, OIG recommended that DWM terminate the chemist’s employment and refer the chemist for placement on the ineligible for rehire list maintained by DHR. In response, DWM terminated the chemist. The chemist grieved the termination and arbitration is scheduled for July and August 2017.
- An OIG investigation established that a management-level Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) employee, a former management-level OEMC employee, and eight other OEMC supervisors and traffic control aides engaged in a preferential treatment scheme to reserve and provide free street parking for friends and family attending events at the United Center. OIG also identified two OEMC employees and one Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) employee who received free street parking at United Center events. Evidence suggested that the scheme was happening elsewhere in the City, including at other major venues, and involved other City departments. While OIG’s report focused on the OEMC scheme at the United Center, OIG recommended that OEMC and the City take steps to ensure that the parking scheme was not continuing at other locations and events. DSS suspended its employee for 14 days for receiving benefits of the preferred parking arrangement. OEMC imposed suspensions between 30 and 5 days against all the OEMC employees named in OIG’s report, including the employees OIG recommended OEMC terminate, and designated the former OEMC employee as having resigned under inquiry.
- A recent OIG investigation identified several control issues regarding CPD’s process for administering the 2015 Lieutenant Promotional Exam and investigating allegations of cheating. In December 2015, OIG received several anonymous complaints alleging that, over a year earlier, a CPD Chief held study groups for the Exam and leaked Exam materials. In addition to these anonymous complaints, OIG received complaints from two sergeants also alleging that the Chief held an invite-only study group for the Exam and that members of this study group had close personal relationships with the Chief and other CPD command staff. Neither complainant had firsthand knowledge of the allegations. While OIG’s investigation did not reveal evidence to support the allegations of individual misconduct, OIG did identify several control issues respecting CPD’s process for administering the Exam and investigating allegations of cheating. CPD acknowledges limitations in their promotional examination process and the concerns OIG raised, and are committed to implementing improvements. OIG looks forward to receiving their proposals in the coming days and working with them to create a fair and transparent process.