Highlights of OIG activity from April 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 are highlighted below
- An OIG investigation which established that the Chicago Police Department (CPD) superintendent drove a City vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, consumed alcohol before using a City vehicle, committed various traffic violations, allowed a supervisee to use a City vehicle after consuming alcohol, and made false public statements and a material omission regarding an incident. In November 2019, OIG recommended that the Mayor discharge the superintendent and refer him for placement on the ineligible for rehire list maintained by the Department of Human Resources (DHR). Furthermore, OIG recommended that, if the superintendent were to retire in lieu of discharge, he be found not in good standing and not be issued Illinois Retired Officer Concealed Carry credentials. In response, the Mayor removed the superintendent and the superintendent reverted to his former rank of lieutenant, subsequently resigning from CPD. The superintendent was also added to DHR’s ineligible for rehire list. OIG is awaiting a response regarding two additional Summary Reports of Investigation submitted in May 2020, one which addresses the conduct of the CPD officer who served as the former superintendent’s driver and security detail, and another which addresses the CPD member response to the call involving the former superintendent.
- An OIG investigation which established that a CDA deputy commissioner at Midway International Airport (MDW) disregarded crucial federal safety protocols and the City’s Personnel Rules. Specifically, the deputy commissioner ordered a change to the reported airfield conditions at MDW from “wet” to “dry,” following a call from a private airline requesting that the airfield conditions be changed. OIG recommended discharge and placement on the ineligible for rehire list maintained by DHR. The deputy commissioner subsequently retired after CDA received OIG’s report. In response, CDA referred the deputy commissioner for placement on the ineligible for rehire list.
- Three OIG notifications regarding: City-owned vehicles and a lack of information about the City’s status as a self-insured entity at the Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS); insufficient procedures for onboarding and documenting the work of City volunteers as outlined in the Hiring Plan, which could allow departments to circumvent hiring processes designed to promote fairness in City hiring, as well as certain requirements for employees; and nepotism at CPD, which highlighted the strict prohibitions the City’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance imposes on City employees and officials supervising their family members.
- An OIG audit which concluded that the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) does not have a traffic signal management plan; has not established program objectives or performance measures connecting traffic signal planning, operations, and maintenance activities to broader Department and City goals related to traffic safety, equity, and mobility; and, the approach to maintenance limits CDOT’s ability to address problems early or to ensure that signals are timed optimally for changing traffic conditions. In response, CDOT agreed to develop a traffic signal management plan, create performance measures to track progress toward its goals, and analyze staffing.
- An OIG review which determined that CPD’s records management and production systems and processes are not adequate to ensure that the Department can meet its legal obligations. CPD lacks the means to determine what records may exist for a given case or incident, and therefore cannot ensure that it has produced all responsive records; members of CPD’s Subpoena Unit are not systematic in their searches for records; and members of CPD’s Subpoena Unit and other units do not systematically track the production of records. In response, CPD agreed with most of OIG’s recommendations, has been proactive with the development of an upcoming records production directive and standard operation procedures within its units, and agreed to audit its production processes and to capture those processes in its ongoing Department-wide staffing analysis.
- An OIG review which proposed recommendations to improve investigations conducted by CPD’s Bureau of Internal Affairs (BIA) and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA). In the course of its regular review of closed disciplinary investigations, OIG identified recurring errors and inaccuracies in data warehouse queries and records searches, including but not limited to misspelled names; incorrect addresses, dates, times, and date ranges; unduly narrow time, date, and address ranges; omission of key search terms, and incomplete records searches. In response, CPD agreed that improved training and protocols will help minimize the errors identified and confirmed that BIA is in the process of revising its training to incorporate OIG’s recommendations. CPD stated it would consider OIG’s recommendation that investigators record the specific details of their searches. COPA stated that it would refresh its training, and indicated it would explore options for a technology-based application to allow the creation and reproduction of search lists for the purpose of supervisory review.