Federal Court Finds Office of Inspector General in Full and Effective Compliance with the Consent Decree Entered in Illinois v. Chicago

The federal court overseeing the consent decree entered in Illinois v. Chicago, No. 17-cv-6260, has found the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) and its Public Safety section in full and effective compliance with all material requirements related to OIG in the consent decree. This ruling followed the filing of a motion by the City for a judicial finding of OIG’s full and effective compliance; that motion was unopposed by both the Independent Monitor and the Illinois Attorney General. The judicial finding means that OIG and its Public Safety section have entered a two-year sustainment period, after which they can make a motion to the court for OIG to be released from the consent decree. This period demonstrates confidence that OIG may fulfill its consent decree requirements in full by 2024, so long as it continues to devote the resources and dedication to reform which it has demonstrated thus far. OIG was the first City department to achieve full compliance with all requirements and deadlines––as reported in October 2021’s Independent Monitoring Report 4.

The consent decree obligations fully satisfied by OIG include:

  • Under Paragraph 440, OIG notifies COPA, in its clearinghouse capacity, of complaints received of police misconduct;
  • Under Paragraph 444, OIG reviews, assesses, and reports on investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct by CPD members;
  • Under Paragraph 557, the Public Safety section conducts evaluative projects in compliance with the Association of Inspectors General Principles and Standards for Offices of Inspector General;
  • Under Paragraph 558, the Public Safety section has studied and reported on various specific topics, and OIG has reported data showing patterns and trends in complaints of police misconduct;
  • Under Paragraph 559, the Public Safety section reviews closed disciplinary investigations conducted by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) for thoroughness, fairness, and objectivity;
  • Under Paragraph 561, the Public Safety section includes a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion who reviews CPD’s actions for potential bias, including racial bias;
  • Under Paragraph 562, the Public Safety section provides comprehensive initial and in-service training to its members; and
  • Under Paragraph 565, the Public Safety section meets quarterly with representatives of COPA and the Police Board to confer and share information.

“OIG is pleased with the court’s finding that we are in full and effective compliance with all material requirements of our consent decree obligations,” said Acting Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety Nathaniel Wackman. “The City must continue to meet its obligations and keep up with the momentum of reform to ensure long-lasting, systemic changes in public safety.”

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The mission of the independent and non-partisan City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity by identifying corruption, waste, and mismanagement in City government. OIG is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City and has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and audits into most aspects of City government. If you see corruption, fraud, or waste of any kind, we need to hear from you. For more information, visit our website at: www.igchicago.org.