The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its third quarter report to City Council, which summarizes the Office’s activity from July 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022, and contains details of concluded investigations, evaluations, audits, and other activities.
When OIG investigates and sustains allegations of misconduct, it issues summary reports of investigations to the appropriate authority, with investigative findings and recommendations for corrective action and discipline. In Q3, some of these investigations included:
- A Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) investigator who released a confidential, unredacted police report regarding an open CPD investigation into a shooting in violation of COPA’s Confidentiality and Information Release Policy. OIG obtained evidence that showed that the investigator was provided a copy of COPA’s confidentiality policy and signed a confidentiality agreement. Further, the investigator failed to redact the names, addresses, and phone numbers of victims and witnesses in the report prior to release. OIG recommended that COPA impose discipline against the investigator up to and including discharge. In response, COPA agreed with OIG’s recommendation and began initiating the disciplinary process with the Department of Law.
- A former Chicago Police Department (CPD) officer who operated an unlicensed private security company, assisted their children in operating a second unlicensed security company, used CPD resources to aid in the operation of both businesses, and violated several of CPD’s Rules of Conduct by providing security services to bars and nightclubs that served alcohol. OIG also obtained evidence showing that the CPD officer had entered into contracts with clients and mispresented that their companies were licensed by the State of Illinois. In addition, OIG obtained records from CPD’s Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting database showing that the CPD officer had improperly used the database to search for individuals they encountered in their private security work. Because the CPD officer retired during the investigation, OIG recommended that CPD designate them as “resigned under inquiry” and place them on the ineligible for rehire list maintained by DHR.
- A contracts coordinator with the City of Chicago Office of Public Safety Administration (OPSA), committed attempted retail theft on City time when the contracts coordinator took a personal shopping trip to Walgreens. They removed and concealed items, which they attempted to steal. Walgreens called the Chicago Police Department (CPD). During the police investigation, the contracts coordinator lied about their conduct and made false allegations against Walgreens employees. Immediately after the contracts coordinator was temporarily detained and then left Walgreens, they made threatening and intimidating calls to the store, at least 15 times over two days. OIG recommended that OPSA discharge the contracts coordinator and refer them for placement on the ineligible for rehire list maintained by DHR. In response, OPSA agreed with OIG’s recommendation and discharged the contracts coordinator. The contracts coordinator filed a grievance against the discipline and this matter proceeded to arbitration. At the conclusion of the arbitration, the arbitrator denied the grievance, and fully supported OPSA’s decision to discharge the contracts coordinator.
OIG also conducts various other inquiries outside of its investigative work, in service of its mission to promote economy, effectiveness, and integrity in City government. Its work in Q3, as described in the quarterly report, included:
- A Public Safety section analysis of CPD’s scheduling practices, specifically with respect to the number of consecutive days on which CPD members were scheduled to work, which found that many CPD members were scheduled to work 11 or more consecutive days between April and May 2022.
- The Public Safety section’s second annual Chicago Police Department Budget Explainer, which provided stakeholders and taxpayers with basic, foundational information about the City’s budget and budget process, and how CPD’s budget is built.
- An Audit & Program Review section’s audit of the Department of Family and Support Services’ (DFSS) Strategic Contracting process for selecting delegate agencies, which found DFSS’ Strategic Planning and Impact division’s involvement in developing requests for proposal (RFPs) and evaluation tools helps align those steps with the Commitment to Outcomes, though there is room for improvement. DFSS could strengthen its process by ensuring the inclusion of key elements that match the Commitment to Outcomes.
“OIG’s efforts this quarter are both a continuation of our legacy of impactful oversight work and an early result of the changes we are making to the ways in which we work,” said Inspector General Deborah Witzburg. “We continue our efforts to render the City more effective and accountable, and to bring sunlight to the darkest corners of City government.”
The quarterly report can be found on OIG’s website: bit.ly/OIG32022.
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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.