Chicago’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance, first enacted in 1987, establishes standards of ethical conduct for all persons involved in and with City government. These standards assist City employees, appointed and elected officials, and persons or businesses with or seeking City business or wishing to make political contributions to candidates for elected City office or elected officials, in maintaining integrity in the operation of City government, and in recognizing potential conflicts of interest and handling them professionally and responsibly.


The Board of Ethics was also established in 1987 pursuant to the Ordinance to: (i) interpret its provisions; (ii) educate City governmental personnel and the public about the Ordinance; (iii) confidentially advise persons subject to the Ordinance on complying with both its letter and spirit; (iii) promote transparency by making public information about lobbyists and their activities and recusal notices, annual conflicts of interest disclosures, and ethics pledge filed by City employees and officials; and (iv) accurately, and consistent with due process of law, adjudicate completed investigations of Ordinance violations, commence enforcement actions where no investigation is required, determine whether violations occurred and assess appropriate penalties, and make such information public.