May 1, 2019

Board finds alderman violated Ordinance by presiding over a matter in a committee meeting

On April 26, the Board considered arguments raised by an alderman (through counsel) attempting to rebut the Board’s January 2019 finding that there was probable cause to conclude that the alderman had violated §2-156-030(b) of the Governmental Ethics Ordinance, entitled “Improper Influence.”  By a 4-0 vote, the Board determined that the alderman violated this section of the Ordinance (and assessed a $2,000 fine) when he presided over, and thus participated in, a City Council committee meeting discussion and vote on a matter involving a private legal client of the alderman’s firm, although the alderman did abstain from the vote.  The Board also dismissed another matter in which it had found probable cause, determining, based on the evidence available, that the alderman did not violate this section of the Ordinance when he reported to the full City Council on the results of another meeting of the same committee, which included a matter involving a private legal client of his firm, the alderman having duly recused himself from the committee vote.  The enforcement matters, Case Nos. 18044.C.1 and 18044.C.2,  were initiated by the Board of Ethics based on publicly available records and other information presented to the Board.  To read a summary of these matters, see: https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/ethics/general/EnforcementMatters/Invest-Index.doc

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