Legislative Inspector General Ordinance

AMENDED ORDINANCE

 

WHEREAS, the residents of the City of Chicago are entitled to representation by public officials who conduct themselves in a manner that meets the highest ethical standards; and

WHEREAS, the corporate authorities recognize that, although the vast majority of aldermen and city council employees are honest and hardworking individuals, when evidence of actual or apparent impropriety in city government exists, it must be effectively and objectively addressed; and

WHEREAS, ensuring that aldermen and city council employees refrain from improper conduct is necessary to promote public confidence in municipal government; and

WHEREAS, the creation of an independent office of the legislative inspector general to receive and investigate complaints of misconduct against aldermen and city council employees is vital to protect the integrity of municipal government and to promote public confidence in the city council; now, therefore,

Be It Ordained by the City Council of the City of Chicago:

SECTION 1. The above recitals are expressly incorporated herein and made part hereof as though fully set forth herein.

 SECTION 2. Title 2 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by inserting a new chapter 2-55, as follows:

 2-55-010          Definitions.

 “City council employee” shall mean an individual employed by an alderman or a city council committee, whether part-time or full-time, including an individual retained as an independent contractor. 

2-55-020          Establishment – Composition.

There is hereby established an independent office of the legislative inspector general.  The office of the legislative inspector general shall include an inspector general and such deputies, assistants and other employees as may be provided for in the annual appropriation ordinance. 

2-55-030          Legislative Inspector General – Appointment And Qualifications.

(a)        The legislative inspector general shall be appointed by a vote of two-thirds (⅔) of all the aldermen entitled by law to be elected solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability.  The committee on committees, rules and ethics shall create a Blue Ribbon Panel of five members to diligently search out qualified candidates for the legislative inspector general and make recommendations to the city council.  The Blue Ribbon Panel shall consist of members of the community who have exhibited the highest moral character, integrity and/or demonstrated a commitment to public service, including but not limited to, deans of colleges, retired judges, and directors of neighborhood, civic and/or community organizations.

(b)        The legislative inspector general shall have the following minimum qualifications:

(1)        Has not been convicted of any felony under the laws of the state of Illinois, another state, or the United States; and

(2)        Has a minimum of ten years of federal, state, or local government experience as a law enforcement officer, attorney or judge.

(c)        No legislative inspector general or employee of the office of legislative inspector general may, during his or her term of appointment or employment: (i) hold, or become candidate for, any other elective or appointed public office except for appointments to governmental advisory boards or study commissions or as otherwise expressly authorized by law; or (ii) actively participate in any campaign for any elective office.

(d)        No legislative inspector general, for one year after the termination of his appointment for any reason, shall: (i) become a candidate for any elective office in the City of Chicago; or (ii) hold any elected public office in the City of Chicago.

(e)        Neither the legislative inspector general nor any employee of the office of legislative inspector general shall engage in any political activity as defined in Chapter 2-156 of the Municipal Code of Chicago.

2-55-040          Term Of Office.

The legislative inspector general shall be appointed for a term of four years, which may be renewed at the discretion of the city council by a vote of two-thirds (⅔) of all the aldermen entitled by law to be elected.

2-55-050          Removal From Office.

The legislative inspector general may be removed prior to the expiration of his term only for cause and in accordance with the provisions of this section.  The city council shall give written notice to the legislative inspector general of the cause of his intended removal.  Within ten days after receipt of the notice, the legislative inspector general may file with the committee on committees, rules and ethics a request for a hearing on the cause for removal.  If no such request is made within ten days, the legislative inspector general shall be deemed to have resigned his office as of the tenth day after receipt of the notice of intended removal.  If such a request is made, the committee on committees, rules and ethics shall convene a hearing on the cause for removal of the legislative inspector general, at which the legislative inspector general may appear, be represented by counsel and be heard.  The hearing shall be convened within ten days after receipt of the request therefor and conclude within fourteen days thereafter. The city council’s notice of intended removal shall constitute the charge against the legislative inspector general.  Removal of the legislative inspector general for cause after the hearing shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the city council then holding office.

2-55-060          Powers And Duties.

The legislative inspector general shall have jurisdiction over all aldermen and city council employees.  In addition to other powers and duties specifically mentioned in this chapter, the legislative inspector general shall have the following powers and duties:

(a)        To receive and register complaints alleging misconduct against aldermen and city council employees.  The legislative inspector general’s powers and duties shall extend to misconduct concerning, but not limited to: (i) the improper receipt of gifts or favors; (ii) the improper receipt of money or other thing of value for advice or assistance on matters concerning city business; (iii) the improper and unauthorized use of city property; (iv) the improper use or disclosure of confidential information; (v) conflicts of interest not properly disclosed; (vi) the improper solicitation or acceptance of political contributions; (vii) the improper use of one’s position to influence any city government decision or action in which one has any economic interest; and/or (viii) the breach of one’s fiduciary duty to the city;

(b)        To investigate signed and sworn complaints alleging misconduct against aldermen and city council employees only upon a finding of reasonable cause or issuance of a letter of direction by the board of ethics.  The legislative inspector general may exercise appropriate discretion in determining whether to petition the board of ethics for a finding of reasonable cause and act upon any particular complaint or conduct, except where otherwise directed by the board of ethics;

(c)        Upon approval of an investigation by the board of ethics, the legislative inspector general shall have authority to issue subpoenas when conducting an investigation authorized in accordance with this chapter, if: (i) the party to whom the subpoena is to be issued has previously failed to respond to a written request for the production of documents and/or testimony within seven days of the receipt of said written request; and (ii) the testimony of the witness or the documents or items sought by the subpoena are relevant to the investigation;

(1)        A subpoena shall be served in the same manner as subpoenas issued under the Rules of the Illinois Supreme Court to compel appearance of a deponent, and subject to the same witness and mileage fees fixed by law for such subpoenas.

(2)        A subpoena issued under this section shall identify the person to whom it is directed and the documents or other items sought thereby, if any, and the date, time and place for the appearance of the witness and production of the documents or other items described in the subpoena. In no event shall the date for examination or production be less than seven days after service of the subpoena.

(3)        No later than the time for appearance or production required by the subpoena, the person to whom the subpoena is directed may object to the subpoena, in whole or in part. The objection shall be in writing, delivered to the legislative inspector general, and shall specify the grounds for the objection.  For seven days after receipt of a timely objection to a subpoena, the legislative inspector general shall take no action to enforce the subpoena or to initiate prosecution of the person to whom the subpoena is directed. During this seven day period, the board of ethics shall consider the grounds for the objection and may attempt to resolve the objection through negotiation with the person to whom the subpoena is directed.  The seven day period may be extended by the legislative inspector general in order to allow the completion of any negotiations.  The extension shall be made in writing addressed to the person to whom the subpoena is directed, and shall specify the date on which the negotiation period will end.  Negotiations may include such matters as the scope of the subpoena and the time, place and manner of response thereto.  The filing of an objection to a subpoena, and negotiations pursuant to an objection, shall not constitute refusal to comply with the subpoena, or interference with or obstruction of an investigation.

(d)        To prepare and present reports to the board of ethics in accordance with Section 2-55-080;

(e)        To promulgate rules for the conduct of investigations, including procedural rules consistent with the requirements of due process of law, within ninety days of the appointment of the legislative inspector general by the city council.  Provided, however, that no such rules and regulations shall become effective until forty-five days after their submission to the city council and, provided further, that no such rules and regulations shall become effective if, during said forty-five day period, the city council, by majority vote of aldermen entitled by law to be elected, acts to disapprove said rules and regulations;

(f)         To prepare and publish, from time to time but at least semi-annually, reports summarizing the legislative inspector general’s activities and to present such reports to the committee on committees, rules and ethics; and

(g)        To refer to the city’s office of inspector general and the board of ethics complaints against all persons over whom the legislative inspector general lacks jurisdiction. 

2-55-070          Complaints To Be Verified By Certification.

(a)        Complaints alleging misconduct against an alderman or city council employee must be verified by certification.  The several matters stated in the complaint shall be stated positively based upon facts adduced in the complaint.

(b)        The person having knowledge of the matters stated in the complaint shall subscribe to a certification in substantially the following form:  “Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to Section 2-55-140 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, the undersigned certifies that the statements set forth in this instrument are true and correct, except as to matters therein stated to be on information and belief and as to such matters the undersigned certifies as aforesaid that he verily believes the same to be true.”

(c)        Any complaint certified in accordance with this section may be used in the same manner and with the same force and effect as though subscribed and sworn to under oath.

(d)        Any person who intentionally makes a false statement, material to the investigation, in any complaint alleging misconduct against an alderman or city council employee, which is certified by such person in accordance with this section, shall be guilty of knowingly furnishing false statements or misleading information and shall be subject to the penalties listed in Section 2-55-140.

2-55-080          Complaints Against Aldermen And City Council Employees.

(a)        If the legislative inspector general receives a complaint alleging misconduct against an alderman or city council employee which is signed and sworn to by the person making the complaint, the legislative inspector general may petition the board of ethics for a finding of reasonable cause.  

(b)        Whenever the board of ethics receives from the legislative inspector general a petition for a finding of reasonable cause, the board of ethics shall:

i.     dismiss the complaint, if it determines that the alleged misconduct would not constitute a violation of Chapters 2-156 or 2-164 of the Municipal Code of Chicago; or

ii.    make an initial finding of reasonable cause and refer the complaint to the legislative inspector general for investigation, if the alleged misconduct would constitute a violation of Chapters 2-156 or 2-164 of the Municipal Code of Chicago; or

 iii.   pursuant to a letter of direction issued by the board to the legislative inspector general, refer the complaint to the legislative inspector general for a limited fact-finding investigation, if additional investigation is required for the board of ethics to determine what action is appropriate; or

 iv.    retain exclusive jurisdiction of the matter and take other action as it deems appropriate in accordance with Chapters 2-156 or 2-164 of the Municipal Code of Chicago; or

v.     refer the complaint to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, if the board has a reasonable belief that the alleged misconduct would violate a criminal statute; or

vi.    refer the complaint to the appropriate city council committee or alderman for whom an employee works, if the board determines that the alleged misconduct is minor in nature.

(c)        Within seven days of the initiation of an investigation pursuant to (b)(ii) or (iii), the legislative inspector general shall give the subject of the investigation notice of the substance of the complaint and an opportunity to present such written information as the subject may desire, including the names of any witnesses the subject wishes to have interviewed by the legislative inspector general.

(d)        At the conclusion of his investigation, the legislative inspector general shall present his report to the board of ethics.

(e)        Complaints submitted to the legislative inspector general and reports on investigations shall be confidential in accordance with Section 2-156-400.

(f)         No alderman or city council employee shall be determined or found to have violated Chapters 2-156 or 2-164 of the Municipal Code of Chicago unless the Board of Ethics so determines that a violation has occurred only after a hearing conducted by the Board of Ethics in which due process rights are afforded, in accordance with Chapters 2-156 and 2-164 of the Municipal Code of Chicago.

(g)        If the legislative inspector general receives a complaint alleging misconduct against an alderman or city council employee, which is not signed and sworn to by the person making the complaint, the legislative inspector general shall transmit said complaint to the committee on committees, rules and ethics. 

(h)        If the legislative inspector general receives a complaint against an alderman or city council employee, which the legislative inspector general deems insufficient to petition the board of ethics for a finding of reasonable cause, the legislative inspector general shall transmit said complaint to committee on committees, rules and ethics. 

2-55-090          Scope Of Investigation.

The legislative inspector general’s investigation may include:

(a)        Requests for additional information from the complainant;

(b)        Requests for cooperation from City officers, employees, departments, agencies, contractors, subcontractors and licensees reasonably related to the subject of the investigation;

(c)        Interviews with or requests for information from the complainant, respondent or any other person reasonably related to the investigation; and

(d)        The issuance of subpoenas, in accordance with Section 2-55-060.

2-55-100          Cooperation In Investigations.

It shall be the duty of every officer, employee, department, agency, contractor, subcontractor and licensee of the city, and every applicant for certification of eligibility for a city contract or program, to cooperate with the legislative inspector general in any investigation undertaken pursuant to this chapter. Every city contract and every bid, proposal, application or solicitation for a city contract, and every application for certification of eligibility for a city contract or program shall contain a statement that the person understands and will abide by all provisions of this chapter.

2-55-110          Investigation By Other Agencies.

(a)        If the legislative inspector general is reliably informed that a matter under investigation is also under investigation by a law enforcement agency, the legislative inspector general shall suspend his investigation.  The legislative inspector general may reinstate his investigation upon the conclusion of the investigation by the law enforcement agency.

(b)        If the legislative inspector general has a reasonable basis for concluding that an investigation has revealed criminal conduct, the legislative inspector general shall inform the board of ethics, refer the matter to the appropriate law enforcement authority, and suspend his investigation.

2-55-120          Statute Of Limitations On Investigations.

An investigation may not be initiated more than two years after the most recent act of the alleged misconduct.

2-55-130          Obstructing Or Interfering With Investigations – Penalty.

No person shall wilfully refuse to comply with a subpoena issued by the legislative inspector general, or otherwise knowingly interfere with or obstruct an investigation authorized by this chapter and conducted by an announced investigator of the office of the legislative inspector general.  Any person who wilfully violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of not less than $300.00 and not more than $500.00 for each such offense, and/or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.  Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense.  Actions seeking the imposition of a fine only shall be filed as quasi-criminal actions subject to the provisions of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, as amended.  Actions seeking incarceration, or incarceration and a fine, shall be filed and prosecuted as misdemeanor actions under the procedure set forth in Section 1-2-1.1 of the Illinois Municipal Code, as amended.

2-55-140          False Claims – Penalty.

Any person who makes a false statement, material to the issue or point in question, which he does not believe to be true, in any complaint relating to the legislative inspector general’s investigations of an alderman or city council employee, and which is certified by such person in accordance with Section 2-55-070 shall be guilty of knowingly furnishing false statements or misleading information.  Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of not less than $300.00 and not more than $500.00 for each such offense, and/or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.  Actions seeking the imposition of a fine only shall be filed as quasi-criminal actions subject to the provisions of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, as amended.  Actions seeking incarceration, or incarceration and a fine, shall be filed and prosecuted as misdemeanor actions under the procedure set forth in Section 1-2-1.1 of the Illinois Municipal Code, as amended.

2-55-150          Severability.

If any provision, clause, section, part or application of this chapter to any person or circumstance is declared invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder hereof or its application to any other person or circumstance. It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent of the city council that this chapter would have been adopted had such invalid provision, clause, section, part or application not been included herein. Nothing contained in this chapter is intended otherwise to alter or amend the rights or obligations of the city or any person affected by this ordinance.

SECTION 3. Chapter 2-56 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by inserting the language underscored and deleting the language stricken through as follows:

2-56-050          Conduct Of City Officers, Employees And Other Entities.

The powers and duties of the inspector general shall extend to the conduct of the following: (a) except as limited in this section all elected and appointed officers of the city government in the performance of their official duties; (b) except as limited in this section, all employees of the city government in the performance of their official duties; (c) all contractors and subcontractors in the providing of goods or services to the city pursuant to a contract; (d) business entities in seeking contracts or certification of eligibility for city contracts; and (e) persons seeking certification of eligibility for participation in any city program. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the office of inspector general shall have no power or authority over any member of the city council, any employee or staff person of any member of the city council or any employee or staff person of any city council committee or any city council employee, as defined in Section 2-55-010 of the Municipal Code of Chicago. If the office of inspector general receives any complaint alleging misconduct, inefficiency or waste against any member of the city council or any employee or staff person of any city council committee city council employee, as defined in Section 2-55-010 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, the inspector general shall promptly transmit said complaint to the chairman of the city council committee on committees, rules and ethics, or such successor committee having jurisdiction over said matters. The committee on committees, rules and ethics, or such successor committee, shall conduct an investigation of each complaint referred to it by the office of inspector general.  legislative inspector general.  Nothing in this section shall preclude the inspector general from referring a complaint or information concerning a member of the city council or any employee or staff person of any member of the city council or any employee or any staff person of any city council committee to the appropriate federal, state or local law enforcement authorities.

SECTION 4. Chapter 2-164 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language stricken through as follows:

2-164-070        Powers And Duties Of Board In Regard To Campaign Financing Ordinance.

In addition to the other powers and duties conferred on it by this Code, the board of ethics shall have the following powers and duties:

     (a)     To initiate and to receive complaints of violations of any of the provisions of this chapter and to investigate and act upon such complaints as provided by this chapter; provided, however, that the board shall have no authority to investigate any complaint alleging a violation of any provision of this ordinance or alleging other misconduct by an alderman. If the board receives a complaint alleging a violation or other misconduct by an alderman, the board shall, within two days after receipt thereof, transmit such complaint to the standing committee of the city council having jurisdiction over such complaints;

(Omitted text is unaffected by this ordinance)

SECTION 5.  Chapter 2-56 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by inserting a new Section 2-56-035, as follows:

2-56-035          Monitoring Employment Actions.

 

            (a)        Definitions.

            As used in this section:

            “Hiring plan” means the hiring plan adopted by the City of Chicago in 2007 and approved, on January 18, 2008, by the Court in Shakman, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al., Case Number 69 C 2145 (N.D. Ill.), setting forth the governing principles for city hiring and other employment actions concerning both internal and external applicants and candidates.  As used in this section, references to the hiring plan shall include the plan as amended from time to time.

            “Employment action(s)” includes, but is not limited to, hiring, firing, promotion, demotion, lay-off, reinstatement, re-employment, transfer, reclassification, overtime, and/or the assignment of any job benefit.

            (b)        Powers And Duties.

            The inspector general shall have the authority to monitor employment actions under the hiring plan and related policies and procedures.  In addition, the inspector general shall have the authority to investigate allegations of non-compliance with the hiring plan and related policies and procedures.  Complaints concerning employment actions and related policies and procedures, including claims of unlawful political discrimination, shall be made to the inspector general.

            (c)        Reporting On Monitoring Of Employment Actions.

            Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the inspector general shall issue reports as required by the hiring plan and as otherwise necessary to carry out his functions under this section.  These reports will be considered public records and will be posted, with identifying information stricken, on the inspector general’s website.

            The inspector general shall also issue quarterly and annual reports that include statistics on the number of escalations (as that term is defined in the hiring plan) newly initiated, pending, closed with investigation, and closed without investigation.  The quarterly and annual reports shall also include a description of the outcomes, findings, recommendations, and actions taken on the recommendations of any investigation of an escalation.

            The inspector general shall redact the personal identifying information prior to posting such reports on the I.G.O. website.

SECTION 6.  Chapter 2-56 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by inserting a new Section 2-56-065, as follows:

2-56-065          Response To Recommendations By The Inspector General.

            If the inspector general issues a recommendation of discipline to a department head or affected entity, that department head or affected entity must respond to that recommendation within 30 days with a written response to the inspector general. This response must include either (1) a description of any disciplinary action the department head has taken with respect to the employee in question or (2) a request for a 30-day extension of the 30-day decision period if additional time is needed by the department head to review the recommendation of discipline.  If the department head or affected entity did not take any disciplinary action, or took a different disciplinary action than that recommended by the inspector general, the department head or affected entity must describe the different action and explain the reasons for the different action in the written response.  This response must be submitted to the inspector general within the 30-day decision period.  The inspector general may approve a request for an extension of this 30-day decision period for a period of time not to exceed 30 days if additional time is needed by the department head or affected entity to review the recommendation of discipline.

SECTION 7.  Section 2-56-080 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language stricken through and by inserting the language underscored, as follows:

2‑56‑080          Investigations Not Concluded Within Six Twelve Months.

            If any investigation is not concluded within six months after its initiation, No later than the fifteenth day of January, April, July and October of each year, the inspector general shall notify submit to the mayor of the general nature of the complaint or information giving rise to the investigation and the reasons for failure to complete the investigation within six months a report, accurate to the last day of the preceding month, indicating (1) the number of current investigations pending for more than twelve months; (2) the general nature of the allegations giving rise to each such investigation; and (3) the reason(s) why each such investigation is still pending.

SECTION 8.  Section 2-56-090 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by inserting the language underscored, as follows:

2‑56‑090          Cooperation In Investigations.

            It shall be the duty of every officer, employee, department, agency, contractor, subcontractor and licensee of the city, and every applicant for certification of eligibility for a city contract or program, to cooperate with the inspector general in any investigation or hearing undertaken pursuant to this chapter. Each department’s premises, equipment, personnel, books, records and papers shall be made available as soon as practicable to the inspector general. Every city contract and every bid, proposal, application or solicitation for a city contract, and every application for certification of eligibility for a city contract or program shall contain a statement that the person and/or entity understands and will abide by all provisions of this chapter.

SECTION 9.  Section 2-56-100 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language stricken through, as follows:

2‑56‑100          Retaliation Prohibited – Penalty.

            No person shall retaliate against, punish or penalize any other person for complaining to, cooperating with or assisting the inspector general in the performance of his office. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to a fine of not less than $300.00 and not more than $500.00 for each violation.

SECTION 10.  Section 2-56-110 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language stricken through and by inserting the language underscored, as follows:

2‑56‑110          Files And Reports Confidential – Public Statements Authorized When.

            All Except as otherwise provided herein, all investigatory files and reports of the office of inspector general shall be confidential and shall not be divulged to any person or agency, except to the United States Attorney, the Illinois Attorney General or the State's Attorney of Cook County, or as otherwise provided in this chapter. The inspector general is authorized to issue public statements concerning in the following circumstances: (a) if an investigation that exonerates an individual a person who is publicly known to have been under investigation, where the subject such person requests such a statement; and (b) subject to the conditions set forth in subsection (b) of this section, if an investigation, audit or inspection that concerns inefficient or wasteful management,; as opposed to individual misconduct or illegality; and (c) in a public summary of each investigation resulting in sustained findings of misconduct. The public summary shall briefly state, without disclosing the name of any individual who was the subject of such investigation, (i) the nature of the allegation or complaint; (ii) the specific violations resulting in sustained findings; (iii) the inspector general’s recommendation for discipline or other corrective measures; and (iv) the city’s response to and final decision on the inspector general’s recommendation.

SECTION 11.  This ordinance shall be in full force and effect upon its passage and publication.

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