Aldermen Taking on Mayoral Oversight

 

A group of aldermen is calling for tougher oversight over the mayor’s office. Chicago Tonight reported yesterday that the aldermen are calling for -- among other things -- the ability of Inspector General Joe Ferguson to have unfettered access to documents from the mayor's office and other city agencies. A recent ruling from the state Supreme Court denies Ferguson that ability. The ruling upholds a lower court ruling leaving the Inspector General’s office without the power to enforce its own subpoenas.

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) says he and colleagues have crafted legislation to fix that.

“If the Inspector General’s hands are tied, we have to look at ways of uncuffing them,” says Fioretti. “These measures put some real teeth into the office’s operations, and represent the minimum powers necessary for an independent inspector general who can effectively work to keep city government honest.”

The ordinances would also set a minimum funding level for the office and allow it independent authority over its own expenditures, including the ability to hire and fire without approval from the mayor’s office.

Ald. Fioretti announced the measures today along with other aldermen from the so-called “Progressive Caucus.” Those aldermen include Scott Waguespack (32nd), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), John Arena (45th), Leslie Hairston (9th) Roderick Sawyer (6th) Nicholas Sposato (36th) and Toni Foulkes (15th).