Reform Ald. Joe Moore Caught in Ethics Probes

Ald. Joe Moore (49th), known as a progressive and reform-minded politician, and for defying former Mayor Richard M. Daley on a host of issues, is facing multiple ethics probes, Chicago Tonight has exclusively learned.

A report issued by Chicago's Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan concludes that "an alderman" abused his authority by firing a staff member for blowing the whistle on political campaign work being done in the ward office. Multiple sources have confirmed that the alderman in question is Joe Moore. The report said that Moore provided a taxpayer-funded severance of $8,709 and "told (the staffer) she should not speak to anyone about the activities at the ward office." City code allows for terminated employees to cash out unused vacation days, but does not provide for severance, according to Khan.

The report also concludes Moore fired his chief of staff and provided 81 days worth of severance pay. The report has been turned over to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the U.S. Attorney's office, which has conducted interviews of the players involved in the case.

Khan says his office has completed 27 investigations of wrongdoing among City Council members, and has referred 90 complaints or investigations to law enforcement agencies.

The violations range from Harassment to Abuse of Authority to Negligent Fiduciary Duty. Ald. Moore and other City Council members have been critical of the legislative inspector general's office for commanding a high salary, but producing little results.

In recent months, Moore has headed City Council's "Paul Douglas Alliance," a progressive caucus that wants to remove the office of Legislative Inspector General and put City Council members under the purview of executive Inspector General, Joe Ferguson.

Chicago Tonight will have more on this story on Monday.