State Watchdog Stepping Down

Since 2010, Ricardo Meza has been the state's top watchdog charged with investigating fraud and abuse in 40 state agencies, nine public universities, Metra, Pace, the CTA and RTA, as well as the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor. In other words, Meza has been a busy man. He's stepping down on April 18 as Executive Inspector General, and he joins us to talk about investigating one of the most corrupt states in the country.

Under Meza’s watch, an investigation of IDOT found that over 250 people had been hired as “Staff Assistants” because of personal connections to politicians or to high-ranking IDOT officials. Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the IDOT reports.

Read Meza's bio.

Ricardo Meza, Executive Inspector General

On September 7, 2010, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn appointed Mr. Meza as acting executive inspector general for the agencies of the Illinois governor. He was reappointed to a five-year term on May 21, 2013. On October 23, 2013, the Illinois Senate confirmed Mr. Meza’s reappointment which expires June 30, 2018. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Meza was Midwest Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in Chicago were he led the office’s litigation and public policy matters. Mr. Meza also served over 10 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office, primarily in its Chicago office where he tried over 30 federal criminal trials. Mr. Meza was a law clerk to the late Honorable Wendell C. Radford, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas and also served as an assistant attorney general II for the State of Texas. Mr. Meza received his BA in political science from Illinois State University and obtained his law degree from The John Marshall Law School. Mr. Meza is a 2007 Fellow of the Leadership Greater Chicago Program.