• Stop the Presses: More Chicagoland Public Corruption

    Two cases where public officials were funneling business to their old law firms

    Here’s the headline in the Chicago Tribune:

    High-ranking Cook County [Chicago] prosecutor resigns after inquiry into case referrals to former employer

    An internal review found [Chaka Patterson] had referred business to his old law firm, allowing it to charge up to $315 an hour above the county’s standard rate, according to an official and county records.

    Patterson, a 49-year-old former partner at the Chicago offices of the global law firm Jones Day, became head of the county prosecutor’s office’s civil division in February just months after State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s 2016 election victory.

    . . . . The issue of potential problems with law firms came up in a different context during the 2016 campaign after Foxx resigned from her job as chief of staff for County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to run for office. The Tribune reported that Foxx did consulting work for Power Rogers & Smith, a personal injury firm that had filed cases against the county. –Chicago Tribune

    It is the second time in two weeks that referrals to high-priced law firms have led to resignations by top public officials.

    The other recent case involved the head of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the top attorney there:

    CPS chief Forrest Claypool resigns after being accused of ethics probe cover-up

    Claypool was accused of orchestrating a “full-blown cover-up” by the district inspector general, who called for the CEO’s ouster in a blistering report given to the school board Wednesday. ….

    A report from CPS Inspector General Nicholas Schuler was scathing in its criticism of Claypool. The district CEO “repeatedly lied” during an ethics investigation involving the top CPS attorney [Ron Marmer], the report said.

    Schuler on Friday said the latest upheaval at the district’s top ranks could have been avoided if Claypool agreed to remove General Counsel Ron Marmer from overseeing a contract with his former firm, Jenner & Block. CPS hired the firm, which was still making severance payments to Marmer, to manage a civil rights lawsuit against the state of Illinois that was ultimately dropped. –Chicago Tribune

    Now that you know what kind of corruption an Inspector General can uncover, is it any surprise that the Chicago City Council refuses to allow any IG to investigate it?