Inspector General wants to crack down on law-breaking Aldermen - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Inspector General wants to crack down on law-breaking Aldermen

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The man in charge of investigating Chicago's City Council said he's tired of being a toothless tiger.

Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan is calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to boost funding for his office and give him the power to crack down on law-breaking aldermen.

"I understand many aldermen don't like me for whatever reason. But I wasn't hired to be their friend," Khan said.

Three years into his job as Chicago's watchdog of the City Council, Khan said taxpayers are getting a raw deal.

"This office was created with a fatal flaw in the first place, and that flaw is we have to go to the people we oversee and ask them for resources," Khan said.

In his semi-annual report released Monday, Khan argues that his office needs a significant boost to its $354,000 budget and new rules that would make it easier to conduct investigations.

Khan writes that while he understands the City Council's reluctance to boost his authority, "The failure of the Mayor's office to act has sent an alarmingly demoralizing message about where the importance of ethics oversight stands within this city."

"We have been left out there to kind of fend for ourselves, and not get the kind of support we need from both the Mayor's office as well as the City Council," Khan added.

And to drive home the point that a watchdog is needed, Khan's report details four investigations into illegal or unethical conduct against aldermen; including one alderman who allegedly forced employees to do political work on their days off. Also, an alderman who allowed construction work to be done on her ward office without city permits and an alderman's chief of staff accused of borrowing money from constituents and failing to pay it back.

None of the aldermen or staffers are identified by name.

"There is a great deal of misconduct that takes place in the City Council and people are coming forward to complain," Khan said.

A spokesman for Mayor Emanuel defended his track record on fighting corruption, but said it's up to the City Council to work through any issues with their Inspector General.

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