Council approves watered-down watchdog office
Posted by Hal Dardick and John Byrne
The Chicago City Council today voted to create a new watchdog office despite criticism it won't have the power to stop the kind of abuses that have seen dozens of aldermen sent to prison.
The ordinance was a response to Mayor Richard Daley's proposal to expand the powers of the city's current inspector general, who right now can only investigate the mayor's administration. They balked at the idea of giving the mayor more control over them, but were also worried that inaction would anger voters in next year's city elections.
Ald. Helen Shiller, 46th, said the proposal is a step in the right direction, allowing the City Council to address criticism that they don't have anyone keeping an eye on them. "Is this perfect? Nothing we've ever done has been perfect, as far as I know," Shiller said.