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Rahm Picks Team to Revamp City Ethics Code

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Wednesday a four-member team to reform and strengthen Chicago's ethics ordinance.

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The same day Illinois' former governor is to be sentenced on corruption charges, Chicago's mayor is talking about ethics.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Wednesday a four-member team to reform and strengthen Chicago's ethics ordinance. Emanuel gave "four leading reformers" a four-month deadline to make recommendations to improve the ordinance responsible for governing conflicts of interest among city officials and employees.

“Those in public life must be accountable for upholding the public trust and serving the public interest,” said Emanuel in a statement.

The group is tasked with assessing the law, looking at national best practices, discussing ethics with local experts and making a report "so there is appropriate oversight of government activity."

Cynthia Canary, founder of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, was picked to chair the committee, comprised of first-term Ald. Will Burns (4th Ward), the former Illinois State Representative for the 26th district; Sergio Acosta, former supervisor in the U.S. Attorney's Office; and Dawn Clark Netsch, a Northwestern law professor and former Illinois comptroller.

Emanuel said a team of senior attorneys from the law firm Jones Day through the Civic Consulting Alliance will work with the ethics reform taskforce pro bono. 

“The ethics ordinance governs the conduct of City officials and employees, but often is vague and lacks the mechanisms to deter abuse," Emanuel said. "The Task Force will work to recommend reforms that ensure government is honest and accountable to the taxpayers."

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