Mayor Proposes Replacing City Hall Ethics Panel


Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday proposed replacing the city's entire ethics board with seven new members, calling it a "new day for ethics and accountability in Chicago."

The new board will be chaired by Stephen Beard, general counsel of Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm. Other members include former Illinois Appellate Judge Michael Gallagher; former Cook County Circuit Court Judge Julia Nowicki, who also has served as patronage monitor for Cook County; and pastor and author Mary Trout Carr.

"I think they have the kind of background and professionalism that had been absent," Emanuel said at a news conference at City Hall Wednesday.

They would replace four members who were serving terms that had expired or were about to expire. Three other three members have been asked to resign, according to Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman from the mayor's office.

The City Council is expected to vote on the mayor's nominees at the council's next meeting on October 31.

Since becoming mayor last year, Emanuel has signed six orders strengthening city ethics rules and amending the ethics ordinance to strengthen the ban against gifts and increase penalties for violations.

The board is charged with administering and enforcing the city's ethics and campaign financing ordinances, which regulate the conduct of city employees, city vendors, lobbyists, appointed officials and elected officials like aldermen. It has had a reputation over the years for being toothless.

Reuters / NBC Chicago

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