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City Council Moves to Close Loophole Keeping Convicted City Workers on Payroll

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 14, 2011 5:00PM

1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno
earlier this week the Sun-Times ran an article on city workers who were still on the payroll, even though they were convicted of corruption and were awaiting sentencing. We know these articles can write themselves, and there always seems to be a new one like this in print or online with enough frequency that we aren't even shocked. What does shock us is that City Council finally seemed embarrassed by the latest Sun-Times story that they've introduced a bill that would have city workers fired once they're convicted.

1st ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno said that ca-ca ain't right. "Right now, we are spending Chicago taxpayer dollars on convicted felons until sentencing, and that time frame can be a year, two years, three years — and we're continuing to pay," Moreno told the Tribune. Mayor Daley countered that the bill isn't any hair off his back, and City Corporation Counsel Mara Georges said she believes the city already has the right to fire workers once their convicted of a crime. The city's Human Resources Board, whose members are Daley appointees, have upheld the employment of convicted city workers on appeal.

The bill, if passed, is a step in the right direction, according to a spokesman for Inspector General Joseph Ferguson. Ferguson recommended firing of convicted city workers in an October report.