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Ald. Joe Moore Subject Of Multiple Ethics Investigations

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 22, 2013 1:30PM

News broke late Sunday night that Ald. Joe Moore (49th), regarded as one of the more progressive and reform-minded voices in Chicago government, is the subject of multiple ethics probes by the lawyer tasked to investigate any ethics violations in City Council.

Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan released the results of an investigation claiming an unnamed alderman, which WTTW identified as Moore, fired a staff member for informing City Hall that campaign work was being done in Moore's ward office. As a taxpayer-funded office, that's a violation of city ethics guideline. Moore allegedly gave the staffer a severance package worth $8,709 and advised the staffer not to speak to anyone about what happens in his office. Terminated city employees may cash out any unused sick time but aren't entitled to a severance package.

Khan's reports also claims Moore fired his chief of staff and offered a 81 days of severance pay. The U.S. Attorney's Office has opened an investigation into the allegations against Moore.

Several aldermen, including Moore, have been critical of Khan since he took the Legislative IG job, stating he's provided little results for the money he's being paid. Not that the City Council gave him much a budget with which to work. The city only funded Khan's office with $60,000 when he took the part-time gig and both he and the Emanuel administration asked for an extra $200,000 to finance his probes. Khan also has a limited range of powers in his role and, even though aldermen have said they would not run interference, although they objected to Khan's request to audit aldermen's employee time sheets. Khan said he has completed 27 investigations of wrongdoing by City Council members since being named their watchdog, and referred 91 complaints to various law enforcement agencies.

With 31 aldermen having served time in prison since the 1970s, all Khan had to do, really, was lift a rug to find evidence of impropriety. The shocker here is that Moore is the subject of the investigations. According to WTTW's Paris Schutz, Moore spearheads the "Paul Douglas Alliance" that wants City Council members investigated by City Inspector General Joseph Ferguson.