Recent News

Ex-city worker gets probation in theft case, repays $20K | Chicago Breaking News | 3/4/2010

A former administrator with the city's Department of Cultural Affairs was sentenced to two years probation and has repaid $20,000 in connection to a theft and forgery case, officials said.

The sentence came as part of a plea bargain between Cook County prosecutors and Ming Liu Bengtsson.

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Daley: Give city inspector power to investigate aldermen | Chicago Sun-Times | 2/8/2010

by Fran Spielman

Mayor Daley today transferred control over city hiring from his $4 million-a-year Office of Compliance to the inspector general and dropped a political bombshell on the City Council by proposing that the inspector general be given the power to investigate aldermen.

Twenty years ago, Daley tried to give the inspector general the power to investigate the City Council, only to be shot down by aldermen concerned about political witch hunts.

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Daley: Expand watchdog's reach to City Council | Chicago Tribune | 2/8/2010

by Hal Dardick

Mayor Richard Daley today proposed expanding the powers of the city's inspector general to include investigating aldermen -- an idea long opposed by City Council -- as well as taking away the hiring oversight duties currently held by the mayor's compliance office.

The proposed ordinance, which Daley will introduce at Wednesday's council meeting, would be a dramatic shift in the power struggle between City Hall watchdogs.

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Ex-charity boss gets prison time for theft, pays 100k in restitution to City; Result of IGO joint investigation | Chicago Sun-Times | 1/29/2010

by Stefano Esposito

Patti Buffington -- the onetime head of a West Side charity devoted to assisting prostitutes -- was sentenced to a year in prison Thursday. The sentence comes 3 ½ years after she was charged with looting $479,000 from the charity and spending some of the money on swanky vacations to the Bahamas.

Read the story in the Chicago Sun-Times...


Operation Crooked Code: Plumbing inspector convicted of bribery, conspiracy | 1/05/2010 | Chicago Sun-Times

January 5, 2010

A federal jury Tuesday convicted a Chicago plumbing inspector accused of overlooking code violations and pushing through permits.

Mario Olivella, 42, was convicted of two counts of bribery and conspiracy for taking bribes to overlook code violations at a building at 1637 W. Granville that is being converted to condos. He faces up to 15 years in prison at his May 28 sentencing.



Inspector general 'will not shrink from conflict' | 11/23/2009 | Chicago Sun-Times

November 23, 2009

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter/

Joe Ferguson is the eldest son of a working-class single mom and a father he never knew who survived that rejection -- and the mean streets of Boston -- to become a dogged federal prosecutor in Chicago.

Now, Ferguson must learn the art of political survival in the biggest shark tank of them all: City Hall.

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City worker pleads guilty to accepting bribe | 11/19/2009 | Chicago Tribune

A clerk in the city's Department of Construction and Permits pleaded guilty today to accepting a bribe.



City worker convicted of bribery to hide property violations | 11/13/2009 | Chicago Tribune

A 52-year-old City of Chicago employee was convicted today of bribery after he was accused of paying off another city worker to erase code violations for property he owned, prosecutors said.

It took a jury eight hours to convict Gustavo Ramirez, of the 4600 block of North Harding Avenue, an engineering technician for the city's Department of Water Management, said Cook County state's attorney's spokesman Andy Conklin. Authorities said Ramirez paid at least $200 to have the Department of Buildings purge information about violations for several of his properties from its computer system.

Between November 2006 and roughly January 2007, Ramirez paid who he thought was a Buildings Department employee to purge the violations, authorities said. However, that individual was really an undercover investigator from the city's inspector general's office.

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Prosecutor gets City Council OK as inspector general | 11/12/2009 | Chicago Sun-Times

The federal prosecutor chosen by Mayor Daley to serve a four-year term as Chicago’s corruption-fighting inspector general sailed through a Chicago City Council committee today with a promise to provide a bigger “bang for the buck.”

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City Council panel approves Daley's inspector general nominee | 11/12/2009 | Chicago Tribune

A federal prosecutor nominated to be Chicago's next inspector general told aldermen today that "there are still significant pockets of fraud and corruption in city government."

Read the story in the Chicago Tribune...