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Inspector General Statement to the City Council

Good morning. Chairman Beavers. Aldermen. It is a privilege to be appearing before your committee.

It was a true honor to have been appointed by Mayor Daley to the position of Inspector General. For the last seven years, I have been an Assistant United States Attorney and have thoroughly enjoyed serving the people of the Northern District of Illinois as a prosecutor. But I am very excited to be moving to city government, if confirmed by the City Council, to take on this new position.

I am a deep believer in the importance of public service. My grandfather, who started his career as a lawyer for FDR’s Administration in the New Deal, was a great mentor to me. He told me throughout his life that there is nothing more important in one’s career than maintaining honesty and integrity. I have tried to live by his words.

On my father’s side, my great-grandfather came to Chicago in 1899 and lived throughout the west side. My father went to Northwestern Law School and then joined public service, working for the National Labor Relations Board to enforce the labor laws.

I went to the University of Chicago Law School and while there, I worked with community leaders in Woodlawn to create an organization of about 100 law students who provided volunteer work at a variety of places in Woodlawn – from tutoring at middle schools to working at Head Start programs and the YWCA. I was proud that this group helped bridge the divide between the law school and the Woodlawn community, and I was honored when I received the University President’s Public Service Award for this work.

After clerkships with two judges and one year at a law firm, I started in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in June 1998. For the last three years, I have been a Deputy Chief and have supervised ten prosecutors and all of the office’s street gang cases. One of the projects I have helped to lead at the U.S. Attorney’s Office has been Project Safe Neighborhoods, an anti-gun-violence program. I have worked closely with the community, the Chicago Police Department, and other law enforcement partners to create deterrence programs for convicted felons – showing them that possessing a gun carries stiff federal penalties, and that there are positive alternatives.

I hope that, with the City Council’s approval, I will be able to continue my public service career by moving to the Inspector General’s office. This is a challenge I am looking forward to. If confirmed, I promise to work as hard as I can to improve the performance of the Inspector General’s office. I care deeply about Chicago and believe in the mission of the Inspector General’s Office. I know that rooting out corruption, fraud, and other misconduct can have a very beneficial effect on our city’s government if it is done the right way. I will strive to lead a smart, efficient, and productive office that achieves good and fair results. I look forward to working with the City Council on this mission.