Chicago's prospective top cop at confirmation hearing

January 7, 2008 4:16:42 PM PST
Chicago's prospective police superintendent Jody Weis faces tough questions on the first day of his confirmation hearing. The 47-year-old's confirmation hearing began Monday afternoon on the second floor of City Hall. There is no apparent City Council opposition to his designation to become the 54th leader of the Chicago Police Department.

Weis is special agent in charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Office. He spent Monday fielding questions and listening to about 30 Chicago aldermen who attended the police and fire committee meeting.

If Weis' appointment is approved, he will become the first outsider to be named Chicago police superintendent in nearly half a century.

"There comes a point in time when any organization can benefit from an outside look from somebody who is not come up in the department, and I think this might be the point in time," said Weis.

"That's going to cause you some problem because people who have been working here for years had serious problems trying to manage this police department," said Alderman Ed Smith, 28th Ward.

"Throughout my conversations with the mayor, he has made it clear that he expects there to be accountability in the department, from fighting crime to preventing misconduct. He believes deeply, as do I, that the vast majority of officers do their jobs professionally and honestly every day," said Weis.

Weis would be paid $310,000 a year to run the Chicago Police Department, which is more than Mayor Daley makes. The mayor expects Weis to root out corruption and misconduct in the ranks of officers that has been rampant in recent years.

After city council members finish their questioning, the public will get a chance to ask Weis questions.