Proposed Chicago ethics ordinance could help prevent City Hall corruption, BGA says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new ethics ordinance could help fight corruption at Chicago's City Hall.

The planned ordinance was introduced at last Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting by 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith, the chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight.

If adopted, the ordinance would make substantial additions to the city's ethics laws, including a number of changes supported and recommended by the Better Government Association.

It would increase penalties to try and prevent any sort of corruption happening in City Hall, according to Bryan Zarou, the BGA's Director of Policy.

"It would tighten up the rules on patronage hires and nepotism," Zarou said. "It would also bar former alderman from acting as lobbyist and lobbying on the city council floor. Which we've seen some do."

The BGA's policy team, which operates independently of its investigative newsroom, recommends passage of the bill as a step forward in the effort to enhance ethics in city government.

This is an important step forward for accountability and transparency," said Zarou. "At a time when multiple sitting members of City Council are under indictment, Ald. Smith deserves credit for moving the ball forward on reform. We look forward to this ordinance receiving a hearing in the Committee on Ethics, and we hope members of City Council will see the benefit of these much-needed reforms and advance a robust bill to City Council for passage."

You can read the full ordinance and BGA article here.
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