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Rahm Reappoints City Watchdog To Third 4-Year Term

By Heather Cherone | May 12, 2017 12:21pm | Updated on May 15, 2017 8:41am
 Inspector General Joseph Ferguson will serve a third four-year term if confirmed by the City Council after he was reappointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Inspector General Joseph Ferguson will serve a third four-year term if confirmed by the City Council after he was reappointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
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CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel Friday asked city watchdog Joseph Ferguson to serve a third four-year term, praising the inspector general's work to "enact reforms that will benefit the city."

The mayor's action must be ratified by the City Council. Ferguson's current term expires Oct. 16.

Ferguson committed to overseeing efforts to reform the Chicago Police Department after a federal investigation completed in the final days of President Barack Obama's second term found Chicago's police force routinely violated the civil rights of residents by using excessive force caused by poor training and nonexistent supervision.

“I am gratified by the mayor’s vote of confidence in the work of the Inspector General’s Office during my tenure,” said Ferguson. “OIG is committed to promote effectiveness in city government, which now extends to police accountability. The creation of the office’s dedicated police oversight section demands OIG be even more committed to transparency and accountability that includes direct engagement with the public to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Chicago Police Department with the same vigor we apply to the programs and operations of the rest of city government.”

READ THE FULL DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REPORT HERE

Emanuel also appointed Chief Procurement Officer Jamie Rhee to another four-year term.

“Both Joe and Jamie are highly talented, dedicated civil servants who have committed themselves to making the city work better and more efficiently — particularly on the procurement task force that they co-chair,” Emanuel said in a statement. “I am pleased to reappoint them both, and look forward to continuing to work with them as we continue to seek and enact reforms that will benefit the City.”

In April, Ferguson tapped Laura Kunard — a criminologist — to be first deputy inspector general for public safety. During her City Council confirmation hearing, she vowed to unravel the "tangled patchwork" of how officers are held accountable.

That position was created when the Council endorsed Emanuel's effort to disband the Independent Police Review Authority and replace it with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability in the wake of outcry prompted by the release of a dashcam video showing a police officer fatally shoot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times.

The new agency is set to launch Sept. 15, officials said.

Emanuel last re-appointed Ferguson in 2013, but the watchdog — who was often at loggerheads with the mayor — had been expected to serve only another 18 months after he solved one of Chicago's longest-running legal disputes — the notorious Shakman Decree governing political hiring and firing.

When the relationship between the two improved, Ferguson decided to stay on.