Wrongful convictions have long been the most expensive kind of police misconduct in Chicago, costing taxpayers $29.25 million in 2024, or nearly 40% of the total amount spent to resolve allegations of police misconduct, according to WTTW News’ analysis.
The Chicago Police Department would be required to immediately launch a new study of whether officers are efficiently and effectively deployed across the city, under a measure set to be considered by a key City Council committee.
Cases that involved at least one officer with repeated claims of misconduct accounted for 60% of the cost borne by taxpayers to resolve police misconduct cases between 2019 and 2022, according to the analysis by WTTW News.
The Chicago Board of Ethics ratified the inspector general’s findings on Nov. 13, and Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin now has an opportunity to contest the results of the probe at a future meeting of the board. Each violation of the law could trigger a fine of $20,000.
The two employees, a manager and a supervisor, “incompetently performed the duties of their positions” on May 30, 2020, when they cited the leaders of the Chicago Freedom School, according to a report released Friday by the city’s watchdog.
Inspector General Deborah Witzburg on Wednesday said the court overseeing the federal consent decree has found that her office and its public safety section are in “full and effective compliance” with all applicable requirements.
Joe Ferguson spent 12 years as the corruption-busting watchdog of Chicago government — proving to be a thorn in the side of both the Emanuel and Lightfoot administrations.
The policy approved by the commission bans officers from belonging to hate groups that promote prejudice or those that aim to overthrow the government or interfere with police duties.
Michael Dorf, former Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s attorney, said the board’s decision “avoided setting a dangerous precedent.”
Even though the Chicago Police Department has exceeded its overtime budget in each of the past five years, the City Council is once again poised to set aside just $100 million to cover the department’s overtime bill in the 2024 budget.
“It is hard to imagine a more serious issue in police oversight right now,” Inspector General Deborah Witzburg said. “Chicago has to get this right.”
The Oath Keepers organization is considered by the FBI to be a “large but loosely organized collection of individuals, some who are associated with militias” who have vowed to “not obey unconstitutional (and thus illegal) and immoral orders.”
The push for the Bring Chicago Home proposal comes as the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless found an estimated 68,440 people experienced homelessness in the city in 2021. That’s a 2,829-person increase from the previous year.
Inspector General Deborah Witzburg’s determination that Gardiner violated the city’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance is the “first-ever finding of probable cause in an inspector general ethics investigation of a sitting member of City Council,” officials said.
The inspector general’s probe found that while the officer’s former partner was moving out, the officer “told them to call everyone they loved and tell them goodbye” and told them they were going to kill them and their family if they appeared at the apartment later that same day.
Benjamin George, a construction worker, said his life was upended on Aug. 19, 2019, when he stopped at a 7-Eleven store in Jefferson Park and mistakenly picked up a cell phone left on the checkout counter that did not belong to him.