Chicago gets new ethics task force

December 7, 2011

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(WBEZ/Jennifer Brandel)
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised a variety of ethics reforms in his campaign. Here he is flanked by his new task force.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is creating a new task force to reform the city's ethics ordinance. Four appointed reformers will have four months to examine the way the city governs conflicts of interest among officials and employees.

The task force is expected to look at best practices around the country, consult city officials, and hold public hearings. The committee's chair, Cindi Canary, used to serve as the director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a group she helped found.

"We really want to get as much input as possible on what is working and should be promoted, and what is not and might be changed," Canary said.

She added that in the coming weeks the task force will be announcing ways the public can share their thoughts.

Emanuel said it's a coincidence that the ethics task force was announced the same day former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison on 18 counts of corruption.

"It's on the one year anniversary of when David Hoffman, the former IG [Inspector General], endorsed not only my candidacy but we laid out what I thought was a level of reforms that were necessary. That is the reason," Emanuel said.

On the task force is reform advocate Cindi Canary, lawyer Sergio Acosta, Alderman William Burns and law professor Dawn Clark Netsch.