After 15 months as executive director of the Better Government Association, Andy Shaw hit the jackpot this week with the hiring of three celebrated Chicago journalists to lead the nonprofit watchdog group’s expanded investigative unit. Rounding out what he called the BGA’s “dream team,” Shaw signed Bob Reed, former editor of Crain’s Chicago Business who most recently was chief spokesman for Gov. Pat Quinn; Bob Herguth, a former reporter and editor at the Sun-Times, the Daily Herald and the Milwaukee Business Journal; and John Conroy, former investigative reporter for the Reader who most recently covered the trial of former police commander Jon Burge for blogs.vocalo.org. The addition of Reed, Herguth and Conroy will double the BGA’s roster of investigators assigned to expose waste, fraud and inefficiency in government. Currently working under Shaw are senior investigator Patrick Rehkamp and investigators Stephanie Crets and Joel Ebert. In a statement released Monday night, Shaw said:
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to put some of Chicago’s — and the nation’s — most talented journalists, communicators and watchdogs together in one unit, enabling us to greatly expand the scope and impact of investigations throughout the state of Illinois and into public officials and agencies that have flown under the radar for far too long. In a time of shrinking newsrooms and withered journalistic resources, the need for in-depth investigations into how our city, suburbs and state operate on every level and spend each tax dollar has never been greater. I anticipate that the new BGA investigative team will be a force to be reckoned with.”
Reed will serve as director of investigations. Herguth, who had been the BGA’s interim director of investigations over the summer and launched its Investigators’ Notebook blog, will take on the new position of investigative editor. Conroy will be senior investigator.