OIG Releases Third Quarter 2017 Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 17, 2017

PRESS CONTACT: Natalie A. Kuriata, (773) 478-8417

OIG Releases Third Quarter 2017 Report

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has transmitted its third quarter report for 2017 to the City Council and City officials. The report summarizes the Office’s activity from July 1 through September 30, 2017.

Also in this quarter’s report are summaries of concluded OIG investigations, inquiries, and activities, including:

• An OIG investigation established that three Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Aviation Security Officers (ASOs) and one Aviation Security Sergeant mishandled a non-threatening situation that resulted in a physically violent and forceful removal of a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 3411. The use of excessive force caused the passenger to hit his face on an armrest, resulting in a concussion, a broken nose, and the loss of two teeth. The investigation also uncovered that the employees made misleading statements and deliberately removed material facts from their reports. Acting on OIG’s findings and recommendations, CDA terminated the ASO who improperly escalated the incident and the Sergeant involved in the deliberate removal of facts from an employee report. CDA suspended the other two ASOs involved in the incident and its aftermath. CDA also confirmed that a review of its policies and procedures was underway and stated it would be complete by the first quarter of 2018.

• An OIG investigation established the exchange of racist and sexually explicit emails among Department of Water Management (DWM) employees and supervisory personnel. These emails included at least one sexually explicit photo; mockingly imitated Ebonics; and, in at least once instance, an affirming and acquiescing response from a supervisor. As a result of OIG’s findings and recommendations, one offending supervisor who OIG recommended be discharged retired under inquiry. A second supervisory employee was recommended for discharge for failing to take appropriate action in response to the offensive emails. DWM only suspended the supervisor for 14 days, citing the fact that the employee’s entire chain of command (including three top-level DWM managers that included the Commissioner at the time) was included on the emails. To date, four supervisory employees have been discharged, resigned, or retired as a result of the investigation, which is ongoing.

• An OIG investigation identified patterns suggestive of potential abuse of leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by employees at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). OIG found several employees followed patterns which raised the specter of abuse, including the frequent use of FMLA leave on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as around major holidays or sporting events. As a result of OIG’s findings and recommendations, OEMC established a more rigorous review process for FMLA leave requests and committed to continuing to review its vacation scheduling. OEMC stated it will also task supervisors with additional duties in the monitoring and management of problematic absenteeism or tardiness.

The full Quarterly Report can be found online at the OIG website: bit.ly/OIG2017Q3

Follow OIG on Twitter @ChicagoOIG for the latest information on how OIG continues to fight waste, fraud, abuse, and inefficiency in Chicago government.

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The mission of the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to root out corruption, waste, and mismanagement, while promoting effectiveness and efficiency in City government. OIG is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City, and has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and audits into most aspects of City government. If you see corruption, fraud, waste or dishonest practices of any kind, let us hear from you. For more information, visit our website at: www.chicagoinspectorgeneral.org